6.6/10
75,552
115 user 56 critic

The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 17 December 1993 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

John Grisham (book), Alan J. Pakula (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
4,467 ( 50)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Darby Shaw
Denzel Washington ... Gray Grantham
Sam Shepard ... Thomas Callahan
John Heard ... Gavin Vereek
Tony Goldwyn ... Fletcher Coal
James Sikking ... FBI Director Denton Voyles (as James B. Sikking)
William Atherton ... Bob Gminski
Robert Culp ... President
Stanley Tucci ... Khamel
Hume Cronyn ... Justice Rosenberg
John Lithgow ... Smith Keen
Anthony Heald ... Marty Velmano
Nicholas Woodeson ... Stump
Stanley Anderson ... Edwin Sneller
John Finn ... Matthew Barr
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Storyline

Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men and who is also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her that states who probably wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys, she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI. He agrees to come meet her but before he does, someone shoots him and takes his ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bomb that is placed in Grantham's car uses a mercury switch. This is made of a glass ampule that contains a pair of metal contacts and an amount of mercury. It is designed so that when moved in such a way that the mercury touches both of the leads, this completes the circuit and detonates the bomb. See more »

Goofs

When Stump is chasing Gray and Darby with a car in the parking garage, while they are on foot, he fails to gain significant ground on them despite seemingly flooring the car and reaching a speed fast enough for the car to explode upon impact. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Justice Rosenberg: Any of those signs got my name on 'em?
Gray Grantham: Quite a few.
Justice Rosenberg: What do they say?
Gray Grantham: The usual: Death to Rosenberg, Retire Rosenberg, Cut off the oxygen.
Justice Rosenberg: [laughs] That's my favorite. Of course you, Mr Grantham, did pretty good by me your last time out: Rosenberg equals the government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians? Oh, give 'em whatever they want.
Gray Grantham: Well with all due respects sir, that wasn't my line, that was a quote.
Justice Rosenberg: From one of your ...
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Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: Cutbacks (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Creole Song
Written and Performed by Lynn August
Courtesy of Black Top Records
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User Reviews

 
An Awful Lot to Absorb
6 January 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

The foundation for this movie is the assassination of a couple of disparate Supreme Court justices. Their murders are on the minds of everyone in the country. A noted terrorist is involved in all of this and a character named Darby, played by Julia Roberts, sets out to find the evidence to discover the killer. That's all well and good. But what happens now is a series of murders and cover-ups and disappearances that make one need a scorecard to follow. I love more sophisticated drama and this is certainly one, but soon the President is involved. There is some land in Louisiana that is at the center of a lot of this, but because a rare breed of pelican is in danger, it becomes difficult. Even when the film is over, we don't really have it clear in our minds how things are going to play out. Some issues are settled but what's next. Roberts and Denzel Washington are quite good.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pelican Brief See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,864,404, 19 December 1993

Gross USA:

$100,768,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$195,268,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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