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The Chamber (1996)

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A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

Director:

James Foley

Writers:

John Grisham (novel), William Goldman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris O'Donnell ... Adam Hall
Gene Hackman ... Sam Cayhall
Faye Dunaway ... Lee Cayhall Bowen
Robert Prosky ... E. Garner Goodman
Raymond J. Barry ... Rollie Wedge / Donnie Cayhall (as Raymond Barry)
Bo Jackson ... Sgt. Clyde Packer
Lela Rochon ... Nora Stark
David Marshall Grant ... Gov. David McAllister
Nicholas Pryor ... Judge Flynn F. Slattery
Harve Presnell ... Atty. Gen. Roxburgh
Richard Bradford ... Wyn Lettner
Greg Goossen Greg Goossen ... J.B. Gullitt (as Gregory Goossen)
Seth Isler Seth Isler ... Marvin B. Kramer
Millie Perkins ... Ruth Kramer
Sid Johnson Sid Johnson ... Josh Kramer
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Storyline

Having survived the hatred and bigotry that was his Klansman grandfather's only legacy, young attorney Adam Hall seeks at the last minute to appeal the old man's death sentence for the murder of two small Jewish boys 30 years before. Only four weeks before Sam Cayhall is to be executed, Adam meets his grandfather for the first time in the Mississippi prison which has held him since the crime. The meeting is predictably tense when the educated, young Mr. "Hall" confronts his venom-spewing elder, Mr. "Cayhall," about the murders. The next day, headlines run proclaiming Adam the grandson who has come to the state to save his grandfather, the infamous Ku Klux Klan bomber. While the old man's life lies in the balance, Adam's motivation in fighting this battle becomes clear as the story unfolds. Not only does he fight for his grandfather, but perhaps for himself as well. He has come to heal the wounds of his own father's suicide, to mitigate the secret shame he has always felt for the ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Time is running out.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chamber See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,612,095, 13 October 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,551,359

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,989,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The second of two films scored by Composer Carter Burwell for Director James Foley in 1996. The other was Fear which had been released by Universal Pictures earlier in 1996. See more »

Goofs

When Lee (Faye Dunaway) shows Adam (Chris O'Donnell) the photo allegedly of her father at a lynching in Mississippi as a boy, it is actually the iconic photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Indiana. The young Sam Cayhill has been edited into the original photograph. See more »

Quotes

Lee Bowen: We come from a long line of hate.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conspiracy Theory (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Temenos (Here Come The Shakes)
Written by Shelby Tate
Performed by Remy Zero
Courtesy of DGC Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets & Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting political film
26 March 2011 | by gracescheelSee all my reviews

Most reviews on this site, neglect to mention how vividly the film captures the racist politics of the American South at this time. The actions of all politicians reveals how difficult it can be to seek justice. They are always looking sideways. Also the crowd outside the execution site shows how easy it is to stir up mob emotion. Again, nicely laid out and captured on film. The film visually translated Grishelm's understanding of Southern culture and politics.

I also thought Chris O'Donnell captured the intensity of someone who is confronting his family's past. The camera work, which holds on his face, assists in helping us to see the quiet determination with which he works. (The camera is a good replacement for the interior monologue of fiction!)I also liked the flash-backs which help him to comprehend just where his father came from and why suicide might have been a response.

This film is timely today in lieu of the polarization of American politics. Scary stuff!


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