In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his ten-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
In Canton, Mississippi, 10-year-old Tonya Hailey is viciously brutalized by two white racist rednecks -- James Louis "Pete" Willard and Billy Ray Cobb. Almost immediately after Tonya is found and rushed to a hospital, Pete and Billy Ray are found at a roadside bar, where they had been bragging about what they did to Tonya. Tonya's understandably distraught and enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, remembers a case from a year ago, when four white men raped an African-American girl in a nearby town, and got acquitted. Carl is determined to not let that happen in this case. While deputy Dwayne Powell Looney is escorting Pete and Billy Ray up a flight of stairs to a court room, Carl emerges from the building's basement with an assault rifle, and he kills Pete and Billy Ray for what they did to Tonya. Carl is later arrested at his house by African-American sheriff Ozzie Walls, and Carl is scheduled to be placed on trial. Despite the efforts of the NAACP and local African-American leaders to ...Written by
Director Joel Schumacher originally offered the lead role to Val Kilmer during the production of Batman Forever (1995), which is surprising since Schumacher has always been very open about his strained relationship with Kilmer on the set (while still praising Kilmer's performance). However, Kilmer declined. See more »
When Rufus Buckley examines Deputy Looney in court, he addresses him as "Detective" instead of "Deputy". See more »
I can not promise you riches. What I can offer you the chance to save the world one case at a time.
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The first name of the Jake Brigance character becomes ''Jack'' Brigance in the Italian version. See more »
I was surprised this movie was this good after reading the book.
I was very much drawn into the book, and thought that it would be hard to get the same feeling out in a movie.
At the beginning I thought I was right. From the beginning I was thinking "they left out a whole mess of details." I was irritated that they did not develop the characters better like in the book.
But by the 3rd quarter of the movie this was the last thought in my mind. And by the end I understood that the screenwriter had very skillfully budgeted his (limited) screen time for the most important parts of the movie, where it is well spent.
I think the acting of the principals was very good, and I found especially for Sandra Bullock as Ellen Roark - who was the most believable character. Although the rest of the acting was very good, I felt she was the most believable.
Which raises the main weakness of the movie, as good as it was, having read the book, I could not help being reminded that most of the characters were in fact, actors in a movie. Except for Ms. Bullock, there was a bit of woodeness to the "folk" in this small southern town. Also the plot is a bit contrived (but true to the novel). Most important is that (for me) it worked. I was moved. Its a very good movie.
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