7.1/10
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148 user 82 critic

The Rainmaker (1997)

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An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Writers:

John Grisham (novel), Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,582 ( 596)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Damon ... Rudy Baylor
Danny DeVito ... Deck Shifflet
Claire Danes ... Kelly Riker
Jon Voight ... Leo F. Drummond
Mary Kay Place ... Dot Black
Dean Stockwell ... Judge Harvey Hale
Teresa Wright ... Colleen 'Miss Birdie' Birdsong
Virginia Madsen ... Jackie Lemancyzk
Mickey Rourke ... Bruiser Stone
Andrew Shue ... Cliff Riker
Red West ... Buddy Black
Johnny Whitworth ... Donny Ray Black
Wayne Emmons Wayne Emmons ... Prince Thomas
Adrian Roberts ... Butch
Roy Scheider ... Wilfred Keeley
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Storyline

Rudy Baylor is a young attorney out to make a difference in the justice system. He is also the only hope of an elderly couple after their corrupt insurance company refuses to payout a claim that could save their child's life. In this judicial drama, Baylor rails against corporate lawyers, corrupt judges, and abusive husbands, all with the help of a fellow lawyer who hasn't even passed his bar exam. He is facing long odds in the courtroom - and this is only his first case. Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were totally unqualified to try the case of a lifetime... but every underdog has his day.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a strong beating and elements of domestic abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Grisham's The Rainmaker See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,626,507, 23 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$45,856,732, 15 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is widely regarded by film critics as the best John Grisham adaptation. For example, on RottenTomatoes.com, it has the highest score of them all, as of 2016. See more »

Goofs

When Deck and Rudy are having dinner at the restaurant, the veggies on Deck's plate change from mostly broccoli to cauliflower and broccoli, then back to broccoli. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Rudy Baylor: My father hated lawyers all his life. He wasn't a great guy, my old man. He drank and beat up my mother; he beat me up too. So you might think I became a lawyer just to piss him off. But you'd be wrong. I wanted to be a lawyer ever since I read about the Civil Rights lawyers in the 50s and 60s, and the amazing uses they found for the law. They did what a lot of people thought was the impossible. They gave lawyers a good name. And so I went to law school. And it did piss my father ...
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Crazy Credits

There is a credit for "Poet in Residence". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Michael Mann (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Scratch My Back
Written by James Moore
Performed by James Moore (as Slim Harpo)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perfect legal drama
22 December 2006 | by deluxewamuSee all my reviews

I love this film. This is probably Copola's last great film. Matt Damon was robbed, this is one of his best performances, and that's saying a lot. I love the little nuances of his performance, like when he greets the "old lady' at her house.

This is my 2nd favorite film of all time with deep personal meaning. We've all had people doubting our capabilities, just as the other team of lawyers discount Damon's competence. This film is about personal redemption. Further, I admire Damon's strength.

Overall, a film every law student and lawyer should see for its humanity; its brilliance; and its judgment on the American legal system.


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