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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 »
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Popularity
2,974 ( 65)
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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Francis Ford Coppola chose Composer Elmer Bernstein for the film, for a couple of reasons. First, he wanted a score that featured a Hammond B-Organ in the style of the late jazz musician Jimmy Smith. Throughout the better part of a decade, Bernstein had featured an instrument, called the "Ondes Martinot", played by soloists Cynthia Millar or Jeanne Leoad (Heavy Metal) in many of his original scores, which had quite a similar sound to the Hammond organ. Second, he was looking to bring a dramatic depth to the story, and referenced Bernstein's classic score from To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) as an exemplar for the kind of score that he wanted. Pianist Michael Lang performed the piano and Hammond Organ solos on this score. See more »

Goofs

Around 13 minutes in the film when Rudy is questioning Mrs. Birdie about her will, the amount of writing on his legal pad changes from shot to shot, sometimes showing a blank pad, to showing various amounts of scratched out text. 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 »


Soundtracks

You Are My Sunshine
Written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Johnny Whitworth And The Test Of Time
24 June 2017 | by arichmondfwcSee all my reviews

It was something else, seeing The Rainmaker again, 20 years later. The plot, the cast, the look of it, it all has that Coppola touch and that

has to be with truth, the way he, Francis Ford Coppola sees it. Beautiful, powerful and moving but the most powerful element after 20 years turns out to be Johnny Whitworth. What a gorgeous, soulful performance. It took me by surprise, I remember the character from my first viewing but this time his is the character who affected me the most. Imagine in a cast that includes Teresa Wright! Yes, Teresa Wright, Dean Stockwell as well as Matt Damon, Mary Kay Place, Jon Voight, Danny De Vito, Mickey Rourke, Claire Danes. Time does extraordinary things. It reveals the center of the center of the truth.


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