7.1/10
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149 user 83 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
3,247 ( 1,210)
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Teresa Wright's final film. See more »

Goofs

The microphone stand when Wilfred Keeley is in the witness chair. 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

 
Do not compare to the book.
6 April 2007 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

Readers are usually disappointed when a favorite book is translated to film. If you are looking for a Grisham thriller here, you will be disappointed. But, if you are looking for a courtroom drama with a great cast, then this is a great film.

Matt Damon shines as Rudy, recently out of law school, who sets up an office with Deck Schifflet (Danny DeVito) who is still trying to pass his bar exam. He also finds a place to stay with Miss Birdie (Teresa Wright) who has hired him to handle her estate papers.

Rudy is drawn to the plight of Kelly (Claire Danes), a working-class girl whose husband has battered her with a baseball bat. But the real drama is centered on Great Benefit, an insurance company that has refused to pay a claim of one of its policy holders.

Dot Black (Mary Kay Place) whose son is dying of leukemia is suing the company for denying her claim. In the courtroom, the unpolished Rudy is forced to square off against Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), a corporate lawyer who knows all the tricks of the trade. This David versus Goliath battle is well worth watching.

Damon, De Vito and Voight, along with Claire Danes and Danny Glover shine in this film.

So, forget the book and enjoy a great film.


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