7.1/10
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148 user 84 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
2,611 ( 121)
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

Just before the jury gives its verdict, Rudy is writing something on his legal pad with a pen. It is the name of Donny Ray Black (Johnny Whitworth) along with his birth and death years, 1974-1996. In the film, Black died of leukemia in 1996. Whitworth was born in 1975. See more »

Goofs

In the court room, Rudy Baylor hands Wilfred Keeley a computer report about 3 or 4 inches thick. When Keeley hands it back to Rudy it's only about an inch think. The reports on the table behind Rudy continue to change size and position from the ones that Mr. Keeley is looking at. 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

Five Long Years
Written by Eddie Boyd
Performed by Muddy Waters
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not always realistic, but a highly entertaining story
12 August 2004 | by IdocamstufSee all my reviews

This film was sort of a comeback for Francis Ford Coppola, considering that he had not really made any films since "The Godfather Part 3", other than "Jack". In this film Matt Damon plays a young lawyer fresh out of law school, who by chance meets up with spitfire paralegal Danny DeVito, and takes on a huge and difficult case. Fully entertaining throughout, although the ending is almost completely unbeleivable, which is the only negative aspect of this film. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good courtroom drama, I thought it was one of the better ones that I have seen. I rate it *** out of ****, or maybe even a little higher.


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