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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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,986 ( 326)
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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As filming went on, Matt Damon continued to gain most of the weight that he had lost purposely for his role in Courage Under Fire (1996). See more »

Goofs

After Cliff pushes Rudy away and starts to walk towards Kelly, we hear him speaking but his mouth doesn't move. 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

How Blue Can You Get
Written by Jane Feather
Performed by B.B. King
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Amiable yet smooth adaption.
24 April 2002 | by mhasheiderSee all my reviews

Amiable yet smooth adaption of the John Grisham novel, that closely follows an inexperienced Memphis lawyer, Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), who gets the unexpected feeling of being in the profession by taking three cases right away. The cases vary from an old woman who is unsure about what to do with some money, a savagely abused domestic victim, and a lawsuit involving a major health insurance company.

Writer-director Francis Ford Coppola and one of his writers from "Apocalypse Now", Michael Herr, handle the adaption fairly well in knowing what to keep from the story in and what to leave out. For someone who made himself a legend by adapting "The Godfather" and "Heart of Darkness", Coppola sure knows how to use a novel as the main source for creating a good tale here.

Plus, the movie has an excellent supporting cast (Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Claire Danes, Dean Stockwell, Virginia Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Roy Scheider, and Danny Glover) to be in the movie alongside Damon. Among the ones that come to mind, DeVito is great Deck, as a crafty (and humorous) para-lawyer who has trouble with the bar exam and helps Rudy in adjusting to the line of work, Voight's fine as the not-so-totally slimey lawyer that Rudy faces in the lawsuit, just looking at the Danes character for a second alone, is a really sad and Rourke is amusing as Brusier, the employer that Deck and Rudy desert when they find out that he's the target of a federal probe.

In conclusion, "The Rainmaker" may not be as highly memorable as "The Godfather" or "Apocalypse Now", however; it shows that Coppola still has the skills to be a great film-maker. It's nice to see someone who has been on hard times, bounce back with a good movie.


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