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The Rainmaker (1997) Poster

(1997)

Trivia

The Southwestern Reporter Second citation, 585 S.W.2d 431, given by Rudy Baylor for the case "Club Ruby v Carmine De Soto" - which was supposed to be controlling regarding the admissibility of the stolen Great Benefit manual as evidence - is a citation to an actual Kentucky Court of Appeals case: "French Bank of California v. First National Bank of Louisville". The case, however, did not involve stolen evidence.
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Jump to: Spoilers (1)
The scene where Danny DeVito wakes up Matt Damon on the bench was filmed hurriedly, surprising Damon, who had actually fallen asleep after a scene.
John Grisham's favorite of all the films adapted from his books. He said of the film, "To me, it's the best adaptation of any of my books. I love the movie. It's so well done." (Entertainment Weekly 2004).
Danny Glover's prominent role as Judge Tyrone Kipler was uncredited.
Francis Ford Coppola encouraged Matt Damon to stay in his character's apartment in order to immerse himself in the role. Coppola was then able to sneak some shots of Damon waking up in the morning.
The Rainmaker (1997) 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. (2016)
Curious to understand the appeal of John Grisham's work, Francis Ford Coppola picked up a copy of the book at the airport. He ended up finishing it on the flight, impressed with its ability to hold his attention so thoroughly. He decided to make the film adaptation of the book his next project.
Teresa Wright's final film.
Edward Norton auditioned for the part of Rudy Baylor.
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).
Leo Drummand's assertion (and motion) that stolen evidence is not admissible in a civil action is untrue. While there are recognized restraints on the federal and state governments, preventing them from using evidence that they obtain improperly (in particular, in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution), in civil suits lawyers can utilize stolen evidence. The evidence is subject to credibility concerns related to the methodology by which the evidence was obtained, and a person who steals evidence may violate the law, but the information is not rendered inadmissible, merely because it was stolen.
Matt Damon used external stimuli in the scene opposite Jon Voight in the deposition. He placed rocks in his suit to feel more uncomfortable.
Claire Danes was only seventeen years old at the time of filming, despite the fact that her character is supposed to be in her twenties.
The movie that Rudy (Matt Damon) and Kelly (Claire Danes) go to see is The Lover (1992).
To get Dean Stockwell in the proper mood, Francis Ford Coppola had him pretend to be a sadistic monarch, who sentenced every cast member to a beheading.
The first two paragraphs, of the news article about the FBI investigation, read: "The defendants are pillars of the local legal establishment, with long ties to the community and lots of friends in high places. The accusers, for the most part, are outsiders, newly arrived from out of town, and still eyed with some suspicion by the clubby residents of Memphis. For eighteen months, while federal prosecutors and FBI Agents probed the illicit links between the former Memphis judges and a prominent trial attorney, there had been sub rosa grumbling among other judges and lawyers."
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Laurence Fishburne was originally cast as Judge Tyrone Kipler.
Danny DeVito wore prosthetic teeth while playing Deck Shiflett, in keeping with Coppola's idea, that the character needed a prominent smile.
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Wayne Emmons (Prince Thomas) was also a technical legal consultant on the film.
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The movie takes place in, and was filmed in, Memphis, Tennessee. Red West (Buddy Black) was born and raised in Memphis, and was part of Elvis Presley's "Memphis Mafia".
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Francis Ford Coppola brought Matt Damon in for this, his first lead role, because he was very impressed with Damon's commitment to Courage Under Fire (1996). For that movie, Damon lost weight to play a heroin addict, which ended up compromising his health.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Matt Damon, Teresa Wright, and Jon Voight; and five Oscar nominees: Danny DeVito, Mickey Rourke, Dean Stockwell, Roy Scheider, and Virginia Madsen.
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One of four films shot back-to-back-to-back-to-back by Matt Damon. The first was Good Will Hunting (1997), which opened in December 1997. The second was this film, which opened in November 1997, a few weeks before Good Will Hunting (1997), his Oscar winning film. Saving Private Ryan (1998) was released in July 1998. The last one was Rounders (1998), which was filming in late November and December 1997, when this film and Good Will Hunting (1997) were released theatrically. Rounders (1998) wasn't released until September 1998, just two months after Saving Private Ryan (1998) was released.
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Nick Nolte was originally cast in the film.
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When Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) first meets Deck (Danny DeVito), Deck tells him he sat for the bar exam six times, but hasn't yet passed. In My Cousin Vinny (1992), Vinny (Joe Pesci) tells Stanley (Mitchell Whitfield) that he also sat six times to pass the bar exam.
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.
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Stephen Dorff was in the fray for the lead role.
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Just before the jury gives their final 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.
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The second film, in which Danny DeVito appeared, released one month apart. The other was L.A. Confidential (1997), which opened in September 1997.
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One of two films that Paramount Pictures distributed for Michael Douglas' production company, Constellation Films, that were released just over a year apart. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), which co-starred Douglas and Val Kilmer, was released October 1996, and this film was released in November 1997.
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This is the second film, in which Mickey Rourke has appeared, for Francis Ford Coppola. The first was Rumble Fish (1983), co-starring Matt Dillon, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. He was considered for a role in The Outsiders (1983), also based on a novel by Hinton, and also featuring Dillon.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The novel is substantially different from Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation. Rudy's introduction is slightly different, and he has a roommate who plays a part in the narrative. The relationship between Rudy and Kelly is almost as it appears in the film, with a few slight differences. There is a subplot involving Deck and Bruiser, where it is revealed that Deck knows the whereabouts of the money that Bruiser embezzled. The finale is different in that Rudy attacks Everett Lufkin, the slimy underling in Great Benefits, and not the CEO of the company, Wilford Keeley (Roy Scheider). Most of the dialogue in the finale is almost verbatim from the novel, except that it's spoken by and to Keeley instead of Lufkin.
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