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.
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.