7.3/10
169,481
525 user 155 critic

Erin Brockovich (2000)

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writer:

Susannah Grant
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Popularity
1,703 ( 242)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 32 wins & 59 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Erin Brockovich
David Brisbin ... Dr. Jaffe
Dawn Didawick ... Rosalind
Albert Finney ... Ed Masry
Valente Rodriguez ... Donald
Conchata Ferrell ... Brenda
George Rocky Sullivan George Rocky Sullivan ... Los Angeles Judge
Pat Skipper ... Defending Lawyer
Jack Gill ... Defendant
Irene Olga López Irene Olga López ... Mrs. Morales
Emily Marks Emily Marks ... Beth (8 months)
Julie Marks Julie Marks ... Beth (8 months)
Scotty Leavenworth ... Matthew
Gemmenne de la Peña ... Katie (as Gemmenne De la Peña)
Erin Brockovich-Ellis ... Waitress
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Storyline

Erin Brockovich-Ellis is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She brought a small town to its feet and a huge corporation to its knees.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Finney initially turned down the film. Danny DeVito had to convince Finney's girlfriend to convince the actor to change his mind, offering to schedule all of the actor's scenes as Ed Masry closer together so he wouldn't have to be in Los Angeles as long as earlier scheduled. See more »

Goofs

After Erin comes up from the PG&E well with the water sample, she is chased to her car by two PG&E employees. She gets in and frantically tries to make her getaway. Apparently the car doesn't start the first time and she tries again. However, when the starter is heard cranking the second time, Erin's hand is already off the ignition switch and moving to the gearshift. See more »

Quotes

Donna Jensen: [after a meeting] Oh, I made some bundt cake. Let me get some coffee, too.
Ed Masry: [Gets up to leave] Sorry, we have to be getting back...
Erin Brockovich: [under her breath in Ed's ear] Have a fuckin' cup of coffee, Ed.
Ed Masry: [to Donna] Coffee would be great, thanks.
Pete Jensen: [after Ed sits back down next to him] My wife makes great bundt cake.
Ed Masry: I love bundt cake.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The settlement awarded to the plaintiffs in the case of Hinkley vs. PG&E was the largest in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the TV version aired on NBC, it mutes the several uses of the f-word [usually changing it from f*cking to freaking, or sometimes even cutting out the line[s] of dialogue]. It also, to supposedly make up for lost time during editing, adds a scene not shown on the theatrical or home video version of the film [although it was added as a deleted scene in the DVD]: Erin goes out to her car after storming into the office and shouting at Ed. She feels still feels very sick and then faints. It lands her in the hospital where George comes to visit [explaining why George would come and take care of Erin's kids while she went to get the signatures]. Ed also comes to visit and pleads her to not make stunts like she did again. Erin apologizes and says she's coming to the town meeting, sick or not. See more »


Soundtracks

Honey Bunch
Written by Paul Kerr & Andy Dewar
Courtesy of Opus 1
See more »

User Reviews

 
Julia Roberts is Fiercely Dynamic in the Smart and Savvy Erin Brockovich!
27 April 2015 | by sandnair87See all my reviews

Steven Soderbergh's Erin Brockovich opens with a car accident. The vehicle driven by Erin, an unemployed, twice-divorced mother of three, is broadsided by a speeding car at an intersection. She takes her case to a rumpled, cowed lawyer Ed Masry, who agrees to represent her on a contingency basis. However, in court, Erin's surly manner and blasphemous vocabulary do not endear her to the jury, which finds itself in the defendant's favor, as Erin goes home empty-handed. Still without work and needing to pay her bills, Erin, who has no demonstrable skills, but a passion, an uncommon quantity of common sense, and a defiant way of talking, finagles her way into a position as a file clerk under her former attorney.

It is in this capacity that she uncovers, entirely by accident, a paper trail leading to the town of Hinkley, CA, where an endless stream of residents have been diagnosed with various medical conditions including cancer, disintegrating spinal cords and brain damage. It turns out that the community of Hinkley has been poisoned by hexavalent chromium, leaching into the drinking water from the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) plant. The case is especially odious because PG&E knew exactly what it was doing but lied about what kind of chromium it was using. Erin gains the trust of the community to mount legal action and strong-arms Ed to put together a case that would win the largest direct claim settlement in American history, even as her personal life is threatened by her devotion to the case.

Steven Soderbergh tests Erin's limits of likability numerous times throughout the movie. An early scene is designed to show what a short fuse Erin has when she explodes in a torrent of profanity in the courtroom. Erin, the film makes clear early on, is no sentimental crusader. Rather, she is a tough, hard-nosed cookie who dresses like a hoochie and who would use anything from here heavily coiffured hair to her cleavage or also her baby to get what she needs. In short, Erin is adrift in a hard world. But what makes this potentially despicable character so affable is Julia Roberts' vulnerable and fiercely dynamic performance. As the eponymous character, she is undoubtedly the heart and soul of the film. As a foil for Erin, Albert Finney draws out a complex, engaging performance that is as warm as it is funny. Their scenes together crackle with chemistry and it's a joy to see this kind of male/female interaction where there is absolutely no hint of sexual attraction.

Soderbergh infuses the proceedings with a vibrant, almost peppy sense of style that would not have been half as compelling had a less edgy director helmed it. It would have been easy for him to have allowed Erin Brockovich to descend into manipulative melodrama, but he resists that path of least resistance, instead giving us a film that is smart, savvy, funny, and, at times, poignant.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Erin Brockovich See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,138,465, 19 March 2000

Gross USA:

$125,595,205

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$256,271,286
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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