7.3/10
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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
1,783 ( 205)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 31 wins & 58 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Julia Roberts, Campbell Scott, Vincent D'Onofrio
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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Erin Brockovich - Forte come la verità See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$52,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,138,465, 19 March 2000, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$125,595,205

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$256,271,286
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hinkley's toxins made the real Brockovich sick at one point. Steven Soderbergh filmed a scene set at the hospital, but later cut it from the final product. "I didn't want people to think that this was going to turn into one of those movies where the protagonist gets terminally ill," he said on the DVD commentary. "It was a tough call, because Erin really did get sick and was hospitalized for a while." See more »

Goofs

When Erin is ringing up companies looking for a job she puts the phone down twice after the last phone call. See more »

Quotes

George: [parrying Erin's rejection of free babysitting] Are you always this hard on people who try and help you?
Erin Brockovich: I'm out of practice.
See more »

Crazy Credits

PG&E claims they no longer use hexavalent chromium in any of their compressor plants and that all of their holding ponds are lined to prevent groundwater contamination. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in What I Like About You: The Parrot Trap (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Honey Bunch
Written by Paul Kerr & Andy Dewar
Courtesy of Opus 1
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich
1 July 2018 | by paul-nemecekSee all my reviews

Erin Brockovich is a modern-day David vs. Goliath story with a few notable exceptions. The villainous behemoth in this version is a faceless corporate conglomerate. The hero is a sassy, brassy, less-than-classy female with a prominently featured chassis. In the basic elements of the story line, this is a story we have heard before. The crusader vs. the corporation is a dominant theme in The China Syndrome, A Civil Action, and this year's Oscar nominee The Insider. The version where the "good guy" is a female working-class hero is the basic theme of Norma Rae and Silkwood. Like these latter films, Erin Brockovich is based on a real character and a real-life incident.

Erin Brockovich is a twice-divorced mother with kids who finagles her way into a job working for the lawyer who lost her case in a civil trial. Erin is feisty, determined, independent, and mouthy. These very traits that get her into trouble with co-workers, friends, and family members are the traits that prove to be her greatest assets as a secretary turned paralegal. What makes the character sympathetic is her caring. She does not always show it well, but beneath the tough exterior is a woman with a heart of gold who cares deeply about her kids and is passionately committed to the families affected by corporate neglect.

Julia Roberts is well-suited for the "brassy broad with a heart-of-gold" role. Consider her past performances in Pretty Woman (hooker with a heart of gold), Notting Hill (superstar with a heart of gold), and My Best Friend's Wedding (scheming, conniving, two-faced backstabber with a heart of gold). How could she miss?

What distinguishes this film from films like Norma Rae or Silkwood however, is the witty script by screenwriter Susannah Grant. Grant was the screenwriter for Pocahantas, Ever After, and 28 Days. What these films have in common is strong-willed independent female characters. Here the synthesis of Brockovich's character, Grant's writing, and Julia Roberts' persona all work together like a charm. The best way to turn an old formula into a good film is through distinctive characters. The characters and their relationships are the real heart of this film.

As a result, the film is much lighter in tone than Norma Rae or Silkwood. There are moments of high drama, but the film really shines in its humor and wit. Albert Finney is delightful as Ed Masry, Erin's boss. Julia Roberts turns in what may prove to be the best performance of her career as a working-class mom who refuses to stay down for the count. Director Steven Soderbergh (Out of Sight, The Limey) handles the material well and the pacing of the film is nearly perfect.

Corporate neglect will become an increasingly important topic as evidenced by events in Seattle last year. By some estimates, there may be as many as 100,000 deaths per year (four times the homicide rate) as a result of "corporate crime." Erin Brockovich manages to raise the issue in a context that is neither preachy nor smug. But in the end this is not an issue film, but a character study, and what a character she is! Both thumbs up for Erin Brockovich.


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