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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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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

Julia Roberts is one of two Best Actress winners to portray a right handed character (Erin Brockovich-Ellis) although the actress is naturally left handed. Two years later, left-hand Nicole Kidman won her Oscar for playing right-handed Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002). See more »

Goofs

The first time that Erin visits the Water Board archive, the photocopier has a blue start button. When she returns later, the start button changes to green. See more »

Quotes

George: What's the matter? You got so many friends, you don't need one more?
See more »

Crazy Credits

This movie was Re-Recorded in a Swelltone Theatre. 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

Featured in I Love the New Millennium: 2000 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Redemption Day
Performed by Sheryl Crow
Written by Sheryl Crow
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

dazzling performance by Julia Roberts
12 August 2000 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

In its story, `Erin Brockovich' breaks little new ground. Essentially, it joins the ranks of earlier films such as `Silkwood,' `The Insider,' `A Civil Action,' `The Rainmaker,' among others, each of which tells the tale of a common `David' (be it in the form of a whistleblowing employee or compassionate, righteous lawyer) who, against all odds, mounts a seemingly quixotic crusade against a corporate Goliath. All the above five films expose the shoddy and often malevolent business practices of companies that have resulted in major health care crises for both their own employees as well as the residents who live near the companies' facilities. In the case of `Erin Brockovich,' the villain is the PG&E electrical plant located in the desert community of Hinckley, near Barstow, California. It seems that the residents of this small town have been experiencing a mind-bogglingly high number of serious illnesses and miscarriages that PG&E has assured them are not in any way related to the activities at their site. The company has even brought in medical professionals and toxicologists to assuage the residents' growing fears. Almost by chance, Erin Brockovich stumbles onto this information and takes up the challenge of fighting for the rights of these victims and exposing PG&E's gross malfeasance in the process.

Looking at its bare-boned plotting, one must concede that there really isn't much that is new here. However, thanks to a pair of utterly smashing performances by Julia Roberts and Albert Finney and a beautifully well-rounded portrait of a real-life heroine, this Steven Soderbergh film emerges as a true crowd-pleasing triumph. This may, in fact, be not only Roberts' best performance, but her finest role as well. Erin is not a conventional do-gooder heroine. First of all, she is often abrasive and off-putting in her demeanor. Dressed more like a fashion devotee of Roberts' `Pretty Woman' call girl character than a serious legal executive, Erin often launches into unrestrained, obscenity-laced tirades at her boss, her loving boyfriend, even the corporate lawyer bigwigs sent to help her when the case she is making comes close to completion. Yet, it is just this no-nonsense directness that earns her the confidence of the people she is trying so desperately to help. A twice-divorced mother of three, she is as passionate in the defense of her own children as she is in the defense of her case. Yet, she is a woman made up of any number of internal contradictions. Much as she loves her children, she has made a shambles of her life in recent years. Rootless and lacking the skills necessary to procure a well-paying job, she practically has to beg to get hired in the office of a lawyer who has failed to win her a settlement in a traffic accident case. Staunchly individualistic, she refuses to tone down her rhetoric or her temper – or to adopt the more `professional' attire of the business world – even if it might mean that she would be taken more seriously by those around her. She assumes that no man would be willing to consider having a serious relationship with her because of her children and marital track record, yet, when a man enters her life doing just that, her insecurities and her intense commitment to the cause for which she is fighting begin to drive him away – and her children as well. Most fascinatingly, perhaps, we are led to wonder whether it is really the suffering people who motivate her obsessive commitment or rather, as she herself admits, the personal recognition she receives now when she walks into a room and people clamor desperately to know what she thinks on an issue. All credit to Susannah Grant for writing a character so full of believable paradoxes. Obnoxious as Erin is at times, her innate vitality, wisdom and warm-hearted compassion consistently shine forth. Grant, by making her such a three-dimensional figure, mitigates much of the incredibility that lies at the root of this story, true though it may be.

And, given this juicy role, Roberts is nothing short of a revelation. She conveys each conflicting mood and character trait perfectly. Never before has this actress brought such a breezy assurance to her every action and statement. She literally holds this rich film together, forcing us to focus intently on the storm of emotions taking place deep inside this complex woman. This is definitely Oscar-caliber work. Equally brilliant is Albert Finney as Ed Masry, the lawyer for whom Erin works, a jovial, easygoing man who watches with a bemused appreciation as Erin hurls colorful invective at him, rages against the system and dresses down with withering sarcasm not only the legal representatives from PG&E but the seasoned lawyers Masry himself has hired to help bring home the case. One of Erin's most endearing traits is that she is an equal opportunity harridan – a fact that wins Masry over every bit as much as it does us.

If `Erin Brockovich' has a weakness, it comes in the form of Erin's romantic relationship with the unemployed motorcycle rider next door. He seems simply too good to be true, and, although we know that it is necessary to fill in this particular part of Erin's life to make her portrait a well-rounded and complete one, it is still the least interesting and believable part of the tale. We feel we are being too often distracted from the meaty center of the story.

Still, this is a minor quibble about a film that works so beautifully on so many levels. As Erin Brockovich, Julia Roberts has finally found the role uniquely suited to her enormous talents and she blazes forth more brightly than she has ever done before. I, for one, will be roundly rooting for her come Oscar night.


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