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Francis Ford Coppola Directs 'John Grisham's The Rainmaker' (2007)

A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film The Rainmaker (1997), and director Francis Ford Coppola's creative methods of getting great performances from his cast.


Eleanor Coppola


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Credited cast:
Francis Ford Coppola ... Himself (archive footage) (as Francis Coppola)
Matt Damon ... Himself (archive footage)
Claire Danes ... Herself (archive footage)
Danny DeVito ... Himself (archive footage)
Wayne Emmons Wayne Emmons ... Himself (archive footage)
Danny Glover ... Himself (archive footage)
John Grisham ... Himself (archive footage)
Virginia Madsen ... Herself (archive footage)
Mary Kay Place ... Herself (archive footage)
Mickey Rourke ... Himself (archive footage)
Greta Seacat Greta Seacat ... Herself (archive footage) (as Greta Secat)
Andrew Shue ... Himself (archive footage)
Kimi St. George Kimi St. George ... Court Reporter
Dean Stockwell ... Himself (archive footage)
Marshall Taylor Marshall Taylor ... Himself (archive footage)


A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film The Rainmaker (1997), and director Francis Ford Coppola's creative methods of getting great performances from his cast.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short







Release Date:

24 July 2007 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on the Special Collector's Edition DVD of The Rainmaker (1997). See more »


Features The Rainmaker (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Not the usual making of projects we tend to see. This one is a precious gift. Watch and learn.
3 February 2017 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

A mind blowing behind the scenes documentary that allows you to see something different and hardly ever put as bonus material for a video release. That's what I saw in this making of "The Rainmaker" and trust me I've seen plenty of those bonus materials and for greater films, and none of those made me so inclined to watch them over and over again like this one did. Eleanor Coppola (guided with Francis, I think) made something extraordinary, different and unique in terms of how those usually complimentary projects tend to go. In here, we don't get cast and crew talking about the film, explaining the bits audiences fail to get while watching. Instead, we have Francis and his cast talking about creative process, with a main focus on the actors work and rehearsals, training exercises to better develop their characters and this continuous process keep on changing throughout filming, altering the script and turning into something real and better developed.

20 years ago and Coppola's last Hollywood film proved that he hasn't lost the magic touch to make a great film (but a pity that he doesn't want to go back to the system preferring to make his personal smaller artful films, which aren't so memorable or great like his outstanding classics). In this documentary we're able to see his vision for the film (based on John Grisham's novel and the author himself has said it that this version of his work is his favorite of all time), how characters should be presented and act, a keen and detailed vision concerned with every possible aspect. He allows ad-lib from certain actors, enjoys the collaboration from them as well and pushes hard when he feels he needs to (the crying sequence involving Claire Danes is strange to watch though, because I think an actor can reach the exact emotion without the director interfering and needing assistance from other people, the actor can get it without a yelling assistant).

The thing I liked the most about Coppola's rehearsals was seeing his cast (Matt Damon, Jon Voight, Danny De Vito, Danny Glover and others) playing games that developed the characters they portrayed on the screen, an enjoyable dynamic that shows how they needed to act in order to prepare their roles with success. The director challenges them and they love every minute of it because it allows to expand their minds, see things they never thought it was possible, reading their characters in unlimited ways. And when you watch "The Rainmaker" you really understand how that movie was brilliant and without a single wasted performance. I won't say this doc was 100% original because obviously they have to recur to those 'creating a scene' moment, which is always great to see, and that includes a huge fight scene between Damon and other actors, one of the most thrilling and well-acted fighting scenes I've ever seen (I just love to watch that sequence over and over).

This is one of those projects you wish it would be longer because it's that amazing, everybody's having a great time, Francis, cast and crew talking about the movie with great power and emotion, loving every minute of the experience and you truly feel like a part of it as well. That's the kind that should be mandatory in those behind the scenes flicks, no phony moment and presenting aspects that audiences hardly ever get the chance to see. When cast and crew are sucking each other off with compliments and stuff is just boring and repetitive. Audiences demand something more. This one delivered in great style. 10/10

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