The RainmakerNovember 21, 1997
An idealistic young lawyer and his cynical partner take on a powerful law firm representing a corrupt insurance company.
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 6.9/10 (24,583 voted)
Critic's Score: 72/100
Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes
Rudy Baylor is a jobless young attorney. However, he is also the only hope of an elderly couple whose insurance company will not pay for an operation that could save their son's life. In this judicial drama, Rudy learns to hate corporate America as he falls in love with a battered young married woman. Will he be up to the task?
Writers: John Grisham, Francis Ford Coppola
Leo F. Drummond
Mary Kay Place
Judge Harvey Hale
Colleen 'Miss Birdie' Birdsong
Donny Ray Black
They were totally unqualified to try the case of a lifetime… but every underdog has his day.
Release Date: 21 November 1997
Filming Locations: Alameda, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $10,626,507
(23 November 1997)
(15 March 1998)
Did You Know?
John Grisham's favorite of all the films adapted from his books.
The microphone stand when Wilfred Keeley is in the witness chair.
You know what a Rainmaker is, kid? The bucks are gonna be falling from the sky.
John Grisham, Francis Ford Coppola The Rainmaker has to be good!
A story about an aspiring young lawyer who tries to break down an insurance
company, Matt Damon plays Rudy Baylor, a Memphis St. Law School graduate who
can't seem to find a job anywhere, until he meets "Bruiser" Stone (Mickey
Rourke). Stone is an ambulance chaser, who does whatever it takes, legal or
not, to win a case. Rudy, as most law students are when they graduate, wants
to take the high road, do everything by the book, and win. What he finds is
that sometimes you need to get down and dirty to help your client. In this
case, his client is a young boy, dying of leukemia.
Seems the insurance company won't pay for a bone marrow transplant that
would save his life. Rudy sets out to help the young man and his family, in
what turns out to be one of the biggest cases Tennessee has ever seen. Along
with his partner Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito), Rudy sets out to try and
prove to the world that the insurance company is nothing more than a big
time scam artist. Along the way Rudy meets (and falls in love with) a young
woman (Clare Danes) who gets beat up regularly by her husband. This part of
the story seemed somewhat strange to me. I couldn't figure out what it was
there to do. Was it to give Rudy a love interest? Was it just to give the
movie another case so the entire film wasn't centered on the insurance
trial? I feel it gave the movie some heart, and showed that Rudy would fight
for what he believed in, both in court and in life. But I think the movie
could have been done without it.
I enjoyed the trial scenes and all the grunt work that went behind it (being
a future lawyer myself (I hope)). And the cast was wonderful. Each person
added a little more to the movie, and each gave a great performance. Danny
Glover as the (2nd) judge gave a little humor to the movie, but also made
you feel good about Rudy's chances in court. He was going to play fair, but
hew as also going to give Rudy the benefit of the doubt. Jon Voight played
the insurance company's lead lawyer, and he played his character to it's
swarmy best. He is what people think lawyers are like, out only for money;
win at all costs, no soul (I know attorneys like that). And he was
convincing. And of course DeVito and Damon carried the
I had my doubts about Damon playing a lawyer, but the more I watched, the
more I realized that he looked like people I see at work everyday. He had
the same fear in his eyes that we all do, but also that dog-eat-dog
determination to prove to the world that he could do the job. The Rainmaker
was more about the performances than the story. And the performances won me
over. Give it a shot, it's worth it.