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John Grisham's The Rainmaker

Director/Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
Director of Photography:John Toll
Editor:Barry Malkin
Music:Elmer Bernstein
Production Designer:Howard Cummings
Producers:Michael Douglas, Steven Reuther and Fred Fuchs
Paramount; PG-13; 137 minutes
Release:11/97
Cast:Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Teresa Wright, Virginia Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Roy Schieder, Randy Travis, Johnny Whitworth, Danny Glover and Andrew Shue
Based on the novel by John Grisham

Predictable? Absolutely. Simple? Without a doubt. A disappointment the likes of The Chamber? Far from it. In fact, The Rainmaker is a nearly extinct Hollywood charmer, with outstanding performances, no gimmickry and subtle touches. That's all thanks to Coppola, who has crafted one of his best movies in years. It's a(nother) David vs. Goliath story from Grisham, with a young lawyer, Rudy Baylor (Damon), taking on a huge insurance company whose repeated refusals to pay for a bone marrow transplant for a leukemia victim has left the boy (Whitworth) clinging hopelessly to life. Baylor's ambulance chasing, learned from intelligent but ethically challenged lawyer wannabe Deck Schifflet (DeVito), also acquaints him with Kelly Riker (Danes), a young abused wife whom Baylor helps escape her deadly marriage. Rourke has possibly salvaged his wretched career with his turn as Bruiser Stone, a sleazy lawyer who hires a desperate Rudy when all other doors are slammed in his face.


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