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Director: Francis Ford Coppola     Starring: Matt Damon Danny DeVito
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Learn more about Rainmaker-Grisham/Special Edition:

Format: DVD
Sku: 204390091
UPC: 097361223940
UPC 14: 00097361223940
See more in Drama
They Were Totally Unqualified to Try the Case of a Lifetime...But Every Underdog Has His Day.
Francis Ford Coppola directs and scripts an exciting, star-packed adaptation of John Grisham's novel about an idealistic young attorney who takes on the case of a lifetime. Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) plays Rudy Baylor, a rookie lawyer in over his head on a high-profile case. Opposing him: an army of seasoned legal sharks (led by Jon Voight). On Rudy's side: Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito), a feisty "paralawyer" who specializes in flunking the bar exam. Rudy's chances are slim to none - until he uncovers a trail of corruption that might lead to the one thing that could win his case: the truth.

"...Hollywood at the top of its form. It's a ripping yarn woven by a master.  Barbara Shulgasser, San Francisco Examiner
"Mr. Coppola's best and sharpest film.  Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"...a big, buttery popcorn bucket of a movie...  Melissa Morrison, Box Office Magazine
"Four stars! Beautifully acted...a remarkable cast.  Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"The most enjoyable of Grisham's movies.  Mike Clark, USA Today

Editor's Note
John Grisham's novel comes to life in Francis Ford Coppola's courtroom drama pitting the little guy against a large corporation. Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), an inexperienced Memphis lawyer, and his legal sidekick, Deck Schifflet (Danny DeVito), defend a leukemia victim against an insurance company and its hotshot lawyer Leo Drummond (Jon Voight). Along the way Rudy befriends an abused woman (Claire Danes), helping her escape her husband (Andrew Shue). The courtroom scenes between Damon and Voight are the highlight of this legal yarn as Rudy learns the tough price of being a good lawyer.


Video Features DVD, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Paramount
Video Release Date Release Date: 5/31/2011
Video Play Time Running Time: 135 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1997
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 122394
Video UPC UPC: 00097361223940
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  2.35:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Claire Danes
Video Cast Info Danny DeVito
Video Cast Info Danny Glover
Video Cast Info Dean Stockwell
Video Cast Info Jon Voight
Video Cast Info Matt Damon
Video Cast Info Mickey Rourke
Video Cast Info Virginia Madsen
Video Cast Info Barry Malkin - Editor
Video Cast Info Bob Shaw - Art Director
Video Cast Info Elmer Bernstein - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Francis Ford Coppola - Director
Video Cast Info Francis Ford Coppola - Screenplay
Video Cast Info John Grisham - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info John Toll - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Melissa Kent - Editor
Video Cast Info Michael Douglas, et. al. - Producer
Video Cast Info Michael Herr - Screenplay
Plot Summary
John Grisham's THE RAINMAKER is adapted to film in this suspenseful retelling by Francis Ford Coppola. In Memphis, struggling young attorney Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) joins a shady law firm headed by Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke). After the firm comes under investigation, Rudy and fellow employee Deck Schifflet (Danny DeVito) start their own practice. While trying to dig up clients, Rudy meets a young spousal abuse victim, Kelly Riker (Claire Danes), and convinces her to leave her husband (Andrew Shue). But Rudy's biggest case is defending a young man (Johnny Whitworth) dying of leukemia and his mother (Mary Kay Place) against the insurance company who wrongfully denied their claim. Rudy and Deck find that their opposing lawyers, led by Leo Drummond (Jon Voight), have bugged their offices. Despite his inexperience, Rudy cleverly manages to get an undesirable juror (musician Randy Travis in a cameo role) removed from the jury. During testimony Rudy uncovers proof that the insurance company has a practice of denying all claims. As his relationship with Kelly takes a dangerous turn and the trial uncovers more insurance fraud, it seems Rudy must decide between being a good man or being a good lawyer.


Nominee (1998)
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Jon Voight, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
   Video Award Name Image Award, Danny Glover, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Professional Reviews

Sight and Sound
"...The film's visual solemnity is undercut by a healthy streak of cynicism, and at times -- a rare thing for Coppola -- it's even funny?" 04/01/1998 p.50-1

USA Today
"...[Voight] steals the show...with one of the most enjoyable performances of his career..." 05/29/1998 p.10E

New York Times
"...A parade of colorful performances from a constantly surprising cast....Mr. Coppola's best and sharpest film in years..." 11/21/1997 p.E18

Chicago Sun-Times
"...[Coppola] has made the most of Grisham's ground-level realism....DeVito's role is in the fading tradition of the star character actor..." 11/21/1997 p.40

Ultimate DVD
4 stars out of 5 -- "Razor sharp, with some great performances, this is as entertaining as it is intelligent." 08/01/2007 p.115

ReelViews 8 of 10
After three or four of Grisham's novels, I grew tired of the predictable repetitiveness and contrived suspense of the narratives. As a result, the intelligence and subtlety of The Rainmaker took me by surprise. I don't know if this is because the novel is better than any of the prolific lawyer-turned-author's previous efforts, or if Francis Ford Coppola has performed a near-miracle in transforming the written pages into a screenplay. Whatever the case, The Rainmaker stands above any other filmed Grisham adaptation, including A Time to Kill, the former holder of that title...this is a well-made, absorbing motion picture that seems a lot shorter than its 140-minute running length. Unlike many of the other films based on a Grisham book, this one is interested in telling a story rather than ambushing the audience with cheap contrivances. - James Berardinelli

Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
Francis Ford Coppola, who wrote and directed the film, has made the most of Grisham's ground-level realism. This is not a film that loves the legal profession, and yet it loves some of those who labor in it--not only Baylor, played by Matt Damon with the earnestness of an Eagle Scout, but also Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito) as the kind of courthouse handyman who has never passed the bar exam, perhaps because a license would slow him down. Their give-and-take is the soul of the film; they form a desperate democracy made possible because ``The Rainmaker,'' unlike most Grisham films, doesn't have to drag a high-paid superstar around and give him all the best lines. DeVito's role is in the fading tradition of the star character actor...By keeping all of the little people in focus, Coppola shows the variety of a young lawyer's life, where every client is necessary and most of them need a lot more than a lawyer. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Damon,Matt
Product attributeLabel:   Paramount Home Video
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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