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1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola

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 … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Dramas
Cast: Claire Danes
Release Date: 1997
MPAA Rating: PG-13
1 review about Rainmaker

Rainmaker - "All I want is what is due me"

  • Jun 8, 2001
Pros: fine acting

Cons: .....

The Bottom Line: Believe in what matters to you, even if it sometimes seems like it isn't right.

Realizing this is not a true story does nothing to diminish the fact that the premise of the story totally ticked me off! Dealing on a personal basis with insurance companies and their frailties, I took this story a little to heart. Not many people felt as I do about this movie, but then I have usually been known as one to march to a different drum. Never afraid to swim against the current or speak my mind, I offer my ideas on this saga.

PLAYERS; Clare Danes - Kelly Riker; Matt Damon - Rudy Baylor; Danny DeVito - Deck Schifflet; John Voigt - Leo Drummond; Mary Kay Place - Dot Black; Dean Stockwell - Judge Hale; Teresa Wright - Miss Birdie; Virginia Madsen - Jackie Lemancyzk; Mickey Rourke - Bruiser Stone; Johnny Whitworth - Donny Ray Black; Danny Glover - Judge Kipler; Randy Travis - Billy Porter; Red West - Buddy Black. Quite an impressive cast of characters! Of course, it is a Grisham and Coppola movie and this always draws names.

One would assume with this list of players, this would be an outstanding movie. In addition, you have John Grisham and Francis Ford Coppola. Personally, I liked the movie although I hated the idea of the movie. Not many people cared for this story, finding it lacking in substance, but I was moved by the story of this family pushed to the end of their boundaries

The story centers on Donny Ray Black, a young man living and dying from leukemia. He comes from a poor but honest family, unable to pay for bone marrow transplants to save their sons life. At some time in the distant past, they had taken out insurance on their son, but when needed to cover the expenses, the insurance company refused payment. (GRRRR.....hate insurance companies!). Realizing the company has no intention to pay, they begin a law suit, which continues after the death of their son. In the end, they win - a pitiful substitute for a child.

Sitting on the sidelines

The true crux of the story though is the insurance company and the law suit. Matt Damon gave a remarkable performance as the attorney fighting his first case, helped along by sidekick, Danny DeVito. The reprehensible Jon Voigt is the opposing attorney, playing his part with the sneaky, underhanded views that we consider for most attorneys. They don't wanna pay and they are willing to go to any ends to deny payment, including lying and cheating.

There are some very touching and moving scenes between the boy Donny Ray and his attorney Matt Damon. A particularly vivid one is where they tape Donny Ray's statement, realizing he will not live until the end of the trial. In addition, the mother, played by Mary Kay Place, appears both smart and savvy and also tired and beaten. Not that she is some cute little chick out to make a buck - she is down-trodden, appearing old before her time. A pitiful little lady all dressed up in her Sunday clothes. The father, Red West, slightly crazy and unable to cope with the entire situation, sits on the sidelines and lets life and death take its' course.

It is a touching movie - probably another one of those that gets shoved into the chick flick categories although it shouldn't - with a lot to tell. The idea that the almighty insurance companies rule our lives and ultimately our deaths is more truth than fiction.

On the lighter side, there was a good deal of playful interaction between Damon and DeVito in this movie. A lot of lawyer jokes - they are always good ones anyway. Some weird scenes with Rourke, which isn't unusual and of course, he is in trouble, as always. Frankly, I don't believe there was an actor in this movie that did not live up to his part. All performances were believable and many were heartwarming. Personally, I liked the movie a great deal ~~~as I swim against the stream of epinions!

Susi :)


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