A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

John Grisham (book), Alan J. Pakula (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,938 ( 184)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Darby Shaw
Denzel Washington ... Gray Grantham
Sam Shepard ... Thomas Callahan
John Heard ... Gavin Vereek
Tony Goldwyn ... Fletcher Coal
James Sikking ... FBI Director Denton Voyles (as James B. Sikking)
William Atherton ... Bob Gminski
Robert Culp ... President
Stanley Tucci ... Khamel
Hume Cronyn ... Justice Rosenberg
John Lithgow ... Smith Keen
Anthony Heald ... Marty Velmano
Nicholas Woodeson ... Stump
Stanley Anderson ... Edwin Sneller
John Finn ... Matthew Barr
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Storyline

Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men and who is also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her that states who probably wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys, she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI. He agrees to come meet her but before he does, someone shoots him and takes his ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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Taglines:

From the author of "The Firm" and "The Client" and the director of "Presumed Innocent" and "All The President's Men." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Almost every scene has something blue in it, especially the colors turquoise/teal. From Denzel's suit to a pen Darby uses, there is teal everywhere. Walls, cars, calendars, clothing of people walking by in the background have teal. Even the furniture in some scenes are a shade of teal. No way is it a coincidence. Sometimes it's very obvious and other times it's subtle, like in the airplane hangar at the end when the police car pulls out and the turquoise light reflects on the floor. See more »

Goofs

The recording of Darby's phone call does not match the actual conversation. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Justice Rosenberg: Any of those signs got my name on 'em?
Gray Grantham: Quite a few.
Justice Rosenberg: What do they say?
Gray Grantham: The usual: Death to Rosenberg, Retire Rosenberg, Cut off the oxygen.
Justice Rosenberg: [laughs] That's my favorite. Of course you, Mr Grantham, did pretty good by me your last time out: Rosenberg equals the government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians? Oh, give 'em whatever they want.
Gray Grantham: Well with all due respects sir, that wasn't my line, that was a quote.
Justice Rosenberg: From one of your ...
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Soundtracks

Clarinet Marmalade
Written by Larry Shields (as L. Shields) and Henry Ragas (as H. W. Ragas)
Performed by Rene Netto & The Sounds of New Orleans
Courtesy of H.E.R. Records
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User Reviews

 
Good Suspense -- For the Intelligent Movie-Goer
25 July 2000 | by KCS82See all my reviews

I enjoyed this film very much. It is well acted, and has plenty of star power, with great performances from Roberts and Washington. The story is compelling, and the cinematography lends itself to excellent suspense. However, many moviegoers (including myself) will find elements of the plot confusing and hard to follow. There are a great number of characters, and it is often difficult to tell who is who -- most of the "bad guys" dress alike and have similar hair, so distinguishing them becomes challenging. This may be a minor flaw in either casting or costume, making the characters somewhat undistinguishable. However, it also makes the plot quite intriguing, as the intelligent moviegoer becomes entangled at guessing just exactly who is associated with who, and so on. Still an excellent suspense movie -- if you like other Grisham movies (The Firm, the Rainmaker, etc.) you will like The Pelican Brief. But be warned: watch the film in an attentive state, and be prepared to think a lot. If you are a lazy, sit-back-and-relax type of viewer, this may not be the film for you.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pelican Brief See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,864,404, 19 December 1993

Gross USA:

$100,768,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$195,268,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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