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Pelican Brief

The movie Pelican Brief was based on the book Pelican Brief.

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Movie details for Pelican Brief

The movie was released in 1993 and directed by Alan J. Pakula, who also directed Sophie's Choice (1982) and Presumed Innocent (1990). Pelican Brief was produced by Warner Home Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com.

Actors on this movie include Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, Stanley Tucci, Hume Cronyn, John Lithgow, Anthony Heald, Nicholas Woodeson, Stanley Anderson, John Finn, Cynthia Nixon, Jake Weber, Casey Biggs, Christopher Murray and Sonny Jim Gaines.

 

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Another John Grisham legal thriller comes to the screen, pairing Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who is known for dark-hued suspense pictures such as Klute, The Parallax View,All the President's Men, and Presumed ... Read More
Another John Grisham legal thriller comes to the screen, pairing Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts in a film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who is known for dark-hued suspense pictures such as Klute, The Parallax View,All the President's Men, and Presumed Innocent. The Pelican Brief isn't up to the level of those films, but it is a perfectly entertaining movie about a law student (Roberts) whose life is endangered when she discovers evidence of a conspiracy behind the killings of two Supreme Court justices. She enlists the help of an investigative reporter (Washington) and the two become fugitives. The charisma and chemistry of the leads goes a long way toward compensating for the story's shortcomings, as does a truly impressive supporting cast that includes Sam Shepard, John Heard, James B. Sikking, Tony Goldwyn, Stanley Tucci, Hume Cronyn, John Lithgow, William Atherton, and Robert Culp. --Jim Emerson

Book details for Pelican Brief

Pelican Brief was written by John Grisham. The book was published in 1992 by Pearson ESL. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

John Grisham also wrote A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), The Client (1993), The Chamber (1994), The Rainmaker (1995), Runaway Jury (1996) and Skipping Christmas (2001).

 

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John Grisham's head was full of movies when he wrote The Pelican Brief, which is such a brisk page-turner you could use it to dry your hair. He had Julia Roberts in mind for the heroine, Darby Shaw, a brilliant Tulane law student who comes up with an inge... Read More
John Grisham's head was full of movies when he wrote The Pelican Brief, which is such a brisk page-turner you could use it to dry your hair. He had Julia Roberts in mind for the heroine, Darby Shaw, a brilliant Tulane law student who comes up with an ingenious theory to explain the baffling assassinations of two Supreme Court justices in one day. They were shot and strangled by ace international terrorist Khamel, who loves the film Three Days of the Condor, but government gumshoes don't get what connects the deaths. Silly government guys! They died so the conservative president, who just wants to be left alone to play golf, will appoint new, conservative justices who will help out a case involving an industrialist who is the enemy of pelicans and other living things. It's all spelled out for them in Darby's brief. She likes to do legal feats to impress her boyfriend, her boyish law prof Thomas (who, like Grisham, prefers to shave at most once a week, and is cool, smart, and antiauthoritarian). The prof likes to paint her toes red, in homage to Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham. (Sarandon also starred in the film version of Grisham's The Client.)

But when Thomas gets splattered by a car bomb meant for Darby, she escapes the hospital and hooks up with a Washington Post reporter, Gray Grantham, who sleuths like the guys in All the President's Men.

Grisham wishes he hadn't written The Pelican Brief quite so quickly (his first novel, A Time to Kill, went through dozens of drafts), but Pelican's very breathlessness contributes to its dreamy, cinematic chase-o-rama atmosphere.