In a small southern town in the 1960s, a black man awaits trial for murdering the two rednecks who viciously raped his 10-year-old daughter. A young, idealistic white lawyer takes up the father's defense, and the incendiary case becomes a firestorm of racism and controversy, ripping the town apart. Based on John Grisham's bestselling first novel.
Main Cast & Crew:
Joel Schumacher - Director
Samuel L. Jackson
Charles S. Dutton
- Format: DVD (New Packaging)
- Run Time: 150
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 883929090945
- Genre: Drama
- Rating: R (MPAA) (violence and some graphic language)
- Release Date: October 1998
This adaptation of John Grisham's bestseller takes place in the small town of Canton, Mississippi, where two White rednecks kidnap, rape and savagely beat a young Black girl. The men are caught, but the child's deeply enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, takes justice into his own hands by killing the thugs himself at the courthouse. Now Carl Lee Hailey is the one on trial, a highly controversial and fiery proceeding that begets numerous racial issues and incidents, some involving the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP. At the center of this storm is White lawyer Jake Brigance, who not only faces an all-White jury, but personal attacks on his life should he win the case. Brigance, Hailey and Ellen Roark, a rich law student aiding Jake, face a tough road ahead of them, one that will change their lives forever.
Released theatrically in the USA July 24, 1996. Co-produced by Monarchy Enterprises B.V. Color by Technicolor; in Panavision Widescreen and SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound). Additional cast: Doug Hutchison (Pete Willard); Byron Jennings (Brent Musgrove) and Tonea Stewart (Gwen Hailey). Additional credits: Richard Toyon (art direction); Keith P. Cunningham and Maya Shimoguchi (set design). Filmed on location in Mississippi. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. Copyright 1996 Warner Bros., Monarchy Enterprises B.V. and Regency Entertainment (USA), Inc.
"...[McConaughey] is dynamite in a performance of smarts, sexiness, scrappy humor and unmistakable star sizzle..." - 08/08/1996 Rolling Stone, p.68-70
"...Plenty of enjoyable turns....Casting McConaughey in the lead certainly pays off..." - 10/01/1996 Sight and Sound, p.54-5
"...Handsome..." - 07/24/1996 USA Today, p.10B
"...The most satisfying of the John Grisham screen adaptations to date....Well served by a stellar cast....In the film's most riveting performance, Jackson capitalizes on his role's potent dramatic opportunities..." - 07/15/1996 Variety
"...McConaughey does an impeccable movie-star turn..." - 07/24/1996 Los Angeles Times, p.F1