The Client (1994 film)

Last updated
The Client
Clientfilmposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Screenplay by
Based on The Client
by John Grisham
Produced by
Starring
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited byRobert Brown
Music by Howard Shore
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • July 20, 1994 (1994-07-20)
Running time
121 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$45 million[ citation needed ]
Box office$117.6 million [1]

The Client is a 1994 American legal thriller film directed by Joel Schumacher, and starring Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro (his acting film debut), Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, Anthony Edwards, and Ossie Davis. It is based on the 1993 novel by John Grisham. It was filmed in Memphis, Tennessee.

Contents

The Client was theatrically released in the United States on July 20, 1994 and was a box-office hit, grossing $117.6 million against a $45 million budget. It received positive reviews from critics, with Sarandon's, Jones's and Renfro's performance in particular earning high praise.

Plot

Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his little brother, Ricky, are smoking cigarettes in the woods near their home when they encounter mob lawyer W. Jerome Clifford. Clifford tells Mark that he is about to kill himself to avoid being murdered by Barry "The Blade" Muldano, the nephew of notorious mob kingpin Johnny Sulari. Ricky becomes catatonic after witnessing the suicide and is hospitalized at Saint Peter Charity Hospital. Authorities – and the mob – realize that Clifford probably told Mark where a Louisiana senator, murdered by Muldano, is buried.

Mark meets Regina "Reggie" Love, a lawyer and recovering alcoholic, who agrees to represent him. They quickly run afoul of "Reverend" Roy Foltrigg, a celebrated and vain US Attorney who is using the case as a springboard for his political ambitions. In the meantime, it is revealed that Sulari never authorized Muldano to kill the senator and wants Muldano to uncover how much the boys know. Muldano is also ordered to move the body, but he is unable to because it is buried in Clifford's boathouse, and police are still on the property investigating his suicide.

Foltrigg continues to use legal means to get Mark to reveal where the body is hidden, while Sulari orders Muldano to kill the children and Reggie. He also orders the body to be moved once the investigation at Clifford's home is concluded. Mark is threatened in a hospital elevator by Mafia member Paul Gronke, and is unable to talk to Foltrigg.

Mark and Reggie go to New Orleans to confirm that the body is on Clifford's property. Reggie intends to use this information to broker a deal with Foltrigg to get Ricky specialized medical care and place the family in the witness protection program. Reggie and Mark arrive at Clifford's house the same night as Muldano and his accomplices. They are digging up the body, but a melee follows when Mark and Reggie are discovered. Muldano and the others flee after Reggie trips the neighbors' alarm.

Foltrigg agrees to Reggie's demands in exchange for information about the body's location. Before the Sway family leaves to restart their lives under new identities, Mark and Reggie share a heartfelt goodbye. While Muldano gets angry at his fellow mob members for messing up, Sulari becomes fed up with Muldano and sends him off to be killed. With the body recovered, Foltrigg is a lock-in for the media headlines he craves, and mentions that he intends to run for governor.

Cast

Reception

Box office

The Client was a financial success, earning $92,115,211 at the North American domestic box office and an additional $25,500,000 internationally, for a worldwide total of $117,615,211. [1]

Critical response

The Client received generally positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 80% from 40 reviews. The site's consensus states: "The Client may not reinvent the tenets of the legal drama, but Joel Schumacher's sturdy directorial hand and a high-caliber cast bring John Grisham's page-turner to life with engrossing suspense." [2] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "B+" on scale of A+ to F. [3]

Roger Ebert gave the film a score of 2.5 out of 4 [4] and The New York Times called The Client a film "with a fast, no-nonsense pace and three winning performances...that most clearly echoes the simple, vigorous Grisham style"; [5] while the non-profit group Common Sense Media warned "that threats of violence and death, often directed against an 11-year-old boy, are constant here." [6]

Year-end lists

Awards and honors

For her work in the film, Sarandon was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. [8] For his work in the film, Renfro won for an Young Artist Awards for Best Performance by a Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture and was nominated for an Chicago Film Critics Association for Most Promising Actor.

Home media

The film was released in DVD on December 17, 1997 and also in Blu-Ray on November 6, 2012.

Adaptations

The film spawned a TV series of the same name, starring JoBeth Williams and John Heard, while Ossie Davis reprises his role of Judge Harry Roosevelt. The show lasted one season (1995–1996).

See also

Notes

 a. ^ Spelled "Muldanno" in the original novel.

Related Research Articles

<i>The Client</i> (novel) Novel by John Grisham

The Client (1993) is a legal thriller written by American author John Grisham, set mostly in Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans, Louisiana. It is Grisham's fourth novel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anthony LaPaglia</span> Australian actor

Anthony LaPaglia is an Australian actor. He is best known for his role as Jack Malone in the television drama Without a Trace (2002–2009), for which he received a Golden Globe Award in 2004.

Brad Renfro American actor

Brad Barron Renfro was an American actor. He made his film debut at the age of 11 with a starring role in The Client (1994). He went on to appear in 21 feature films and won several awards.

Dominick Napolitano American mobster

Dominick Napolitano, also known as Sonny Black, was an American Mafia caporegime in the Bonanno crime family. He is well known for unwittingly allowing FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone to become an associate in his crew and nearly getting him made.

<i>The Firm</i> (novel) 1991 novel by John Grisham

The Firm is a 1991 legal thriller by American writer John Grisham. It was his second book and the first which gained wide popularity. In 1993, after selling 1.5 million copies, it was made into a namesake film starring Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill, came into prominence afterwards due to this novel's success.

<i>The Hunger</i> (1983 film) 1983 supernatural horror film directed by Tony Scott

The Hunger is a 1983 erotic horror film directed by Tony Scott, starring Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Susan Sarandon. An international co-production of the United Kingdom and United States, the film is a loose adaptation of the 1981 novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber, with a screenplay by Ivan Davis and Michael Thomas. Its plot concerns a love triangle between a doctor who specializes in sleep and aging research (Sarandon) and a vampire couple. The film's special effects were handled by make-up effects artist Dick Smith.

<i>Married to the Mob</i> 1988 American film directed by Jonathan Demme

Married to the Mob is a 1988 American crime comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl, and Alec Baldwin. Pfeiffer plays Angela de Marco, a gangster's widow from Brooklyn, opposite Modine as the undercover FBI agent assigned the task of investigating her mafia connections.

Lefty Ruggiero American mobster

Lefty Ruggiero was an American mobster in the Bonanno crime family. He is well known for his friendship and mentorship of FBI undercover agent Joseph D. Pistone. When Pistone's operation was ended on July 26, 1981, the FBI intercepted and arrested Ruggiero on August 29, 1981. In November 1982, Ruggiero was sentenced to 15 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy; he was released in April 1993 before his death from cancer.

<i>Donnie Brasco</i> (film) 1997 film by Mike Newell

Donnie Brasco is a 1997 American crime drama film directed by Mike Newell, and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, and Anne Heche appeared in supporting roles. The film, written by Paul Attanasio, is based on the 1988 nonfiction book Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia by Joseph D. Pistone and Richard Woodley.

<i>10th & Wolf</i> 2006 American film

10th & Wolf is a 2006 film about the Philadelphia Mafia directed by Robert Moresco. It is based on a true story of a mob war in South Philadelphia. The film stars James Marsden, Giovanni Ribisi and Brad Renfro and features appearances by Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Piper Perabo, Lesley Ann Warren, Tommy Lee, 1980s Italian comedian, singer, actor and director Francesco Salvi and Brian Dennehy.

<i>Running Scared</i> (2006 film) 2006 film by Wayne Kramer

Running Scared is a 2006 neo-noir action thriller film directed and written by Wayne Kramer and starring Paul Walker, Cameron Bright, Vera Farmiga and Chazz Palminteri. The film follows a low-ranking mafioso who is ordered to get rid of a gun used to kill corrupt cops and finds himself in a race against time when the gun ends up in the wrong hands.

Buffalo crime family Organized crime group based in Buffalo, New York

The Buffalo crime family, also known as the Magaddino crime family, Buffalo Mafia, The Arm, the New York State crime family, the Upstate New York Mafia, and the Todaro crime family, is an Italian-American Mafia crime family based in Buffalo, New York. Criminal investigators claim that the family operates throughout western New York, Erie, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The Buffalo family is purported to hold strong connections with the Hamilton-based Luppino and Papalia families. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the current boss of the Buffalo crime family is Joseph A. "Big Joe" Todaro Jr., having assumed the role after his father, Joseph E. "Lead Pipe Joe" Todaro Sr., retired.

"Stage 5" is the 79th episode of the HBO television series The Sopranos, the second episode of the second half of the show's sixth season, and the 14th episode of the season overall. It was written by Terence Winter and directed by Alan Taylor, and originally aired on April 15, 2007.

The Kansas City crime family, also known as the Civella crime family or Kansas City Mafia, is an Italian-American Mafia family based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Tony Darrow is an Italian-American actor.

<i>Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia</i>

Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia is a 1988 autobiographical crime book written by Joseph D. Pistone about his story as an FBI agent going undercover and infiltrating the Mafia. In 1997, the book was made into a feature film titled Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino. Louis DiGiaimo, a casting director who worked on The Godfather and a childhood friend of Pistone, consulted on the book and film. The book was re-released in a second edition the same year the film was released.

<i>The Client</i> (TV series)

The Client is an American legal thriller drama television series that aired on CBS from September 17, 1995 until April 16, 1996. It aired for one season, premiering with a two-hour movie pilot on September 17, 1995, and airing new episodes through April 16, 1996. The series was based on the 1994 film The Client, itself adapted from the 1993 John Grisham novel. It starred JoBeth Williams, John Heard, and Polly Holliday in the roles created in the film by Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, and Micole Mercurio, respectively.

<i>Rob the Mob</i> 2014 American film

Rob the Mob is a 2014 American romantic crime film directed by Raymond De Felitta and written by Jonathan Fernandez. The film stars Michael Pitt, Nina Arianda, Andy García, Ray Romano, Aida Turturro, Frank Whaley, Michael Rispoli and Joseph R. Gannascoli, and is based on a true story. It was released on March 21, 2014.

<i>The Firm</i> (1993 film) 1993 legal thriller film by Sydney Pollack

The Firm is a 1993 American legal thriller film directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn and Gary Busey in a critically acclaimed role. The film is based on the 1991 novel The Firm by author John Grisham. The Firm was one of two films released in 1993 that were adapted from a Grisham novel, the other being The Pelican Brief.

<i>White Boy Rick</i> 2018 film directed by Yann Demange

White Boy Rick is a 2018 American crime drama film directed by Yann Demange and written by Andy Weiss, Logan Miller, and Noah Miller. The film stars Richie Merritt, Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors, Eddie Marsan, Bruce Dern, and Piper Laurie. The film is loosely based on the story of Richard Wershe Jr., who in the 1980s became the youngest FBI informant ever at the age of 14.

References

  1. 1 2 The Client at Box Office Mojo
  2. "The Client (1994)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  3. "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  4. "The Client". Roger Ebert. July 20, 1994.
  5. Maslin, Janet (July 20, 1994). "The Client (1994) FILM REVIEW". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  6. "The Client". Common Sense Media. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  7. Bates, Mack (January 19, 1995). "Originality of 'Hoop Dreams' makes it the movie of the year". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 3.
  8. "Susan Sarandon Awards". IMDB. Retrieved 24 September 2014.