The Firm (1993)

Power can be murder to resist.

Mitch McDeere is a young man with a promising future in Law. About to sit his Bar exam, he is approached by 'The Firm' and made an offer he doesn't refuse. Seduced by the money and gifts showered on him, he is totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his company. Then, two Associates are murdered. The FBI contact him, asking him for information and suddenly his life is ruined. He has a choice - work with the FBI, or stay with the Firm. Either way he will lose his life as he knows it. Mitch figures the only way out is to follow his own plan...

When paradise turns into nightmare
RELEASED IN 1993 and directed by Sydney Pollack based on John Grisham’s novel, "The Firm” is a crime drama/thriller starring Tom Cruise as a top Harvard grad lawyer who desperately wants to leave behind his working-class origins and takes a high-paying job at a firm in Memphis. He and his wife (Jeanne Tripplehorn) are ecstatic in their affluent new world until clues mount up that the firm has a sinister side. Gene Hackman plays his mentor at the firm while Ed Harris appears as an FBI agent. Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn and Gary Busey are also on hand.
This has long been one of my favorites from this genre. You really feel for McDeere (Cruise) & his wife as their utopia morphs into an inescapable hell. In the Washington DC scene you grasp how limited their choices are as they’re caught in a crossfire between the Mob and the FBI. McDeere must use his wits, his knowledge and “golden connections” for them to get out unscathed, if possible.
I always favored the piano score by Dave Grusin, which some have described as “bouncy.” While you could call it that, it has different tones depending on the sequence. For instance, during the closing city chase it’s driving and portentous. There’s also a melancholic component when suitable. The positive side of the piano score is that it makes the film timeless. Consider quality movies from that general era which were horribly dated by conventional scores, like “No Way Out” (1987).
THE FILM RUNS 2 hour, 34 minutes and was shot in Memphis, Tennessee; West Memphis, Arkansas; Cayman Islands; Washington DC; Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts.
GRADE: A/A-

Mirage Enterprises, Paramount, Davis Entertainment by Sydney Pollack, John Grisham, David Rabe, Robert Towne, David Rayfiel.
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook.

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Keywords: fbi law tennessee lawyer law firm bar exam legal thriller

06/30/1993

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