The Firm

Director: Sydney Pollack
Writter: John Grisham (book), David Rabe (screenplay)
Tom Plays: Mitch McDeere
Status: ON DVD

Plot

A young lawyer joins a prestigous law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Goofs

Continuity: A computer indicates it is printing to a laser printer, but a dot matrix printer can be heard.

Crew or equipment visible: Blades of the camera crew’s helicopter visible in the windows of the sky-car.

Continuity: Avery’s fingers on the fence when he is talking to Abby McDeere at the schoolyard.

Factual errors: The cars of the Mud Island monorail leave/arrive at opposite ends at the same time; it is impossible for the man following McDeere to depart his car and begin running for the other side before McDeere has departed his car.

Continuity: As Mitch and Abby leave Boston in their beat-up Toyota Supra, the car has a large dent in the top of the hood. When they pull up in front of their new house in Memphis, the dent is gone.

Continuity: When Abby joins Avery in the Caymans, they sit at a table to talk. Her tropical drink shifts from one side of the table to the other as they’re talking.

Continuity: Abby’s wine glass when she has dinner with Mitch in the restaurant.

Errors in geography: The screen credits refer to a “Grand Cayman Islands unit”. There’s no such place; Grand Cayman is one of the Cayman Islands.

Continuity: When Mitch is standing by the alcove to the Morolto’s hotel room there is a tall vase on a table that is encroaching upon the molding of the entrance. When Mitch enters the room to confront the brothers the vase is more centered with this short width wall.

Continuity: When Cruise comes home with flowers to apologize to his wife, he has them hidden behind his back. In the next shot, moments later, he reveals them with the other hand.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the two muscle guys visit Eddie Lomax in his office, the white haired guy has a coat over his shoulders which he removes and places on a chair. After Eddie is shot, the two leave but do not take the coat.

Continuity: When Avery is talking with Mitch while standing in the doorway he has a briefcase, in the next shot both hands are in his pocket and the briefcase disappears.

Quotes

Mitch McDeere: Anything I can do for you?
Ray McDeere: Sure. Get me outta here.
Mitch McDeere: Where to?
Ray McDeere: Anywhere I can see a whole lotta sky. I get through the days, I even eat the food. It’s amazing how much you miss the sky.

Tammy: You got the account number, you know how to access it? Mitch has verified that the money is there, seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
Ray McDeere: I love your crooked little mouth.
Tammy: [surprised laugh] Well it’s not my best feature.
Ray McDeere: Wow. Well, what is?

Wayne Tarrance: How about you get down on your knees and kiss my ass for not indicting you as a co-conspirator right now, you chickenshit little Harvard cocksucker?
Mitch McDeere: I haven’t done anything, and you know it!
Wayne Tarrance: Who gives a fuck? I’m a federal agent! You know what that means, you lowlife motherfucker? It means you’ve got no rights, your life is mine! I could kick your teeth down your throat and yank ’em out your asshole, and I’m not even violating your civil rights!

Mitch McDeere: You want to know something funny? You actually made me think about the law. I managed to go through three years of law school without doing that.

Mitch McDeere: Let me get this straight: you want me to steal files from the firm, turn them over to the FBI, send my colleagues to jail…
Wayne Tarrance: They roped you into this.
Mitch McDeere: Breach attorney-client privilege, thus getting myself disbarred for life, then testify in open court against the Mafia…
Wayne Tarrance: Well, unfortunately, Mitch…
Mitch McDeere: Let me ask you something: are you out of your fucking mind?

Ray McDeere: How’d you land a job like that with a brother in the slammer?
[Mitch says nothing] Ray McDeere: I get it. Don’t worry, I’d probably have done the same thing.
Mitch McDeere: You’re always there for me, Ray…
Ray McDeere: I’d have done the same thing. You think I want to tell the guys around here that I got a brother at Harvard?

Mitch McDeere: I got mine, Wayne, you get the rest of them.
Wayne Tarrance: Get ’em with what? Overbilling, mail fraud? Oh, that’s exciting.
Mitch McDeere: It’s not sexy, but it’s got teeth!

Wayne Tarrance: Man, I don’t understand you. What’d you do it for? You didn’t win a thing.
Mitch McDeere: Oh, yes I did. I won my life back. YOU don’t run me, and THEY don’t run me!

Mitch McDeere: Are you saying my life is in danger?
Denton Voyles: I am saying that your life as you know it is over.

Mitch McDeere: You are FBI Agent Wayne Terrance, right?
Wayne Tarrance: Yeah, you’re damn right! You may be able to get by the local cops, but…
[cell phone rings] Wayne Tarrance: Hello!
Tammy: Is this Wayne Terrance?
Wayne Tarrance: Who is this?
Tammy: Is this Wayne Terrance?
Wayne Tarrance: Yeah, this is Wayne Terrance?
Tammy: So is this.
[plays tape of previous conversation with Mitch] Mitch McDeere: [to Wayne Terrance] I think you should reconsider.

Mitch McDeere: Hey Ray, wouldn’t it be funny if I went to Harvard, you went to Jail and we both ended up surrounded by crooks.

Trivia

A scene where we’re told that The Firm doesn’t want their lawyers to have family money, that it keeps them loyal to their only source of income is shown in some trailers, but isn’t in the movie.

Gene Hackman’s name did not appear in promotional material for the film. Hackman’s contract called for his name to come before the title in all promotional materials (trailers, posters, etc.); Tom Cruise’s contract called for his name and his name only to come before the title in all promotional materials. Hackman opted to leave his name off all promotional materials altogether, leaving his presence a surprise to most audiences. In the film itself, Hackman’s name comes after Cruise’s and before the title.

The scene where Mitch McDeere meets with the Morolto mob in the Peabody Hotel was not filmed at the Peabody. The scene was filmed in a private apartment in the Shrine Building in downtown Memphis. The occupant of the apartment was paid to allow the studio to move out all of his belongings, and he stayed at the Peabody until the scene was filmed. The Peabody was not used in the scene because the hotel has an obstructed view of the Mississippi River, where as the Shrine is closer.

Jason Patric turned down the role of Mitch, in a film that went on to become the third highest grossing film of 1993.

The line “They don’t run me, and you don’t run me”, spoken by Mitch, is a reference to the same line in Thief, spoken by Frank (James Caan) in a similar circumstances.

The Mercedes that McDeere is given by The Firm, was given to Tom Cruise as a gift after filming finished.

Potential directors included Lili Fini Zanuck and Kevin Reynolds, whose $3 million fee was deemed to be too high.

One of director Sydney Pollack’s original intentions was to have Mitch McDeere have an affair with an older colleague, to be played by Meryl Streep.

Robin Wright Penn turned down the part later taken by Jeanne Tripplehorn.

Took only 23 days to take $100 million at the US box office.

Director Cameo: [Sydney Pollack] the priest at the funeral of one of the associates that died in the Caymans.

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