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Encyclopedia > Runaway Jury
Runaway Jury

original film poster
Directed by Gary Fleder
Produced by Steven Brown
Jeffrey Downer
Gary Fleder
Christopher Mankiewicz
Arnon Milchan
Written by John Grisham (novel)
Brian Koppelman
David Levien
Rick Cleveland
Matthew Chapman
Starring John Cusack
Gene Hackman
Dustin Hoffman
Rachel Weisz
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Editing by William Steinkamp
Jeff Williams
Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox
Release date(s) October 17, 2003
Running time 127 min.
Country USA
Language English
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Runaway Jury (2003) is an American drama/thriller film directed by Gary Fleder and starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Rachel Weisz. Image File history File links The cover art for the Runaway Jury DVD. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Gary Fleder (born December 19, 1965 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. ... Arnon Milchan (1945-) is movie producer and businessman. ... Grisham redirects here. ... Rick Cleveland is an American television writer best known for writing on the HBO original series, Six Feet Under and NBCs The West Wing. ... Matthew Chapman may refer to: Matthew Chapman (author), author, screenwriter, director, journalist and great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin. ... This article is about the actor. ... Eugene Allen Gene Hackman[1] (born January 30, 1930) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ... Rachel Weisz (born March 7, 1971) is an Academy Award-winning English film and television actress. ... Christopher Young (born April 28, 1957) is an award-winning music composer for film and television. ... Jeff Williams (Born June 6, 1972 - ) is an Australian-born, left-handed pitcher for the Hanshin Tigers baseball team, who formerly played for the LA Dodgers. ... Related articles FOX Television Network Fox Searchlight Pictures Fox Entertainment Group List of Hollywood movie studios List of movies Variant of current 20th Century Fox logo External links 20th Century Fox Movies official site Twentieth Century Fox is also the punning title of a song by The Doors on their... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The year 2003 in film involved some significant events. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Runaway Jury novel cover The Runaway Jury is a legal thriller novel written by American author John Grisham. ... The year 2003 in film involved some significant events. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... The thriller is a broad genre of literature, film, and television. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... Gary Fleder (born December 19, 1965 in Norfolk, Virginia) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. ... This article is about the actor. ... Eugene Allen Gene Hackman[1] (born January 30, 1930) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ... Rachel Weisz (born March 7, 1971) is an Academy Award-winning English film and television actress. ...


The film adaptation of The Runaway Jury, which drops the "The" and is simply titled Runaway Jury, makes one big departure from the book. Grisham's novel pits the plaintiff, Celeste Wood, against a large, fictional tobacco company on the grounds that her husband's premature death was because of the company's cigarettes. The scriptwriters substituted a major firearms manufacturer for the tobacco company and firearms for the cigarettes, presumably to differentiate Runaway Jury from The Insider, a 1999 thriller featuring the tobacco industry. The Runaway Jury novel cover The Runaway Jury is a legal thriller novel written by American author John Grisham. ... Grisham redirects here. ... A plaintiff, also known as a claimant or complainer, is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... The Insider is a 1999 film which tells the true story of a 60 Minutes television series exposé of the tobacco industry, as seen through the eyes of a real tobacco executive, Jeffrey Wigand. ...


Other significant changes from the book include the circumstances surrounding the husband's death, an increased role for the plaintiff's attorney (and thus for Dustin Hoffman), and more angelic motives on the part of the protagonists. Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ...


Roger Ebert's critique of this movie stated that the plot to sell the jury to the highest-bidding party was the most ingenious device in the story because it avoided pitting the "evil" and the "good" protagonists directly against each other in a stereotypical manner, but it plunged both of them into a moral abyss. Roger Joseph Ebert (born June 18, 1942) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American film critic. ...

  • Tagline: Trials are too important to be decided by juries.

Plot

In New Orleans, Louisiana, Celeste Wood's life is changed in a blinding flash when a failed day trader at her husband's stock brokerage firm shows up at his former workplace with an automatic rifle and opens fire on his former colleagues, including Celeste's husband. Later, and armed with pro bono attorney Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman), Celeste decides to take the weapons' manufacturer to court, on the grounds that the company's gross negligence led to her husband's death. NOLA redirects here. ... Pro bono is a phrase derived from Latin meaning for the good. The complete phrase is pro bono publico, for the public good. It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. ... Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ...

Jury consultant Rankin Fitch and his team at work.
Jury consultant Rankin Fitch and his team at work.

As the trial date draws near, jury consultant Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) arrives in town. Early in the movie, Fitch proves his incredible talent for reading people when he correctly guesses that his cabbie's mother is ill and in the hospital. Fitch arrives at his destination: the back room of a closed costume shop. In this room, is about a dozen people on Fitch's payroll, armed with personal computers and backgrounds on each of the jurors in the jury pool. Also in this room are viewing and listening devices, intended to allow Fitch and his staff to communicate with lead attorney Durwood Cable (Bruce Davison) in the courtroom through electronic surveillance (a highly illegal practice) when they view the jurors and hear the answers to the questions put forth to them. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Eugene Allen Gene Hackman[1] (born January 30, 1930) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Davison as Senator Robert Kelly in X-Men Bruce Davison (born June 28, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actor. ...


In the jury pool is Nicholas Easter (John Cusack), a happy-go-lucky video game store clerk who tries to get himself excused from jury duty, even going as far as asking the judge to excuse him so he can compete in a video game challenge with a nominal cash prize. The judge refuses, and Fitch instructs the attorneys to pick Easter for the pool. This article is about the actor. ...


Easter's congenial manner wins him acceptance from his fellow jurors, except Frank Hererra, a hardened former Marine of Cuban descent, who knows that there is a great deal of money at stake. Thinking he has Easter pegged as trying to sway his vote for jury spokesman in favor of Herman Grimes- a blind man who displayed the most knowledge of law out of all of them when being selected-, he develops an instant dislike of Nick.


However, Frank is not too far off in his assumptions. Easter does have an ulterior motive, and it involves his girlfriend Marlee (Rachel Weisz). The two are clearly grifters, trying to buy Fitch the verdict — for a price. Fitch, clearly not amused, asks for proof. He is given proof in a number of different ways. "Feeling patriotic?" Marlee asks Fitch. The following morning, the jury stands up and leads the entire courtroom in the Pledge of Allegiance, proving to Fitch that Easter has influence over the jurors. Rachel Weisz (born March 7, 1971) is an Academy Award-winning English film and television actress. ... Grifter is a fictional comic book character from Wildstorm Universe. ... The Pledge of Allegiance is a promise or oath of allegiance to the United States and the its national flag. ...


Angered that an "amateur" is successfully exploiting advantage over him, Fitch orders Easter's apartment raided. Marlee counteracts by getting one of Fitch's jurors bounced. The cat and mouse game continues when a hit man tries to kill Marlee in her apartment. She manages to injure the intruder and escapes. She raises her price from $10 to $15 million.


Meanwhile, Marlee is also working on Rohr, also promising to deliver him the same verdict for the same price. Though Rohr knows his case stands little chance against the well-funded defense- indeed, he goes so far as to actually get the money out-, he refuses to pay, going with his conscience.


Fitch finally agrees to pay Marlee the ransom as one of his witnesses blows up on the stand, crippling, but not entirely losing the case. After Easter receives confirmation that Fitch has wired the money to a Cayman Islands bank, he asks jurors to review the facts of the case (trying to deliver a conviction for Celeste), much to the displeasure of his fellow juror Frank. In the meantime, Fitch's henchman, tracking Easter's path to Indiana, calls him frantically, telling him to not wire Easter the money, but it is too late. The henchman also learns that Easter's real name is Jeffrey Kerr, and that he has been tailing gun cases for some time. We also learn that Marlee's real name is Gabrielle Brant.


Here it is revealed that Marlee and her sister had been Easter's friends since high school in the fictional rural town of Gardner, Indiana. Marlee's sister died in a school shooting when Easter was unable to protect her, and the town took the gun manufacturer to court in a lawsuit that Fitch himself argued. The town bankrupted its treasury after losing the case to Fitch.


Back in the jury room, Frank calls the lawsuit frivolous, stating that despite the hardship in his own life, he has never asked anyone for a handout. Frank also reveals in a rant that regardless of the case facts, he does not want to deliver a verdict that will make a white upper-middle class woman even richer.


Shocked at Frank's outburst, the jurors agree to review testimony once more. The gun manufacturer is found liable, with a large jury award coming for Celeste Wood. Fitch, defeated, leaves the courthouse and into an area bar. There, he is confronted by Easter and Marlee, who show him a copy of the wire transfer of $15 million. They tell him that he is to retire immediately... or they will fax the transfer document to the IRS, who will be likely concerned over such a large amount of money. Fitch asks what they intend to do with the money, and when does their grifting stop. Because as he says in the last line of the movie, "...if you did, what would you have? Nothing! NOTHING!!!"


Outside the bar, they see Wendell Rohr. Rohr recognizes Marlee and knows it's Nick with her. They smile at one another without saying a word. The movie ends with Marlee telling Nick she wants to go home. Nick agrees, knowing their job is done.


List of characters

The jury This article is about the actor. ... Rachel Weisz (born March 7, 1971) is an Academy Award-winning English film and television actress. ... Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ... Eugene Allen Gene Hackman[1] (born January 30, 1930) is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Jeremy Samuel Piven (born July 26, 1965)[1] is a two-time Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated American actor. ... Davison as Senator Robert Kelly in X-Men Bruce Davison (born June 28, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actor. ... Bruce McGill Bruce Travis McGill was born on July 11, 1950 in San Antonio, Texas. ... Marguerite Moreau (born April 25, 1977) is an American actress who first came to fame in the US Television series Blossom in 1994 and 1995, playing Melanie. ... Nick Searcy is an American actor born in Cullowhee, North Carolina on March 7, 1959. ... Leland Orser in Alien: Resurrection Leland Orser (born August 6, 1960) is an American film and television actor. ... Actress Lori Heuring was born 6 April 1973 in Panama City, Panama and raised in Austin, Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles. ... Nestor Serrano (b. ... Going in Still Breathing Joanna Going (born July 22, 1963) is an American actress. ... Dylan McDermott (born Mark Anthony McDermott[1] on 26 October 1961) is an American actor, known for his role as lawyer and law firm head Bobby Donnell on the former TV legal drama The Practice. ... Carol Sutton (June 29, 1933-February 19, 1985) was an American journalist. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Celia Weston (b. ...

Gerry Bamman (born September 18, 1941 in Independence, Kansas) is an actor best known for his roles as Uncle Frank in Home Alone and Home Alone 2 and Lawyer Stan Gillum in four episodes of Law and Order. ... Bill Nunn (born October 20, 1953) is an African American actor. ... Italic text For other uses, see Cliff Curtis (disambiguation). ... Dunn at the Laws of Attraction priemere. ... Rusty Schwimmer is an American film and television actress and singer. ... Jennifer Beals (born December 19, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former teen model and American film actress who is best known for her role as Alexandra Alex Owens in the 1983 movie Flashdance and as Bette on the lesbian themed drama series The L Word Beals was born to... Guy Torry Robert Guy Torry (born January 5, 1969) is an American actor and comedian. ... Rhoda Griffis is an American actress. ... Luis Guzmán (born August 28, 1956[1]) is a Puerto Rican actor. ... Corri English (born 1978-05-10) is an American actress born in Atlanta, Georgia. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Runaway Jury

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Runaway Jury - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (655 words)
The Runaway Jury is a legal/suspense novel written by American author John Grisham.
The novel was published again in 2003 to coincide with the release of Runaway Jury, a movie adaptation of the novel.
The film adaptation of The Runaway Jury, which drops the "The" and is simply titled Runaway Jury, makes one small departure from the book.
Bookreporter.com - THE RUNAWAY JURY by John Grisham (922 words)
A jury is selected in Mississippi to hear the case of a widow whose husband died of lung cancer.
On this jury are all manner of average citizens, except that one juror, Nicholas, a law school dropout, has managed to penetrate county records, get a fictitious name added to the jury roll, and then have that non-person be selected to hear the case.
A less prominent theme in THE RUNAWAY JURY but one which nonetheless plays a major role in any big trial is the influence of the media; a community saturated by one-sided publicity about a trial is unlikely to yield a fair and impartial Jury.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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