Connect with us


Firm, The (1993, Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman)



When Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) overcomes his poor background to graduate at the top of his Harvard Law School class, the world is his oyster. But turning down offers from the big law firms, he opts to join a small company in Memphis who offer him a top salary, repayment of his college loans and a low-interest mortgage. But as he learns more about the firm so he realises that most of their clients work for the mob and the company’s profits come from money laundering, getting the guilty off the hook and, if needs be, murdering the firm’s partners if they get too close to the truth.

Then along comes tough FBI agent Wayne Tarrance (Ed Harris) with an ultimatum: turn defence witness or face the law. But if McDeere becomes a grass, both he and his wife Abby (Jean Tripplehorn) will be the next ones on The Firm’s hit list. Caught between a rock and a hard place, McDeere has to rely on both his past and his education to play both ends against the middle…

John Grisham’s blockbuster was the first of his stories to be adapted for the big screen (since then almost all of his works have hit the cinema or TV), and with the experienced Pollack in charge, the tension is wracked high as Cruise, at the height of his box office appeal, superbly conveys the angst of a decent man torn between loyalty to his company and to the law, and also in fear for his and his wife’s lives.

The supporting cast, including Gene Hackman as a colleague equally troubled by The Firm’s activities, Wilford Brimley playing against type as the security chief for the lawyers, and Oscar-nominated Holly Hunter as McDeere’s reluctant ally, add to the film’s depth. And the film was wisely given an extended running time of over two hours to allow the plot to develop and the characters to become fully formed.

production details
USA | 154 minutes | 1993

Director: Sydney Pollack
Writers: David Rabe, Robert Towne, David Rayfiel, from John Grisham’s novel

Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere
Jeanne Tripplehorn as Abby McDeere
Gene Hackman as Avery Tolar
Holly Hunter as Tammy Hemphill
Ed Harris as Wayne Tarrance
Hal Holbrook as Oliver Lambert
Jerry Hardin as Royce McKnight
David Strathairn as Ray McDeere
Terry Kinney as Lamar Quinn
Wilford Brimley as William Devasher
Sullivan Walker as Thomas Abanks
Gary Busey as Eddie Lomax
Steven Hill as F. Denton Voyles
Margo Martindale as Nina Huff
Paul Sorvino as Tommy Morolto
Joe Viterelli as Joey Morolto
Jerry Weintraub as Sonny Capps
Tobin Bell as The Nordic Man
Dean Norris as The Squat Man
Barbara Garrick as Kay Quinn
Jonathan Kaplan as Lawyer Recruiter
John Beal as Nathan Locke
Karina Lombard as Young Woman on the Beach