By Corey Quinto
Based on the novel by John Grisham, this 1993 legal thriller sees Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) a recent Harvard graduate who starts working at a powerful law firm where Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman), one of the heads of the company, takes Mitch under his wing to help him climb to the top of the company. However soon enough, Mitch starts to realize that the company is not all it seems to be when he finds out that the business has him under surveillance and will have him destroyed or killed if he leaves. Actor/Director Sydney Pollack manages to adapt John Grisham’s best selling novel perfectly through it’s dark themes of greed, surveillance, and paranoia. The Firm is a great and suspenseful law film thanks to its sharp direction, great writing, and fantastic performances from actors Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, and Holly Hunter.
One piece of trivia that was uncovered in the research development was that the Peabody Hotel was actually filmed in an apartment building inside the Shrine building in Memphis. The filmmakers had moved all of the owner’s belongings so they could call the Shrine their home during the filming process.
Another interesting piece of information is that Holly Hunter was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, but her screen time was five minutes and fifty-nine seconds—making it one of the shortest Oscar nominated performances ever on screen. Holly Hunter appears in twenty scenes for a runtime of eighteen seconds each.
The Firm became John Grisham’s highest grossing adaption to date, making over one hundred and fifty eight million dollars in America and one hundred and eleven million dollars overseas. The movie went on to receive two Academy Awards nominations for Best Supporting Actress for Holly Hunter and Best Original Score for Dave Grusin. Even though the film didn’t win the two Oscars it was up for, Holly Hunter ended up winning the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in The Piano.