John Grisham - on the Screen
John Grisham is a best-selling author famous for his legal thrillers, he has sold over 250 million books worldwide.
Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas in 1955. Enrolling in the University of Mississippi School of Law, Grisham graduated in 1988 with a JD (Juris Doctor) degree in criminal law.
In 1984 he was in court listening on a case of a woman that had been beaten and raped, imagining what would have happened if her father had killed the rapists he had the idea to write a story which a few years later turned into his first novel – A Time to Kill (1989).
His second novel The Firm (1991) sold 7 million copies and was on the New York Times Best-Sellers list for 47 weeks, it was the biggest selling book of 1991. Grisham decided to take up writing full time.
1989 – A Time to Kill
1991 – The Firm
1992 – The Pelican Brief
1993 – The Client
1994 – The Chamber
1995 – The Rainmaker
1996 – The Runaway Jury
1997 – The Partner
1998 – The Street Lawyer
1999 – The Testament
2000 – The Brethren
2001 - A Painted House
2001 – Skipping Christmas
2002 – The Summons
2003 – The King of Torts
2003 – Bleachers
2004 – The Last Juror
2005 – The Broker
2007 – Playing for Pizza
2008 – The Appeal
2009 – The Associate
2010 – Theodore Boone – Kid Lawyer
2010 – The Confession
2011 – Theodore Boone – The Abduction
2011 – The Litigators
The Firm (1993) directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Gary Busey, Steven Hill, David Strathairn, Wilford Brimley and Tobin Bell. 154mins.
A young lawyer joins a law firm and discovers that no one leaves the firm, alive.
Based on Grisham's 1991 best-seller.
Holly Hunter received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and her total on screen time is less than ten minutes. The film was also nominated for Best Music Score (Dave Grusin).
The Firm cost $42m and has grossed $270m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.7
The Pelican Brief (1993) directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, Stanley Tucci, Hume Cronyn and John Lithgow.
When two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated law student Darby Shaw uncovers the truth and finds that she may be the assassins next target.
Grisham wrote his 1992 novel with Julia Roberts in mind for the lead role.
The Pelican Brief cost $45m and has grossed $195m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.4
The Client (1994) directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, J.T. Walsh, Anthony Edwards, Brad Renfro, Will Patton and William H. Macy. 119mins.
A young boy witnesses the suicide of a mob lawyer and soon the authorities and the mob want to know if the lawyer told him anything before he shot himself.
Susan Sarandon received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Brad Renfro's movie debut, he was found dead from a heroin overdose in January 2008, he was 25.
The Client cost $45m and has grossed $117m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.5
A Time to Kill (1996) directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S. Dutton, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd and Patrick McGoohan. 149mins
A black man is accused of murdering two rednecks who raped his daughter, young lawyer Jake Brigance is defending him.
Adapted from Grisham's first novel published in 1989. Many actors were considered for the role of Jake Brigance including Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Val Kilmer and Brad Pitt.
Samuel L. Jackson received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
A Time to Kill cost $40m and has grossed $152m worldwide.
IMDB rating 7.1
The Chamber (1996) directed by James Foley, starring Chris O' Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Robert Prosky, Raymond J.Barry and Bo Jackson. 113mins.
A young lawyer (O'Donnell) seeks to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather (Hackman) who is on death row for the murder of two Jewish children 30 years before.
Ron Howard was set to direct but decided to do Ransom instead.
The Chamber cost $50m and has grossed $22m worldwide.
IMDB rating 5.8
The Rainmaker (1997) directed by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Clare Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Dean Stockwell, Teresa Wright, Virginia Madsen, Roy Scheider, Johnny Whitworth and Mickey Rourke. 135mins.
An idealistic young lawyer (Damon) takes on a powerful law firm representing a corrupt insurance company.
Based on Grisham's 1995 novel and his favourite of the films based on his novels.
The Rainmaker cost $40m and has grossed $50m worldwide.
IMDB rating 6.9
The Gingerbread Man (1998) directed by Robert Altman, starring Kenneth Branagh, Embeth Davidtz, Robert Downey Jr, Daryl Hannah, Tom Berenger, Famke Janssen and Robert Duvall. 114mins.
Divorced lawyer Rick Magruder (Branagh) has an affair with Mallory Doss (Davidtz), he learns that her abusive nutjob father (Duvall) is threatening her and Magruder has him put on trial and sent to a mental institution. But when he is freed Magruder and his children's lives are in danger.
The film is based on a discarded manuscript written by Grisham.
The Gingerbread Man cost $25m and has grossed about $1.7m in the U.S.
IMDB rating 5.7
Runaway Jury (2003) directed by Gary Fleder, starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Jeremy Piven and Cliff Curtis. 127mins.
After a day trader is shot dead at his workplace, his widow takes the Vicksburg Firearms company to court on the grounds that the company's gross negligence led to her husband's death.
Adapted from Grisham's 1996 best-selling novel of the same name.
The first time Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman have acted together, the two shared a room together when they were struggling young actors.
Runaway Jury cost $60m and has grossed $80m worldwide.
IMDB rating 7.1
Christmas with the Kranks (2004) directed by Joe Roth, starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Gonzalo, Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmett Walsh, Elizabeth Franz, Cheech Marin and Jake Busey. 99mins.
When their only daughter leaves the country, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas and spend it on a cruise, but than she calls telling them she'll be arriving on Christmas eve. They have 12 hours to get Xmas ready for their daughter and her fiancée.
Based on John Grisham's 2001 novel 'Skipping Christmas'.
Christmas with the Kranks cost $60m and has grossed $96m worldwide.
IMDB rating 4.8
The Firm (2012) TV series starring Josh Lucas, Molly Parker, Callum Keith Rennie, Juliette Lewis, Natasha Calis, Shaun Majumder and Tricia Helfer.
22 x 60mins episodes.
Based on characters from John Grisham's 1991 novel of the same name and is set 10 years after.
Josh Lucas plays Mitch McDeere and Molly Parker plays Abby McDeere, the roles played by Tom Cruise and Jeanne Tripplehorn in the 1993 movie.
IMDB rating 6.5
Highest Grossing John Grisham Films
More by this Author
A Visual History of Tarzan in the Movies
A visual tour of the Eiffel Tower as seen in the movies.
A tribute to one of the greatest pulp magazine artists of the 20th century.