It’s about idealistic novice Memphis lawyer, Rudy Baylor, a recent law-school graduate who desperately needs a job in a town swamped with lawyers. This forces him to take a job with a shady firm run by the sleazy “Bruiser” Stone, where he learns about ambulance-chasing tactics from Deck Schifflet, the firm’s para-legal, who could never pass the bar exam but knows all the dirty tricks of the trade. The question is will Rudy, a prototypical clean-cut Grisham hero, succumb and be a scumbag or remain a nice guy. Rudy’s association with Bruiser comes to a quick halt when the Feds catch up with the flamboyant shyster and he’s hauled off to jail.
Rudy opens his own office with Deck and his first case involves the impoverished, decent Dot Black’s teenager son Donny Ray Black, who is dying of leukemia and his insurance company callously refused to pay for treatment. Rudy takes the case as a matter of principle, as against all odds of winning he sues the big insurance company for denying her claim — which soon turns into a wrongful death suit. In his first courtroom experience, he’s up against the insurance company’s cocky all-star legal team led by the cynical Leo F. Drummond — played for all the villainy by Jon Voight. The judge is played by Danny Glover, and sympathizes with the outgunned Rudy and tries to help from the confines of the bench.
In another contract-signing Rudy manages the will of his landlady, the elderly Miss Birdie, who wants to leave her estate to a televangelist because his jet is getting old. In a subplot story to show the limits of the law, he’s on the make for new cases in a hospital and gets involved with the battered teen Kelly Riker, who is abused by her sadistic husband. Rudy has to coax her out of her fear to file for a divorce. Rudy turns out be a crafty operator who recognizes the reality of his business and operates within those frameworks, though getting closer to his clients than he should. Playing by these rules of satisfying both his needs and his clients, he rises to the top of heap in no time flat against impossible odds. —Ozu’s World of Movie reviews
He was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. His father was a composer and musician Carmine Coppola. His mother had been an actress. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as soundman, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola’s first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations, including writing an adaptation of This Property is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams (with Fred Coe and Edith Sommer), and screenplays for Is Paris Burning?, and Patton, the film for which Coppola won a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. In 1966, Coppola’s 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George… read more