2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon – The Pelican Brief (1993)

This is the first of 3 reviews that are part of The 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Becca over at Film Music Central.  Tnx for letting me participate!


“I’ve decided my agenda for the future. I’ll stay in bed, drink, make love and forget the whole damn business” – Professor Thomas Callahan

Number of Times Seen – twice (Theater in ’93 and 20 Jun 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A law student becomes the target of a high level governmental conspiracy when she writes a legal brief theory on why two Supreme Court justices were assassinated.

My Take on it – As many of you know, I have always been a fan of conspiracy theory stories and this film fits right into that category.

Back in the early 90’s, I quickly got caught up in John Grisham’s novels and devoured all of his early novels quite quickly.

I was a fan of the way he told his stories and also by his down to Earth and easily identifiable characters.

When his most famous novels were turned into films in the mid-90’s, I rushed to see all of them and they all had one major thing in common, the books were always better and more gripping.

I was quickly turned off to watching his film adaptations and stayed away from them afterwards because I felt that they ruined the complex and thrilling stories he wrote.

When I saw that James Horner had written the score of this film and would be eligible for this blogathon, I decided to finally revisit this film over twenty years after first seeing it in the theater.

I’m actually glad I did because the fact that I only remembered the general story and not the details of the novel so well actually allowed me to enjoy this film for what it is, a nice thriller.

Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington are both fine here as the main characters, but they lacked a real connection that was very apparent in the novel.

I know it has partially to do with the choice the make them an interracial pair unlike in the book, but they could have at least found a way to make it seem as if they want and need to work together here.

The twists and turns of the story work well here and I’m now quite tempted to want to reread the novel again to experience it all once again.

Grisham is an amazing writer, but for some reason, his amazing stories don’t translate into amazing films.

The score by Horner is quite good here and I’m glad that I finally got a chance to see his contribution here because it adds to the thrilling aspects of the film itself.

Listen to the score here

Bottom Line – Nicely adapted to film as long as you don’t really recall exactly how the events in the novel played out. Roberts and Washington are fine together but there is a distance felt between their characters that is hard to ignore.  Love the twists and turns of the story and it makes me want to revisit the novel that I loved so much.  Grisham always has been an amazing writer, but something is always missing in the way his story are eventually adapted to the screen. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The rights to “The Pelican Brief” were bought before the book was written. When John Grisham released a sample from the book, the movie rights were purchased on the spot. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy


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2 thoughts on “2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon – The Pelican Brief (1993)

  1. Pingback: 2nd Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Day 1!! | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1993 |

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