The Firm is a 1993 legal thriller directed by Sydney Pollack, and starring Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn. The film is based on the 1991 novel The Firm by author John Grisham.
Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) is a young man with a promising future in law. About to graduate from Harvard Law School, he is approached by Bendini, Lambert & Locke, 'The Firm', and made an offer he cannot refuse. He and his wife, Abigail "Abby" (Jeanne Tripplehorn), move to Memphis, where The Firm is located. Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman) becomes his mentor at The Firm.
Seduced by the money and gifts showered on him, including a house and car, he is at first totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his company. Then, two associates are murdered. The FBI contacts him, asking him for information and informing him that The Firm is connected to the mob, and that every associate who has ever tried to leave The Firm ends up murdered. His life as he knows it is forever changed. He has a choice: work with the FBI and risk being discovered by The Firm or losing his law license because he believes that attorney–client confidentiality prevents him from revealing the firm’s illegal activities to investigators (In reality, if Mitch were to reveal the Confidential Information he would not have lost his law license as Rule 1.6(b)(2) of Lawyer's Model Rules of Professional Conduct provides an exception to reveal such information.), or stay with The Firm and both violate his personal code of ethics and go to jail when the FBI cracks The Firm. Either way he will lose his life as he knows it. Mitch devises a plan that allows him to cooperate with the FBI by finding proof that all partners from The Firm were guilty of overbilling, while at the same time reaching an agreement with the mob Morolto brothers. In addition he manages to do so without breaking any laws, thereby being able to keep his status as a lawyer. At the end of the film, the McDeeres leave their house in Memphis for Boston, driving the same car they arrived in.
* Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere, a promising recent Harvard Law graduate * Jeanne Tripplehorn as Abigail "Abby" McDeere, Mitch's wife * Gene Hackman as Avery Tolar, Mitch's mentor at the Firm * Ed Harris as Agent Wayne Terrance, the agent in charge of the investigation into the Firm; Mitch's primary contact with the FBI * Holly Hunter as Tammy Hemphill, Eddie's secretary, helps Mitch get and copy the files * Hal Holbrook as Oliver Lambert, senior partner at the Firm * David Strathairn as Ray McDeere, Mitch's brother, in jail for a manslaughter conviction * Terry Kinney as Lamar Quin, Mitch's friend who works at the Firm * Wilford Brimley as Bill Devasher, officially the head of security at the Firm - unofficially the Firm's hitman. * Sullivan Walker as Barry Abanks, owner of scuba diving business * Gary Busey as Eddie Lomax, a private investigator, friend of Ray McDeere * Steven Hill as F. Denton Voyles, FBI director
* Tobin Bell as The Nordic Man, The Firm's main hitman
* Dean Norris as The Squat Man, The Firm's hitman
Gene Hackman's name did not appear on the release poster; due to Tom Cruise's deal with Paramount only his name could appear above the title. Hackman also wanted his name to appear above the credits, but when this was refused he asked for his name to be removed. His name does appear in the end credits.
The soundtrack, almost exclusively solo piano by Dave Grusin, is used to great effect during action sequences and interstitials.
Differences from the novel
The film accords with the book in most respects, but the ending is significantly different. Mitch doesn't end up in the Caribbean, as in the book; he and Abby simply get into their car and drive away from Memphis (to Boston, as the ending narration, "Do you think [the car] will make it?...to Boston...")...