The Rainmaker, 1997

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Cast

visit the film locations

Memphis: Flights: Memphis International Airport

Stay at: the Peabody Memphis, 149 Union Avenue (tel: 901.529.4000)

Westy’s Bar and Grill, 346 North Main Street (tel: 901.543.3278)

Butcher Shop Steakhouse, 101 South Front Street, at Gayoso (tel: 901.521.0856)

The Arcade, 540 South Main Street (tel: 901.526.5757), the oldest diner in Memphis

Trivia

See The Arcade in The Client, Mystery Train, Great Balls of Fire! and 21 Grams.

Shot in Memphis, Tennessee, and San Francisco, this John Grisham legal thriller has greenhorn lawyer Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) teaming with cynical Deck Shiflet (Danny DeVito) to fighting the system and get compensation for a dying worker from a big, bad company.

Director Francis Ford Coppola "wanted to use real locations," says production designer Howard Cummings. "He wanted the honesty of what a real location can bring you. He didn't want a lot of studio shooting.'

With a little interior alteration, the North End Bar, on the main Street Trolley Line, in the shadow of the great gleaming Pyramid Arena in the Pinch District, became 'Yogi's'. The bar has since been damaged by fire and the premises has reopened as Westy’s Bar and Grill, 346 North Main Street at Jackson (it’s also seen in 21 Grams).

The Butcher Shop Steakhouse, 101 South Front Street, at Gayoso, to which Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke) takes Rudy and Deck to dinner, appeared as itself, as did The Arcade, 540 South Main Street, the oldest diner in Memphis, which first opened in 1919 at the end of the trolley line on South Main Street, not far from the Lorraine Motel (now the National Civil Rights Museum).

The Arcade has also appeared another John Grisham adaptation, The Client, as well as Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train, Jim McBride’s underrated musical biopic of Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire! and 21 Grams.

The "cafetorium", as they call it, at Springdale Elementary became the ‘Cypress Gardens Senior Center’.

There were also two hospitals on the locations list. ‘St. Peter’s Hospital’ was created at the Regional Medical Center of Memphis, the facility known as The Med. The busiest trauma center in the mid-South, shooting went on around the hospital’s busy schedule.

Also used was Baptist Memorial Hospital, which was once also known as E.H. Crump Hospital. Dormant for almost two years, and most recently a rehabilitation center, it was recently given to an organisation called Mission Core, whose whole goal is to get homeless people off the streets and give them a place to stay.

Two facilities of the Union Planters Bank supplied Drummond’s office, a hospital cafeteria, and the Great Benefit Boardroom. Rudy goes to the bar in the Continental Ballroom of the famous landmark Peabody Memphis, 149 Union Avenue.

Rudy and Deck’s office was situated in the Bruce Printing Company and, although Shelby County Courthouse served as a two-day location, the courtroom interior was a set built at the Alameda Naval Air Station, across the bay from San Francisco.




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