The Pelican Brief

Synopsis: Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men, who's also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her, that states who probably, wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it, is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So, he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI, he agrees to come meet her but before he does someone shoots him and takes his place.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Alan J. Pakula
Production: Warner Home Video
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
141 min

The. Pelican. Brief. 1993

The Pelican Brief

Any signs got my name on them?

Quite a few.

What do they say?

The usual.

"Death to Rosenberg. "

"Retire Rosenberg. "

"Cut off the oxygen. "

That's my favorite.

Of course, you, Mr. Grantham...

...did pretty good by me

your last time out.

"Rosenberg equals the government

over business...

...the individual over government,

the environment over everything...

...and the Indians, oh,

give them whatever they want. "

With all due respect,

that wasn't my line, that was a quote.

From one of your unnamed

Senior White House officials.

Senior White House bastard,

you should have said.

Got in there by...

...stirring up these people,

one against the other.

Never fails to amaze me...

...what a man will do

to get an oval office.


Looking for Mr. Sneller.

Mr. Sneller?

Yes, Mr. Edwin F. Sneller.


Everything is in place.

All the money must be there

when I arrive in Zurich.

It will be there

if the job is finished.

It will be finished.

May I help you?

I'd like to order room service.

- What would you like?

- Coffee...

...scrambled eggs, whole-wheat toast

and orange juice, please.

It'll be about 15 minutes.

Thank you.

When we substitute

threat for an argument...

...violence for principle,

we allow our passion... overcome our capacity for reason.

Passion and self-interest

are threats to liberty...

...which brings us

to Bowers against Hardwick.

A police officer entered Mr. Hardwick's

apartment to serve him a warrant...

...for an unpaid violation

for drinking in public.

They caught him with an open beer.

When he entered

Mr. Hardwick's bedroom...

...he found him in bed with a man.

The officer arrested Hardwick...

...for violating Georgia's statute

which outlaws sodomy.

Even though Georgia dropped the case...

...Hardwick challenged

the constitutionality of the statute.

Now, what was his claim?

- That it violates the right of privacy.


He's got the right to do

as he pleases in his home.

But what if he decided to sell drugs

at his home or engage in child abuse?

Those actions don't fit

within the right of privacy.

The court, beginning with Griswold...

...has limited the right of privacy

to actions which are intimate...

...which are deeply personal,

which allow us to control our lives... define who we are.

But is that a constitutional claim?

There's no...

...right to define oneself

written into the Constitution.

It's not even in the Bill of Rights.

If the State of Georgia can regulate

Hardwick's sexuality...

...engaged in private with consenting

adults, Hardwick cannot be free.

The Constitution ensures

limited government.

If there's no right of privacy

and Georgia can enforce the statute...

...we sacrifice the liberty the framers

thought they'd guaranteed us.

The Supreme Court disagreed with you.

They found that the statute

did not violate the right of privacy.


They're wrong.

So all three of you girls

find him irresistible. Why?

Sexual attraction.

You mean he's just got it?

Does he ever!

What you're saying... that if you could clone

three of him, you'd all be happy.

Okay, tell us, what is your secret?

I'm not sure I can say on TV.

But what I can say is

it's a big secret.

A very big secret.

My goodness gracious!

I can't believe my ears!

Hope my mom's not watching.

She hopes so too!

Ma, I was just kidding.

Ladies, have you changed

your opinion about our stud?

You still like him?

I like big guys!

I think your fan club has increased.

Everything has increased!

They found Rosenberg around 1 A.M.

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Alan J. Pakula

Alan Jay Pakula (; April 7, 1928 – November 19, 1998) was an American film director, writer and producer. He was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Best Director for All the President's Men (1976) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sophie's Choice (1982). Pakula was also notable for directing his "paranoia trilogy": Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974) and All the President's Men (1976). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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