The plot: Newby Memphis, Tenn., lawyer Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) and his streetwise partner Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito) take on Great Benefit Insurance over a denied claim for a bone marrow transplant on a 22-year-old man dying of leukemia. They're up against Great Benefit's formidable attorney Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), whose clubby judicial ties would ordinarily see the case dismissed out of hand. But when the presiding judge dies suddenly, his successor (Danny Glover), a former civil rights attorney, allows the case to continue.
Why it's worthy: Director Francis Ford Coppola expertly peels back the layers of deceit, arrogance and greed behind the wealthy facade of a faceless corporation in his adaptation of the John Grisham novel. In Rudy's climactic courtroom confrontation with Great Benefit's unctuous CEO Wilfred Keeley (Roy Scheider), we share the outrage of every person whose life has been casually ruined by small print in an undecipherable insurance contract. Keeley's last scene as he boards a flight for a European "vacation" may be the most chilling of all.
Set notes: "The Rainmaker" fell victim to public saturation with Grisham adaptations at the time, including "The Firm" (1993) and "A Time to Kill" (1996).