The Pelican Breif Essay, Research Paper
The movie I had to review for criminal law and procedure is the
Pelican Brief. At first I was unhappy to get this movie because I
have never heard of it before. After watching it I was glad to get a
movie that was interesting to me.
The plot of the movie is as follows: In the opening scene of the
movie they show Denzel Washington who is a reporter named Gray
Grantham interviewing a Supreme Court Justice named Rosenberg.
Then a scene later they show Darby Shaw, who is Louisiana, in a law
class. The next thing that happens is a person who s name was not
given goes to a hotel and was given an envelope with a picture of all
the Supreme Court Justices in it and just two of them circled.
About Two minutes later both of them were murdered. One of
them in his house and the other one in a adult cinema. Then they
show Darby in the house of her law professor whose name was
Thomas Calahan. Who happened to be a clerk for Justice
Rosenberg. Shaw then tells her professor who she is having an affair
with that she is going to try and find out who murdered them. They
show the President talking with his advisor and they are saying if the
FBI can not solve who killed the Justices then maybe they should get
After a while they go back to Gray who is on the telephone, with
an unknown person at the time, and is talking about the murders and
the person on the telephone is saying that he knows who killed the
Justices. He traces the phone call to a pay phone and then goes
there and takes pictures of him, which comes in hand later in the
Then Thomas is going to met his friend Gavvin Verheek at a bar
which he gave him a copy of the Pelican Brief that he received earlier
from his girlfriend Darby. Next thing that happens is the guy Gavin
takes the brief to his boss and his boss gives it to the President s
advisor whose name is Fletcher Coal, tells the president it would be
wise for this to disappear. The President agrees and talks to the head
of the FBI and they stop investigating it.
They stop investigating it, but Gray isn t. The next thing that
happens is that Thomas and Darby are out eating dinner and Thomas
gets to drunk and Darby wants to drive home. He doesn t let her so
she decides to walk home. Thomas goes to start the car and it
explodes. Two people come up to her and tell her that they are police
officers and ask her name and she tells them. Then she figures out
that she is the one that was supposed to be in the car. She reaches
out to Gavvin for help. All this time there are people trying to kill her.
After finally setting up a meeting point in a fair telling him what to
wear he is murdered in his hotel room. Darby did not know this
meeting an unknown man with a red hat on at the fair. Right about
when she is about to be murdered by the man who killed Gavvin he is
shot in the head.
Back to Gray, he is on the phone with the man who tells him he
knows who killed the Justices, and the man wants to meet him. He
then calls back and says he doesn t want to meet him. As soon as he
hangs up the phone another call is coming in and it is Darby. She
asks him if he has heard about the Pelican Brief. He says no and then
they decide to meet at a hotel in New York. Finally Gray flies up there
from Washington DC and meets her. She tells him the whole story
about the Brief and the murders.
This whole time the President and Coal are trying to get them
both killed. Darby tells Gray that she will be leaving the country. He
gets home and there is a message that says that she has left the
country. Gray s boss tells him he must take a break and go to his
cottage. He does this and out of no where Darby comes back and
tells him that she was saying that just incase the phone is tapped.
They decide that they are going to persue this. So they go to
Georgetown Law School to see if any clerks can recognize the mans
face in the picture. One person who is in a Mental Hospital does. His
name is Curtis Morgan. They also find out that Morgan was killed.
They go to his house and his wife tells Gray that he had a safety
deposit box that she didn t know about.
Darby goes and gets the material out of the box and finds out
that it is a video tape of a confession of Curtis . They then call the
head of the FBI who is Denton Voyles. He comes down there and
asks what Darby wants and she tells them she wants a flight to
anywhere she tells the pilot. This is agreed upon and she leaves. The
story is published on the front page of the Washington Herald and the
movie ends by telling us that Coal stepped down from the office and
that the President will not be running for a second term.