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* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The BigBad is revealed by the eponymous brief to be [[spoiler: an oil baron hoping to influence the court in a pending appeal of an environmental lawsuit]].

to:

* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The BigBad is revealed by the eponymous brief to be [[spoiler: an oil baron hoping to influence the court in a pending appeal of an environmental lawsuit]].lawsuit by means of [[MurderIsTheBestSolution an awful lot of murder]]]].

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* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: [[spoiler: By the time Grantham and Darby track him down, Curtis Morgan has already been murdered by the conspiracy and his death passed off as a mugging.]]


* TheGhost: In the movie, Victor Mattiece is mentioned a lot, but only shows up in a black and white newspaper photograph

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* TheGhost: In the movie, Victor Mattiece is mentioned a lot, but only shows up in a black and white newspaper photographphotograph.
* {{Greed}}: Faced with the question of why somebody would want to assassinate two Supreme Court justices with very dissimilar judicial philosophies, Darby decides to look for a more mundane motivation behind the killings. [[spoiler: She supposes (correctly) in her brief that the killings were simply about money/power. The justices were killed because both had a history of ruling against business to protect the environment, and likely would have ruled against Victor Mattiece’s efforts to drill Louisiana crude oil at the expense of a federal nature preserve home to an endangered species of pelican.]]

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* TheGhost: In the movie, Victor Mattiece is mentioned a lot, but only shows up in a black and white newspaper photograph


[[quoteright:220:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/220px_the_pelican_brief.jpg]]
''The Pelican Brief'' is a 1993 film thriller starring Creator/JuliaRoberts as Darby Shaw and Creator/DenzelWashington as Gray Grantham. It is based on a novel by Creator/JohnGrisham published in 1992.

The film is about a law student named Darby Shaw who writes a brief regarding the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. After showing it to her mentor/lover and his friend, she goes on the run after both of them ended up killed. Darby seeks help from a newspaper reporter named Gray Grantham and together, the two set out to prove the brief correct.

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[[quoteright:220:https://static.[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/220px_the_pelican_brief.jpg]]
org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_pelican_brief_movie_poster.jpg]]

''The Pelican Brief'' is a 1993 film thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula, starring Creator/JuliaRoberts as Darby Shaw and Creator/DenzelWashington as Gray Grantham. Creator/DenzelWashington. It is based on a novel by the Creator/JohnGrisham novel published in 1992.

the year before.

The film is about a law student named Darby Shaw (Roberts) who writes a brief regarding the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. After showing it to her mentor/lover and his friend, they end up getting killed and she goes on the run after both of them ended up killed. run. Darby seeks help from a newspaper reporter named Gray Grantham (Washington), and together, together the two set out to prove the brief correct.


* HotScoop: Gray


* MagnificentBastard: FBI Director Denton Voyles would probably qualify in the book. Fletcher Coal, the President's Chief of Staff, is a wannabe who fails to rise above CorruptBureaucrat level.

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* DisposableWoman: Darby's law professor boyfriend gets killed off, kicking off her involvement in the storyline. Aside from her remembering the sound of the faulty ignition, he has no other impact on the movie.


-->''Interviewer''': Okay Gray, you know that in view of all this, you know that there's a lot of speculation that this woman is a figment of your imagination. That you created her, from a lot of different sources. Just as there are people who believe there was no [[{[Scandalgate}} Deep Throat]], there are those who believe that there is no Darby Shaw. In other words, she's just too good to be true.\\

to:

-->''Interviewer''': -->'''Interviewer''': Okay Gray, you know that in view of all this, you know that there's a lot of speculation that this woman is a figment of your imagination. That you created her, from a lot of different sources. Just as there are people who believe there was no [[{[Scandalgate}} [[{{Scandalgate}} Deep Throat]], there are those who believe that there is no Darby Shaw. In other words, she's just too good to be true.\\


* RevealingCoverup: The brief in question was pure conjecture, 100% free of substantiating proof, before the villains heard of it and tried to have her killed to hush it up. Even ''Darby'' didn't really believe it, it was just a fun paper and had the conspiracy just ignored it, it would have faded away but the attempts on her life make Darby realize she's actually onto something.

to:

* RevealingCoverup: The brief in question was pure conjecture, 100% free of substantiating proof, before the villains heard of it and tried to have her killed to hush it up. Even ''Darby'' didn't really believe it, it was just a fun paper and had the conspiracy just ignored it, it would have faded away but the away. The attempts on her life make Darby realize she's actually onto something.



* WavingSignsAround: Both the novel and the film open with people waving signs around saying stuff like "Death to Rosenberg," "Retire Rosenberg," and "Cut off the oxygen," the last of those being Rosenberg's [[ActuallyPrettyFunny favorite]].

to:

* WavingSignsAround: Both the novel and the film open with people waving signs around saying stuff like "Death to Rosenberg," "Retire Rosenberg," and "Cut off the oxygen," the last of those being Rosenberg's [[ActuallyPrettyFunny favorite]].favorite]].
*WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Gray Grantham prints the story and becomes a household name. Victor Mattice is indicted for the assassinations. The POTUS goes down for having ordered the FBI off the case. However, Darby Shaw instead chooses to flee the country to an unspecified location - which gives rise to a conspiracy theory that she never existed at all, and is merely a pseudonym for all of Grantham's sources; that ''he'' wrote the Brief.
-->''Interviewer''': Okay Gray, you know that in view of all this, you know that there's a lot of speculation that this woman is a figment of your imagination. That you created her, from a lot of different sources. Just as there are people who believe there was no [[{[Scandalgate}} Deep Throat]], there are those who believe that there is no Darby Shaw. In other words, she's just too good to be true.\\
'''Gray Grantham''': She almost is.


* AmoralAttorney: Par for the course in a Creator/JohnGrisham story. An evil law firm not unlike one in [[TheFirm another Grisham work]] factors in as minions to the BigBad.

to:

* AmoralAttorney: Par for the course in a Creator/JohnGrisham story. An evil law firm not unlike one in [[TheFirm [[Literature/TheFirm another Grisham work]] factors in as minions to the BigBad.


''The Pelican Brief'' is a novel by Creator/JohnGrisham published in 1992 about a law student named Darby Shaw who writes a brief regarding the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. After showing it to her mentor/lover and his friend, she goes on the run after both of them ended up killed. Darby seeks help from a newspaper reporter named Gray Grantham and together, the two set out to prove the brief correct.

A film adaptation of the book was released in 1993, starring Creator/JuliaRoberts as Darby and Creator/DenzelWashington as Gray.

to:

''The Pelican Brief'' is a 1993 film thriller starring Creator/JuliaRoberts as Darby Shaw and Creator/DenzelWashington as Gray Grantham. It is based on a novel by Creator/JohnGrisham published in 1992 1992.

The film is
about a law student named Darby Shaw who writes a brief regarding the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. After showing it to her mentor/lover and his friend, she goes on the run after both of them ended up killed. Darby seeks help from a newspaper reporter named Gray Grantham and together, the two set out to prove the brief correct.

A film adaptation of the book was released in 1993, starring Creator/JuliaRoberts as Darby and Creator/DenzelWashington as Gray.
correct.



!Tropes seen in this film include:

to:

!Tropes !!Tropes seen in this film include:

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* ImminentDangerClue: The sound the starter makes before the car bomb goes off. Darby heard it when her teacher/lover was killed, and hearing it again prevents her and Gray from falling victim to another one.


* TeacherStudentRomance: Darby and her College Law teacher. It's what gets him killed in the first place.

to:

* TeacherStudentRomance: Darby and her College Law teacher. It's what gets him killed in the first place.place.
* WavingSignsAround: Both the novel and the film open with people waving signs around saying stuff like "Death to Rosenberg," "Retire Rosenberg," and "Cut off the oxygen," the last of those being Rosenberg's [[ActuallyPrettyFunny favorite]].


* RelationshipUpgrade: Inverted. Darby and Gray's relationship remains platonic, rather than the RidingIntoSunset ending of the book.

to:

* RelationshipUpgrade: Inverted. Darby and Gray's relationship remains platonic, rather than the RidingIntoSunset RidingIntoTheSunset ending of the book.

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