In THE CHAMBER, Sam Cayhill , played by Gene Hackman, is an unrepentant racist, wasting away the final years of his life on a Mississippi prison’s death row. Cayhill has been convicted of killing the children of a Jewish lawyer, 16-years-ago. Now, the ominous specter of the gas chamber is looming, as appeal after appeal has been rejected in the courts. Adam Hall, played by Chris O’Donnell, enters to save Cahill’s life. The young attorney also happens to be Sam’s grandson and has a profound personal stake in saving the old man’s life since Adam’s father committed suicide some years ago because he could not bear the family shame. Adam is undaunted and pursues any leads which could keep the old man away from certain execution with dogged determination.
This John Gresham movie makes a strong case for the family. Hall’s deeper motivation is to somehow put his broken family back together again. Once again, morality is filtered through the usual Hollywood lens where the death penalty is cruel punishment and suicide is a noble way to deal with guilt. Overstated, lacking in technical perfection, tainted by political correctness, violence and obscenities, THE CHAMBER, nevertheless, contains some gripping and disturbing commentary which addresses some serious issues affecting our society today.
(C, Ab, LLL, VV, A, D, M) Mild Christian worldview with anti-Christian elements of Klansman distorting Scripture for evil; 43 obscenities & 7 profanities; moderate violence including implied suicide, bombing building, implied hanging, threats with guns, shootings deaths, & brief image of gas chamber killing man; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, lying