Julia Roberts stars in this legal drama based on the true story of a woman who helped win the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit. Erin Brockovich (Roberts) is a single mother of three who, after losing a personal injury lawsuit, asks her lawyer, Ed Masry (Albert Finney), if he can help her find a job. Ed gives her work as a file clerk in his office, and she runs across some information on a little-known case filed against Pacific Gas and Electric. Erin begins digging into the particulars of the case, convinced that the facts simply don’t add up, and persuades Ed to allow her to do further research; in time, she discovers a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning of a city’s water supply, which threatens the health of the entire community. Erin Brockovich was directed by Steven Soderbergh; Julia Roberts earned a $20 million payday for her work on the film, the highest salary paid to a female film star up to that time.
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