Abby McDeere

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Abby McDeere
The Firm character
First appearance The Firm
Created by John Grisham
Portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn (1993 film)
Molly Parker (2012 TV series)
Full name Abigail Sutherland McDeere
Nickname(s) Abby
Species Human
Gender Female
Occupation Teacher
Family Harold Sutherland
Maxine Sutherland
Spouse(s) Mitch McDeere (1988-present)
Relatives Mr. McDeere
Eva Ainsworth
Ray McDeere
Rusty McDeere
(brother-in-law, deceased)
Religion Methodist
Nationality American
Alma mater Western Kentucky University

Abigail Sutherland "Abby" McDeere is a fictional character in John Grisham's 1991 novel The Firm. Abby McDeere is a Western Kentucky University–educated elementary school teacher.[1] She is also the wife of Mitch McDeere, a Harvard graduate and tax lawyer who has certified public accountant credential. The character was portrayed by Jeanne Tripplehorn in the 1993 film adaptation of the novel, and most recently by Molly Parker for Entertainment One Television's show also titled The Firm.[2]


The novel sold 7 million copies and the movie starred Tom Cruise.[3] The film grossed over $158 million ($262 in 2011 dollars[4]) domestically and $111 internationally ($270 million worldwide in 1993 dollars).[5][6] Additionally, it was the largest grossing R-rated movie of 1993 and of any film based on a Grisham novel.[7] The film was released while Grisham was at the height of his popularity. That week, Grisham and Michael Crichton evenly divided the top six paperback spots on The New York Times Best Seller list.[8]

She is described as the "blue-blood wife" by Mike Hale of The New York Times.[9] She earned her degree in elementary education at Western Kentucky and then taught at a private kindergarten in Boston, while Mitch, her high school sweetheart, attended Harvard Law School. After she and Mitch had graduated from college, they married.[1] At the time of the novel, her parents resided in Kentucky, which she regarded as her home.[1] Her family did not like Mitch and boycotted their wedding.[1] In "Chapter Seven" of the television version, she says that her parents were both born in Danesborough, Kentucky (father in 1948 and mother in 1951).

She follows Mitch to Memphis, Tennessee after he signs on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a small tax firm. She is initially intrigued by their new-found affluence--a low-mortgage loan on a house, a Mercedes, and a salary far more than what Mitch was offered in New York and Chicago.[1] She takes a job teaching third grade at an exclusive private school in Memphis.[10] Her dreams come undone, however, when Mitch tells her that his firm is part and parcel of a massive money laundering and tax fraud operation operated by a Mafia family.[11] She works with Mitch to bring down the firm, even feigning that she and Mitch have separated so she can slip out of Memphis and help copy documents for the FBI without attracting suspicion.[12]

Critical review[edit]


Joe Brown of The Washington Post described Tripplehorn's performance as the increasingly suspicious, resenting and brooding Abby as "...a welcomely elegant and alert presence."[8] Todd McCarthy of Variety says that the film role expands upon the character in the book with "an added mission that creates some extra suspense and pathos".[13] He described her performance glowingly: "At times uncannily resembling Genevieve Bujold, Tripplehorn gets to do a bit more than hold down the home front and express doubt and fury at her husband's long hours."[13] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly notes that Abby "has worldlier intuitions than he [Mitch] does",[14] while Empire's Matt Mueller describes her as Mitch's "more intuitive, earthy wife".[1] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says that one late scene between Gene Hackman and Tripplehorn " like a master class in acting."[15]


The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman describes Parker's portrayal as dutiful.[16] Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara describes Parker's role as thin, saying she ". . .is given less than nothing to do save offer her husband contradictory pep talks. . ."[17] Mike Hale of The New York Times also claims that Parker is "stranded in a part that looks like a drag so far" in his early take on her role.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Firm Excerpt". Doubleday, Random House, Inc. Retrieved May 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Molly Parker Joins The Cast of THE FIRM". ChannelCanada. July 29, 2011. Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  3. ^ Hibberd, James (April 29, 2011). "NBC in talks for John Grisham's 'The Firm' TV series". CNN. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Movies: 'The Firm,' with $31.5 million for the weekend, leads the way. Total movie receipts for the four-day holiday are an estimated $120 million.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Weekend Box Office : So Far, This Is Summer to Beat". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  7. ^ The Firm at Box Office Mojo
  8. ^ a b Brown, Joe (July 2, 1993). "'The Firm' (R)". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Hale, Mike (January 6, 2012). "A Lawyer Leaves Witness Protection Because Everything’s Fine Now. Right?". The New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ Grisham, John, The Firm. New York: Random House, 1991. ISBN 0-385-41634-2. Nook edition, p. 89.
  11. ^ Grisham, p. 184 (Nook edition).
  12. ^ Grisham, p. 252-253 (Nook edition).
  13. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (June 27, 1993). "The Firm". Variety. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (July 9, 1993). "The Firm (1993)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 30, 1993). "The Firm". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  16. ^ Goodman, Tim (January 6, 2012). "Review: 'The Firm' Still Average 20 Years Later as a Television Series: NBC makes law procedural from old book, film.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ McNamara, Mary (January 7, 2012). "Television review: 'The Firm' is now just another legal thriller". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]