In the John Grisham books The Client and The Partner, a quote appears that goes roughly like this.

When you commit a murder, you make about twenty-five mistakes. If you can figure out ten, you're a genius.

The Partner says that it is a quote from an old movie, but it just makes me wonder which movie.

Can anyone identify that movie?


1 Answer 1


It does sound remarkably like the Ted Lewis character in the 1981 movie Body Heat .

With Ted Lewis saying to Ned :

Hey now, …..Are you ready to hear something? I want you to see if this sounds familiar: any time you try a decent crime, you got fifty ways you're gonna f**k up. If you think of twenty-five of them, then you're a genius - and you ain't no genius. '

More detail at this site : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082089/characters/nm0000620

  • When I looked up the movie "Body Heat," I found out that the protagonist is a lawyer named Ned Racine. Considering that John Grisham had a career in law and politics before he embarked on a writing career, I suppose it would make sense for him to make references to a film noir movie starring a lawyer. Dec 27, 2023 at 15:52

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