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The Firm (1993)

In 1993, Tom Cruise starred in The Firm, a thriller based on the novel by John Grisham. Cruise plays a Harvard Law School graduate seduced into joining a prestigious Memphis firm. He gains the mentorship of an older lawyer at the firm, played by Gene Hackman, and at one point both characters drink Red Stripe beer. The product is mentioned by name in none-too-subtle fashion, and the beer itself is plainly visible to all viewers, in case they missed it.

The product placement might not have been too subtle, but it worked wonders. According to Business Week, sales of the Jamaican beer increased by more than 50% in the United States, and just a few weeks after that, the company’s owners sold a majority stake in their brewery to Guinness Brewing Worldwide for $62 million.

Photo: Paramount