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July 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Robinson, Marlyn" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 28 Jul 1994 19:10:00 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Thanks to everyone for suggestions and tales of good/bad experiences with
lawyers.  This has been a most interesting survey. It's interesting to hear
the opinions of people who see a lot of movies but aren't connected to the
legal profession (except for those unfortunates who have been on the
receiving end of the law).  My assumption was that it would be easy for
people to come up with "sleazy lawyer" titles, but not so.  As a rule, the
heroic types spring much more easily to mind.  As one person said, this does
not seem to mirror real life.  I'd like to offer up a few titles to jog your
 Absence of Malice - the organized crime strike force lawyer (Bob Balaban)
orchestrates the newspaper investigation of Michael Gallagher (Newman).
Addams Family - the family lawyer (Dan Hedaya) tries to steal the family
treasure.  And Justice for All-  a judge is accused of murder and rape (see
also Suspect - also, lawyer sleeps with juror).  Angels with Dirty Faces -
Bogart is Cagney's "mouthpiece".    Barefoot in the Park - Redford as
conservative and workaholic lawyer (see also Hook).  Bird on a Wire - Goldie
Hawn is an idiot and a lady lawyer.  Blazing Saddles - Harvey Korman as the
scheming attorney general.  Body Heat - William Hurt not only can't write a
will, he goes to jail for murder.  Defenseless - Barbara Hershey is having
an affair with a married man who makes pornographic films.  Deep Cover- Jeff
Goldblum wants to invent the perfect fantasy drug.  Easy Rider - Nicholson
plays a drunk.  Fortune Cookie - Walter Matthaw is "Whiplash Willie"
Gingrich.  Guilty by Suspicion - Roy Cohn, 'nuff said.  Jurassic Park -
lawyer on toilet chomped by crazed dinosaur.  Mr. and Mrs. Bridge - Newman
is frosty to say the least.  My Cousin Vinny - girlfriend knows more about
criminal law than he does.  Sex, Lies and Videotope - Peter Gallagher is
having an affair with his wife's sister (see also Fatal Attraction - who
else but a lawyer would cheat on Ann Archer?)  The Thin Man - the lawyer did
it.  War of the Roses - a really nasty divorce between a lawyer and a
I would suggest that  in spite of having a generally unsavory opinion of
lawyers as individuals, the respect and value people place on "the law"
makes them forget other than what they would like to remember, i.e. the
Atticus Finch's of the film world, the defenders of the little guy. This is
exactly opposite of what I would have said a week ago.  I think that's
because I'm surrounded by baby lawyers, lawyers, law professors, law books,
and pro se's trying to do their own legal work because their $$%%##ing
lawyer screwed up the case.
Why can't lawyers go to the beach?  Cats keep trying to bury them.
Marlyn Robinson
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