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July 1994


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Blaine Allan <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 26 Jul 1994 09:12:17 EDT
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On Mon, 25 Jul 1994 18:38:00 CST Robinson, Marlyn said:
>I would like to know, absolutely off the top of your head(s), what
>movies come to mind when you think of lawyers?  If you had to think
>specifically of corrupt, manipulative, sleazy mouthpieces, what would you
>come up with?
I guess this survey doesn't exactly pretend to be statistically sound
or anything other than self-fulfilling.  "Absolutely off the top of
[my] head(s)," when I think of movie lawyers, I tend less to thing of
recent roles, and more to remember characters in classical Hollywood
cinema.  One who surfaced in memory immediately is "jackleg lawyer"
Abe in Young Mr. Lincoln.  The other case that arose is Anatomy of a
Murder, which pits the (deceptively, of course) laid-back, fly-tying
defence attorney played by James Stewart against the more aggressive,
urban prosecutor played by George C. Scott.  (There's also the
sidekick of Pauly, the Stewart character, played by Arthur O'Connell.)
I'm not sure why these figures rise more vividly than Paul Newman in
The Verdict, say, but they do.  And I'm not sure if these suggestions
of lawyers who are other than venal, unscrupulous, power-grubbing slime
skews the survey, but there you are.
Blaine Allan                           [log in to unmask]
Film Studies
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Canada  K7L 3N6