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July 1994


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Sally Waters <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 26 Jul 1994 10:04:49 -0500
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 Oh boy, a question I know something about! (And this one came
just as I was making out the list to buy new videos for our
law library collection.) You're right - most movies with lawyers
tend to show them as noble, fighting for good and justice; even
the ones like "The Verdict", that show some real breaches of
ethics, usually have them done in the best interest of the client,
so that the lawyer really is a good guy. And, in most videos that
have a bad lawyer, or one that appears to be nasty, venal,
etc., there's a good one with lots of character and honesty who's
usually the focus (like George C. Scott vs. Jimmy Stewart, in
Anatomy of a Murder).
Which brings me to my favorite - The Fortune Cookie, with Walter
Matthau in the starring role of Whiplash Willie, who talks his
brother-in-law, Jack Lemmon, into filing a personal injury law
suit. Lemmon is really a pretty nice guy in this, and so is the
football player who injured him - and Matthau takes the role of
a conniving ambulance chaser and plays it for all it's worth. Of
all the videos in our collection, this is one of the ones people
have questioned because of its depiction of wyer as a
money-hungry opportunis...My feeling (and hey, I pick out the
videos!) is that alot of people see us that way - and besides,
it's one very funny movie!
Sally G. Waters, Queen of Reference   /   "Dignity.
([log in to unmask])           /    Always dignity."
Stetson Univ. College of Law Library  /
1401 61st St. S.                      / --Don Lockwood
St. Petersburg, FL  33707             /