Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Monday, February 20, 2012

Outside Counsel is sorry to learn that Ben Gazzara has died. I teach Anatomy of a Murder in my Lawyers in Movies course, a movie in which he absolutely sizzled along with Lee Remick. As I think about those performances it occurs to me that they were the only two sexual characters in the film, and that this gives the movie a somewhat twisted view of sexuality. Remick is a rape victim, probably, and in a key scene Gazzara, as Lieutenant Manion, casually says, "A man gets used to the way his wife looks," as he carefully fits his cigarette into an ivory holder. It is a perfect bit of understated method acting. He was perfect in everything he did with John Cassavetes, one of those performers you can't take your eyes away from.

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