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Cutting A Critic Down To Size

December 16, 1985|HOWARD ROSENBERG

We get letters. . . .

After reading your review of the new Perry Mason film, I'm angry. Do you realize that you make four references to weight and age in your review?

Why couldn't you have reviewed the movie based on the story, the acting and the directing? Was it really necessary to write: "A . . . fatter Raymond Burr, and a stouter Barbara Hale. . . ."? Do you think we are blind and can't see that the stars are older and larger than they were 15 or 20 years ago?

And what is the point of the word obese in commenting that "the only suspense is whether the obese Burr will ever remove his overcoat. . . ."? If his weight figured in this story, I missed it. Consider that the intrusion of age and size into this particular review is as out of line as saying: The only suspense is whether Mr. Burr, who is black, will ever remove his overcoat.

Would the film have been any better if Mr. Burr and Ms. Hale were thinner? I thought the movie a bore too, but it had nothing to do with Mr. Burr's size.

As a BBW (Big, Beautiful Woman), I have lived most of my 28 years with self-hatred and the condemnation of my family and society as a whole because of my "weight problem." I'm trying to change all that in whatever ways necessary, including responding to your review. I now appreciate myself and others around me regardless of size, age, or whatever. We all have a lot to offer each other. Attractive, desirable, lovable people come in all shapes, sizes, ages and mental capacities. And some even make dull movies.



That was a vicious and badly written story you did on Perry Mason. But then, that is your stock in trade, being nasty. However, cocky as you are, you still must feel silly with the news that Perry Mason was and always will be No. 1 with those who matter.


Las Vegas

I object to your continued reference to "60 Minutes" producer Don Hewitt as "The Creator." The article itself was of no particular interest to me. He may be the creator of "60 Minutes," but in my book, The Creator means one person--God.



Your recent review of "The Execution of Raymond Graham" should have been on the editorial page along with the other lefties. It's unfortunate you and Rose Bird don't have the same compassions for the victims. But then, the victim did move his hand, so I suppose he had it coming.

I wonder if Rosenberg and Bird would have such great concern for a convicted murderer if they lost a loved one who simply moved his hand when ordered not to? Or about the killers who executed the UCLA kids recently?


Sierra Madre

The blacklist is alive and well in Hollywood. I am a television writer, have been a member of the Writers Guild for 26 years, and have 70 credits. Now to the blacklist.

Over the years, the networks have done numerous shows that are anti-capital punishment: the Chessman story, the Slovik story and others, and now the Raymond Graham story. Not once have the networks done a show in favor of capital punishment. I know. For years, I have tried to sell them one.

I have been turned down not because my ideas were unacceptable. On the contrary, two networks thought one idea would make a "powerful, gut-wrenching story." I was rejected because my political stance (and capital punishment is political) went against the political attitude of those in charge of network production. In other words, a blacklist.


Los Angeles

I take strong exception to two items on your "no Thanksgiving" list. Let's start with one of your favorite scapegoats, "Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Roll Wrestling." If you spent a little more time watching and a little less time pontificating, you would realize that this is indeed a clever program, sprinkled with funny "interviews" with real-life counterparts of the cartoons.

The "sneaky Oriental," as you describe him, is in fact funny and charming, the "hook-nosed Arab" (perhaps you would prefer a blue-eyed blonde) is harmless and amusing, the "animalistic" Russian is an opera singer (how can you hate an opera singer?), and the "jive-talking black" happens to be a very bright fellow who often saves the day by concocting Rube Goldberg-like inventions from his vast junkyard assortment. If anything, this program is a sendup of stereotypes. Why not just come out and say you thoroughly dislike wrestling?

Item No. 2 refers to ABC News President Roone Arledge. I think it took courage for Mr. Arledge to put an end to the current mindless rumor making the rounds, first in book form, then making its way up to the ranks to "20/20," namely that both John and Robert Kennedy had affairs with Marilyn Monroe.

Why stop there? Why not sink even deeper into bad taste and suggest that Ted Kennedy was also a participant, and that all three made love to Marilyn at once? And shouldn't we throw in Elvis, too? I mean, if you're dead, its open season, right?


Costa Mesa

The new "Saturday Night Live" cast has done something I didn't think was possible--it made me miss Charles Rocket and Garrett Morris.


Los Angeles

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