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INTO THE NIGHT / JEANNINE STEIN

A Full House for 'Presumed Innocent'

July 27, 1990|JEANNINE STEIN

The Scene: Premiere and party Wednesday night for "Presumed Innocent," Warner Bros.' screen version of the Scott Turow novel. Virtually every seat in Westwood's Bruin theater was filled for the screening (advance word on the film has been good), but only a fraction of the moviegoers were invited to the after-party at Chasen's. Earlier in the day, publicists beseeched writers to please not give away the ending of the movie. I mean, do we look stupid?

The Buzz: The audience seemed relieved not to have to sit through 120 minutes of bodies being shot, slashed, blown up and otherwise dismembered. In other words, this is one summer film that doesn't have a body count higher than the Korean War.

Who Was There: There was a good contingent of the film's cast and execs, including director Alan J. Pakula, co-producer Sydney Pollack, stars Harrison Ford (who brought his parents), Brian Dennehy, Bonnie Bedelia, Raul Julia, Paul Winfield and Sab Shimono. Also on hand were Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Irving Lazar, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, James Burrows, Frank Langella, Rob Reiner, Roddy McDowall and lots of agents and movie industry execs who looked as if they had been ordered from Central Casting.

The Food: Just in case the murder mystery made moviegoers work up an appetite, Chasen's provided beef sandwiches, spaghetti, chili, enchiladas, cookies, brownies and ice cream sundaes. The perfect fare before turning in for the night.

Dress Mode: Guests were easily split into two categories: Those who had just come from work and thus were a bit rumpled, and those who don't work and looked neatly pressed.

Just In Case You Haven't Figured It Out: Why no one is supposed to reveal the ending--"I gave a dinner party a few years ago," said director Pakula, "and somebody said, 'I've got to go now, I want to finish reading this book and find out who did it.' At that point a woman at the table told him who did it, and I didn't talk to her for two years after that."

Call Her Anything, But Don't Call Her Just a Wife: "People often bring up the fact that I play wives," said Bonnie Bedelia, who can also be seen as Bruce Willis' mate in "Die Hard II." "It's one of the stupidest comments that anyone could make, because anyone with half a brain who looks at movies being made today will very clearly see that there are not parts for women except for wives--or prostitutes. But generally if you're in your 30s, you're past prostitute age. I don't choose parts based on whether they're wives or not, I choose good parts. If they also happen to be married, then they happen to be married."

Art Imitates Life--A Little Too Closely: "No, I've never been a witness in a courtroom before," said Sab Shimono, who plays a coroner with some sweaty moments in a courtroom scene. "And I'd never want to be up there in the hot seat as an expert witness or anything, because the defense or the prosecution is gonna get you."

Gee, Alan, Ever Think of Taking Up Golf?: "I love hanging around courts," Pakula said. "I became a courtroom junkie for a while. It's fascinating, there's so much at stake; life and death. I saw a murder trial in Detroit where a man was accused of murdering his wife and putting her body in a freezer for two years."

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