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Cherce, But Cribbed

October 28, 1990

In Kenneth Turan's review of "Preston Sturges" (Sept. 16), you quote Spencer Tracy from the movie "Pat and Mike" in praising the book (". . . may be lean, but it is cherce"). Spencer Tracy may have interpreted the lines beautifully, but Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin wrote them.

I have seen reviewers and journalists quote actors' lines from films for years as if the actors who spoke the lines actually invented them. This is a sorry practice, if journalistically convenient, especially when the article is about, in your own words, "the most gifted writer/director of comedy that Hollywood has ever seen."

SHARON SPELMAN

STUDIO CITY

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