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A 'Crying' Shame

April 11, 1993

Regarding "What's Billy Crystal Gonna Do Without Hannibal Lecter and Jack Palance?" and " 'The Crying Game' Guessing Game Makes Big News in a Slow Year" (March 28):

Was it really necessary to give away the secret of "The Crying Game" in these two separate articles? If a writer feels he or she absolutely must reveal the film's secret, why not just put a spoiler's warning before any article (or portion of an article) that gives too much away? It's really not that difficult. Just write: "The following article reveals the secret of 'The Crying Game.' This writer is unable to even mention the movie's title without ruining the movie for people who have not yet seen it. If you don't want this spoilsport to ruin the movie for you, then skip this article."

It seems like every reference to "Citizen Kane" mentions its surprise ending, even though to this day there are still those seeing the movie for the first time. Never assume, as does writer Jeffrey Wells, that " everybody knows by now," because there will always be some who do not.

"The Crying Game" is one of very few recent movies that offer its audience a real surprise. Why are the spoilsports so eager to ruin it?

ANDY NEUMEYER

Los Angeles

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