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The Lawyer, is a 1970 over-looked gem. Barry Newman in his best role,
as a dedicated lawyer who will go to the ends of the world to prove
that his client, a doctor, is innocent in the murder of his beautiful
Based in part on the Dr. Sam Shepperd murder trail of the late 1950s/early 1960s. The Lawyer is fast paced and extremely well-acted. Blonde bombshell Mary Wilcox is worth the price of this film alone. It's truly amazing how this beautiful,well-built, and highly gifted actress never became more than a character actress.
Your honor, I rest my case. The Lawyer is tops! 10 out of 10.
The 1970 movie, The Lawyer starring cult-favorite Barry Newman is a forgotten gem. Based on the real-life Dr. Sam Sheppard murder trail, Newman plays an F.Lee Bailey type lawyer hired to defend a medical doctor convicted of murdering his beautiful wife. The wife is played by blond-bombshell Mary Wilcox. Ms.Wilcox is out-standing as the sexy-flirty spouse who winds up beaten to death by a blunt object. Her nude scene in which she lays in bed with her shirt lifted above her breasts is one of the sexiest in film-history. It's really amazing that this beautiful and talented actress never achieved stardom and was reduced to bit parts in numerous films and t.v. shows. This also rates as Barry Newman's best role, and as in the case of Ms. Wilcox, it's a shame that he never really achieved the fame he so richly deserved.
The Lawyer was Barry Newman's best acted role. Yet, as outstanding as
Newman was, the show-stealer was blond bombshell Mary Wilcox as the
slutty wife of a doctor accused of her savage murder.
Based on the famous Sam Shepperd murder case, the movie is well-acted, moves at a quick pace, and has enough twists and turns to make this one of the best courtroom dramas every made.
However, the sexy Mary Wilcox, in nothing more than a small supporting role, is the actress to remember long after the film is over. 100% all-natural, Wilcox had one of the most impressive bodies in screen history. Tall, tan, with long-shapely legs, and beautiful melon-shaped breasts, Wilcox's nude scene is one of the sexiest filmed. Of course it's spoiled by her on-screen murder. Why this beauty never achieved stardom is beyond me. She appeared a few years later in the Tony Curtis film Lepke, in a brief scene wearing a see-through night-gown and she looked as sexy as ever.
The Lawyer is great, but Mary Wilcox was greater.
I remember seeing this in 1970 in the theater. I wish it would be released on DVD. What I remember about it was that a doctor was being charged with the murder of his wife. The Lawyer never had anything to do with defending an accused murderer. This was his first such case but no one could have asked for a better defense. He basically created doubt in the jurors minds by demonstrating during the trial that not only did others have a motive for killing the doctor's wife but they could just as well have done it. While the defense presented in the movie may not hold up in a modern setting - in 1970 before DNA evidence was possible this defense was most effective. I remember a bit more but enough said ... Hope this comes out on DVD.
Likable, if not terribly engrossing, courtroom drama in which Barry
Newman originated his trademark role of opportunistic lawyer Tony
Petrocelli (reprised in a subsequent TV series). Generally well-handled
by director Furie but the murder sequence, re-enacted in three
different ways during the course of the trial, seems unnecessarily
flashy. A smart script and a lively music score ensure that the film be
an eminently watchable one.
It seems more of a pity that director Furie, who started out strongly with films like this one and THE IPCRESS FILE (1965) would later end up helming third-grade action fare like the IRON EAGLE films or misbegotten would-be blockbusters like SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE (1987)...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Originally The Lawyer was to be based on two trials, as well as the
biography, of Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard, a Cleveland, OH osteopath for
whom F. Lee Bailey, the Boston criminal lawyer, finally received an
acquittal for charges that Sheppard had murdered his wife. One of the
most sensational, aspects of the Sheppard case was the United States
Supreme Court reverse on conviction because publicity through the trial
had prejudiced the jury.
Another came with the emergence of Bailey, the national celebrity, television actor and defender of causes like the Boston Strangler and Doctor Carl Coppolino.
The film, set in a small, North Dakota community has bigoted cops who call everyone "boy," somewhere in between fact and fiction.
Fascinating version of the Sam Shepard case. Newman plays an upstart
attorney who gets handed a murder case involving a doctor accused of
killing his wife. He dominates the film with some dynamic acting.
Terrific courtroom scenes.
Director Furie offers several flashy point-of-view angles and keeps things moving just fine. It occasionally veers toward the fantastic by exaggerating certain aspects of the Dr. Shepard case but never loses its audience. Why this film has always been unavailable on DVD is a mystery. Its time has come since it outshines so many of the courtroom dramas that have come along since it was released. Diana Muldaur is very good in a rare movie role.
"The Lawyer" is an entertaining, if unspectacular courtroom drama
the sterling acting talents of Barry Newman ("The Limey", "Bowfinger") and
Diana Muldaur ("L.A. Law", "Star Trek: The Next Generation") amongst
In short, it is about a New York lawyer who ups-sticks to the country,
a murder case he handles in his new environment. As I said, it's nothing
special, but surprisingly involving nonetheless. Essentially it plays
a high quality TV movie, so it's no surprise that a spin-off TV series,
"Petrocelli", followed. It's worth watching if you have a spare couple of
hours, and fans of the show will be interested to see the formative
incarnation of Petrocelli. Assured helming, incidentally, comes from
J. Furie - director of one of the best Cold War Spy films ever, "The
File". "The Lawyer" will make no-one's All Time Top Ten list, I can
you, but there are many many worse films out there. In a word:
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