Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 25, 2010

FILMichigan: Presumed Innocent

This is the tale of how things go terribly wrong for a Detroit attorney with a mistress and a jealous wife. No, it is not the Kwame Kilpatrick story.

Presumed Innocent predates the former mayor (I would say disgraced former mayor, but his transgressions and convictions—official and unofficial—don’t seem to have fazed, let alone disgraced, him).

Starring Harrison Ford, it’s a thriller that tests your Detroit mettle.

You know you’re a Detroit booster if you watch this flick and are intrigued not by the murder of the beguiling Greta Scaachi, nor the guilt or innocence of handsome Harry, but find yourself wondering…
a) how mini-van marketers let a station wagon steal the show
b) whether Harrison’s ferry boat ride to work departs from Belle Isle or Windsor, Canada
c). why, in movies that feature dreary and depressing scenery the actors invariably say things like, “You maggots are in DETROIT now” and “DETROIT? Did you say this dump is DETROIT?”
but when there’s fabulous footage of the city skyline, Eastern Market, various stomping grounds on the legal beat, etc., no one utters the “D” word and you wouldn’t know—unless you sat through all the closing credits and brought your magnifying glass to read the location thank you notes at the very end—that you’d been watching scenes of the “D.”

Rent “Presumed Innocent” and enjoy a well-constructed story with a surprise ending. Just know that you cannot take a ferry to work in Detroit (but it is possible to get away with murder).

Presumed Innocent, 1990
Directed by Alan J. Pakula.
Screenplay by Pakula and Frank Pierson from Scott Turow’s best-selling novel.
Starring Harrison Ford, Bonnie Bedelia, Greta Scaachi, Brian Dennehy, Raul Julia, and John Spencer.

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