Opened up the courier box to find MGM’s new special edition of “Twelve Angry Men” waiting for me, along with one of the oddest gimmes I’ve received in a while.
Like the card says, it’s a chocolate gavel.
Now, when I think of Reginald Rose’s stage play, or Sidney Lumet’s simmering screen adaptation thereof, my mind doesn’t exactly go rushing to candy; in fact, these days I flash right back to the uncomfortable experience of watching the play in Toronto earlier this year with an audience that interpreted every calibrated humiliation and power shift as the stuff of situation comedy.
(There’s a longer post to be made somewhere about the way sitcoms from “All in the Family” to “Friends” have taught us to perceive vicious, cutting insults as punchlines — I find “Everybody Loves Raymond” unwatchable, for example, because I’m always waiting for Ray Romano to deck Patricia Heaton. At least on “Seinfeld” the contempt is front and center.)
But back to the chocolate gavel for a second. Doesn’t it sound like the name of the greatest blaxploitation movie never made?
“In a city where justice lies bleeding, THEY enforced the law!”
Starring Richard Roundtree and Fred Williamson, of course …