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Movie on Dershowitz Defense Case Opens


It was Harvard's version of Hollywood, or the Ivies at the movies.

At the Loeb theater last night, a capacity crowd gathered to preview Reversal of Fortune, the film portrayal of Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz's criminal defense of Klaus Von Bulow.

Attending the screening and, presumably, the party to follow, were such Harvard dignitaries as Robert Nozick, Porter professor of philosophy, and Alan A. Stone, Touroff-Gleuck professor of law and psychiatry. Dershowitz was also there with his son Elon, who co-produced the film.

Reversal of Fortune stars Glenn Close, Jeremy Irons and Ron Silver as Dershowitz, and shows how the law professor successfully handled the appeal for the millionaire Klaus Von Bulow, who was convicted of attempting to murder his wife.

"It's a film about class differences, ethnic differences and social bigotry," Dershowitz said in a question-and-answer session after the showing.

Dershowitz said that the portrayal of himself in the film was not accurate, but also said that his son had explained that the movie was not supposed to represent him exactly.

"Dad, you have to understand," said Dershowitz, quoting his son. "That's not you up there. That's your character."

The film humanized Von Bulow's wife, Sunny Von Bulow, Dershowitz said.

"I never met her," said Dershowitz. "I never knew her. As far as I was concerned, she was evidence. Her bodily fluids were evidence."

Elon Dershowitz said last night he was recently asked by convicted hotel magnate Leona Helmsly, his father's client, if he will make a movie about her trial.

He said he responded, "You better see this one, first."

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