Gary Oldman in Criminal Law - 3/3
I DO NOT own any rights. This video is posted for personal use only.
Another scene of Gary Oldman as the lawyer Ben Chase in the film Criminal Law (1988).
The complete film is available at Troy McCoy's youtube channel (at least it was when I uploaded this video).
Tags: Gary Oldman Criminal Law Film
Added: 7 months ago
[scene opens with Ben Chase walking through a law library]
CLEMENS: [from off camera] Ben!
[cut to an elderly law professor sitting on one of the steps of a shelf ladder, as an older female librarian (short red hair, red dress, brown cardigan sweater) hands him a stack of books]
CLEMENS: Here, give me a hand? And we'll let Peggy get back to work.
PEGGY: He's a hard master ...
[she smiles and leaves]
BEN: You're telling me.
[the professor begins placing the books on the shelf, as Ben stares at him]
BEN: You're giving these away? Your collection of quotations?
CLEMENS: "I hate collections, tell me what you know" ... Emerson.
[Ben begins taking some books out of a nearby box]
BEN: "The power of the quotation is as dreadful a weapon as any which the human intellect can forge" ... Chapman.
[he hands the books to the professor]
CLEMENS: I don't need weapons anymore. I'm disarming. Besides, some of these books can't be much good, they quote me.
BEN: I quote you all the time.
CLEMENS: It's the only immortality.
BEN: [pause] Remember when I told you I was going into defense?
BEN: You said it was a lot tougher than prosecution ... Instead of just trying to get the bad guys, I'd have to defend all sorts of people. Some with very dirty hands.
[he leans up against the shelf]
BEN: I was never afraid of disillusionment. I enjoyed the game too much. Sometimes I worried about burning out. Not about my conscience ... I always thought I was so damn smart.
CLEMENS: You are. I never held it against you.
BEN: Now I'm gonna do something that's not so smart.
CLEMENS: We were meant to act, even if we make mistakes. That's why we put a sharp point on a pencil, and why we put an eraser on the other end.
BEN: This might be indelible ...
CLEMENS: There's no other course of action that will satisfy your conscience?
BEN: [pause] No.
CLEMENS: Then you don't need the advice of an old man in a library.
[Ben smiles, then starts to walk away]
BEN: Who said that? About the pencil?
CLEMENS: I did. Just now.
[he holds up one of the books]
CLEMENS: It'll be in here next edition.
[Ben laughs, then exits]
In the 1988 legal thriller Criminal Law, Gary Oldman is almost unrecognizably bland as lawyer Ben Chase. After successfully defending a wealthy client, Martin (Kevin Bacon), against a murder charge, Ben finds out that Martin is, indeed, guilty. Oops. What's a hotshot lawyer to do? Get drunk and pass out in your living room? Check! Reveal top-secret details of the crime by shouting on the street at a victim's roommate? Check! Violate ethical codes by working with a police officer against his client? Check!
No doubt troubled by all his ethical violations, Ben goes his alma mater's law library to talk to an old professor. Occurring a little over a half hour into the film, the camera pans around the double-decker library, lingering over statues and rows and rows of volumes. The light streaming in all the windows is quite atmospheric, doing its best to add some drama to this drama.
Rounding a corner, Ben finds his old professor, Clemens (Michael Sinelnikoff), sitting on a library ladder and decked out in a long, grey cardigan. An older lady (Irene Kessler) is handing him thick volumes and helping him shelve books. At first glance, it's hard to tell which is the librarian! :)
Note: That's when credits really help out, as Irene Kessler's role is listed as "Librarian Peggy" (ding ding ding, we have a winner!).
Peggy, also decked out in a long cardigan, then disappears down a back staircase. Onscreen for only a few seconds, she joins the Class IV category of librarians. Although we hardly see Librarian Peggy, it's obvious she has a warm rapport with both the professor and former student.
And based on the subsequent conversation (Ben to the professor, "You're giving these away? Your collection of quotations?"), the professor has donated his collection to the law library. Later, we find out why, when Ben visits Professor Clemens in the hospital, who is quote-worthy and optimistic even on his deathbed.