Aha Moment: Perry Mason vs. The Paper Chase
Friday, August 03, 2012
Growing up in the socially tumultuous 1960s, Jonathan Amsbary wanted to be a lawyer to "help America be what it was supposed to be." He idealized TV’s Perry Mason, the righteous defense attorney who stood up for the little guy and always made sure justice was done.
Just before heading off to college, Amsbary saw The Paper Chase, the 1973 film about a first-year Harvard law student named Hart. His tough-as-nails contracts professor challenges him to value rationality over all else, grinding down Hart’s moral compass. "It is not a way that a normal human being looks at an issue of justice, of right and wrong," Amsbary recalls. "It's really about what does the law say, how can the law be manipulated." Amsbary resolved not to become another Hart.
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Perry Mason ThemeArtist: Royal Philharmonic Concert OrchestraAlbum: 100 Greatest TV ThemesLabel: Silva America