The Movie: Reversal of Fortune, 1990 (Nicholas Kazan, screenwriter, based on the book by Alan M. Dershowitz; Barbet Schroeder, dir.)
Who says it: Jeremy Irons as Claus von Bulow, accused of the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny (Glenn Close)
The context: Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver) tells his client, Claus von Bulow, that he is a very strange man.
How to use it: To let someone know that they’ve only heard a fraction of the story.
My friend Tom Ehrenfeld says this is the greatest quotation ever. It's pretty good, but you don't get the full effect if you haven't seen the movie. It's Jeremy Irons' finest hour. The point of Reversal of Fortune was that it's possible to be a dreadful human being, but still not a murderer -- an argument since made, with varying degrees of success, by OJ Simpson, Gary Condit and Scott Peterson, among others.
It's Christmas Eve (my mind automatically adds, "in the drunk tank..." from the Pogues song, "Fairytale of New York"), and I drove down to my parents' yesterday with Dizzy and my brother Ed. This morning I tried to go to the bank and to the gym, but both were closed. I always feel a little indignant about three-day weekends; Saturday's just another day for us freelancers, so what do people need with THREE days off?
Then again, people who work in offices can't nap in the middle of their working days.