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Prince of the City’ cont’d

In response to:

The Young Pretender from the October 22, 1981 issue

To the Editors:

On June 21, 1981 at a pre-release screening of Prince of the City [reviewed by Murray Kempton, NYR, October 22] for the Legal Aid Society Executive Committee and senior staff, Judge Whitman Knapp spoke to Ms. Shirley Katzander, the producer’s representative at the screening, and according to her memo said, “A little confusing at first, but a strong, good movie.”

In his letter [NYR, February 4], Judge Knapp says that he has “never taken any position with respect to that movie.” I do not believe there was any suggestion that he had. What I said was that he, among a number of other legal luminaries, had communicated their satisfaction in the movie. Surely his statement that he found Prince of the City “a strong, good movie,” indicated something in the nature of satisfaction.

Jay Presson Allen

New York City

To the Editors:

I don’t wish to prolong our correspondence but if you decide to publish Miss Allen’s letter of February 8, 1982 I should like to make the following comment: While I don’t remember the quotation attributed to me (but certainly don’t deny the possibility of its accuracy), it seems to me that it’s quite a jump from polite banter at a pre-release screening to the suggestion that I went “to some pains” to “communicate [my] satisfaction in the movie.”

I emphasize that I have not and do not intend to take any position with respect to the movie—and especially not with respect to the matter in controversy between Miss Allen and Murray Kempton.

Whitman Knapp

United States District Court, New York City

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