Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The way we were....The day Joel Hirschhorn made Judge Nesbitt watch a dirty movie....the whole damn thing!

From the Miami News, Sept. 20, 1973.
(Click here to enlarge)

September, 1973 in Miami: Apparently Miami police have eliminated all crime in the city and now keep busy by raiding seedy, X-rated movie houses and seizing copies of dirty movies.

In early September, plainclothes detectives raid the King Art Cinema on the corner of NE 79th Street and 2nd Ave. and seize a copy of "Devil in Miss Jones."

The owners of the theater hire a 30 year-old attorney named Joel Hirschhorn to plead their case.

According to Miami News reporter Ian Glass, Hirschhorn will "argue on the constitutionality of [Florida's obscenity] law and the legality of the [film's] confiscation" at a hearing on Sept. 21 before Judge Alfred Nesbitt.

But first Hirschhorn wants the judge to see the film.

Nesbitt asks if he can see just part of it. But Hirschhorn says he wants the judge to watch the entire film; all 70 minutes of it.

On Sept. 19, in a screening room at the Gusman Philharmonic Hall in the Olympia Building on Flagler Street, about 30 people show up to watch the film with Hirschhorn, Nesbitt and two special assistant state attorneys.

Glass reports that onlookers invited by state attorney Leonard Rivkind include, four Roman Catholic priests, a Little River church group that includes three women, an FBI agent, several sheriff's deputies and seven - count 'em, seven - assistant state attorneys.

The judge sits in the second row of seats of the theater, saying "I don't want to get too close."

After the screening, Glass goes straight to the Catholic priests for a comment on what they just saw.

"You couldn't possibly quote me," one of the priests tells him.

There's no word on how Judge Nesbitt ultimately ruled on the film, but the Miami News reported on Sept. 26 that Judge Nesbitt and six jurors returned to the Olympia to screen the film again.

It was Nesbitt's second time seeing the film.

1 comment:

  1. Was interesting that the other articles on the Miami News page you linked to could all be headlines today.
    Mortgage fraud, Tourist boards and problems with exec directors, DUI fatalities, etc.
    While the dollar amounts and statistic #s are different, perhaps things haven't really changed as much as we think they have in Miami.


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