What do you do when you’re on trial for ripping off your incredibly famous, elderly mother for millions and millions of dollars? Why, that’s simple: go to the movies.

Sixteen weeks into a celebrated court case, Anthony Marshall, son of the late Brooke Astor, brought his wife, Charlene, to a private screening of Uli Edel’s epic German film about terrorism in the 1970s called “The Baader Meinhof Complex.” The Oscar nominated film opens shortly in the U.S. after many successful runs around the world.

The Marshalls sat front and center in the Cinema 2 on Third Avenue, nestled among a society and media crowd that included Morley Safer of “60 Minutes,” veteran journalist Bob Jamieson, Tovah Feldshuh and Candice Bergen.

Anthony Marshall is accused of defrauding his mother, one of New York’s greatest philanthropists, when she was hobbled by Alzheimer’s Disease.

We did joke that all of New York’s most infamous types do stop by a Peggy Siegal screening either on their way to or from prison. It’s a tradition. Not since Claus von Bulow has anyone seemed quite so notorious in public.

The Marshall-Astor trial has had its own share of terrorism. Last Thursday, the jury forewoman was attacked on the subway by a knife wielding woman. The attacker was subdued and the forewoman has gone right on with the trial.

As for “Baader Meinhof,” it’s a riveting, controversial look at how Weather Underground types paralyzed the German courts and police in the early 1970s. It’s the perfect summer retort to yukky comedies and big budget blockbusters.

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Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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