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.

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is 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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