Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role 1987
SEX WORKER ROLE
Katy Wesson in When Justice Fails 1999
Turns Tricks By Cruising Pick-Up Joints
Marlee Matlin made history as the first deaf performer to win an Oscar for acting. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), there are few deaf prostitute roles. Ironically, Matlin’s acting mentor, the late Tony Award-Winning Actress Phyllis Frelich, once played a deaf prostitute in an episode of “Barney Miller.”
But the movie where Marlee Matlin plays a femme fatale is “When Justice Fails.” This flick is a cross between “Looking For Mr. Goodbar” and “Basic Instinct.” The cops even reference the latter film in this movie! Marlee plays an assistant DA with an impressive track record of jailing rapists. However, two perpetrators slip through her fingers, only to be murdered. Then it is discovered that Marlee’s character has a secret life. While prosecuting cases daily, she turns tricks by night: cruising bars and dance clubs looking for a one-night stand.
Watch trailer for the film “When Justice Fails”
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