A Synopsis of the Movie Fletch

Topics: Criminal law, Crimes, Theft Pages: 5 (1916 words) Published: March 6, 2008
The movie "Fletch", staring Chevy Chase, is a movie about an investigating reporter for a Los Angeles newspaper, Erwin Fletcher "Fletch", loitering around a beach in attempt to pass as a beach junkie with the intention of getting to the bottom of the drug trade and attempting to figure out who is behind the whole thing. While "working" the beaches, Fletch runs into a businessman who asks him to murder him so his wife will inherit the life insurance policy. Fletch, being the investigative reporter senses something fishy and does what he does best, investigates the situation. Along the way, Fletch commits many illegal acts and crimes in attempt to get to the bottom of the situation. Although his intentions are good, Fletch gets into a lot of trouble. At the very beginning of the movie Fletch, Alan Stanwyck approaches "Fletch" and asks him to join him in a meeting to offer him a proposition. After accepting $1,000 dollars cash just to listen to Stanwycks proposition, Fletch meets with him at Stanwycks house. Stanwyck explains to Fletch that he wants him to murder Stanwyck in his own house. Stanwyck details that he is dying from bone cancer and does not want to suffer through the pain any longer. He says he can not commit suicide because his life insurance policy would be null and void. Fletch accepts the proposition, agreeing to murder Stanwyck in exchange for $50,000 and a safe way out of the country. There are a couple things I found in this scene that show Fletch committing multiple crimes. The most obvious crime committed was Criminal Conspiracy to commit murder. According to Section 5.03 of the Model Penal Code, one is guilty of criminal conspiracy if he/she agrees with another person that one or more of them will engage in conduct that constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime. In other words, criminal conspiracy is an agreement between two persons to commit an unlawful act or to use unlawful means to accomplish an act that is not unlawful. In this particular situation, by Fletch and Stanwyck making an agreement for Fletch to murder Stanwyck, they are agreeing to commit an unlawful act. The only hanger on the books regarding criminal conspiracy in this situation is required intent. It is not known at this point of the movie weather Fletch has the actual intent to murder Stanwyck, at the same time at this point of the movie also believe Stanwyck has the intent to go through with such a crime. As we move on in the movie, we realize that charging both with criminal conspiracy might not be realistic simply because the required intent is lacking. Although at the time it appears criminal conspiracy to commit murder is obvious, as the movie goes on we learn that there can not be conspiracy charges filed here. One of the most obvious scenes in which Fletch commits a criminal act, is when he orders drinks on Mr. Underhill's tab. In this scene, Fletch is walking around a country club, in which he in not a member of trying to find Mrs. Stanwyck, in order to gather more information. While walking through, Fletch overhears a waiter being yelled at and hears the waiter call the customer Mr. Underhill. Fletch remembers this name and when another waiter approaches Fletch to get his drink order, he puts the drinks on Mr. Underhill's bill. Fletch actually does this in multiple scenes, including when he orders caviar, lobster and two bottles of Dom Perignon for lunch. When first watching this movie I thought it was funny that he could get away with this, but never realized how big of a crime Fletch was actually committing. According to Section 223.0 of the Model Penal Code, theft is described as the withholding of property of another for an extended period of time, making it unlikely the owner will recover it. In this scenario, Fletch knowingly takes both food and drink from Mr. Underhill, without intent of paying it back or giving it to Mr. Underhill. Since the total amount stolen exceeds...
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