Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sexiest Man Alive To Play Jake Ehrlich in "Howl"


Sexiest Man Alive To Play Jake Ehrlich

In 2008, People Magazine voted Mad Men TV Show star Jon Hamm to be on their list for the sexiest man alive. Jon Hamm will be playing Jake Ehrlich in the upcoming major motion picture named "Howl."

Howl is being produced by Academy Award nominated dirctor, Gus Van Sant. Gus Van Sant directed, Good Will Hunting and most recently, MILK. The movie was written and will be directed by the Academy Award winning team of Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman.

"Howl" is taken from the famous 1956 poem written by Allen Ginsberg (1927-1997). In 1957, poet and owner of San Francisco's City Lights bookstore, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who is 90 today, was Censored and charged with obscenity for selling "Howl."

Many major literary figures served as defense witnesses in the case. Jake Ehrlich defended Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti and won the case. Lawrence Ferlinghetti faced a $500 fine and 6 months in jail for publishing Allen Ginsberg's poem. The ACLU stepped in and hired Jake Ehrlich to represent Ferlinghetti. Jake Ehrlich took the case pro-bono and ended up writing a book about it named "Howl of the Censor."

James Franco (MILK) is set to play Allen Ginsberg and Jon Hamm (pictured below), the star of the TV show, "Mad Men," will play Jake Ehrlich, and the movie is set to open next year.



The Howl Trial

The fifth number in the Pocket Poets Series was Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. The book was seized in 1956 by San Francisco police. Ferlinghetti and Shig Murao, the bookstore manager who had sold the book to police, were arrested on obscenity charges. After charges against Murao were dropped, Ferlinghetti, defended by Jake Ehrlich and the ACLU, stood trial in SF Municipal court.

The publicity generated by the trial drew national attention to San Francisco Renaissance and Beat movement writers. Ferlinghetti had the support of prestigious literary and academic figures, and, at the end of a long trial, Judge Clayton Horn found Howl not obscene and acquitted him in October 1957.


The landmark First Amendment case established a key legal precedent for the publication of other controversial literary work with redeeming social importance.

The way Jake Ehrlich won the case was by reading from a bible that he had camouflaged to make it look like a normal book and he read vulgar excerpts from it without the jury knowing what it was.

Years later Jake Ehrlich got Jack Kerouac out of San Quentin on a writ of habeus corpus.

Jake Ehrlich is pictured above with Lawrence Ferlinghetti who owns City lights book store.

2 comments:

Astranama said...

heard about this lawyer on KSFO 560's Barbara Simpson show ... justice for all..

Heather said...

Hi there - do you know where I can find some of the books by The Master? Also, I am originally also from Maryland and wondered if your family was related to Robert Ehrlich, the former governor of MD?