Outside the Harbor Park movies near the Inner Harbor, theater-goers were critiquing the stars in a riveting drama unfolding in Washington.
With regard to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing involving Judge Clarence Thomas and his former employee, Anita F. Hill, it was not difficult to find a man or woman in the street with an opinion.
"I believe in Thomas," said Allen Horne, 27, a vent-cleaning sales lTC representative. "Why did [Hill] take so long to come forward?
He said Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed Thurgood Marshall should be based on his relationship with the majority of women with whom he's worked, not just one.
Horne dismissed the fact that Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, had passed a lie detector test yesterday. "If I told the same lie for the last  years, I'd believe it by now," he said.
The test wasn't approved by the Senate and the results were ruled legally inadmissible to the hearings.
Tomorrow, the Senate is scheduled to vote on whether Thomas will become the nation's second black Supreme Court justice.
Meanwhile, a thousand theories blossom.
"Mr. Thomas, I think, is definitely holding back" on what really happened, said a woman who gave her name only as Verna, 37. "He's trying to protect his good name."
"She just wanted to get even with him," said Steve Veletsis, 41, an importer-exporter, of Hill. He believes the two were sexually involved and that Thomas may have dumped her for another woman.
"I don't think she's mentally unstable," said Berit Browne, 36, an account executive, as she sat in a Mercedes-Benz last night, speaking of Hill, who worked for Thomas at the U.S. Department of Education and later at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "But I haven't formulated an opinion. We have two very creditable and very professional people . . . that's why it's difficult to make a decision."
Ernestine Briggs, 34, said she could sympathize with both the accuser and the accused.
"I feel sympathetic toward him, because his career is on the line," she said. "And I give her a lot of respect as a female for getting in front of the television and saying what happened."
Her friend, Lisa Williams, 29, agreed with those who feel the sena
tors should have handled the procedure differently. "It should have been done behind closed doors," she said. "Don't have the man on TV telling all his business."