Don Corey and Jed Sills operate Checkmate, Inc., a very high priced detective agency in San Francisco. Helping them protect the lives of their clients is British criminologist (once an Oxford professor) Carl Hyatt.
Neil Brock is a young social worker in the slums of New York City; his boss is Frieda Hechlinger; and Jane Foster is the office secretary. This dramatic series features stories about child ... See full summary »
George C. Scott,
Amos Burke was a Los Angeles chief of detectives who was also a millionaire with a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, a mansion, and a high-wheeling lifestyle. The hallmarks of this series were ... See full summary »
In the 1880s Jason McCord travels the country trying to prove he's no coward. He needs to do this because the military career of this West point graduate came to an end when he was thrown out of the army after being accused of cowardice.
Ben Gazzara plays a successful lawyer who is told by his doctor in the first episode that he will die in one to two years. He decides to do all of the things he has never had time for. The ... See full summary »
Captain Matt Holbrook leads a squad of brave and tough detectives in a large, unnamed city. Instead of leading personal lives, they spend all of their time tracking murderers, thieves, ... See full summary »
The show consisted of 40 episodes, half were live and half were on film. The shows, often involving murder, were designed to confuse and mystify the audience and dealt with their fears and ... See full summary »
Ken, Dave and Sandy are three hip private detectives living on and working out of a houseboat in Miami, Florida. A yacht, belonging to socialite Daphne, is anchored next to their houseboat.... See full summary »
Ben Gazzara, who stood about 5'10, had never seen The Rifleman (1958) and had no idea that his costar, Chuck Connors, stood 6'6". Various "tricks" were used to minimize the disparity in their sizes but sometimes filming the two standing together was unavoidable. "And there we were," Gazzara recalled. "The giant and me." See more »
Sometimes melodramatic, but intelligent and very well acted early 1960s U.S. TV series, that obviously served as the inspiration for "Law & Order".
Like "L & O" this is divided into 2 parts; "Arrest" where cop Ben Gazzara tracks down the person seemingly guilty of that week's crime and "Trial" where Chuck Connors defends them.
Having the 2nd half be from the defense point-of-view, not the prosecutor's makes the show different than "Law and Order", and arguably more interesting. It makes blatant how much of the legal system exists in shades of gray.
It's not surprising that Ben Gazzara is very, very good as cop Nick Anderson, making him more complex and interesting than your basic TV detective of the era. What caught me off- guard was that Connors as successful attorney John Egan, just about matches him. Unlike Gazzara, Connors was never taken that seriously as an actor,. But he shows a lot here as a top notch, somewhat cynical lawyer. Beyond the two leads, the guest casts were often very strong as well.
It's partly because these were 90 minutes episodes on TV, so each show runs about 75 minutes of screen time, as opposed to the standard TV drama that runs an hour, which means about 45-60 minutes of actual story. With the extra time, the writers fleshed out the characters, both regulars and guests, much more fully than on most non-serialized dramas.
So even if there are plot or logic holes (like charging a man with 1st degree murder, instead of a much more logical 2nd degree or manslaughter, so the trial can be about the issue of "intent" ) it feels more like you're watching a solid, well acted B-film each episode, instead of an early TV series. And the series has a nice mix of dark edginess and humanism.
Yes, the score can be painfully over-the-top, and some of the resolutions are too neat, but I'd still say this holds up favorably to a lot of the modern U.S. character cop and/or lawyer shows of today.
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