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 »
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 »
Through a combination of re-enactments and actual footage, sensational true crimes are followed from their commission, through the investigation and apprehension of the suspected criminal, ... See full summary »
David Koster is an obsessive New York City assistant district attorney who gets into trouble because of his passion for justice. His boss, Anthony Celese, tries to keep him under control ... See full summary »
Howard Da Silva,
Tony Petrocelli is an Italian-American Harvard-educated lawyer who gave up the big money and frenetic pace of major-metropolitan life to practice in a sleepy city in the American Southwest.... See full summary »
The Rifleman (1958) was scheduled for a sixth season in 1963 when Chuck Connors said he felt that five years in one series was enough. He was considered a hot property at the time due to its success. "Eager for a change," he wanted to break out of the western mold. Connors signed a lucrative seven-year deal with Universal/Revue Studios that gave him profit participation and allowed him to do at least one feature film a year. "Arrest & Trial" was the first project he committed to under his new contract. Originally slated to play Sgt. Anderson, the Ben Gazzara part, Connors lobbied for and received the part of John Egan, a slick, top-flight criminal defense attorney. Gazzara, on the other hand, had a number of impressive Broadway plays and Hollywood films to his credit but had resisted doing a TV series because, in those days, it could damage an actor's chances to appear on the big screen. However, Gazzara said that Broadway hadn't made him rich and the film offers were not exactly rolling in. So, he signed for "Arrest & Trial" for the financial security and exposure. Both actors were reportedly paid $7,500 a week and Gazzara, like Connors, enjoyed profit participation. 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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?