Ben Gazzara, who stood about 5'10, had never seen The Rifleman 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 »
Created by Earl Bellamy, "Arrest and Trial" was an early attempt to meld, a la "Law and Order", the processes of apprehending criminals, then following the legal system as the cases would be resolved. As 'cop' shows and 'lawyer' shows were among television's most popular genres at the time, ABC and Universal thought the program would be a major hit, and provided first-class talent both in front of, and behind the camera.
The 'Arrest' phase starred 33-year old Ben Gazzara, a highly respected actor who had made his mark on Broadway in "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof", and in film, in ANATOMY OF A MURDER. Possessing a quick, analytical mind, and a wry sense of humor, Gazzara's 'Nick Anderson' would quickly cut through alibis, and make arrests, aided by fellow detectives Roger Perry ("Harrigan and Son") and Noah Keen ("The Crimebusters").
The 'Trial' phase returned TV's "Rifleman", Chuck Connors, to the small screen, as John Egan, an intimidating yet sensitive attorney, and featured veteran actors John Larch (WRITTEN ON THE WIND) and John Kerr (SOUTH PACIFIC) as D.A.s representing the State.
While not as intellectual as "The Defenders", "Arrest and Trial" was unique as either side could win or lose a case, as opposed to Perry Mason's nearly flawless record. This was heady stuff for the early sixties!
Unfortunately, being on television's 'Number 3' network did the series in, as ABC had a much harder time attracting viewers than CBS and NBC, particularly when the program was promoted as 'quality'.
It would take 30 years before "Law and Order" could make the formula work!
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