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 »
Youngblood Hawke is a truck driver from Kentucky who comes to New York City to become a hot-shot writer. Almost immediately, he meets editor Jeanne Green. She sees great promise in Hawke's ... 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,
This groundbreaking series had three rotating stars, who were featured in independent episodes tied together by a loose common theme. The commonality was Howard Publications, the self-made ... See full summary »
Susan Saint James,
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 »
Although Chuck Connors was considered to be miscast as an attorney, much of the failure of "Arrest & Trial" to live up to its potential was allegedly due to interference in the show's writing by producer Frank P. Rosenberg. Connors is said to have butted heads many times with management over this, as well as its treatment of the show's staff (he once walked off the set until the studio resumed providing free coffee and donuts for the crew). Rosenberg was said to have a stack of "Arrest & Trial" scripts written by some of the top writers in Hollywood that were ignored in favor of scripts that were increasingly mediocre. "Arrest & Trial" was also in one of the worst possible time slots, competing against Bonanza (1959), The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) and The Judy Garland Show (1963). When "Arrest & Trial" folded after one season, Connors and Universal/Revue severed their contract by "mutual agreement." A year later, Connors was back on TV in another western, Branded (1965) that, oddly enough, ran in the same unenviable time slot as "Arrest & Trial" but managed to last two seasons. Gazzara returned to enjoy a three-year in the TV series Run for Your Life (1965), before appearing in three critically acclaimed films directed by his friend, independent film pioneer John Cassavetes. See more »
The 30 episodes (all in B&W) of the 90-minute crime drama "Arrest and Trial" originally ran on ABC during its 1963-1964 broadcast season. The new three-disc DVD set includes nine of the episodes: #3, #4, #7, #11 (guest starring Martin Sheen and Michael Parks), # 15 (guest starring Mickey Rooney), #21, #22 (guest starring Nick Adams), #23, #30; seemingly taken at random from the series.
The series was an innovative concept as it was essentially broken down by the words in its title. During the first 45 minutes of each episode LA detective Nick Anderson (Ben Gazzara) would solve the crime, arrest the perpetrator(s), and hand them over for trial. The second half concerned defense attorney John Egan's (Chuck Connors) attempts to get them acquitted.
That Egan was for the defense and not the prosecution was what made the series unique. Guilt or innocence thus became a relative term. With better writing it could been a great series (think "Hill Street Blues" where the public defender is involved in a romance with the Precinct Captain). Unfortunately rather than actually working in opposition to each other most of the episodes featured little if any interplay between Anderson and Egan. So what you got was more like a 45-minute cop show followed by a 45-minute lawyer show; with the only point in common being the same guest star(s); whose character might just as well have had different names for all it would have mattered.
The series tried to hold the cop show fans over for the second half by ingeniously breaking the show at the quarter hour when it was too late to change channels and watch something else. It must not have worked very well because the ratings were too low to support a second season.
Gazzara was excellent but Connors was horribly miscast. Most likely someone who is seeing Connors' various shows for the first time is mystified than he got so much television work in 1960's. All I can say is that a lot of people were just as mystified then.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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