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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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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