The story of Clarence Earl Gideon and his fight for the right to have publicly funded legal counsel for the needy.

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(book), (teleplay)
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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Clarence Earl Gideon
...
...
Chief Justice / Offscreen Narrator
...
Edna Curtis
...
1st Supreme Court Justice
...
Sixth Supreme Court Justice
...
Jacob
...
5th Supreme Court Justice
...
Fred Turner
Richard McKenzie ...
Judge Robert McCrary
Dolph Sweet ...
Charlie
Ford Rainey ...
2nd Supreme Court Justice
...
Abe Krash
...
Harris
Les Lannom ...
Bobby Earle
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Storyline

True story of Clarence Gideon's fight to be appointed counsel at the expense of the state. This landmark case led to the Supreme Court's decision which extended this right to all criminal defendants. Written by Steve Walker <swalker@ionet.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

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Release Date:

30 April 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Gideon's Trumpet (#29.3)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes five Oscar winners: Henry Fonda, José Ferrer, John Houseman, Dean Jagger and Edmund H. North; and one Oscar nominee: Sam Jaffe See more »

Goofs

In the filmography for Dean Jagger in the extras on the DVD, the picture of one of the other actors playing Supreme Court Justices has been substituted for his. See more »

Quotes

Abe Fortas: [summarizing his argument before the Supreme Court] I think Betts vs. Brady was wrong when it was decided. I think time has made that clear. And I think that the time has come that the correct rule, the civilized rule, the rule of individualism, the rule of due process must be stated by this Court.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

 
excellent historical drama
18 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I consider myself well-educated but had never heard of this story until now. I had no idea that the right to have an attorney even if you cannot afford one was established so recently in 1963.

I had heard of the attorney Abe Fortas, but didn't know his role in this story. The name that should be more well-known is Clarence Gideon, the man to thank for pursuing his right to a court-appointed attorney.

The film simplifies the events that took place over more than two years, but it really holds your attention and shows the injustice of trials where the defendant could not afford an attorney and was often convicted without proper pursuit of the truth.


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