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Doing Life (1986)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama | TV Movie 23 September 1986
Tony Danza stars in this riveting drama based on the true story of Jerry Rosenberg - the world's first convict turned attorney. When two cops are dead, and he's the chief suspect, Jerry ... See full summary »

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(book), (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jerry Rosenberg
Jon DeVries ...
Warden Felber (as Jon De Vries)
Alvin Epstein ...
Lou Rosenberg
Mitchell Jason
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Rose-Ann Rosenberg
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Anthony Portelli
Dawn Greenhalgh ...
(as Dawn Greenhall)
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Lieutenant Lubway
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Probes (as Kenneth Pogue)
John Randolph Jones ...
Stabler
...
Taylor (as Reginald Vel Johnson)
Mara Hobel ...
Rachel, age 15
...
Red Hot
Angelo Rizacos ...
Kemper
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Storyline

Tony Danza stars in this riveting drama based on the true story of Jerry Rosenberg - the world's first convict turned attorney. When two cops are dead, and he's the chief suspect, Jerry finds himself in a maximum security prison awaiting the death penalty. One night, as a fellow inmate is executed, Jerry resolves to save himself by studying law. Written by Anonymous

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Biography | Drama

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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23 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Truth or Die  »

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1.33 : 1
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CHRONICLE OF A PRISONER RIGHTS SPOKESMAN.
10 December 2003 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews



A book by Steve Bello is the basis for this product that relates of the incarceration in New York State prisons of Jerome "Jerry" Rosenberg, convicted for the homicide of two New York City policeman during a holdup, but who denies guilt as he was committing another robbery at the time, and of his refusal to be silenced that resulted in his being released from death row thanks to his discovery of a litigatory loophole. Rosenberg, a self-obsessed career criminal, refers to himself as "America's Greatest Jailhouse Lawyer", and although this will strike many as a somewhat dubious distinction, prisons are heavily populated with individuals poring over publications of the law, while Rosenberg actually does manage to catalogue specific abuses and instances of corruption within New York's justice and prison systems. Also released as TRUTH OR DIE, this Canadian-made film stars Tony Danza as the self-educated Rosenberg, and he tries hard to create a part, but he is worsted by general weakness in production values that bring forth a shallowly episodic structure marked by attempts to cover too many events and relationships while minimizing Rosenberg's legal strategies that save him from the electric chair, as well as his effort to arbitrate the 1971 Attica rebellion. There are good turns from Jon De Vries as a prison warden and Dan Lauria as a corrections officer supervisor, Gene Reynolds directs capably and is lent solid support from the camerawork of Miklos Lente, the editing of Christopher Nelson and polished sound mixing is supplied by Douglas Ganton; therefore, accountability for the piece's overweening triteness must be attributed to a script that simply endeavours to cram too much into a documentary flavoured time component hampered by obvious budgetary limitations.


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