IMDb > Doing Life (1986) (TV)

Doing Life (1986) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Doing Life -- 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.


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Steve Bello (book)
Steve Bello (teleplay)
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Release Date:
23 September 1986 (USA) See more »
Tony Danza stars in this riveting drama based on the true story of Jerry Rosenberg - the world's first convict turned attorney... See more » | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
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  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Tony Danza ... Jerry Rosenberg
Jon DeVries ... Warden Felber (as Jon De Vries)
Alvin Epstein ... Lou Rosenberg
Mitchell Jason

Lisa Langlois ... Rose-Ann Rosenberg

Rocco Sisto ... Anthony Portelli
Dawn Greenhalgh (as Dawn Greenhall)

Dan Lauria ... Lieutenant Lubway

Ken Pogue ... Probes (as Kenneth Pogue)

Allan Royal
John Randolph Jones ... Stabler

Reginald VelJohnson ... Taylor (as Reginald Vel Johnson)
Mara Hobel ... Rachel, age 15

Frank Pesce ... Red Hot
Angelo Rizacos ... Kemper

Gary Farmer ... First Prisoner

Michael J. Reynolds ... Parole Bd. Member

Charles Woods Gray ... Parole Bd. Member (as Charles Gray)
Paul Soles ... Epstein
Henry Ramer ... Edelbaum
Larry Reynolds ... Judge Kellogg
Peter Jobin ... D.A. Seltzer

John Friesen ... Dr. Frederick
Warren Davis ... Dr. Hampton

A.C. Peterson ... Cudmore (as Alar Aedma)
Guy Sanvido ... Samuelson
Neil Dainard ... Bennett
James Bearden ... Guard
Dee McCafferty ... Proctor (as Dee Francis McCafferty)

Eugene Clark ... Wiggins (as Eugene A. Clark)
Gene Mack ... Freddie

Aaron Schwartz ... Murray Auerbach
Robert O'Ree ... Luther
Jennifer Gula ... Rachel, age 8
J. Winston Carroll ... Editor (as John Winston Carroll)
David Bolt ... D.A. Coleman

Clark Johnson ... T.V. Reporter
Vito Rezza ... Carmelo

Tony De Santis ... Sal

Louis Ferreira ... Bobby (as Justin Louis)
Jack Duffy ... Jury Foreman

Jorge Montesi ... Latino Translator (as Jorge Montessi)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Timothy Skulish ... Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Gene Reynolds 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Steve Bello  book
Steve Bello  teleplay

Produced by
Tony Danza .... co-executive producer
Julian Marks .... producer
Burt Metcalfe .... supervising producer
Gene Reynolds .... executive producer
Original Music by
Arthur B. Rubinstein  (as Arthur B. Rubenstein)
Cinematography by
Miklós Lente 
Film Editing by
Christopher Nelson 
Art Direction by
Gavin Mitchell 
Set Decoration by
Enrico Campana 
Costume Design by
Mary Jane McCarty 
Makeup Department
Inge Klaudi .... makeup artist
Diane Smith .... hair stylist
Production Management
Stéphane Reichel .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Otta Hanus .... first assistant director
Jacques Hubert .... second assistant director
Art Department
Helen Field .... prop buyer
Jackie Field .... property master
Adrian Hardy .... props
Rolf Harvey .... assistant art director
David Maltese .... assistant prop buyer
Sound Department
Douglas Ganton .... sound mixer
Clancy T. Troutman .... supervising sound editor
Reynald Trudel .... boom operator
Shane Cardwell .... stunt coordinator
Steve Lucescu .... stunts (uncredited)
Branko Racki .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Allen .... gaffer
Christophe Bonnière .... focus puller
Gabriele DiChiara .... electrician
Paul Gravel .... focus puller
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carol Wood .... costume supervisor
Location Management
Jesse Cohoon .... location manager
Other crew
Joanne T. Harwood .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
100 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Author: rsoonsa ( from Mountain Mesa, California

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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