The life and career of Clarence Darrow, the noted American lawyer and civil libertarian.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Tracey ...
Eugene Prendergast
Gerard Malone ...
Young Paul Darrow
Jessie Darrow
Harry Goz ...
Marvin Hughitt
Eugene Debs
Bill Alton ...
Michael Lewis ...
Jack Dolan
Larry John Meyers ...
Judge Grosscup
Don Wadsworth ...
Thomas Milchrist
Neil Vipond ...
Edward Lorber
Frances Foster ...
Elsa Jackson
John Christopher Jones ...
Edgar Lee Masters
Lillian Anderson


In the 1890s, Clarence Darrow was a corporate railroad lawyer who had a crisis of conscience when he saw the plight of the underprivileged. In response, Darrow quits to fight in the courts on their behalf. In a career that would mark him as the Lawyer for the Damned, we follow Darrow's life through his highs like his labor victories to the low of the hopeless McNamara trial that got him indicted for jury tampering. After all that, he rebuilds his life as a master criminal defense lawyer that would lead him to one of his greatest cases with the Leopold and Loeb trial. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (

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Biography | Drama





Release Date:

8 June 1991 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Clarence Darrow: [I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love]
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A Word Of Warning
9 June 2003 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

I saw this on DVD; " Another breathtaking performance from the Oscar winning star of American Beauty . Kevin Spacey is Darrow " screamed the DVD cover . Turning the case over Kevin Spacey`s resume is the most prominent feature pointing out all he films he`s won awards for . Ironically for a true life film about truth and justice and law the DVD case doesn`t point out that DARROW is a TVM from 1991 when Kevin Spacey wasn`t a household name in his own household . Slightly naughty in my opinion to market this DVD as a sort of star vehicle for one of Hollywood`s biggest stars

But as TVMs go this is pretty good . The production values are good as we see horsedrawn carriages traveling through the streets of America a hundred years ago . But as you may expect DARROW does suffer from a few flaws . First of all there`s maybe too many court cases involved to do them all justice . For example the McNamara bombing case and its consequences seems to have enough time dedicated to it , but the Eugene Debs case would have benefitted from more screentime while the summing up of the infamous Leopold / Loeb case takes up more screen time than the case itself , while the scopes monkey trial " My father`s most famous case " isn`t shown onscreen and is relegated to a voice over . Secondly Spacey seems to be sleep walking through most of the film . He`s by no means a bad actor but I do find him slightly overrated and in DARROW I failed to find much indication of star quality . Best acting performance is by Chris Cooper ( Yes that one ) an actor who`s as underrated as Spacey is overrated .

All in all a good TVM . If you`re a Spacey fan you`ll certainly like DARROW. If you`re not a Spacey fan you`ll still find positive points . Just remember that it`s a TVM made before Spacey was famous and you won`t be disappointed

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the 'grain' of the film... SusanHampson
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