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The Defenders: Choice of Evils (1998)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  18 January 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 73 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Series of new films on Showtime based on the old tv series finds the lawyers having to defend a journalist charged in a wrongful death. However, because of a bureaucratic screw-up, he is ... See full summary »



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Title: The Defenders: Choice of Evils (TV Movie 1998)

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E.G. Marshall returns as the head of the law firm that he portrayed in the 1961 to 1965 tv series. This time his partners are his son (Bridges) and his granddaughter (Plimpton). This is ... See full summary »

Director: Andy Wolk
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The Defenders (1961–1965)
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A Father-Son lawyer duo take a variety of cases that often deal with the important issues of the day.

Stars: E.G. Marshall, Robert Reed, Polly Rowles


Cast overview, first billed only:
D.A. Al Orsini
Jeanne Baptiste
David Hemblen
Sarah Casey
Jack Casey
Camille Preston
Christopher Redmond ...
Chloe Brown ...
Kelly Preston
Brian Clarke
Robert Thomas ...
William McAstin
Sally McAstin


Series of new films on Showtime based on the old tv series finds the lawyers having to defend a journalist charged in a wrongful death. However, because of a bureaucratic screw-up, he is accidentally freed from prison which sets him on the run and into an incident in which a policeman is killed during an attempt to re-capture him. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Defenders  »

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Did You Know?


E.G. Marshall's final filmed acting project. See more »


Follows The Defenders: Payback (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful possibilities, strong cast, disappointing failure.
1 May 1999 | by (Lucas Buck, NC) – See all my reviews

Great cast, including E.G. Marshall in a reprise of his role in the 60's TV series, John Laroquette, Beau Bridges, Mark Blum, good premise, familiar territory--more than enough for a good-ole courtroom whodunit.

But this presentation begins to unnerve almost immediately. Martha Plimpton's upstart young attorney is so annoying, it throws the whole meter of the drama off the rails, time after time.

Her dialogue is so trite, so predictable, that it gives the viewer absolutely no room to let her character provide the conflict that's necessary to give the story some depth. Her delivery is so harsh you almost reach for the volume-down button every time she speaks.

Lack of subtlety, in the story, and the dialogue are really the major culprits, Even the scenes without Plimpton are cliché, and heavy-handed. Plimpton's performance is merely the cherry on top.

It's a real shame.

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