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Rx for the Defense (1973)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  15 April 1973 (USA)
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Doctor-turned-lawyer Zack Clinton specializes in legal cases involving medical issues. He tries to free a psychiatrist from a mental hospital where he has been committed because he supposedly tried to kill himself.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Zack Clinton
Nancy Malone ...
Laura Masters
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Al Moore
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Dr. Daniel Kemper
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Hilda Kempter
Milton Selzer ...
Dr. Schwartz
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Dr. Packer
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District Attorney Horn
Marge Elliot ...
Marge
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Doctor-turned-lawyer Zack Clinton specializes in legal cases involving medical issues. He tries to free a psychiatrist from a mental hospital where he has been committed because he supposedly tried to kill himself.

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Drama

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15 April 1973 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A lawyer show pilot from the producer of "The Defenders"
13 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

Herbert Brodkin was a brilliant TV producer ("Playhouse 90", "The Defenders", "For the People", "The Nurses", "Holocaust", "Missles of October"). Everything Brodkin touched had quality. But this series pilot seemed conceived not to sell (although it was also a quality effort).

First, the hero was an MD turned attorney. Just how many stories can you tell involving the law AND medicine? Not enough to justify the conceit. The hero should have just been a flamboyant, charismatic defense attorney. Forget the medical angle.

Second, the casting of the lead was weak. Tim O'Connor is a great actor who worked repeatedly for Brodkin on "The Defenders" and "The Nurses" and created a memorable character on "Peyton Place". But he just wasn't colorful or distinctive enough here to justify a series. My guess is they would have liked Hal Holbrook, who had just done "Pueblo" for Brodkin. But they needed someone bigger than life for their hero/attorney-the way Telly Savalas was on "Kojak". Frankly, I can't think of too many ideal fits. Some ideas might be Paul Sorvino, Pernell Roberts,William Devane, Jack Cassidy, Rip Torn, Sam Elliott, Roy Thinnes, or Lou Gossett.

Third, Ronny Cox was too bland a second lead (although he again is a fine actor). Why not a woman second lead, such as Diana Muldaur, Carol Rossen, Vera Miles, Diane Baker or Salome Jens?

Fourth, the script by the great Ernest Kinoy was about a Thomas Szasz like maverick psychiatrist (Fritz Weaver) who doesn't believe in mental illness. Not a bad concept, but why not a murder mystery for the pilot? I think Brodkin and company were too good to sex up their shows. But a little sex and showmanship wouldn't have hurt. If anyone could have created a great legal drama for the 70's, it should have been Brodkin.


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