Studio One in Hollywood: Season 9, Episode 20

The Defender: Part 1 (25 Feb. 1957)
"Studio One" The Defender: Part 1 (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 55 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 1 critic

A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father ... See full summary »



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Title: The Defender: Part 1 (25 Feb 1957)

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Episode credited cast:
Francis Toohey
Rudy Bond ...
Peter D'Agostino
Herself / Commercial Spokeswoman
Russell Hardie ...
1st Guard
Michael Higgins ...
Sergeant James Sheeley
Mary Ellen Bailey
John McGovern ...
Dr. Horace Bell
Joseph Gordon (as Steven McQueen)
Vivian Nathan ...
Mrs. Gordon
Betsy Fuller
Milton Selzer ...
2nd Guard
David J. Stewart ...
Dr. Victor Wallach
Arthur Storch ...
Seymour Miller


A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father while the prosecution puts on a dramatic and convincing argument of guilt. Written by Flotis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

25 February 1957 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ed Asner's TV debut. See more »


Featured in Boston Legal: Son of the Defender (2007) See more »


Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
See more »

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User Reviews

Awfully good.
13 December 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Apparently, this two-part episode of "Studio One" was meant as a pilot for a potential new series. Oddly, it was picked up--but only several years later and with an entirely new cast. This show gives us a sneak peek at might have been.

This show is about two attorneys--a father and son in the same law firm. The father (Ralph Bellamy) is a rather conservative defense attorney--and one who has a hard time defending anyone who he thinks is guilty (though don't you assume this is something he SHOULD have worked out considering how long he was in practice?!). His client is a rather impulsive and annoyingly written young Steve McQueen--who seems to spend most of his time either sulking or exploding! The other attorney (William Shatner) is less conventional than his father and aches to be given the proper respect he deserves--but his father often treats him more like his son than a colleague. There is MUCH more to the plot, but I won't get into that--it's something you can see for yourself.

Here's what I liked about it in a nutshell. The father and son were both well-written and acted. Shatner is more subtle than usual and Bellamy is ALWAYS wonderful. I also liked the ambiguity about the show--you never really know if the defendant is guilty or not. This vagueness will no doubt annoy some, but I loved that the show did not seek to provide answers--just stir up great questions. On the negative side, I already mentioned McQueen. His character was rather one-dimensional and it's hard to tell if the actor didn't yet know how to act or if his part was just written badly. But apart from this, it's very good--and well worth seeing. Plus, it gives you a chance to see Martin Balsam with hair as well as a tiny glimpse at Ed Asner (also with hair) as one of the jurors--but you have to look closely to see him.

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