Lawrence is called to a luncheon with six Korean War Air Force veterans, ostensibly for legal advice. But soon after he arrives he learns the real reason: they want him to act as defense ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Lawrence Preston
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Kenneth Preston (credit only)
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Douglas
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Colonel Miller
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McFadden
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Sheridan
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Watts
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Kryhoski
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Waiter
William Griffis ...
Hotel Clerk
Roger Burris ...
Policeman
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Storyline

Lawrence is called to a luncheon with six Korean War Air Force veterans, ostensibly for legal advice. But soon after he arrives he learns the real reason: they want him to act as defense counsel as they "try" one of the group for treason because they believe he gave secrets to the enemy under torture. Written by rbecker28

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21 April 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Gene Wilder's first filmed performance. See more »

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"The Rack" revisited
10 October 2016 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

Paul Newman first became a star when he played Rockey Graziano in Somebody Up there Likes Me in 1956 but he solidified his status with his next film that year, The Rack, playing a Korean War veteran who cracked under psychological torture by the Communists. This episode of the Defenders may have been partially inspired by that.

It's another Kangaroo Court story as Lawrence Preston is called to a hotel room by a group of veterans to offer legal advice on creating a veteran's organization. Their real purpose is to assist them in putting one of their members on trial to see who cracked and told the Commies where the partisan group they were delivering supplies to would meet them. Preston reluctantly agrees to help when the accused says he wants to go through with it to clear himself. This produces a strange scene where the man at first tries to escape and then announces his desire to be tried in the next breath. It's not a very convincing set up but the resulting drama is very good, with a couple of good twists at the end.

The underlying theme is that all men have their limits and how can we judge them when we don't know our own? As usual, there's a cast full of familiar faces, with Lee Philips, (the movie version of Peyton Place), Robert Weber, (another alumni of the movie version of Twelve Angry Men), H. M. Wynant, Woodrow Parfey, Michael Conrad, (much later of "Hill Street Blues"), and, in a brief turn as a waiter, a very young Gene Wilder, RIP.


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