Arriving in Washington, a freshman senator gets an experienced advisor who warns him not to continue a heated feud with his state's senior salon, held over from his father. But later in a ... See full summary »

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(as Franklin Schaffner)

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(written especially for Studio One by)
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Senator James Norton
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Jack Feeney
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Senator Harvey Rogers
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Margaret Norton
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Frank Norton - Retired Senator
Peter Turgeon ...
Humphreys - Reporter
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Senator George Smithson
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Paul Brenson ...
Announcer (voice)
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Herself - Commercial Spokeswoman
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Storyline

Arriving in Washington, a freshman senator gets an experienced advisor who warns him not to continue a heated feud with his state's senior salon, held over from his father. But later in a drunken jag, he blurts out secret evidence that can end the career of the older man. Written by WesternOne

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Drama

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9 April 1956 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Rod Serling Gives Chester Morris His Perfect Role
21 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wendell Corey, the son of a forcibly retired politician, is appointed as a caretaker Senator. Is he fit to do battle in THE ARENA that is the US Senate, with the help of veteran aide Chester Morris?

Chester Morris is one of those actors whose reputation might be helped if there weren't a Turner Classic Movies. This is because, in the 40s, Mr. Morris often starred as the obnoxious Boston Blackie, who, when not solving his crimes in black-face (yes, really), smirked his way through a lot of stupid comic mysteries. And those are the movies TCM keeps playing.

To this role, Morris brings what is often visible in his 30s movies, an always present surface cockiness, tempered by experience. Here, he has to attempt to play the worldly counselor to a daddy's boy senator, who might be a good man, if he can just escape his father's influence. He nails the part (which is written beautifully) and helps turn a somewhat preachy script into something more interesting. Wendell Corey gives an average performance, and others are just fine too.

Of course, the show ends with a moral crisis, solved happily. In the politics of 2016, rest assured the morally pleasing answer Mr. Serling gives us would not have been considered by any politician actually thinking of his future. For that reason, the ending may seem too pat to modern audiences. Not sure that is a judgment a 1956 viewer would have made.


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