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The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973)

A homicide detective begins to suspect that the black teenager accused of murdering two white girls is being framed by his fellow detectives.


Joseph Sargent


Abby Mann, Selwyn Raab (book)

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Telly Savalas ... Lt. Theo Kojak
Marjoe Gortner ... Teddy Hopper
José Ferrer ... Jake Weinhaus (as Jose Ferrer)
Ned Beatty ... Det. Dan Corrigan
Allen Garfield ... Mario Portello
Lorraine Gary ... Ruthie
Roger Robinson ... Bobby Martin
Harriet Karr Harriet Karr ... Cindy
Gene Woodbury Gene Woodbury ... Lewis Humes
William Watson ... Det. Matt Black
Val Bisoglio ... Det. Jacarrino
Antonia Rey ... Rita Alvarez
Chita Rivera ... Josie Hopper
Bruce Kirby ... Sgt. Dan McCartney
Robert Walden ... Mr. Fisher


A homicide detective begins to suspect that the black teenager accused of murdering two white girls is being framed by his fellow detectives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

8 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Confeso por coacción See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film is based on an actual case known as the "Career Girl" murders that happened on 28 August 1963. It was the date on which 'Martin Luther King Jr.' delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech, as mentioned in the film. See more »


When Lt. Theo Kojack drives to Lewis Humes's party, a camera shot inside his Ford Torino shows the car has a plastic, sport side-view mirror on the driver's door. When he arrives and parks to proceed to the party, the Torino now has a metal, square, chrome, side-view mirror on the driver's door. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: What you are about to see is a dramatization of one of the most controversial and bitterly debated police investigations preceding the supreme Court's landmark Miranda Decision of 1966. Name changes, compressions of time and composites of certain characters have been made in order to present this most significant story.
See more »


Followed by Kojak Budapesten (1980) See more »


Don't Give Me A Road I Can't Walk
Music by Billy Goldenberg
Lyrics by Bobby Russell
Sung by Andy Kim
See more »

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User Reviews

40 years ago,a made for television movie introduced one of the greatest cop shows in television history
24 October 2013 | by rcj5365See all my reviews

"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a made for television movie that premiered as a CBS Special Presentation on March 8,1973. It was based on the book by Selwyn Raab(who was a reporter for the New York Times)titled "Justice In The Back Room". Written by Abby Mann and Directed by Joesph Sargent,this Emmy-winning television drama was based on the 1963 Wylie-Hoffert "Career Girls Murders". The crime involves the brutal rape and murder of two young professional women in Manhattan. The movie serve as the basis as the pilot for the "Kojak" television series starring Telly Savalas. An African-American male by the name of Lewis Humes(Gene Woodbury)was arrested for a crime that he did not commit. To find the real killer,Lt. "Theo" Kojak conducts a second investigation with a different team of detectives(Ned Beatty, William Watson)along with his superior officer Sgt. Dan McCartney(Bruce Kirby). After illegally obtaining a confession,the police have identified the real suspect in the murders which exonerated the suspect and identified the culprit,who was a Puerto-Rican junkie.

"Kojak:The Marcus-Nelson Murders" was a gritty and intense police drama with a subtext focusing on institutionalized prejudice and the civil rights and suspects and witnesses. The opening and closing titles of the film emphasize that it was a fictional account of the events that led to the creation of "Miranda" rights by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966. As for the TV-Movie on which the series "Kojak" was based on,there was no other actor out there that did it better than the great Telly Savalas. The supporting cast features Chita Rivera,to Tol Avery, Robert Walden,Jose Ferrer,Val Bisoglio,Lorraine Gary and Allen Garfield,many of these stars would make guest appearances later on for the "Kojak" television series during the early-to-mid 1970's.

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