Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney, who charges one hundred thousand dollars to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny, as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.
Former high school English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) has a gift for solving mysteries. You see, it seems murder follows her around, whether it be to the houses of her seemingly endless number of friends, nieces, and nephews, or right in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is sometimes assisted by her friend Dr. Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) or the local Sheriff, Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) and Tupper's successor, Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), a former New York City cop. Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only serve as narrator. In later seasons, Jessica moved to Manhattan to teach criminology at Manhattan University.Written by
Mike Hatchett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dame Angela Lansbury, Jerry Orbach (a recurring actor on the show), and guest star David Ogden Stiers also appeared in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991) and its sequels as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, and Cogsworth, respectively, the first of which was filmed while this show was being aired. See more »
Jessica Fletcher often undertakes actions which would result in evidence and investigation being compromised. Since she is only a crime novel writer and has never been a police officer, these actions could result in cases being dropped or overturned upon appeal. There is no way that the local District Attorney would allow her to perform the actions that she does. See more »
I'm not quite sure why Murder She Wrote isn't still running. I'm willing to bet that Angela Lansbury could command any kind of deal she could have if she wanted to do more episodes of this wonderful series.
Angela Lansbury is maybe one of the kindest and most unselfish of players ever to grace the big screen, the small screen and the legitimate theater. Let's not forget she's a star in all three mediums. What I like best about her is the fact that she used her star power to give lots of work to her fellow performers from the golden age of Hollywood's studio system who weren't as lucky with their careers as she. Just look at the cast list of any random selection of Murder, She Wrote episodes.
For twelve years she got every weekend to show up the police in every corner of the globe that they had the wrong solution to a given murder. The amazing thing is that most of them simply went with the flow as far as her interference with their investigation. It was part of her charm for them and for us.
About half the episodes took place in the little New England coastal town of Cabot Cove where William Windom as the town doctor and first sheriff Tom Bosley and then sheriff Ron Masak got assistance from Jessica Fletcher every time she was in town at her home. I liked the Cabot Cove shows best and I suspect most viewers did. Though that presents a problem in that Cabot Cove given the percentage of the population might just have the highest murder rate in the country. Good thing she WAS around. But even there she never embarrassed Bosley or Masak in solving the cases.
Her best scenes are with William Windom, the crusty old town doctor, Seth Hazlitt. I suspect that back in their youth Jessic and Seth were an item and the way Lansbury and Windom are with each other, you can see the bonds are strong. The writers in Murder, She Wrote very wisely never made Dr. Hazlett any kind of buffoon the way Nigel Bruce was as Doctor Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes. Windom played it absolutely straight and his medical knowledge occasionally helped Lansbury solve the case. I think it's a shame that William Windom never got an Emmy for playing Dr. Hazlitt.
My hope is that somebody gets the bright idea to have a reunion episode and maybe finally marry Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Seth Hazlitt. It would be the highest rated show of a given season.
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