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Matlock 

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.

Creator:

Dean Hargrove
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1,055 ( 40)

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1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   1990   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Andy Griffith ...  Ben Matlock / ... 181 episodes, 1986-1995
Nancy Stafford ...  Michelle Thomas / ... 110 episodes, 1986-1993
Julie Sommars ...  Julie March 96 episodes, 1987-1994
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ...  Conrad McMasters 85 episodes, 1989-1993
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Storyline

In this legal drama, Andy Griffith plays Ben Matlock, a criminal-defense lawyer based in Atlanta. Matlock typically identifies and confronts the perpetrator in a dramatic courtroom scene. His goal, most often, is to prove reasonable doubt of his client's guilt. Rumor suggests that the character is based on lawyer Bobby Lee Cook, Georgia's colorful "dean of criminal-defense attorneys." Written by writermaia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

INSP

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matlock See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(195 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whenever Ben became irritated with someone, he called them a "jackass". This was one of his favorite expressions with Billy (Warren Frost), who was Cliff's dad. He got on Ben's nerves quite often. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Ben Matlock: Jackass!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Sally Field/Tony! Toni! Tone! (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Season One Will Be Out On DVD In April
15 March 2008 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

Here it is, almost 1200 minutes of the mystery series "Matlock", 24 episodes (including the pilot) that were broadcast during NBC's 1986-1987 season. So let's forget all we know about the long run of this series and just talk about its premiere season.

Years after his run as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Andy Griffith finally got another regular job. This time he is playing Ben Matlock, an Atlanta lawyer who talks like Sheriff Andy. It's a comfortable role in a tried and true format; a mix of "Perry Mason" and "Columbo". "Columbo" veteran Dean Hargrove dreamed up the series and shared executive producer duties with Fred Silverman.

The focus is on the title character and Griffith is great fun to watch. He charms and sweet talks his way through each case, getting everyone to let down their guard because they underestimate this good old boy as much as they did the seemingly scatterbrained "Columbo". Both series revolved around the main character's ability discern something incriminating in seemingly innocent little things and to pick up on a guilty party's casual slip of the tongue.

In the "Perry Mason" tradition Matlock is not bound by the conventional rules of evidence or procedural requirements once he gets into a courtroom. He can say anything and introduce any sort of evidence simply by reassuring the judge that his line or questioning will eventually become relevant. Be prepared for the obligatory breakdowns and confessions on the witness stand. The prosecutors can only shake their heads and bluster helplessly in the face of Matlock's cunning strategy.

Matlock is assisted by the show's version of Perry Mason's Paul and Della. In season one these are his daughter and partner Charlene Matlock (Lori Lethin in the pilot-Linda Purl in the regular episodes) and his investigator Tyler Hudson (Kene Holliday). His junior partner Michele Thomas (Nancy Stafford) would not join the team as a regular until the nest season and it wasn't until 1988 that Don Knotts reprises his Barney role as Ben's neighbor Les "Ace" Calhoun.

Season One's episodes #6 and #7 (a two part story titled "The Don") featured William Conrad as District Attorney James "Fatman" McShane. The next year the producers took this character, changed his name slightly to Jason Lochinvar 'Fatman' McCabe, and with Conrad created the long-running series "Jake and the Fatman". Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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