Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)
15 user 2 critic

The Defender: Part 1 

A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father ... See full summary »


Robert Mulligan


Reginald Rose, Reginald Rose (television play by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Bellamy ... Walter Preston
Martin Balsam ... Francis Toohey
Steve McQueen ... Joseph Gordon (as Steven McQueen)
William Shatner ... Kenneth Preston
Ian Wolfe ... Judge Marsala
Vivian Nathan Vivian Nathan ... Mrs. Anna Gordon
David J. Stewart David J. Stewart ... Dr. Victor Wallach
Russell Hardie ... 1st Guard
Iggie Wolfington Iggie Wolfington ... Court Clerk
Arthur Storch ... Seymour Miller
Frank Marth ... First Reporter
Eileen Ryan ... Betsy Fuller
Milton Selzer ... 2nd Guard
John McGovern John McGovern ... Dr. Horace Bell
Michael Higgins ... Sergeant James Sheeley


A young criminal attorney and his firm-owning father defend a 19 year-old on trial for a murder that he swears he did not commit. Personal conflicts arise with the attorney and his father while the prosecution puts on a dramatic and convincing argument of guilt. Written by Flotis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

25 February 1957 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Edward Asner's acting debut in TV or film. See more »


Featured in Steve McQueen: Man on the Edge (1990) See more »


Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Awfully good.
13 December 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Apparently, this two-part episode of "Studio One" was meant as a pilot for a potential new series. Oddly, it was picked up--but only several years later and with an entirely new cast. This show gives us a sneak peek at might have been.

This show is about two attorneys--a father and son in the same law firm. The father (Ralph Bellamy) is a rather conservative defense attorney--and one who has a hard time defending anyone who he thinks is guilty (though don't you assume this is something he SHOULD have worked out considering how long he was in practice?!). His client is a rather impulsive and annoyingly written young Steve McQueen--who seems to spend most of his time either sulking or exploding! The other attorney (William Shatner) is less conventional than his father and aches to be given the proper respect he deserves--but his father often treats him more like his son than a colleague. There is MUCH more to the plot, but I won't get into that--it's something you can see for yourself.

Here's what I liked about it in a nutshell. The father and son were both well-written and acted. Shatner is more subtle than usual and Bellamy is ALWAYS wonderful. I also liked the ambiguity about the show--you never really know if the defendant is guilty or not. This vagueness will no doubt annoy some, but I loved that the show did not seek to provide answers--just stir up great questions. On the negative side, I already mentioned McQueen. His character was rather one-dimensional and it's hard to tell if the actor didn't yet know how to act or if his part was just written badly. But apart from this, it's very good--and well worth seeing. Plus, it gives you a chance to see Martin Balsam with hair as well as a tiny glimpse at Ed Asner (also with hair) as one of the jurors--but you have to look closely to see him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed