For the Defense (1954)

| Crime, Mystery | TV Movie
This is a pilot TV movie for a series about a former police captain turned eager defense attorney.


James Neilson


Donn Mullally (story), Donn Mullally (teleplay)


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Cast overview:
Edward G. Robinson ... Matthew Considine
John Hoyt ... Police Captain
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Jason
Morris Ankrum ... Prosecutor
Herbert Heyes ... Judge
Glen Vernon ... Kenny Jason
Robert Osterloh ... Duke
Vic Perrin Vic Perrin ... Marty - Room Clerk (as Victor Perrin)


A hotel arson fire, with a man named Al Russell's body found inside -- knifed in the back. Kenny Jason is identified in the crowd by the room-clerk. Former police captain, now attorney Matthew Considine, defends him. Is he guilty? Considine may get him acquitted on murder, but what about an arson charge? Or another murder charge of a witness?? Written by

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Crime | Mystery







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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Sort of like Perry Mason....but with Edward G. Robinson
26 September 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a pilot for a show that was never picked up by the TV networks. It stars Edward G. Robinson as a Perry Mason-like defense attorney, though there is a twist--Robinson's character had been a cop for many years before a career change.

Like other attorney shows, this one is mostly set in the courtroom and is rather cerebral. Robinson is very good as the lawyer--but he was such an excellent actor, it isn't surprising. His job is to defend a young man accused of murder and arson. To the viewer, it's pretty obvious that the evidence is very scant and there is lots of reasonable doubt. But despite this, many seem willing to just assume the guy is guilty.

Overall, this is a pretty good show but it seems to suffer from one minor problem--it's way too short and rushed. It had enough material for a full-length film, so it just seemed a tad too little time to adequately explore the story given its time slot. I did, however, liked how the cops reacted to this defense attorney--this was pretty interesting and I would have liked to see more of this. An interesting premise, excellent acting but just too rushed--it's an interesting example of a show that makes you think 'what if'--what if they had picked up this series?

By the way, the excellent character actor John Hoyt also appears as a cop who is angry at Robinson for being a 'turncoat'.

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