Public Defender (1954– )
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Badge of Honor 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | Episode aired 6 May 1954
Bart Matthews remembers a young, anxious police officer who made a mistake while still a rookie as they lay him to rest.


Paul Guilfoyle


Howard J. Green (teleplay by), Mort R. Lewis (created by) (as Mort Lewis) | 1 more credit »


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Episode complete credited cast:
Reed Hadley ... Bart Matthews
Harry Carey Jr. ... Dan
Sally Fraser Sally Fraser ... Doris
James Flavin ... Walsh (as Jim Flavin)
Emory Parnell ... Gunderson
John Eldredge ... Chaplain
Betty Finley Betty Finley ... Miss Norton
Kathleen Mulqueen Kathleen Mulqueen ... Mrs. Wilson
Frankie Darro ... Brown (as Frank Darrow)
Louis Lettieri Louis Lettieri ... Boy


Bart Matthews remembers a young, anxious police officer who made a mistake while still a rookie as they lay him to rest.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated




Release Date:

6 May 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

TV, yes, but very good, with excellent cast
16 November 2017 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

Public defenders in real life deserve more credit than they get, and this show should help them get it -- I hope.

In real life today, they are usually overwhelmed, and usually don't get the time or opportunity to give the kind of personal attention PD Bart Matthews gives in this show.

The reason for that is simply far, far too many stupid and unnecessary laws, seemingly aimed at the most susceptible members of society, the people most easily victimized by laws based on something other than rational legislation, resulting in over-crowded jails and prisons and court-rooms.

Today, too, we are almost overwhelmed by videos and stories of police brutality and, conversely, police inattention when there are real victims of real crime.

This episode portrays both a caring public defender and a caring police officer, played by one of my favorites, Harry Carey, Jr.

He was already one of my heroes when I met him in 1975 at a Western Film Collectors' convention in Los Angeles, and he was as gracious and charming as I could have hoped.

Reed Hadley, on the other hand, I never met. But one day I was watching TV when a foreign film came on and I thought I heard that magnificent voice of Reed Hadley as one of the dubbers.

Not expecting to find it, I still took a chance and looked for him in the phone book. Amazingly, he was listed. I naively called the number and his very gracious wife answered. After she told me he was out playing tennis, I asked her if it were indeed his voice I had heard and she said he had done so many, it was hard to remember them all.

Hadley's was a much-in-demand voice in Hollywood, being narrator in some very special documentaries and government films. Hadley even had a very high security clearance because of the nature of some of those films.

I always found him a good actor, and capable in differing parts. As the Public Defender, he didn't have to do much in this episode, but his presence is always enjoyable, even comforting.

He and Carey were very ably assisted by some other veterans, and in particular young Sally Fraser, who was too lovely and too emotive to have been left behind as she was. With all her obvious talent, she should have been busy and busier, and busy in quality movies, as well as the quality TV shows she did. Hollywood could be so dumb sometimes.

Anyway, this counts, at least with me, as classic TV, and I now intend to find as many other entries of "Public Defender" as I can.

This one is available at YouTube and I highly recommend it.

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