Justice (1954 TV series)

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Justice
Genre Legal drama
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Starring Dane Clark
Gary Merrill
William Prince
Westbrook Van Voorhis (narrator)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 88
Production
Producer(s)

David Susskind

John Rust
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original run April 8, 1954 (1954-04-08) – March 25, 1956 (1956-03-25)

Justice is an NBC half-hour drama television series about attorneys of the Legal Aid Society of New York, which aired from April 8, 1954 to March 25, 1956.[1][2] In the 1954-1955 season, Justice starred Dane Clark as Richard Adams and Gary Merrill as Jason Tyler. In the 1955-1956 season, William Prince replaced Clark in the role of Richard Adams. Westbrook Van Voorhis (1903-1968) was the series narrator.[1]

Selected episodes[edit]

In the April 15, 1954, episode entitled "Keith's Case" with Richard Kiley, Phyllis Kirk, and Warren Stevens, a war veteran believed dead reappears to find his wife has remarried. Another early Justice episode, "Run from Honor", is the story of Ed Simmons, a school bus driver being honored for his safe-driving record. Simmons, however, fears that being in the limelight from accepting his award will unveil his hidden past. His son goes to the Legal Aid Society for help.[3] In "The Quiet Life" on May 6, 1954, an immigrant laborer played by J. Carrol Naish keeps quiet about inferior-grade cement being used on a new building by his dishonest boss played by Ed Begley.[3]

In the May 13, 1954, episode "Hit and Run" with the teleplay by Earl Hamner, Jr., Harry Larner, played by E. G. Marshall, crashes into a newsboy on a bicycle during a blinding rainstorm. After a moment of indecision, Larner drives off from the scene of the accident. He tells no one about the tragedy, but the crime haunts him at every turn. Ed Begley also appears in this episode.[3]

In "Eye for an Eye" on May 20, 1954, with Skip Homeier, Harvey Lembeck, and again Richard Kiley, a United States Army sergeant faces a court-martial for allegedly betraying his comrades to the enemy while they were prisoners of war in Korea. In "The Deep Night" on May 27, 1954, a woman stands trial on charges that she fatally stabbed her husband. Two witnesses appear, one of whom withholds information that would incriminate the real killer, Rod Steiger guest stars.[3]

On June 3, 1954, in the episode "The Eight Alien Boys", an aging eccentric man tries to prevent the removal of a plaque honoring his ancestors who were killed in battle in 1776. The hallowed ground, however, is endangered by the pending construction of a road. Series director Daniel Petrie stepped in to play the lead role after James Barton lost his voice.[3]In "Call Me Guilty" on July 1, 1954, Ernest Truex, later on The Ann Sothern Show, plays an eccentric who earns his livelihood by carving toys. With a desire to be noticed, the man begins confessing to unsolved crimes which he did not commit. Royal Dano also appears in this episode. In "The Scandal That Rocked the Town" on July 8, 1954, 23-year-old John Kerr, in his acting debut, plays a basketball player who claims that gamblers are causing him grief on the court. Harry Townes, Jack Klugman, and June Walker, the mother of John Kerr, also appear in this episode.[3]

In "Murder at Red Oaks" on July 15, 1954, a man is falsely accuses of murder because of his past record and pending circumstantial evidence. Dick Foran guest stars. In "The Deadly Silence" on September 16, 1954, an eyewitness to a crime fears giving information to police; as a result, an innocent man faces conviction for a crime. Dennis O'Keefe guest stars as a Legal Aid lawyer.[3]In "Guilty Secret" on March 17, 1955, Peter Mark Richman portrays a parolee who is threatened by hoodlums who threaten to harm his wife, portrayed by Patricia Breslin if he reveals their identity.[3]

In "Fearful Hour," Mary Astor plays a forgotten film star facing financial reverses. The actress cashes a large check for which she has no funds. Rather than face disgrace, she attempts suicide. Gary Merrill in the role of Jason Tyler intervenes to save her life, but he cannot prevent the release of her story.[3]

Other guest stars[edit]

Among the many guest stars appearing in the series, some of who appeared more than once or twice, were Philip Abbott, Edward Andrews, Theodore Bikel, Edward Binns, Jackie Cooper, Bob Cummings, James Daly, Nina Foch, Wallace Ford, Eva Gabor, Ben Gazzara, Bruce Gordon, Lorne Greene, James Gregory, George Grizzard, Murray Hamilton, Eileen Heckart, Pat Hingle, Kim Hunter, June Lockhart, Gisele MacKenzie, Walter Matthau, Biff McGuire, Don Murray, Leslie Nielsen, J. Pat O'Malley, Jason Robards, Robert F. Simon, Maureen Stapleton, Jack Warden, and Dick York.[3]

Scheduling[edit]

In the first season, Justice aired at 8:30 p.m. EST on Thursdays preceding Jack Webb's Dragnet. In the second year, it was switched to 10:30 p.m. Sundays following The Loretta Young Show on NBC and opposite What's My Line? on CBS.[4]

Similar to Justice was the CBS legal drama, The Public Defender, which aired from 1954-1955, with Reed Hadley as public defender Bart Matthews.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television. Penguin Books. p. 444. ISBN 0-14-024916-8. 
  2. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House. p. 1945. ISBN 0-345-49773-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  4. ^ McNeil, Total Television, appendix for network television schedules