Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case

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Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case
Genre Drama
Written by Harold Gast
Lou Randolph
Directed by Robert Michael Lewis
Starring George Peppard
Barnard Hughes
William Windom
Claudette Nevins
Russell Thorson
George Murdock
Theme music composer Lalo Schifrin
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Harve Bennett
Producer(s) Harold Gast
Cinematography Stevan Larner
Editor(s) Robert F. Shugrue
Running time 144 min
Production company(s) Silverton Productions
Universal Television
Distributor NBC
Original network NBC
Original release November 17, 1975 (1975-11-17)

Guilty or Innocent: The Sam Sheppard Murder Case (1975) is a TV drama film, starring George Peppard and directed by Robert Michael Lewis. It was produced by Harold Gast and Harve Bennett.


It is a history of the real-life Sam Sheppard (George Peppard), an Ohio doctor wrongly accused of murdering his wife in 1954. Sheppard is a successful osteopath in Cleveland working at the family clinic. He has an attractive wife Marilyn and a nine year old son. His idyllic life comes to an end one July morning when the police are called to his home after he reports an intruder attacked him and murdered his wife. The case and the ensuing trial get nationwide publicity. Despite an able defense lawyer, Sam is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, never ceasing to proclaim his innocence. He is released after ten years through the efforts of his brilliant new young lawyer F. Lee Bailey and given a retrial Bailey's aggressive defense overwhelms the prosecution and Sheppard is found not guilty at last, however his life afterwards is not happy. He remarried soon after getting out of prison but it ends in divorce and he is sued for malpractice after regaining his medical license. Desperate to make a living he becomes a small time professional wrestler. The strain of his never-ending ordeal wears on him and he turns to alcohol. He dies a broken man at 46 of a liver disease. The murder of Marilyn Sheppard is unsolved to this day.


Actor Role
George Peppard Dr. Samuel Sheppard
Barnard Hughes Attorney Philip J. Madden
Claudette Nevins Marilyn Sheppard
William Windom Walt Adamson
William Dozier Dr. Richard Sheppard, Sr.
Jack Knight Detective Moore
Russell Thorson Judge Edwards
Paul Fix Supreme Court Justice
George Murdock Procesutor Simons
Nina Van Pallandt Ilse Brandt


  • Hollywood and American history: a filmography of over 250 motion pictures depicting U.S. history, by Michael R. Pitts

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