Public Defender (1954– )
4.6/10
5
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A Call in the Night 

Teenagers from several "good families" are arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The parents are dumbfounded, wondering how good kids could get into so much trouble. One ... See full summary »

Director:

Budd Boetticher

Writers:

David Dortort (teleplay), Mort R. Lewis (creator) (as Mort Lewis) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Reed Hadley ... Bart Matthews
Barbara Whiting ... Elly Black
James Flavin ... Jim Black
Ruth Lee Ruth Lee ... Alice Black
Robert Patten ... Don
Tom Irish ... Chuck
Claudia Barrett ... Sue Bennett
Sally Fraser ... Peg Whitney
Gloria Donovan Gloria Donovan ... Cora
Harold Goodwin ... Police Officer
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Storyline

Teenagers from several "good families" are arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The parents are dumbfounded, wondering how good kids could get into so much trouble. One girl, represented by the public defender, gives her story. Written by Michelle P.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Release Date:

12 July 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)
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User Reviews

 
Rebel without a brain!
4 September 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"A Call in the Night" is a very preachy episode of "The Public Defender that in many ways is like "Rebel Without a Cause" which came out the following year. Both exploited the youth gone wild genre--something which exploded onto theaters in the 1950s.

When the show begins, lot of folks from nice families are being alerted by the police that their kids have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Then, how all this came to be is shown to the audience...starting months earlier.

Mrs. Black is a shallow woman whose only concern seems to be for her daughter, Elly, to go to a fancy school and hobnob with the rich kids. The Blacks are just ordinary working class folks but the mother's attitude rubs off on Elly and soon she'll do anything to fit in with these spoiled little monsters...plus Elly really is awfully stupid. The problem is that the kids in a 'club' called the Night Riders (not the Klan) are a bunch of bored rich kids who do stupid and dangerous stuff for thrills. At first Elly is horrified but remembering how important all this is to mom, she continues trying hard---too hard--to fit in.

There are many things wrong with this film. The biggest is a common problem with these sort of shows and movies--the kids are played by actors in their 20s and even possibly their 30s. The one who played Elly was 24! The story also is VERY preachy. But what really surprised me was the relative slap on the wrist these jerks all got at the end of the show...giving a real mixed message, that's for sure.


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