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Gideon's Trumpet

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Overview

In the tradition of his earlier work in Grapes of Wrath and Twelve Angry Men, Henry Fonda played another social-protest role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV presentation Gideon's Trumpet. Clarence Earl Gideon Fonda is a poor, ill-tempered Florida handyman who is arrested for petty larceny in 1961. Unable to afford a lawyer, Gideon is sentenced to five years in prison. His treatment by the Florida judicial system, a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, is brought to the attention of the Supreme Court. As a...
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Overview

In the tradition of his earlier work in Grapes of Wrath and Twelve Angry Men, Henry Fonda played another social-protest role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV presentation Gideon's Trumpet. Clarence Earl Gideon Fonda is a poor, ill-tempered Florida handyman who is arrested for petty larceny in 1961. Unable to afford a lawyer, Gideon is sentenced to five years in prison. His treatment by the Florida judicial system, a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, is brought to the attention of the Supreme Court. As a result, a landmark decision is reached, assuring free legal representation for anyone accused of a crime in the United States. Also appearing are Jose Ferrer as Gideon's attorney Abe Fortas, John Houseman who also produced as the Chief Justice, and Fay Wray as the owner of the lodging establishment where Gideon lived. Gideon's Trumpet premiered on April 30, 1980.
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Special Features

Insert with production notes by Anthony Lewis and cast filmographies
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Gideon's Trumpet is among the few films to treat the law as a serious subject. The real-life history behind this case is perhaps even more amazing than the film: occasional handy man and convicted petty thief Clarence Gideon sent a handwritten petition to the U.S. Supreme Court that forced a major, long-overdue change in the law. Unlike docudramas that present a simplistic view of their subjects, Gideon's Trumpet does not falsely make its protagonist into a likable hero, and Henry Fonda's powerful performance is one of the few times that he played a character so obviously flawed as a person. It is among his best late-career performances. Despite its origins as a made-for-television movie, Gideon's Trumpet contains inventive camera work and an overall sheen of quality that belie its TV-movie status. It ranks with the best films of the early 1980s, despite not having had a theatrical release.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2007
  • UPC: 054961974894
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Source: Acorn Media
  • Time: 1:44:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Clarence Earl Gideon
John Houseman Chief Justice
José Ferrer Abe Fortas
Fay Wray Edna Curtis
Sam Jaffe 1st Sumpreme Court Justice
Dean Jagger 6th Supreme Court Justice
Nicholas Pryor Jacob
William Prince 5th Supreme Court Justice
Lane Smith Fred Turner
John Miller Judge Robert McCrary
Dolph Sweet Charlie
Ford Rainey 2nd Supreme Court Justice
David Sheiner Abe Krash
J. Patrick McNamara Harris
Les Lannom Bobby Earle
Malcolm Groome John Ely
Allan Rich Tobias Simon
Richard Lineback Lester Wade
David Clennon James Fitzpatrick
Michael Cavanaugh Stocker
Paul Benjamin Artis
Jerry Hardin Mel Cobb
Frederic Cook Leo Stafford
James O'Connell Warden
Jon Locke Supervisor
Gary Grubbs Deputy Hamilton
Seamon Glass Prison Guard
Gwen van Dam Mrs. Lawrence
Edmund H. North Supreme Court Justice
Liam O'Brien Supreme Court Justice
Don Draper Bailiff
Henry Proach Guard
Timothy Scott Toby
Clifford A. Pellow Justin Pike
James Brodhead Court Crier
Technical Credits
Robert E. Collins Director
Don Birnkrant Cinematographer
Frank Bracht Editor
Edward C. Carfagno Production Designer
John Houseman Executive Producer
Robert H. Justman Co-producer
Robert J. Koster Production Manager
David W. Rintels Co-producer, Screenwriter
Joseph Weiss Score Composer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Gideon's Trumpet
1. The Crime [5:34]
2. His Own Defense [13:01]
3. Sentenced [8:11]
4. Research [9:22]
5. Supreme Court [7:20]
6. Biographical Information [11:38]
7. Defendant's Rights [16:26]
8. The Decision [10:42]
9. Second Trials [17:00]
10. A Free Man [4:08]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Gideon's Trumpet
   Play Program
   Scene Index
   Cast Filmographies
      Henry Fonda
      José Ferrer
      John Houseman
      Sam Jaffe
      Dean Jagger
      Lane Smith
      Fay Wray
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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    Posted December 8, 2008

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