15 February 2006 | krorie
In the public interest
One of my favorite early television shows when we got our first TV in 1953 was "Racket Squad" starring the man with the voice Reed Hadley. The movie copied by Jack Webb when he put together "Dragnet," one of the most popular programs ever on TV, was one in which he had played a major role, "He Walked By Night." The narrator for that film was Reed Hadley. When "Dragnet" premiered Jack Webb rather than Reed Hadley did the narration but Hadley had his own spin off from the same film noir classic. "Racket Squad" dealt with real-life cases of fraud and misrepresentation mainly in the Los Angeles area.
When "Racket Squad" went off the tube, Hadley bounced back with "The Public Defender," similar in many ways to "Racket Squad" but dealing with those attorneys appointed by the state to defend indigents. This time Hadley canvased the entire nation for intriguing cases. A part of each show was to profile one notable public defender.
Whereas Jack Webb went for the jugular with his true stories of murder and mayhem, the Reed Hadley series were usually quieter and less violent, concerned more with how the law actually works to protect the people and the innocent victims of crime. Note that one of the directors listed for the series is the esteemed Budd Boetticher who is noted for those wonderful Randolph Scott westerns of the late 1950's.