Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney, who charges one hundred thousand dollars to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny, as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.
Wealthy philanthropist Malcolm Engle reveals his plan to murder someone close to Ben Matlock at a certain time and place and challenges Matlock to try and prove he did it. When Lt. Bob Brooks becomes...
A wealthy mystery man named Charlie runs a detective agency via a speakerphone and his personal assistant, John Bosley. His detectives are three beautiful women, who end up in a variety of difficult situations.
In this legal drama, Andy Griffith plays Ben Matlock, a criminal-defense lawyer based in Atlanta. Matlock typically identifies and confronts the perpetrator in a dramatic courtroom scene. His goal, most often, is to prove reasonable doubt of his client's guilt. Rumor suggests that the character is based on lawyer Bobby Lee Cook, Georgia's colorful "dean of criminal-defense attorneys."Written by
Don't Know Why It's So Compelling, But Damned If It Ain't
There really isn't anything obviously good about "Matlock." It's kind of corny. It's awfully predictable (Matlock ALWAYS represents innocent clients and ALWAYS unmasks the real culprits in getting said innocents off). Some of the characters are pretty lame (Billy and Cliff Lewis are not personal favorites). And yet, somehow, I really enjoy this program. It really says something for Andy Griffith that I, a Yankee boy born probably 15 years after he left Mayberry, find him so charming as an ol' coot of a southern lawyer in a funny-looking suit. Can't really say why or how it comes through, but he must be one hell of an actor. (It also doesn't hurt to have Don Knotts, if only for Mr. Ferley-related nostalgia value).
Incidentally, if for no other reason than the episode in which Tyler infiltrates a circus, Keene Holiday has it all over Clarence Gilyard (who I hold in large part responsible for the reprehensible "Walker Texas Ranger"). And I won't even begin to discuss that female investigator they brought in towards the end. Blech.
Overall, then, despite the not inconsiderable problems with "Matlock," I love it. Andy Griffith playing a ukelele will always be a fond memory for me (It also helps to counteract the memory of those vaguely creepy commercials for Andy's gospel album that they run on TBS at off hours).
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