Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)
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The Trial of John Peter Zenger 

In 1735 a German-born printer in New York named John Peter Zenger was thrown in prison and charged with libel and sedition after publishing a scathing pamphlet criticizing the corruption of... See full summary »

Director:

Paul Nickell

Writer:

Irve Tunick
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Eddie Albert ... John Peter Zenger
John W. Austin John W. Austin ... James Alexander
Marian Seldes ... Anna Zeger
Murray Matheson ... James De Lancey
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Betty Furness ... Herself - Commercial Spokeswoman
Judson Laire Judson Laire
Henry Stephenson
Frank Sundström
Frederick Worlock
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Storyline

In 1735 a German-born printer in New York named John Peter Zenger was thrown in prison and charged with libel and sedition after publishing a scathing pamphlet criticizing the corruption of the administration of Governor William Cosby. The court was rigged by Gov. Cosby to convict Zenger, but he was ultimately acquitted. The Zenger case would later became the basis for the First Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing Freedom of the Press. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1951 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
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User Reviews

 
An important part of our history and freedom of the press...and not to be missed.
28 April 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Studio One" was an amazing show. Each episode was a live teleplay-- like a mini-movie performed in one take on national television. Many of the shows were wonderful plays that later went on to become movie classics (such as "12 Angry Men")--and of the several dozen episodes I have seen (many are not now available), they have been uniformly excellent.

While "The Trial of John Peter Zenger" is not one of the more famous episodes in this series, it's among the best. It's about a real episode of American history--one that laid the foundations for our First Amendment and its guarantee of freedom of the press. In the mid- 1700s in Colonial America, it seems that a publisher, Zenger, printed a newspaper critical of the Royal Governor of New York. While the articles were essentially true, Zenger was jailed for eight months without a trial. When he finally was tried, he was accused of libel--though his lawyer was able to establish the concept that libel can only apply when the written words are untrue- -and the case was dismissed. In this teleplay, Eddie Albert played Zenger but the real standout was the man who played his lawyer, Mr. Hamilton (John W. Austin). Austin's performance was magnetic--and when he got wound up, you really are mesmerized by his eloquence. Well worth seeing--and very well made.


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