The Marcus-Nelson Murders

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The Marcus-Nelson Murders
Genre Police procedural, drama
Based on Justice in the Back Room
by Selwyn Raab
Written by Abby Mann
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Composer(s) Billy Goldenberg
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Abby Mann
Producer(s) Matthew Rapf
Cinematography Mario Tosi
  • Carl Pingitore
  • Richard M. Sprague
Running time 125 minutes
Production company(s) Universal Television
Distributor CBS
Original network CBS
Picture format Color film
Audio format Monaural
Original release March 8, 1973 (1973-03-08)
Followed by Kojak

The Marcus-Nelson Murders is a 1973 television film written by Abby Mann from a book by Selwyn Raab, directed by Joseph Sargent, and starring Telly Savalas, Marjoe Gortner, José Ferrer and Ned Beatty. The police procedural film, which aired on The CBS Thursday Night Movie on March 8, 1973, served as the pilot for the subsequent television series Kojak, although in this version Savalas's character's name is spelled "Kojack".

The supporting cast features Chita Rivera, Bruce Kirby, Tol Avery and Robert Walden; and the plot of the film was based upon the true story of the sensational 1963 case dubbed by the media as the "Career Girls Murders," in which two working women were raped and murdered. The opening and closing titles of the film emphasize that it was a fictional account of the events that helped to lead to the creation of the Miranda warning by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona. The film's running time is 2 hours and 17 minutes.


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