They Call It Murder

They Call It Murder is a 1971 American television film directed by Walter Grauman and starring Jim Hutton.

They Call It Murder
Directed byWalter Grauman
Written bySam Rolfe
Based onThe D.A. Draws a Circle (novel) and characters
by Erle Stanley Gardner
StarringJim Hutton
Paisano Productions
in association with 20th Century Fox Television
Distributed byNBC
Release date
December 17, 1971
CountryUnited States


They Call It Murder is a two-hour television film produced by Paisano Productions in association with 20th Century Fox. It was a pilot for a proposed TV movie series based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, who edited the script[1] by Sam Rolfe. Walter Grauman directed; Cornwell Jackson was executive producer. The film is loosely based on Gardner's 1939 novel, The D.A. Draws a Circle.[2]

The film went into production in 1969 and was completed February 9, 1970.[1] Jim Hutton stars as Doug Selby, district attorney of a small town outside Los Angeles.[3]

They Call It Murder was first presented December 17, 1971, on NBC.[1] Gardner had died by the time the film finally was given its world premiere. Paisano Productions had worked to launch a Doug Selby series for six years, while its series Perry Mason was in its prime.[4] No series materialized, and this TV movie marks Selby's sole screen adaptation.[2]


The cast of They Call It Murder is recorded at the Internet Movie Database.[5]


  1. Hughes, Dorothy B.; Moore, Ruth (1978). "Bibliography of Erle Stanley Gardner". Erle Stanley Gardner: The Case of the Real Perry Mason. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. p. 340. ISBN 0-688-03282-6.
  2. Shonk, Michael (February 6, 2012). "A TV Movie Review: They Call It Murder (1971)". MysteryFile. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
  3. TV Scout (December 17, 1971). "Pick of the Programs". North Adams Transcript.
  4. Lowry, Cynthia (December 16, 1971). "Good Actors Make Holiday Fantasy on 'Night Gallery'". Alton Evening Telegraph. Associated Press.
  5. "They Call It Murder". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2015-07-26.
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