The Darrow Chronicles (Pilot) by Daniel Broderick | Script Revolution

The Darrow Chronicles (Pilot)

In 1911, the Los Angeles Times was bombed and twenty people died. Darrow narrates the search to solve the crime; a search involving three of the most famous personalities of the early 20th century.



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The Clarence Darrow Chronicles follow the career of the most renowned lawyer of the 20th Century.  

Most people are at least vaguely aware of the Scopes Monkey Trial (depicted in the movie Inherent the Wind) and perhaps the Leopold and Loeb case (fictionalized by Hitchcock in Rope and memorialized ten years later in Compulsion).  But in addition to these trials, Clarence Darrow was involved in more than one "case of the century".  All of these cases resonate today.

Episode One (Pilot): Union Wars

In 1911, the Los Angeles Times was bombed and twenty people died. "General" Harrison Gray Otis, the legendary Times owner and publisher, Earl Rogers, the model for Perry Mason; and detective William Burns, the American Sherlock Holmes, were all involved in tracking down the bomber(s). Darrow narrates the search to solve the crime of the century.

Episode 2: The McNamara Brothers

Darrow is hired by national labor leaders to defend the McNamara Brothers, charged with ordering and executing the bombing. He must contend with union leaders who insist the two were innocent while sifting through overwhelming evidence of the brothers' guilt. Convinced that he will lose at trial, Darrow persuades the brothers to plead guilty, leading Darrow to be vilified by union leaders. Once the case is resolved, Darrow himself is charged with jury tampering.

Episode 3: State of California v. Clarence Darrow

Darrow hires Earl Rogers to defend him, but insists that he try the case along with Darrow himself. The two repeatedly clash as they prepare for trial, and the evidence against Darrow appears iron clad as the trial begins.

Episodes 4: State of California v. Clarence Darrow (Part II)

Darrow's trial, highlighting the contrast between the folksy Darrow and the flamboyant Rogers. Darrow is acquitted, but subsequently charged with another instance of alleged jury tampering relating to the McNamara trial. Darrow negotiates an agreement that these charges be dropped in return for him leaving and never returning to California.

Episodes 5 & 6: Defending Communists

Twenty party members of the Communist part were charged in Chicago with conspiracy to overthrow the government, even though none of them engaged in any acts of insurrection. Darrow defends the men, arguing that the entire prosecution violates the First Amendment.

Episode 7 7 8: Leopold and Loeb

Teen age sons of millionaires attempt the perfect crime: the kidnapping and murder of a young boy. Darrow convinces the teens to plead guilty but presents an impassioned (and ultimately successful) defense against the imposition of the death penalty.

Episodes 8 and 9: The Scopes "Monkey" Trial

Darrow defends a teacher arrested for teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school. His opponent was William Jennings Bryant a religious and political icon.

Episode 10 (2 hours): The Sweet Murder Trial

A black family moved into a white neighborhood in Detroit and a man was killed when a mob attempted to get them to move. Darrow defended Dr. Sweet in his murder trial. 

All Accolades & Coverage: 

2021 Semifinalist, Fade In Awards, True Story/Biopic
2022 Quarterfinalist Page International Screenwriting Contest

Submitted: October 25, 2021
Last Updated: July 18, 2022

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Daniel Broderick's picture

The Writer: Daniel Broderick

California native. Born in Los Angeles after my parents moved there from Chicago, where my father wrote for television after WWII and college. Have lived in San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Palo Alto, Florence (Italy), Washington, D.C., New Haven (Connecticut), West Los Angeles, Germany, and Sacramento. Currently live in Pasadena, California. Stanford undergrad. Played basketball until hurt my sophomore year, Yale Law School. Non-lawyer jobs include assembling board games, gas station attendant, assembling yachts, picking up trash at the beach, washing dorm windows, maintenance at a golf course, painting the take off boards for the long jump and triple jump (jock job, where I was... Go to bio

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