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The Judge And Jake Wyler finds Bette Davis and Doug McClure respectively in the title roles in this made for TV film that looked an awful lot like a TV pilot. In fact a year later this same film was redone with Lee Grant and Bob Cummings. It wasn't that good to warrant it.
Davis is a former judge who now runs a detective agency in which she employs former convicts and she has McClure, James McEachin, and Barbara Rhoades in her charge. As they are paroled to her she's essentially a slave master. But there certainly have been worse in that occupation.
The agency is employed in this story first by Kent Smith to get the goods on his cheating wife Lisabeth Hush and her boyfriend Gary Conway. But when Smith dies apparently by suicide daughter Joan Van Ark keeps on retaining Davis's firm.
Smith had more than domestic problems that would cause people to want to kill him. As you gather this was not suicide.
Clearly Davis was in this for her marquee value while McClure would have done the actual heavy lifting in this action series. Davis did look bored during the whole thing, possibly why the series wasn't picked up.
Bette's character was a Monk like hypochondriac who had an excessive fear of germs. And she detested cigarettes. I think the creator was having a little joke there.
Even second rate Bette Davis is better than most of the rest. But The Judge And Jake Wyler was all right, nothing more.
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