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TV: George C. Scott in “East Side, West Side”

Apr. 29, 1963 - The last thing anyone would accuse George C. Scott (right with Gene Hackman) of being is a TV huckster. His career as an actor has been solidly built on a sense of integrity and dedication. Therefore his endorsement of anything, even his own television series, becomes something more than a mere commercial worthy of a deaf ear. So, when the athletic six-footer dropped in a canvas chair on the “East Side, West Side” set today and said: “I promise you, this will be one series you won’t be able to ignore,” one listened. Scott is frankly taken with the subject of the CBS series, scheduled for Monday nights this fall, and the subject is social work. He considers it a “limitless” field for TV material. Further, he said, “I think it’s saying something important that should be said and that thus far has not been said in the medium of television. Having wasted a year working on ‘Newspaperman,’ a TV series that never made it and didn’t have it, I consider this an important undertaking.” Another reason the actor waxes so enthusiastic about “East Side, West Side” is: “It has authenticity — the locales and problems it deals with are the kind that face all underprivileged people in New York. It also offers a good cross-section of the kind of people that get into social work — the pseudo-intellectuals, the phonies, the society people, and the handful who are sincere and dedicated.” Playing a dedicated New York social worker, Scott co-stars with Victor Arnold and Diana Sands. He sees the character he portrays as a man “reasonably bright, well educated, who probably could have gone into other more comfortable fields and been successful. To me, he’s a champion in a worn, blue serge — a man with a sense of humor, but one who realizes the depressing people and problems he deals with daily are a bottomless pit — like a hydra-headed monster.” CBS sees “East Side, West Side” as another heavyweight contender in the dramatic-series field, following, the network hopes, the successful pattern of “The Defenders.” It’s E.G. Marshall’s portrayal of a defense attorney in “The Defenders” that has given an actor of Scott’s high caliber the confidence to star in a regular weekly show. “Marshall’s stature as an actor has grown, not deteriorated, because of this role,” commented Scott. “He’s made it possible for an actor like myself to undertake a similar task without trepidation.”


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