Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. ... See full summary »



On Disc

at Amazon




6   2   1   Unknown  
1987   1961   1960   1959   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Hollywood Squares (1965–1980)
Comedy | Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Contestants guess the correctness of celebrities' answers in order to win spaces in a tic-tac-toe game.

Stars: Kenny Williams, Peter Marshall, Cliff Arquette
To Tell the Truth (1956–2016)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Classic game show in which a person of some notoriety and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into ... See full summary »

Stars: Bud Collyer, Kitty Carlisle, Tom Poston
The Merv Griffin Show (1962–1986)
Comedy | Family | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Merv Griffin invites a series of actors, actresses, writers, and directors to discuss the progressive work they have done and current culture, arts, and entertainment surrounding the numerous projects.

Stars: Merv Griffin, Arthur Treacher, Mort Lindsey Orchestra
You Bet Your Life (1950–1961)
Comedy | Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Groucho Marx hosts a quiz show which features a series of competitive questions and a great deal of humourous conversation.

Stars: Groucho Marx, George Fenneman, Melinda Marx
Let's Make a Deal (1963–1977)
Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Monty Hall hosts this hilarious half-hour gameshow in which audience contestants picked at random, dressed in ridiculous costumes, try to win cash or prizes by choosing curtain number 1, 2 ... See full summary »

Stars: Monty Hall, Jay Stewart, Carol Merrill
Match Game PM (1975–1981)
Comedy | Family | Game-Show
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A high-stakes version of the classic game show, hosted by Gene Rayburn. A group of celebrities would be given a sentence with a missing word, which they would then have to fill in. The ... See full summary »

Stars: Gene Rayburn, Johnny Olson, Brett Somers


Complete series cast summary:


Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. Next, the celebrity was escorted into the studio, and one by one, people who were significant in the guest's life would be brought out to offer anecdotes. At the end of the show, family members and friends would surround the guest, who would then be presented with gifts. These usually included jewelry, a scrapbook of memories, a home 16 mm projector and a camera. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

non fiction | See All (1) »





Release Date:

1 October 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The staff of the show were forbidden to use Ralph Edwards as a subject. See more »


Referenced in Rhoda: Brenda's Unemployment (1975) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Stands the test of time
24 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

I'm afraid the only thing I remember about the original "This is your life" is the parodies by Bob and Ray. That left me thinking of the series as more of a cliché, and I suspect with the distance of time, others may also be left with the wrong impression of the show.

I had the opportunity to watch some of the originals on the "This is your life, the ultimate collection" three DVD set. They are very well done. It is apparent that Ralph Edwards worked to avoid falling into a rigid formula. There are many twists used in the way he lured the subjects onto the show.

But more important, the material of the show is shaped by the lives of the subjects, rather than a formula. The researchers find lots of interesting details that tell the true story of the person, rather than the PR image or public persona. For example, we learn that Bud Abbott did some generous philanthropy to help city kids, and some of those kids appeared on the show. It is all done in a way that has emotional impact, without being cloying or manipulative; Abbott seemed truly embarrassed this personal side of his life was coming out. And it is good journalism, digging for the telling details, rather than the mindless, superficial interviews we too often see on network shows these days.

What makes this collection especially interesting is that they are an invaluable historical document. Many of the subjects are dead by now (though not all -- Dick Clark and Shirley Jones are still with us) but more important, the acquaintances who appeared in the shows from the 1950s and even the 1970s are mostly long gone.

The one disappointment of the collection is that there are not more non-celebrities. The main non-celebrity included is Hanna Bloch Kohner, who survived many years in a concentration camp, a program done in 1953, perhaps the first to feature a Holocaust survivor's story on national television.

These shows stand the test of time, and are still interesting today. They would be a great addition to any public or school library.

Ralph Edwards also deserves to be remembered. He played an important role in the early days of television - very, very early. I came across a schedule for the very first week of broadcasting back in the early 1940s for what, as I recall, was to become the NBC television network. Ralph Edwards was listed as the host of the show Truth or Consequences - something that does not show up anywhere on IMDb. Now that's a pioneer! The network's broadcasting was, of course, suspended by WWII.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

What Is Katee Sackhoff Watching?

Katee Sackhoff shares her Watchlist and love for the CW drama "Reign" with "The IMDb Show." Plus, we take a look at the top 10 TV Shows of 2017.

Watch now