Originally billed as Playhouse of the Stars this long running anthology series was originally presented live from New York. Irene Dunne was briefly the hostess in 1952 and the show frequently used Broadway performers in classic stories.
The award winning bing play of Mary Chase came to television in. 1958. It tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, (Art Carney) a personable chap who drinks a little, and befriends a "pookah", a ... See full summary »
This is another outstanding example of the Golden Age of Television. These plays were usually adapted from novels or plays, but some were original scripts. You get to see Julie Harris in one of her many, many outstanding live tv roles in A Wind from the South, as a young Irish girl. Also there are adaptations of classics like Hedda Gabler with Talulah Bankhead in the title role. There is a wonderful adaptation of a Bret Harte story, with Franchot Tone as the town drunk, Jane Meadows as the town prostitute, and Teresa Wright as the lovely schoolmarm who makes it all work out well. This is like watching a play with these three great performers. Also there are comedies like The Man in Posession with Lilli Palmer and Rex Harrison when they were doing Broadway comedies. It is very funny. Then there are original dramas, like The Bogey Man with Celeste Holm and Robert Preston, a play about a trailor park; good performances, great atmosphere. I recently got to see The Thief with Paul Lukas, Mary Astor, and in a small role, but in the same year as his first two big movies, James Dean. It also features a great performance by Diana Lynn and it is very atmospheric of Europe at the turn of the 20th Century, with a sophistication that was rarely seen in American films of the time. Again, these plays are like watching plays of the time and are all highly enjoyable, with great actors in surprising parts; too bad there are not more of these to be found. Hopefully there are more in a vault somewhere!
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