You Are There (1953–1957)

TV Series  -   -  Drama | History
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Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included "The Landing of the Hindenburg", "The Salem Witchcraft Trials", "The Gettysburg Address", "The Fall of Troy", and "The Scuttling of the Graf Spee".

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Title: You Are There (1953–1957)

You Are There (1953–1957) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Unknown   5   4   3   2   1  
1971   1957   1956   1955   1954   1953  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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 Himself - Host - Narrator / ... (113 episodes, 1953-1971)
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Walter Cronkite hosted the reenactments of historical events. Shows included "The Landing of the Hindenburg", "The Salem Witchcraft Trials", "The Gettysburg Address", "The Fall of Troy", and "The Scuttling of the Graf Spee". Written by Anonymous

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Drama | History

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1 February 1953 (USA)  »

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[last lines]
Narrator: What sort of day was it? A day like all days, filled with those events that alter and illuminate our times... and you were there.
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Spoofed in Wideo Wabbit (1956) See more »

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Seen through the Blacklist
25 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the interesting footnotes to this New York-based show from the 1950s was that it became a sort of refuge for blacklisted scriptwriters. Walter Bernstein and Abe Polonsky are mentioned in the extended IMDb credits as "uncredited" writers. Some of the Hollywood blacklist histories mention this series as employing blacklisted writers.

I think it was Polonsky (whose FORCE OF EVIL is arguably one of the best of the film noirs) who talked about his "You Are There" experiences at a panel I attended in Berkeley in 1980. He stated that many of the historical episodes covered in the series were about the suppression of dissidents (such as The Death of Socrates), mirroring what the leftist screenwriters felt about being blacklisted from their industry on the basis of their political beliefs and affiliations.

I watched "You Are There" occasionally as a kid growing up in the 1950s, and of course I had no sense of this context. I remember thinking the shows were interesting--but corny. But I cannot compare the effort to penetrate historical events with anything currently on commercial broadcast network TV, and the CBS effort behind "You Are There" was a laudable one, in a different age.


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