Of the many anthology series, Playhouse 90 is considered the most ambitious with oustanding talent in front of the camera. Attracting top ranked directors and scripts it was often filmed live including the entire first season.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



4   3   2   1  
1960   1959   1958   1957   1956  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kraft Theatre (1947–1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A well-received anthology series presenting live television dramas.

Stars: Ed Herlihy, Vaughn Taylor, Valerie Cossart
Comedy | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The award winning bing play of Mary Chase came to television in. 1958. It tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, (Ar Carney) a personable chap who drinks a little and befriends a "pookah" a 6 ... See full summary »

Stars: Tim O'Connor, James Valentine, Hurd Hatfield
The Iceman Cometh (TV Movie 1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The chilling tale of a high-rolling gambler who changes his ways and is determind to help the drifters, alcoholics and prostitutes who have come to depend on his "generosity".

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jason Robards, Myron McCormick, Tom Pedi
Sunday Showcase (1959–1960)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

A show featuring various specials. Some specials were comedy and others were serious drama by famous authors.

Stars: Robert Emhardt, Milton Berle, Jimmy Durante
Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A pinnacle of the Golden Age of Television, "Studio One" presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received 18-Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious nine-year-run on ... See full summary »

Stars: Betty Furness, Paul Branson, Paul Brenson
Alcoa Theatre (1957–1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When The Alcoa Hour dramatic anthology series moved from Sunday night to Monday, both the name and the format were changed. Instead of having a completely different cast for each episode, ... See full summary »

Stars: David Niven, Jack Lemmon, Robert Ryan
Playwrights '56 (TV Series 1955)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Stars: Gene Saks, Albert Dekker, Nina Foch
Omnibus (1952–1961)
Drama | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Starting out as a live show from New York City, "Omnibus" was hosted by Alastair Cooke and featured everything from discussions about science and the arts to original works by such ... See full summary »

Stars: Alistair Cooke, Leonard Bernstein, Helen Hayes
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

All about the citizens of Putnam's Landing and their reactions to an army missile base in their back yard.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Torch singer Helen Morgan rises from sordid beginnings to fame and fortune only to lose it all to alcohol and poor personal choices.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Ann Blyth, Paul Newman, Richard Carlson
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Boxer Rocky Graziano's biopic, based on his autobiography, from childhood to his World Middleweight Championship title win at age 28 in 1947.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Paul Newman, Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Presented by Eastman Kodak, the program was a series of original scripts directed by acclaimed directors and featuring well known performers. The stories ranged from musicals to comedies and dramas.

Stars: Arthur Q. Bryan, Bill Erwin, Macdonald Carey
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Richard Joy ...
 Himself - Announcer / ... (62 episodes, 1956-1960)
Edit

Storyline

Of the many anthology series, Playhouse 90 is considered the most ambitious with oustanding talent in front of the camera. Attracting top ranked directors and scripts it was often filmed live including the entire first season.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (broadcast of "The Nutcracker")

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The show began in 1956 broadcasting all live 90-minute plays, with only a sub-par kinescope film (film camera aimed at the live broadcast on the TV monitor) as an archive. The second year they began to film maybe every second or third episode (as a "made-for-TV-movie"), then in the last two years began videotaping many of the episodes. The tape technique was harder to spot because the broadcasts still appeared live, but there are at least partial tapes (of excellent, pristine, quality) in the CBS vaults of P90 episodes of "Days of Wine and Roses (1958)," "The Old Man (1958)," "Judgment At Nuremberg (1959)," "Alas, Babylon (1960)," and the final 'Playhouse 90' from 1960, "In The Prescence of Mine Enemies." Clips of these actual tapes were featured in the 2002 CBS special "50 Years of Television City in Hollywood.". See more »

Connections

Featured in TV's Most Censored Moments (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Song for a Summer Night
by Robert Allen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A master genre that does not even exist today.
10 October 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

"Playhouse 90" came as the grand finale of that elusive TV genre which precedes even my 44 years on this earth: the dramatic anthology. Prior to this one, anthology programs had existed on the infant medium for almost a decade. The networks had KRAFT TELEVISION THEATRE, FORD THEATRE, GOODYEAR PLAYHOUSE, and STUDIO ONE as early as 1948. They all had the same common goal: presentation of self-contained, live, dramatic stories, their quality rivaled only by the best of the Broadway stage. (It was no coincidence that many of these dramas were produced in New York.) While all previous series were only 30 and 60 minute episodes, P90 introduced something new: its show was done in the "Television City" studio in Hollywood, and it was a lavish, unheard of, *90* minutes. In those days a live play could exist on a sound-stage without a studio audience with intimate, claustrophobic, camera set-ups, and present over a span of 90 minutes, "The Plot To Kill Stalin;" "Bomber's Moon;" "Bitter Heritage;" "Requiem For A Heavyweight;" "No Time At All," "The Comedian," "The Helen Morgan Story," "Judgment At Nuremberg," and "The Miracle Worker" straight through, without second takes, and on a week-by-week basis!! Stories were adaptations by Hemingway and Faulkner, as well as originals by Reginald Rose, J.P. Miller, and Rod Serling- all with stellar actors and directors. Eventually some productions were filmed in kinescope or on location as TV-movies, but the productions I'd kill to see are the ones which initiated the first ever videotape. Because videotape was not up and running until late 1957, the P90 archive of plays is uneven. Most of the museum archive is still on kinescope (which you can see at one of the two MT&R television museums on the coast of your choice), but the good news is that many plays from the last two years of the series were captured on glorious black-and-white videotape- the medium which comes closest to simulating the original live broadcast. A CBS special in 2002 dusted off some of these tapes and aired- probably only for the second time ever- clips of 1958's "The Old Man" and "Days of Wine And Roses," 1959's "Judgment at Nuremberg," and the final P90 from 1960, "In The Prescence of Mine Enemies." I suspect, sadly, that these show quality tapes are probably tied up in copyright laws and cannot be shown publicly. The series was a short, brilliant blaze of Emmy-winning glory, and came to a crashing halt in 1961- one year before I was born. I miss it.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVDs available? MEwing4444
Alas Babylon sldeveloper
Playhouse 90 - Portrait of a Murder 1958 Tab Hunter kathyanndavis
New Criterion DVD: Golden Age of Television luckard
Question for the trivia buffs? galileo_ii
The Ninth Day churei
Discuss Playhouse 90 (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page