When the genius of Shakespeare is wedded to the unsurpassed skills of on of the finest actors of this, or any other, age, something extraordinary happens. John Gielgud was at his height at the time of this program, with all the finely-honed skills of lifetime of theatrical experience concentrated in a two-hour one-man show. Gielgud's triumphant "Ages of Man" program (adapted from George Rylands' "Shakespeare Anthology") demonstrates this actor's ability to "become" the character being represented, be that character the young Romeo or the aged Lear. Gielgud's voice is an instrument without equal, which he uses to allow us a glimpse of the power of theatre and the majesty of one of the world's greatest playwright's command of language.
The program was originally broadcast on CBS in 1966. CBS executives decided it's audience was very limited, so it was shown in two one-hour installments on consecutive Sunday afternoons in the 4:00 p.m. slot. The recent (December 21, 2010) release of this program on DVD by the Archive of American Television restores this landmark program to general accessibility.
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