A musical version of Maxwell Anderson's never-filmed fantasy play.
Did You Know?
Playwright Maxwell Anderson
first considered a musical adaptation of "High Tor" for television in 1949. In mid-1954 CBS Chairman William Paley
approached Anderson about producing the play for his newly planned live-action, 90-minute anthology series, Ford Star Jubilee
(1955). Anderson and writer John Monks Jr.
decided to adapt the play as a musical fantasy, with music composed by Arthur Schwartz
and lyrics by Anderson, and starring Bing Crosby
. Crosby was not comfortable with doing live television--especially 90 minutes of it nonstop--and insisted that the production be filmed. His production office was on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood, and he did not want to use the CBS studio in Hollywood nor the New York studio for the shooting. Desilu Studios--formerly the RKO Pictures lot--was across the street from the Paramount lot, and an agreement was reached to shoot the production there. CBS wanted to shoot it on videotape, as it normally did with live shows, but Crosby didn't want that. He reached a deal with CBS that would result in his covering the additional expense of shooting the production on film, and any associated costs. In the end the show's budget reached $450,000, making it the most expensive TV production up to that time (Crosby himself was reported to have been paid $375,000). Shot in November of 1955 by cinematographer Lester Shorr
and directors James Neilson
and Franklin J. Schaffner
--all of whom had previously worked on both live and filmed shows--it was broadcast on March 10, 1956, to lukewarm reviews. The show's score was released that year on Decca Records. See more
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Maxwell Anderson See more