A musical version of Maxwell Anderson's never-filmed fantasy play.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Van Van Dorn
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Dan Barton ...
James Gavin ...
Charles Meredith ...
Bigs Sr
Micheal Miller ...
Jack Pepper ...
1st Sailor
Dick Keene ...
2nd Sailor


A musical version of Maxwell Anderson's never-filmed fantasy play.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Music





Release Date:

10 March 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »


John Barleycorn
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Maxwell Anderson
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User Reviews

A haunting musical, lost in time.
5 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Okay, it's not a classic piece of television history, but I have a real soft spot for "High Tor." This has a lot to do with the astonishing natural appeal and sincerity of a 21-year-old Julie Andrews - whom I had never seen before - and Bing Crosby's way of making being Bing Crosby look easy. The plot's jumbled and the technical values are undoubtedly primitive - but it was filmed live, and that's exciting all by itself in 2009. In addition, Maxwell Anderson may not have been the great playwright I thought him at 17, but he was a fine lyricist - he wrote "September Song," and the musical "Lost In The Stars" with Kurt Weill - and the songs he wrote for "High Tor" with Arthur Schwartz have stayed with me for more than fifty years. I've always wished that some company could put out a DVD of this forgotten show, if for nothing else than the pure beauty and plain sweetness of the young Julie Andrews.

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