Ford Star Jubilee: Season 1, Episode 7

High Tor (10 Mar. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama | Music
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 12 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

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

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Title: High Tor (10 Mar 1956)

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Episode credited cast:
Van Van Dorn
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lloyd Corrigan ...
John Pickard ...


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

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Comedy | Drama | Music





Release Date:

10 March 1956 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


(1937). Stage Play: High Tor. Fantasy. Written by Maxwell Anderson. Production designed by Jo Mielziner. Directed by Guthrie McClintic. Martin Beck Theatre: 9 Jan 1937- Jun 1937 (closing date unknown/171 performances). Cast: Peggy Ashcroft (as "Lise"), Burgess Meredith (as "Van van Dorn"), Will Archie (as "Second Sailor") [final Broadway role], Charles D. Brown, William Casamo, John Drew Colt (as "Buddy"), Hume Cronyn (as "Elkus"), Charles Forrester (as "Patsy"), Leslie Gorall, Harold Grau (as "Third Sailor"), Jackson Halliday, Harry Irvine (as "The Indian"), John M. Kline, Mab Maynard (as "Judith"), Byron McGrath (as "Captain Asher"), Harold Moffet, John Philliber, Thomas W. Ross. Replacement actors: Lee Baker (as "The Indian"), Phyllis Welch (as "Judith"). Produced by Guthrie McClintic. Note: Ford Star Jubilee produced an adaption of this play, broadcast 10 Mar 1956 [Season 1, Episode 7] starring Bing Crosby (as "Van Van Dorn"), with Nancy Olson (as "Judith") and Julie Andrews (as Lise"). The work has never been produced as a theatrical film. See more »


Once Upon a Long Ago
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Maxwell Anderson
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Selling the Mountain and Expelling the Spirits
2 July 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

High Tor is a musical adaption by Maxwell Anderson of his own drama of the same name. The play High Tor had a run of 171 performances in 1937 and had Burgess Meredith and Peggy Ashcroft starring in the roles that Bing Crosby and Julie Andrews took in this version. Additionally Anderson wrote the lyrics that Bing and Julie and the rest of the cast sang to Arthur Schwartz's music.

High Tor was an episode done for Ford Star Jubilee and it was a live broadcast of an original musical done for television. In watching a tape of the production, you would have to remember that this was still early television and in that the values were pretty shoddy, not at all what we are used to now. It's an outdoor story, the whole plot takes place on a mountain owned by Bing Crosby on the west bank of the Hudson River. It would better have been done on film with some nice location shots. It couldn't be done on the Hudson now though, what was feared at the time, commercial development, has come to pass.

Bing owns a mountain called High Tor and a couple of sharpies played by Hans Conreid and Lloyd Corrigan are trying to get it from him. Bing's fiancé played by Nancy Olson wants him to sell so they can start afresh somewhere else.

There's another group interested in the mountain. A group of marooned sailors who were left there by Henry Hudson who never came back for them are there, or at least their spirits are. Two of them are Everett Sloane and his daughter Julie Andrews. Henry Hudson on a later voyage was marooned on the bay that is named after him in Canada. I guess what goes around, truly does come around.

On a magical autumn night Crosby, the crooks, Olson, the Dutch sailor spirits, and a trio of bank robbers who robbed the bank in Nanuet all have a date with destiny on High Tor. If you think the play borrows a lot from A Midsummer Night's Dream, you'd be right.

Another reason that this is not better remembered is that no hit songs came from the score. That is a pity because it has some lovely tunes. Bing gets one of his philosophical numbers, Living One Day at a Time, a genre that was almost his alone. A favorite of mine is a ballad sung at one time by all the cast members, When You're In Love and there's a comic ode to a different kind of spirit, John Barleycorn.

Bing's rival Frank Sinatra had early done a live original musical adaption of Our Town in which his classic Love and Marriage came from. If Bing had a song that got that kind of acclaim from this score, High Tor would be a classic itself.

Since the story did involve ghosts some special effects that wouldn't have been available in a live TV broadcast also would have added to the production values.

Still if you can get the tape of the kinescope it would be a real viewing treat.

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