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

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Van Van Dorn
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Judith
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DeWitt
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Biggs
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Skimmerhorn
Dan Barton ...
Buddy
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Elkus
James Gavin ...
Patsy
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Dope
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Bigs Sr
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Budge
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Captain
Micheal Miller ...
Pieter
Jack Pepper ...
1st Sailor
Dick Keene ...
2nd Sailor
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

10 March 1956 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Sondheim also set a musical version of the play "High Tor," but Maxwell Anderson refused permission, so the Sondheim musical adaptation was never produced. Subsequent copyright extension acts mean the Stephen Sondheim music will be illegal until 2042. See more »

Quotes

Biggs: [Thumbing through a pile of money] You know, until now I've always had to work for it, or steal it. This is the first time that I've ever been wakened up by a little man in a big hat fetching it to me in bundles.
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Soundtracks

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

 
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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