Playhouse 90 (1956–1961)
3 user 1 critic

Heart of Darkness 

A trading company manager travels up an African river to find a missing outpost head and discovers the depth of evil in humanity's soul.



(based on story), (written for TV)


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Episode cast overview:
The Queen
The Doctor
The Crone
The Accountant
The Chaplain
Fintan Meyler ...
The Woman
Tom Palmer ...
The District Officer
Nora O'Mahoney ...
Abbey (as Nora O'Mahony)


A trading company manager travels up an African river to find a missing outpost head and discovers the depth of evil in humanity's soul.

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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »




Release Date:

6 November 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

It manages to be even WORSE than the Conrad novel...and I wasn't sure if this was even possible!!
4 October 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I should point out up front that although I LOVE "Playhouse 90", I also thoroughly hate Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness". I was forced to read it in college and wish I could erase it from my brain so I can remember better things--such as interesting and well written stories!

As for the show, "Playhouse 90" was one of several American anthology shows that featured live made for TV plays each week. While relatively common in the 1950s, such events are no longer done--they're just too expensive and too much trouble. Imagine...doing one of these play LIVE each week--think of the logistical nightmare!! However, despite this, many great directors and writers were created and, for a time, the best and most talented folks worked on television, not in Hollywood.

As I mentioned above, this story is based on the old Joseph Conrad story of the same name. It was altered significantly and made into "Apocalypse Now" (a great film) and my only hope as I watched would be that the writer who adapted the stupid story would change it enough to make it interesting!

Apparently, the person who wrote the teleplay for this decided that "Heart of Darkness" sucks also. After all, they write all sorts of back story and spend a lot of time on things not in the original story. This might not have been bad had this new material been relevant or interesting. Instead, it managed to be even WORSE than Conrad's own tedious writing!! With lines like 'you're not a cub any're a panther' and too much exposition and a terrible back story, the episode manages to be hellishly bad. Sadly, Boris Karloff (as Kurtz) is barely in the show and it's something I would hate to see again.

The music is nice...hence a 2 instead of a 1.

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