Screen Directors Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 17

Prima Donna (1 Feb. 1956)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance
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Reviews: 3 user

A teenager with outstanding vocal talent would rather play baseball than develop his singing skills.



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Title: Prima Donna (01 Feb 1956)

Prima Donna (01 Feb 1956) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Episode credited cast:
Martha Blessing
Herself - Laraine Day Durocher
Leo Durocher ...
Jerome Cowan ...
Jacqueline deWit ...
Alfred Caiazza ...
Johnny Durocher
Jack Lomas ...
Ted - Accompanist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Butler ...
Himself - in prologue


A teenager with outstanding vocal talent would rather play baseball than develop his singing skills.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance




Release Date:

1 February 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jeanette MacDonald's dramatic TV debut. See more »

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User Reviews

A disappointment
22 January 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am a horrible person, I know. After all, I don't happen to adore Jeanette MacDonald's singing--in fact, it makes my skin crawl. A while back, I reviewed one of her films and took some heat because I wrote that the film would be better without her operatic warblings. So, if you love her singing and think she is one of the greatest actresses of all time, then you should probably stop reading...even if I did like this particular episode of "Screen Directors Playhouse". It's just that I hated the singing and found myself speeding through the portion with her singing (as I'd copied this to a DVD). Unfortunately, it turned out that the singing was NOT the worst part of the show. It didn't help that her character was basically a pushy and rather unlikable lady--and the script seemed a bit amateurish.

MacDonald plays a lady who is pretty much like herself--an aging singing star. But instead of enjoying her wealth and success, this lady loves discovering new talent. In this case, it's a kid selling newspapers (Alfred Caiazza) with a rather operatic voice. She refuses listen to anyone and heads full speed ahead. Later, this unwillingness to listen really bites her on the butt...and everyone has a hardy laugh.

I've seen several episodes of this show and so far this is probably the worst--and not just because of the singing. The problem is that the Miss MacDonald plays an incredibly obnoxious character AND the acting is often quite broad. You know it's not well written or directed when one of the better actors in the show is Leo Durocher--the baseball manager! I especially hated the very end--one minute the dinner was ready and only three minutes later the kitchen was filled with smoke and the cook (Jane Darwell) was talking about having to make bacon and eggs (ha, ha, ha, ha they all laughed). Pretty dreadful.

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