Studio One in Hollywood: Season 8, Episode 30

The Arena (9 Apr. 1956)
"Studio One" The Arena (original title)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 15 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

Arriving in Washington, a freshman senator gets an experienced advisor who warns him not to continue a heated feud with his state's senior salon, held over from his father. But later in a ... See full summary »


(as Franklin Schaffner)


(written especially for Studio One by)
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Title: The Arena (09 Apr 1956)

The Arena (09 Apr 1956) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Episode credited cast:
James Norton
John Cromwell ...
Senator Rogers
Leora Dana ...
Margaret Norton
Edgar Stehli ...
Frank Norton
Peter Turgeon ...
Harry Holcombe ...
Senator Smithson
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Brenson ...
Announcer (voice)
Herself - Commercial Spokeswoman


Arriving in Washington, a freshman senator gets an experienced advisor who warns him not to continue a heated feud with his state's senior salon, held over from his father. But later in a drunken jag, he blurts out secret evidence that can end the career of the older man. Written by WesternOne

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Release Date:

9 April 1956 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
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User Reviews

Rod Serling not at the top of his game
28 November 2008 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

American political stories frequently revolve around the threat of blackmail -- ADVISE AND CONSENT, THE BEST MAN and PRIMARY COLORS come to mind. This show predates most of these, but is nowhere as interesting. Serling tells of a young senator named Norton newly appointed to fill out the term of one who has just died. Norton comes with a chip on his shoulder -- his father had been a senator from the same state until he was forced out of politics by the same man Norton now has to deal with because he's a colleague. Norton acquires the ammo to avenge his father but wrestles with whether or not he should use it.

Part of the problem is that Serling draws his characters in such big crayon strokes that there is little moral complexity here. The father is such a snarling, vicious pit-bull that we wonder how the son could possibly have been blind to the old man's nature for so long. The son seems like a fool from day one. It doesn't help that Wendell Corey is supposed to be young and callow but he seems to be in his late forties at least. (I don't now what his real age was then.)

Serling wrote a lot of good stuff, but this isn't one of his better efforts. It's preachy and clunky. This show is most interesting for the slightly over-the-top performance by Chester Morris as a political operative with a convenient weakness for liquor and a view of the young Frances Sternhagen who would go on to do a lot of wonderful work in better parts.

This is in the STUDIO ONE box set and is the first program I've sampled. I'm hoping that the others are stronger.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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