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Cast

Episode credited cast:
John Nesbitt ...
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Birch ...
President
Kathryn Card
Geraldine Hall
Jean Harvey
...
Belva Lockwood (as Laura la Plante)
S. John Launer
Hal Le Sueur
...
Laura Lockwood
Vesey O'Davoren ...
President's Aide
Frank J. Scannell
Theodore von Eltz ...
Henry Corfield (as Theodor von Eltz)
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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

4 November 1956 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Telephone Time - A Series I Never Saw. I wonder if it survives.
26 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can't rate anything about this series - which was an anthology series seemingly based on American History. One episode is about Molly Brown. One is about the Zenger trial of 1734. I do note that the stars of the episodes included Boris Karloff, Greer Garson, Broderick Crawford, and even Bette Davis. Somehow, if these still exist, one hopes they are preserved and shown again.

Laura La Plante was the star of this episode, the title of which should be suggestive to American History buffs for what is behind it. Irving Stone wrote a popular study called THEY ALSO RAN in the 1950s, dealing with all the political candidates for President from 1832 to 1956 who lost despite having the support of a major Party Ticket (both Democrats and Republicans). I have read the book, and despite attempts to show he made serious research in it, many of Stone's evaluations of various candidates are not quite on target - he gets carried away with his own beliefs. For example, he really over-inflates his opinion of the lost chance for greatness as President of John Charles Fremont. I agree, Fremont was a superb explorer and map maker of the west on four treks, but his military and political gifts were mediocre at best. Stone felt the legend of Abraham Lincoln would have been the legend of John Charles Fremont.

Stone concentrated on major party candidates (Henry Clay, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes, Thomas Dewey, Adlai Stevenson - the last one he dealt with). He did not deal with third party figures, even if they were really interesting (Robert La Follette, Eugene V. Debs, Peter Cooper, General Benjamin Butler). So he naturally overlooked a remarkable woman that was played La Plante in this television show.

Belva Anna Lockwood was a unique lady for her time for two reasons. She was a sufficiently good lawyer to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court - in fact she was the first woman lawyer to do so. She was also nominated for the Presidency by a convention of a third party in 1888 against President Grover Cleveland (running for re-election) and former Indiana Senator Benjamin Harrison. Harrison won in a twisted election where Cleveland had more popular votes but Harrison had more electoral votes. Unfortunately Lockwood did not seriously affect the election outcome.

Many of you may recall that Victoria Woodhull had thrown her hat into the ring in 1872 for the Presidency, but no convention chose her - she just announced her candidacy. Lockwood, by being nominated, is the first woman officially chosen to be on a ballot by a political party for the Presidency in our nation's history. She died in 1917. The U. S. Post Office honored Belva with a definitive (small facial stamp) in the Famous American Series of the 1980s and 1990s, with a cost of $.17.

I wish I could say more about this particular production, but as it has not been shown for decades I can only talk about the remarkable woman it was about. Too bad - I saw Laura La Plante in MAN OF THE MOMENT two nights ago, and I enjoyed her performance.


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