Reviews written by registered user
|36 reviews in total|
I recently saw this kinescope at the Museum of TV and Radio in NYC. This was a live TV remake of the 1944 MGM movie. It was charming and lively and you would never know it was not a movie, the actors were all perfect with their lines and singing and dancing. Myrna Loy and Walter Pidgeon were the parents, they could practically have been in the original as they were both MGM stars at the time, so it is nice they got to be in this one. THey even sing in one number, You and I. Also there is Jeanne Crain in one of her few live TV performances, very pretty still in her early thirties playing a teenager. But perhaps best of all were Jane Powell in Judy Garland's old role, singing well (Have yourself a merry little Christmas, the Trolley song, the Boy next door, danced and sang well in Skip to my loo), good acting. A special treat is also Patty Duke in the Margaret O'Brian role; she was possibly the best of an excellent bunch, very bratty and cute. All in all a great show, a two hour special from the golden age of television. Too bad it is not available on videotape! Update in 2016. The other reviewer on this TV special indicated that I was incorrect in my review and stated that it was not live and it was videotaped. In reality it was live, it was not videotaped. If you look at Jeanne Crain's TV shows at the time promoting this, on I've Got a Secret and What's My Line, she says that it will be a live special and they were rehearsing it for a month and how much she loves live television. Also in Tab Hunter and Patty Duke's autobiographies they discuss this special and that it was live. In Myrna Loy's autobiography she spends about 2 pages discussing the rehearsals for it, where she ate lunch with Ed Wynn on their lunch breaks, and how upset producer David Susskind was that it would be one of the last live TV specials. She then discusses the production itself and how it was live, how the Christmas tree almost fell on Jeanne Crain while it was live, all the cables and how complicated it was, and how great she felt after it was done, how she felt the feeling should be bottled and sold as it was the best of theatre in that it was live but that since it was on TV at the same time they also had the camera there. So yes, it was live!
This was an excellent show. One can see easily how Stanwyck got an Emmy for it. Unfortunately, at the time she finally agreed to do an anthology show, they stopped making them and this one was canceled after a year. I have seen about half of them and they are excellent. The best ones are comedy ones and she reminds us how funny she was. In particular, Confession i think it was called, with Leon Ames and a young Peter Falk, is hilarious. Truly a black comedy episode, very funny. The other episodes are very good too, a little bit of everything, comedies, westerns, romances, court room stuff, adventure (with three with same character of adventurer Josephine Little). And lots of great Stanwyck performances playing strong, neat ladies. It is too bad it was not made a few years earlier and then we could have watched a lot more episodes. She made a lot of this show, by the way, in one season, I think over 35 episodes. That is more than some cable shows air in 3-4 seasons nowadays.
This is a great television remake, which runs so smoothly you would never know the entire thing was done live. The cast is great with Noel Coward, starring in his own play; Lauren Bacall as the dead first wife (very funny); Claudette Colbert, in a comedy performance as good as any she did in her many films; and best of all, Mildred Natwick in an Emmy nominated performance, she is by far the funniest thing. Also in the cast is a very young Marion Ross as the maid. All in all, a great television remake, a great example of why the golden age of television truly was golden.
This was an excellent adaptation of the Katherine Ann Porter short story. It was perfect for the old anthology format. I saw this at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. It concerns a farm couple and a murder, won't say much more than that or might ruin the plot. But Jason Robards was excellent as always in the role of a rough farmer who makes a mistake and tries to right it. And then there was Olivia de Havilland in one of her last real starring roles, and her first role on television. It is too bad she did not accept more roles in television around this time. She is Robard's wife, a former school teacher in one is essentially a loveless marriage that she has resigned herself to due to duty to marriage and her children. It is a great performance of hers, one of her best in television that ranks with her roles in Roots and Anastasia in her ability to touch your emotions. See this one if you ever get the chance! A real treat for de Havilland fans.
This was the jewel in the crown of the golden age of television, the fifties and early sixties. This show had the best actors, the best directors, and the best writers. Many of these were on kinescope and are available somewhere, in a vault somewhere, or happily for the rest of us, at the Museum of television and radio. Some of the shows I have seen are The Comedian, with Mickey Rooney as a beloved comedian, who is a vulture in real life (kind of a similar story to A Face in the Crowd). It is one of Rooney's best performances. There is also the beautiful Requiem for a Heavyweight, with wonderful performances by Jack Palance, Ed and Keenan Wynn, and Kim Hunter. It is probably the best known of these shows. Also there is Days of Wine and Roses, with shattering, brilliant work by Piper Laurie, Cliff Robertson, and especially Charles Bickford. It equally comparable to the film. And recently I have been able to see A Sound of Different Drummers with Diana Lynn and Sterling Hayden. It is a story about a future society where books are banned; book owners are killed. It is sort of similar to Farenheit 451; it is very good, with touching performances by both stars. The best one of all that I have seen is The Miracle Worker. I was so excited that a copy exists. It is equally comparable to the film and features an outstanding, Emmy nominated performance by Teresa Wright as Annie Sullavan. She should have gotten the Emmy, and been able to continue her role in the stage and film versions, all respects to the wonderful Anne Bancroft though! It is the best of her many fine fifties televsion performances and right up there with A Shadow of a Doubt and The Little Foxes in terms of her best performances of all time. Several of these shows are available on VHS, too bad they all aren't!
This was a wonderful miniseries from 1978. I was a child when I saw it but remember it so well. It was re-run on the network in 1980,but not since then has it been seen to my knowledge. I too wish it was available on video or dvd. The performances were wonderful, especially Susan Dey at her finest as Jo. Also Eve Plumb was a great Beth. Greer Garson was a perfect Aunt March and Dorothy McGuire capped her wonderful career of playing so many mothers by playing one of literatures finest, Marmee of course. All of the other actors were very good as well. This is one of the best versions of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, and as the other commenters here have noted, it is very accurate to the novel. I still think the Katherine Hepburn version is the best, possibly it feels most genuinely Victorian. The June Allyson version is good too, but mainly the first hour. I think also the Winona Ryder one was also wonderful. But in this one, possibly due to the length, you really felt like the novel was coming to life, if you know what I mean. I hope this comes out on video one of these days. It is a real classic.
This show has been running in reruns on a Christian station for some years now (since maybe 2004) and it really is a good show. Ms. Young was able to really show the real depth of her talent for possibly the first time, in all kinds of roles, which is what she loved about the series, that she could do all kinds of parts, in the abbreviated 30 minute anthology format. There are a few episodes that are extra special, in which she plays a nun (same character in at least 2 shows) and you can really tell she wanted to pay tribute to them. They are both set in a hospital and really have not dated. In another, she is a lady who befriends a little Oriental boy and thinks he has cheated her; when she discovers he has not she feels awful. It is one of her best acting scenes ever. Also another episode in which she loses her husband in the war, falls in love again, and then the husband comes back. It was set in a beach setting and her performance (with her regular co star, John Newland I think his name is) is a great one. Also a performance from I think the early 60s, she is a teacher in love with her principal, and is accused of an affair. She has a lot of facial props to make her look unattractive and this half hour is probably the best acting she ever did. You really see the depth of her talent in this show and the shows are upbeat, realistic, but make you typically feel better or make you think of their topic. She did a great job, as she was not only the principal actor, she also was the principal director. It really was Loretta Young's show.
I have only seen a few of these shows, they are pretty rare to see. One of them was "Trail of Terror" with Robert Preston and Diana Lynn in 1957. It was a live tv production, about the murder of a Dr., Lynn's husband. Preston was great in this as the police detective, and Lynn gave one of her typically latter day great tv performances. She acted on television from 1950 to 1965 and really expanded her range of acting; this was a typical great one as the grieving wife who almost goes against her values but is able to right her mistake at the last minute. Another excellent episode of Climax, and they are basically one hour long live films, was Katherine Ann Porter's "Pale Horse, Pale Rider." It starred Dorothy McGuire and John Forsythe, the second of their live television performances (they had earlier starred in a 1951 live remake of Dark Victory). Pale Horse, Pale Rider was a beautiful love story set in 1918, with the backdrop of WWI and the Spanish Flu, from which more Americans died than did American soldiers in WWI. This was one of the last, really, of McGuire's romantic roles and she is typically beautiful, charming, and lovely in it. It is one of her best television roles and she is very moving as the girl who falls in love only once. All in all, Climax was a great show from the ones I have seen and I wish I could see more!
This was part of the A & E series Playwright's Theatre from the early 1990's. Each week was a one act play, this one by Tennessee Williams. The performances in this remake of the movie Baby Doll are all excellent. Ray Sharkey plays the man whom manipulates and seduces Lesley Ann Warren, the wife of the low character played by Peter Boyle. He almost sets it up for the wife to be seduced so he can get a cheaper price for his cotton. Lesley Ann Warren, who at this time was at the peak of her career, gives an outstanding performance as the not very bright woman who is manipulated and essentially raped by the end of the story. She is able to show this "baby doll" woman as a woman used as a plaything and victim and the dangers of accepting this type of thinking, that humans are to be used by other humans, for all people.
I could not agree more with these other reviewers. The Dick Powell Show, later called the Dick Powell Theatre after his death, was a great show. Typical of Mr. Powell's shows in so many areas. Well cast, well directed, well acted, interesting shows, parts for actors of all ages (Gladys Cooper, Charlie Ruggles and Charles Bickford, all in lead roles), and wonderfully produced. There are some neat all star shows in particular, A time to Die, Special Assignment, Who Killed Julie Greer, Last of the Private Eyes. The shows had a wide range: shows about the cold war (Project X), family dramas (In search of a son), to light romantic comedies (View from the Eiffel Tower, featuring a lovely performance in a drama by Jane Powell, no relation to Mr. Powell!). Mr. Powell obviously liked to help his friends get work, which had ranged back to Four Star Playhouse, Stage 7, Star and the Story, Turn of Fate, June Allyson Show and Zane Grey Theatre. All of these were produced by Dick Powell's Four Star Productions and he cast basically every veteran actor and actress in Hollywood, all in great shows. He would have given us many more shows if he had lived longer and this show, Dick Powell Show, was really great and would have easily gone on, as the other reviewer said, for several more years.
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