8.5/10
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Kraft Theatre 

Kraft Television Theatre (original title)
A well-received anthology series presenting live television dramas.
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Episodes

Seasons


Years



11   10   9   8   7   6   5   4   3   … See all »
1958   1957   1956   1955   1954   1953   … See all »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Vaughn Taylor ...  Mr. Mergenthwirker / ... 31 episodes, 1947-1957
Ed Herlihy Ed Herlihy ...  Announcer / ... 28 episodes, 1947-1958
Valerie Cossart Valerie Cossart ...  Mrs. Ryerson / ... 21 episodes, 1947-1956
E.G. Marshall ...  Colonel Hodges / ... 20 episodes, 1950-1957
Joe Maross Joe Maross ...  Don Birnham 17 episodes, 1952-1957
Richard Kiley ...  Fred Staples / ... 16 episodes, 1948-1958
Harry Townes ...  Bill / ... 15 episodes, 1949-1958
Margaret Phillips ...  Kate 14 episodes, 1947-1953
Mercer McLeod Mercer McLeod ...  Hardcastle 14 episodes, 1947-1951
John Stephen John Stephen ...  Loomis 14 episodes, 1947-1954
Dan Morgan Dan Morgan ...  3rd Class Passenger / ... 14 episodes, 1950-1958
J. Pat O'Malley ...  Dovetail 13 episodes, 1951-1958
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Storyline

A well-received anthology series presenting live television dramas.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kraft Mystery Theatre See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (July 1956-October 1958)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unlike some other early television series, many episodes of this series survive as kinescope recordings. The March 3, 1948 episode is the oldest episode for which a complete copy exists. See more »


Soundtracks

Music of Manhattan
By Norman Clautier
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User Reviews

Dean superb in last live television drama
21 December 2002 | by arneblazeSee all my reviews

A LONG TIME TILL DAWN was one of James Dean's last television appearances (out of 25 or so between 1951 and 1954). A Kraft Playhouse hour long presentation in 1953, it starred Dean as Joe Harris, a sociopathic young man who has been unable to make it in NYC with his young wife and whose barely repressed rage has resulted in felony charges - beatings and robberies - that have ended in two prison terms. The drama opens as he has just been let out of his last six month prison term and returns to his NYC neighborhood, looking for his wife, who has returned home to their small town and is living with his father.

Joe's rage erupts at the storekeeper who advised his wife to leave and he assaults him. Back in his hometown he attempts to make believe he has turned over a new leaf and that all of his mistakes are behind him. However, the old man he has assaulted dies and the police are looking for Joe.

This production is typical of early television dramas but it is far better written (Rod Serling) than most and Dean is brilliant in a very complex role. He far outshines everyone else in the cast. Although the ending is melodramatic and a bit irrational in terms of continuity, it doesn't really hurt the essentially way ahead of its time character study of the sociopathic personality. All fans of Dean are encouraged to add this to their collection.

A kinescope of the final dress rehearsal in b&w is available on videotape. The lighting tends to vary from good to rather dark, but it tends to apply mainly to the quality of the commercials (which are left in) and only infringes on a few minutes of act two of the drama.


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