Late on Christmas Day, a man coaxes an antiques shopkeeper to let him in under the pretense of needing a gift for his fiancée, but it is soon clear he wants something else. To his surprise, what he ...
Originally billed as "Playhouse of the Stars" this long running anthology series was originally presented live from New York City. Irene Dunne was briefly the hostess in 1952, and the show frequently used Broadway performers in classic stories.
Live dramatic shows featuring Hollywood stars. Initially, the show was a thirty-minute weekly show, but when it moved to NBC in August 1954, the show was extended to sixty minutes, and the ... See full summary »
Thanks TMC for reviving this long neglected anthology series. I think I've seen enough representative entries to pick out some notable series features.
By and large, the episodes are very well produced, especially for early TV. Outdoor locations are generally used instead of exterior sets; costuming is movie-grade quality; and casting is of name performers (e.g. John Wayne, Jeanette Mac Donald) or up-and-comers (e.g. Dennis Hopper, Rod Steiger). Also, for this old-movie fan, it's fun seeing the real people behind the well-known director names—each entry being directed by a well-known movie director (e.g. John Ford, Leo McCarey, Frank Borzage) making a cameo appearance. The formats run the gamut from melodramas to musicals, and though the story quality can vary—as it does for any series—the standards appear pretty high for the time. This is also a period when the snobbish barrier between doing movies and doing TV is beginning to break down. All in all, however, I'm curious why the program was cancelled after only one season. I suspect there's a bigger story to this than just the ratings. Anyway, I hope TMC runs more episodes. The appeal here is entertainment as well as historical.
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