Great Performances (TV Series 1971– ) Poster

(1971– )

Episode List

 OR 

Unknown Season

30 Jan. 1974
June Moon
In this rousing satire a native upstate New York clerk comes to 1920s Manhattan with dreams of making in big on Tin Pan Alley.
 
13 Feb. 1974
Antigone
With fierce originality, this powerful adaptation of the Sophocles tragedy presents a world of honor, treachery and fateful consequences. Acclaimed actress Genevieve Bujold skillfully combines elements of zealotry and idealism in her affecting portrait of Antigone. Jean Anouilh's retelling of "Antigone" stages the inescapably wrenching central confrontation between Antigone and Creon by presenting Bujold and Fritz Weaver seated at a long, executive-suite table--a hallmark of Anouilh's play. The New York Times critic, John J. O'Connor, lauded this "Antigone" as "well ...
 
20 Feb. 1974
King Lear
King Lear, old and tired, divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving great importance to their protestations of love for him. When Cordelia, youngest and most honest, refuses to idly flatter the old man in return for favor, he banishes her and turns for support to his remaining daughters. But Goneril and Regan have no love for him and instead plot to take all his power from him. In a parallel, Lear's loyal courtier Gloucester favors his illegitimate son Edmund after being told lies about his faithful son Edgar. Madness and tragedy befall both ill-starred fathers.
 
27 Mar. 1974
Feasting with Panthers
Oscar Wilde's five years at hard labor in Reading Gaol where he was imprisoned for being a sodomite.
 
12 Mar. 1975
Forget-Me-Not-Lane
A man remembers his exasperating, unsuccessful, unhappy father.
 
2 Apr. 1975
The School for Scandal
The central plot deals with the rivalry of two brothers for a beautiful woman who happens to be their rich uncle's much younger wife.
 
17 Jul. 1975
Beyond the Horizon
On a Connecticut farm, James Mayo's two sons both love Ruth Atkins. Robert, the younger son, is sickly and dreams of escaping to a romantic life somewhere "beyond the horizon." Andy is hard-working and steadfast and loves his brother deeply. When Ruth reveals that she loves Robert and not, as everyone believed, Andy, Robert's plans to go to sea with his uncle are disrupted. He decides to stay at home and marry Ruth, while Andy, unwilling to remain close at hand as his brother marries the girl he loves, takes Robert's place on the voyage. This turn of events leads to ...
 
1 Jan. 1976
The Collection
Did Bill sleep with Stella? Or was it her husband, James? And where does the much older Harry fit into this triangle (or is it quadrangle?) situation?
 
13 Oct. 1976
Ah, Wilderness!
On the Fourth of July holiday in 1906, the Miller family prepares to celebrate in their New England home. Young Richard, 16, is a thoughtful and poetic youth in love with a neighbor girl, Muriel. When Richard's messages of poetry to Muriel upset her prudish father, Muriel is forbidden to see him and forced to write a letter saying she wishes no more to do with him. Richard, devastated, sets out to learn the evil ways of the world and put his broken heart behind him.
 
15 Dec. 1976
Solti Conducts Mendelssohn
Sir Georg Solti makes his American television debut conducting the Chicago symphony Orchestra.
 
24 Nov. 1980
Life on the Mississippi
Most mid-19th-century Mississippi River boys dreamed of occupying that pinnacle of power and glamour, the pilot house of a riverboat. In a riot of local color, this film tells how, unlike many, Sam's dream comes true. A callow teenager, he talks the tough but consummate Horace Bixby into making him his apprentice on the "Paul Jones," eventually following him to the much finer "Aleck Scott." Meanwhile, he is already spinning fantastic yarns to everyone from awe-struck lads ashore, to fellow "cub pilots", to young lady passengers who catch his eye. Things temporarily ...
 
1981
Summer
The story of a seventeen-year-old girl's early disillusionment with life followed by her accommodation to reality.
 
16 Nov. 1981
Edith Wharton: Looking Back
Noted American author Edith Wharton, in her later years, returns home and reminisces about her life. This was part of a PBS Great Performances trilogy, which also included dramatizations of her novels "Summer" (starring Diane Lane and John Cullum) and "The House of Mirth" (starring Geraldine Chaplin).
 
1983
Laurence Olivier: A Life
A multi-award winning biography covering the life and career of actor/director Laurence Olivier.
 
24 Apr. 1985
Heartbreak House
Re-creation of the Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's 1920 comedy of manners.The troubles of England are parallel with the domestic troubles of Captain Shotover's household.
 
24 May 1985
The Best of Broadway
Tom Bosley hosts a tribute to the American musical theater taped before a live audience featuring dozens of stars recreating their original performances. Among the show-stoppers are Chita Rivera's Spanish Rose dance in "Bye, Bye, Bireie," Ray Walston as the Devil in "Damn Yankees," Nell Carter singing the Fats Waller classic "Cash for Trash" from "Ain't Misbehavin," Glynis Johns with "Send in the Clowns" from "A Little Night Music," Barry Bostwick from "Grease," and many more.
 
25 Nov. 1985
Grown-Ups
A middle-aged journalist has, at last, grown up - only to find he's trapped in a world of emotional infants.
 
29 Nov. 1985
The Importance of Being Earnest
In 1890s London, two friends use the same pseudonym ("Ernest") for their on-the-sly activities. Hilarity ensues.
 
7 Mar. 1986
Irving Berlin's America
The life and work of the great composer Irving Berlin, tracking his work against the history of 20th century America, its ups and downs, in war and peace, progress and sentiments. Interviews with many of the people who worked with him and knew him best. And appearances in many film and television excerpts of the leading performance artists of our time, including Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Harry Richman, Rudy Vallee, Fred Astaire, Kate Smith, Jack Benny, John Raitt, Betty Hutton, Ethel Merman, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Linda Ronstadt and many others.
 
17 Oct. 1986
Miles Ahead: The Music of Miles Davis
A documentary on the music of Miles Davis which contains concert footage from the1986 New Orleans Jazz Festival and interviews with Miles Davis, Bill Cosby, Keith Jarrett, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams and Robben Lee Ford. Music includes "Human Nature", "Al Jarreau, "Blues for Pablo", "Human Nature", "So What" and "Time After Time."
 
1987
Cinderella
While her stepsisters are trying to gain the attention of the fake prince, Cenerentola and the Prince fall in love with each other.
 
13 Mar. 1987
James Stewart: A Wonderful Life
A retrospective on the life and career of actor James Stewart, with clips from many of his films and interviews with people who have worked with him.
 
6 Nov. 1987
Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson
A Hollywood actress who worries that the movie world is eroding her grip on reality is drawn into a love affair with an ordinary - and married - guy.