A disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter returns to his old neighborhood bar, where he meets an alcoholic genius and undergoes an epiphany.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Richard Reeves ...
Truck Driver
Jack Lomas ...
Sharpy (as Jack M. Lomas)


Burned-out Hollywood screenwriter Bart Thomas, disillusioned with the artistic compromises he's had to make, returns to his Italian-American New York roots by making a surprise visit to the neighborhood bar run by his Uncle Rocco. There he meets a variety of Runyonesque local characters including the Deacon, a boozy but affable intellectual who hustles drinks by using his prodigious knowledge to answer questions from patrons on any and all subjects, utilizing a weighty set of encyclopedias to verify his answers. Recognizing a kindred spirit, the Deacon reveals to to Bart that learning the total knowledge of the world is essential to his completion of the play that he has been working on for 15 years, "The Answer." Surprisingly, the Deacon agrees to disclose its content for the first time to Bart and the others, and, in so doing, it turns into a transforming experience for all involved. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

23 December 1954 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Deacon: [lifting a glass of wine] To paraphrase the Immortal Bard: the grape's the thing!
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User Reviews

Strange Tidings for Christmas
2 August 2015 | by See all my reviews

David Niven who usually is seen in more debonair attire on the big screen, dons the apparel of a gentleman alcoholic tramp in this Four Star Playhouse Christmas show.

The Answer tries really too hard to cover a lot of metaphysical territory. As it opens Niven is being given the heave-ho by bartender Nestor Paiva. But just as Niven is ceremoniously departing Anthony Caruso who is a screenwriter from Hollywood and Paiva's nephew arrives. Niven intrigues Caruso so he invites him back and then Niven tells him he's also the writer of an unfinished work.

Niven has accumulated a knowledge of trivia that would astound. But that's because he's started to write a play concerning the collection and repository of the accumulated wisdom of mankind.

In the end it gets distilled down to a few well known sentences.

On the small screen as well as the big David Niven is asked to carry a show on his considerable charm. The Answer is sincerely written, but as a concept it doesn't quite cover the huge field it stakes out.

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