Kraft Theatre (1947–1958)
5 user 2 critic

A Long Time Till Dawn 

Just out of prison Joe Harris looks to restart his life. His wife Barbie has moved and the one man who can tell him where refuses to do so. Enraged, Joe beats the old man senseless and runs... See full summary »


Richard Dunlap


Rod Serling


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Episode credited cast:
Robert Cass Robert Cass ... Sully
James Dean ... Joe Harris
Pud Flanagan Pud Flanagan ... Paul
Billy M. Greene ... Tramp
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Fred Harris (as Ted Osborn)
Naomi Riordan Naomi Riordan ... Barbie Harris
Robert F. Simon ... Lt. Case (as Robert Simon)
O. Tolbert-Hewitt O. Tolbert-Hewitt ... Mr. Gilchrist
Rudolf Weiss Rudolf Weiss ... Poppa Golden (as Rudolph Weiss)


Just out of prison Joe Harris looks to restart his life. His wife Barbie has moved and the one man who can tell him where refuses to do so. Enraged, Joe beats the old man senseless and runs away to his father's home, where he also finds his wife. A police detective comes around about the beating (which will soon to become a murder) and Joe insists he's innocent. Joe tells his wife and father he's a changed man and he's only a suspect because of his prior conviction. Barbie and Fred struggle with their desire to believe Joe's plea versus their fear he'll never change. Written by Anon E. Moose

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Kraft TV Recipes, Box 1718, Chicago 77, Illinois. See more »

User Reviews

good credentials: written by Rod Serling, starring James Dean!
26 September 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

And, despite this, it's not all that great.

This was a presentation by Kraft Theater. Kraft also sponsored the Perry Como Show, which we always watched, and Kraft always demonstrated the most nauseating recipes. Here you can send in for them.

Dean plays Joey Harris, who returns home after prison, hoping to reconcile with his wife Barbie (Naomi Riordan), and he wants to open a gas station.

Learning that his wife has left New York, he goes to a delicatessen and asks the owner (Rudolph Weiss), who knows both of them, where she has gone. Violence ensues when the owner refuses to tell him.

Joey goes to his father's house and there finds his wife. But thanks to his outburst in the deli, the police are after him.

The acting is strong, if somewhat theatrical, as most of the actors were from the stage. The script is talky, which is to be expected. One of the problems is that Dean is so powerful, when he's not in scenes, you keep waiting for him. He was obviously influenced by Marlon Brando; he uses some of his vocal intonations.

In person Dean was considered a "poseur," a young man desperate for attention, totally narcissistic, and very difficult to work with. But as Elia Kazan said, on camera he was like gold (which caused Raymond Massey to ask, after listening to Dean spouting expletives,"what price gold?")

His performance is wonderful, but is somewhat spoiled by the script, which makes us dislike him from the beginning. The character underneath is vulnerable, but he's also quick-tempered, abusive, and a liar. Yet he truly wants redemption. His monologue about nostalgia is beautiful.

In spite of not being the most riveting piece, it was exciting to see Dean. 'There's one wonderful thing about dead movie stars,' a Dean memorabilia collector once said. 'They can't disappoint you, which is about all the live ones are capable of doing.'

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Release Date:

11 November 1953 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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