Playhouse 90 (1956–1961)
8.5/10
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4 user 1 critic

The Plot to Kill Stalin 

In late 1952, an aging and increasingly paranoid Stalin puts in motion a purge against his doctors, with antisemitic overtones. His lackeys, including Khrushchev, Molotov and Beria, fear it will spread to the Politburo, and plan to strike first.

Director:

Delbert Mann

Writer:

David Karp
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Melvyn Douglas ... Stalin
Eli Wallach ... Poskrebyshev
Oskar Homolka ... Khrushchev
E.G. Marshall ... Beria
Luther Adler ... Molotov
Thomas Gomez ... Malenkov
Marian Seldes ... Mme. Molotov
Lawrence Dobkin ... Shtemenko
Bert Freed ... Sokolovsky
David J. Stewart David J. Stewart ... Ignatiev
Paul Bryar ... Zhukhov
Paul Lambert ... Rassine
Harry Davidson Harry Davidson ... Ryumin
Paul Maxwell ... Recorder
Edwin Jerome Edwin Jerome ... Senior Physician
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Storyline

In late 1952, an aging and increasingly paranoid Stalin puts in motion a purge against his doctors, with antisemitic overtones. His lackeys, including Khrushchev, Molotov and Beria, fear it will spread to the Politburo, and plan to strike first.

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The imprisonment of Molotov's wife did not take place just before Stalin's death, but some years earlier, well before the action of this play begins. See more »

Goofs

Eli Wallach briefly trips over the line, "Improper medical techniques". See more »

Quotes

Polina Molotova: Pride? Is that all you have left?
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User Reviews

 
Superb drama from the Golden Age of TV
2 July 2006 | by gjampolSee all my reviews

I saw this as a teenager, when programs like "Playhouse 90" offered thoughtful entertainment that would go over the heads of the majority of the dolts who make up today's commercial TV audience.

The excellent cast -- and P-90 attracted some of the best actors in the industry -- was well-chosen.

The story of Stalin's death has long been the subject of much speculation. But it's widely believed that in 1953 Stalin was knocked out by a blackjack wielded by Beria, the head of the secret police and, through neglect,was allowed to die from a "stroke." Others believe that he suffered a stroke and was left to die without medical attention. The Red Butcher died just as he was about to purge Jewish doctors (the so-called doctors plot). Beria himself was executed later in 1953.

If my memory serves me, the Soviet government was outraged by the program that it either took or threatened revenge on the network that broadcast the it.

Perhaps someday, we'll see a release of the best of "Playhouse 90." Sadly, teenagers and people in their 30s are too ignorant to know and care about history.


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