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SUSPENSE and STUDIO ONE ANTHOLOGY

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Charles H, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

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    TV Shows on DVD announcing that the remaining 30 episodes of the "lost" episodes of SUSPENSE will be coming out in 2009. March 17 is offered as a tentative date.

    Has anyone seen any internet reviews of the STUDIO ONE ANTHOLOGY? It's a fabulous set with terrific bonus features (featurettes, interview, symposiums) and a superbly detailed booklet with extensive cast and crew information. It's wonderful seeing Reginald Rose's first draft of TWELVE ANGRY MEN with some fascinating against-type casting of Robert Cummings and Franchot Tone in the Fonda and Lee J. Cobb roles. There is also an extremely ambitious and inventive adaptation of Orwell's 1984 (I think I spotted Martin Landau as an extra), a prescient "comedy documentary "Confessions of a Nervous Man" with Art Carney playing author George Axelrod, and a 1949 adaptation of George S Kaufman and Ring Lardner's JUNE MOON showcasing Jack Lemmon and Eva Marie Saint. There are some priceless gaffes: A man in a white shirt and tie wearing glasses ducks between some paper mache pillars during a production of PONTIUS PILATE.

    Primative though they may be, shows like SUSPENSE and STUDIO ONE provide the irresistable missing link between what movies were and what television would become. In USA Today a couple of weeks ago, Koch stated that they were bringing out dvds on Ernie Kovacs (hope they include his performance in "Playhouse 90"'s TOPAZE) and the 1959 tv adaptation of Budd Schulberg's WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN (Dina Merrill, John Forsythe) as follow-ups to their outstanding STUDIO ONE ANTHOLOGY.
     
  2. Stephen Bowie

    Stephen Bowie Well-Known Member

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    Finally -- I was afraid the sales tanked and those remaining "Suspense" shows would never see the light of day. Good show for Infinity.

    I cadged a screener of the "Studio One" set and will be writing about it on my blog sometime before the end of the year. I plugged it in the "4th quarter purchases" thread because it wasn't on anyone's shopping list. It's the vintage TV release of the year. I realize that it's pricy and that live TV may not be everyone's cup of tea (I can't exactly marathon it myself), but set is extremely well produced, with substantial extras and liner notes, and transfers that are as good as can be expected for kines.
     
  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of live shows from the 1950s, let's not forget the second volume of 26 episodes from the Wally Cox comedy "Mister Peepers" which was just released with little fanfare. Interestingly, one of the extras on this set includes an episode of "Suspense" in which Wally Cox appears. I just started watching this and the transfers are pretty solid. The releasing company for "Mister Peepers," S'more Entertainment, also recently released some live Christmas themed episodes from "The Shari Lewis Show." And Mill Creek Entertainment released licensed episodes from "The Howdy Doody Show," including a few episodes dating back to 1949.
     
  4. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Excellent News! I've been waiting for these Suspense episodes for some time.

    Doug
     
  5. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    The production and picture quality may be primitive (these are kinescopes), but the writing and acting is anything but. These adaptations and performances represent a pinnacle of the best and brightest from the NY theater world at the time.

    I have just dipped into this set, but I marvelled at how the "1984" adaptation captured the essence of the book in 48 minutes! Eddie Albert, Lorne Greene, and yes, that was a Martin Landau cameo, were great. (After seeing this performance, you realize Eddie Albert pretty much just had to go on cruise control and tap a fraction of his talent for his subsequent TV series like "Green Acres.")

    Paul Nickel (sp?), the director of the "1984" episode recalls in an included video interview the horrified reactions of network executive wives who thought it was "depressing." Well, duh (yet they would be the last ones who would have to worry about the Thought Police). But think how brave the show was to air during the McCarthy hearings, when fear and paranoia were running rampant.

    I'm looking forward to the rest of these shows (Rod Serling's "Arena") and will savor them and be thankful they are seeing the light of day (even if that light is kinescope primitive).
     
  6. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

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    Amazon and DVD Empire are taking pre-orders for WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN? to be released. Budd Schulberg's classic novel about a ruthless Hollywood producer is being released on 2/10. The novel has defied motion picture adaptation for more than half a century. Everyone from Eddie Fisher to Tom Cruise to Ben Stiller were considered. Perhaps the theme hit a bit too close to home.
     
  7. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Well-Known Member

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    It's rather self-serving of me to mention it, but there's a review of the "Studio One" set by Terry Teachout (the drama critic for "The Wall Street Journal"), on the paper's website, at:

    The Ghosts of 'Studio One' - WSJ.com

    -Kevin
     
  8. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Thanks, Kevin, for linking that review. In the review, Teachout says:

    "I wish that Koch Vision had made use of LiveFeed Video Imaging, the new digital restoration process that gives kinescopes the bright, crisp immediacy of a videotaped TV broadcast, in preparing "Studio One Anthology" for release."

    Does anyone know of any releases he may be talking about that incorporated this process? I would be interested to see how much it improves the kinescopes. Thanks.

    [​IMG] Drum banana by special request from my son, Justin.
     
  9. Andrew M

    Andrew M Well-Known Member

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  10. Kevin Segura

    Kevin Segura Well-Known Member

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    Well I can think of a few DVDs right off the bat:

    Elvis Presley - The Ed Sullivan Shows (Image Entertainment) - Almost everything in the set has been restored with LiveFeed.

    The Kingston Trio - "Wherever We May Go" (Shout! Factory) - One or two clips are utilize LiveFeed.

    Dark Shadows: The Beginning, Vol 6 - The last portion of the episode that introduces Barnabas required LiveFeed re-imaging.

    And you'll find much better demos material here (although they're very high bit-rate, so you may have to let them load completely before you attempt to play them):

    http://www.youtube.com/user/livefeedvideoimaging

    And of course, there are more projects coming-- but I can't talk about them yet...! [​IMG]

    -Kevin
     
  11. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Well-Known Member

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    Ah, good news about "Suspense." I was starting to worry about that 3rd and final planned volume. The shows are creaky but fascinating. And, for some reason I never seem to tire of Rex Marshall's gentle pitches, and the surreal parade of dancing auto-batteries and spark-plugs. Along with the peculiarities of early 'live' broadcasting, the episodes sure make for some intriguingly otherworldly fare.

    I'd sure like to pick up the "Studio One" set, and plan to eventually do so, provided I scrape up enough cash. This month has had a number of large, pricey dvd-sets, which my wallet tends not to approve of. So far, the only one I've gotten is the "M Squad" set.
     
  12. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates Rex Marshall! The good news is he can be currently seen on the new (2nd Season) Mister Peeper's set. Here he can be seen pitching for the Reynolds Aluminum Company. I used to believe everything he said, but when he talks about the great insulating properties of aluminum siding, and the money it can save you by installling it on your house, I now have my doubts[​IMG]
     
  13. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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  14. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob for that very interesting link! I swear I don't know how you keep finding these great sites and get all of these classic TV scoops. Keep them coming please!!

    Doug
     
  15. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Doug, in a word . . . . . Google! I just finished disc 1 of "Mister Peepers" and am enjoying it immensely, complete with the Rex Marshall and Helen Wagner spots for Reynolds Aluminum. The audio/visuals on the second set seem to be an improvement over the first volume and the extra features are better in my opinion. And if Patricia Benoit's beautiful smile won't melt you, nothing will.
     
  16. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    I only recently got into Mr. Peepers, and I am enamored with Patrica Benoit as well. Both she and Wally Cox are just so nice. I've never really experienced such sweetness in a television character; it is positively refreshing! I also agree with you Bob that the audio/video quality is definitely a couple notches above the first season.
     
  17. Paul Mavis

    Paul Mavis Active Member

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    I've been asked to no longer post my reviews on HFT.
     
  18. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Well-Known Member

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    Another great review Paul! I bought this set as a blind buy, and after reading your review now feel that this anthology may be more watchable for the truly serious student or historian than a casual fan of early TV. When I finally crack this set open, I'm probably going to use your review to pick and choose the more "accessible" of the shows to watch. I am however looking forward to the commercials. So far the best example I've seen of cleaned up kinescopes is the second season of Mister Peeper; they are very nice.

    I hope someday that your reviews of classic television shows on DVD can be gathered and published into book form. I'll be the first in line to buy. Until then, I will continue to read and enjoy your internet published reviews.

    Doug
     
  19. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Doug, though I do not yet own this set due to financial considerations, this is a set that I plan to get down the line as I have already own some "Studio One" episodes on various labels . . . . but this is certainly the "Cadillac" version of the various "Studio One" releases that are available on DVD. Paul's review was immensely helpful and I also recommend Stephen Bowie' blog article as well.

    http://classictvhistory.wordpress.co...06/studio-one/

    In terms of the set being watchable primarily for students or historians of early, live television, I think that one could also expand that group to those interested in theater as, essentially, these are one hour plays . . . the difference being that the audience is at home rather than in the theater. And, as Paul indicated in his review, the actors (and the technical crews) really had to work hard to bring these "plays" off successfully, as they had no audience reactions to work with. I find it an interesting contrast with "Mister Peepers'" half-hour comedic "plays" which were filmed before live audiences. I suspect that over time, the cast, writers and production crew of "Peepers" were able to get a better sense of what worked and what didn't work based on the weekly live audience reactions to the show.
     
  20. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone heard anymore about the third volume of SUSPENSE and its contents?
     

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