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CBS Playhouse: The Glass Menagerie (1966) on TCM December 8, 2016 (1 Viewer)

Garysb

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Per the December listings on TCM this version with Shirley Booth as Amanda and Hol Holbrook as Tom will be shown. I imagine this is the first time this has production has been shown in 50 years other than at the Museum of Radio and Television assuming they have it. The listing just says The Glass Menagerie (1966). I had to check the internet to see who was in a 1966 version of this play.

Some viewer reviews.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059989/reviews?mode=desktop&ref_=m_ft_dsk

The TV broadcast that changed my life
10/10

Up until I saw this at age 10 or 11, I thought virtually everything I saw on TV was a fantasy that had no connection whatsoever to real life. Seeing The Glass Menagerie for the first time was a shock. Obviously, I can't be sure, but my recollection of the production was that it was perfect (unlike the 70s TV version with Katharine Hepburn and Michael Moriarty). Seeing it started a long involvement for me with theatre and began my search for quality television. It is my #1 "want" to see again; the last time I looked for it at the Museum of Television (several years ago), they didn't even have it. At least it is finally listed here on IMDb, for which I am thankful.


I remember this vividly

I was 13 when this Glass Menagerie was first shown on TV, and it seemed like it was the most real thing I had ever seen on TV or in a movie. I remember Hal Holbrook's soliloquies, and I remember thinking Pat Hingle's Gentleman Caller was the nicest man in the world. All the Gentleman Callers that I have seen since were trying to be nice, but Hingle seemed to be absolutely genuine and completely effortless. (I learned that he had gone to UT-Austin, about 30 miles from where I was growing up.)

I noticed Hingle after that--saw him on stage in New York a few years later, with Fritz Weaver and Ken Howard (who had just left 1776) in Child's Play (no relation to Chucky!); and then many years later as Benjamin Franklin in the Bway revival of 1776--he was the best thing in the show--I didn't once wish he was Howard Da Silva.


Glass Menagerie
10/10
Author: banksh from United States
1 April 2008
i remember seeing this production when it premiered in 1966 (i was 15); in my mind Shirley Booth will always be the definitive Amanda Wainwright; no one else e.g. Katherine Hepburn, Joanne Woodward (although she came close) has measured up to Miss Booth's performance; i wish i could get a DVD of this production so that i could see if her performance would have the same effect on me 42 years later. If memory serves me correctly, this production was one of three plays that CBS presented in the Spring of 1966; The other two were Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. Lee J. Cobb played Willie Loman; and, like Miss Booth and Amanda Wainwright, became for me the definitive Willie Loman; I was able to obtain a DVD of this production of Death of a Salesman; Mr. Cobb's performance still to me was the definitive Willie Loman although i did noticed the play was abridged somewhat which i suspect was done so that it would fit within a specified time period; I wish that TV productions of plays were a more common occurrence.



One of the Greatest Broadcasts in the History of Television
10/10
Author: bicoastal33 from Los Angeles
27 November 2010
The 1966 CBS Playhouse broadcast of "The Glass Menagerie" will stand as a truly seminal moment in the history of television. That same year, "Death of a Salesman" was also broadcast and proved to be a landmark production. The Xerox Corp. was the sponsor of both plays. Arthur Miller's play was released on DVD as part of the Broadway Theatre Archives series. For reasons unknown to the public, this production of "The Glass Menagerie" has not been released in any video format. To deprive everyone of seeing Barbara Loden's transcendent performance of Laura is a true injustice to all who feel that certain moments in television history MUST be preserved. I'm hoping that the people in authority will share this feeling and release this on DVD.

a transformative experience
9/10
Author: thorne-7 from United States
23 February 2010
I've spent 40 years teaching theatre in colleges and universities and I'm teaching The Glass Menagerie tomorrow. This production is still as vivid to me as it was the night I saw it as a college senior in 1966. I had very little interest in plays before watching this--and if one experience can be said to transform a person this did...Pat Hingle's performance was so real and remarkable--all of the confused, sad and empty sincerity of the high school hero who has found how far short life can fall from its promise...I've seen numerous performances of this play since and worked on several of them--but never been as touched, or as changed as by this one.
 
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Matt Hough

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I was a teenager, but I remember loving it. I can't wait to revisit it to see how it holds up to my memory of it and the more I know now about the play itself and Tennessee Williams. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Garysb

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Thaks for the heads up. I had no idea you could go so far in advance on their schedule/

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/December2016.html

Schedule is available 3 months in advanced. Currently October, November, and December are available. You can manually edit the link to change the month and year you want to view.

On the top of the page it says:
Congratulations. You have found the super secret schedule of TCM's upcoming months.
Please be aware that titles are subject to change.
 

Bob Gu

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This Dec. 8, 2016 broadcast is even a Thursday, as was the original Dec. 8, 1966 broadcast! I remember it being on, with the family watching. (I did not pay too much attention to it, since I remember being sick after over indulging with some left over from Thanksgiving green mint chocolate and vanilla ice cream.)
 

Matt Hough

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I recorded this last night but haven't had a chance to watch it. I glanced midway through the first broadcast to see how it looked (like early color videotape, of course), but I hope to watch the whole thing tonight.
 

TonyD

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Watched this afternoon.

So glad someone tjought to post this so I could see it.

I gave it a 4/5 would have gone higher but the first act was a bit tedious for me to watch.
Booth seemed to be over playing the part somewhat.
She was better in the third act near the end.

Pat Hingle was brilliant as Mr O'Connor.
Heartfelt and warm. He was just great.
 

Matt Hough

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Thoroughly enjoyed seeing it again. I loved Booth much more than Katharine Hepburn who was the next one to play it on TV, and Barbara Loden was also very touching.
 

Garysb

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Wow Its amazing how they were able to put this together. Hooray for the person who taped the audio back in 1966 and saved it.

A LOST “GLASS MENAGERIE,” REDISCOVERED
By Michael Schulman December 7, 2016

Thanks to an indefatigable researcher, a 1966 television production of “The Glass Menagerie,” starring Hal Holbrook and Shirley Booth, will air for the second time in half a century.

Jane Klain, the indefatigable research manager at the Paley Center for Media, which houses a vast collection of old television and radio programs, goes on archival treasure hunts that sometimes last for years. She spent four and a half years trying to identify the uncredited soloist who sings “I Feel Like I’m Not Out of Bed Yet” on the 1960 studio recording of the musical “On the Town.” (It was Michael Kermoyan, who’s been credited on the reissue.) It took her ten years—on and off—to find the second half of a 1959 TV adaptation of the Budd Schulberg novel “What Makes Sammy Run?” (It was languishing, unidentified, at the Library of Congress.) Stephen Sondheim once asked her via fax to track down a promotional featurette for “The Last of Sheila,” the 1973 mystery film he wrote with Anthony Perkins. Eight years later, she hand-delivered it to his door.

Whenever I run into Klain, she regales me with her latest wild-goose chase—but I knew she was reeling in a live one when she e-mailed me last December saying, “I am currently involved in a project to restore a very ‘lost’ TV treasure (one of the most requested in the 21 years I have been at the Paley Center).” She signed off, “Sorry to be so mysterious.” Months went by. I kept asking for details. Then, finally, in late August: “I’m ready to spill the beans.”

Here goes: On December 8, 1966, CBS Playhouse broadcast a television production of Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie,” starring Shirley Booth as the Southern belle turned frenetic matron Amanda Wingfield. Hal Holbrook and Barbara Loden played her children, Tom and Laura, respectively, with Pat Hingle as the Gentleman Caller. The day after it aired, Jack Gould, of the Times, called it “an evening of superb theater. . . . The delicate delineation of the loneliness of the frustrated Wingfield family was brought to television with lean beauty and eloquence.” (Booth, fresh off the sitcom “Hazel,” was praised as “appropriately intrusive as the perennial Mrs. Fix-it.”) Then, somehow or another, it was lost to time.

Enter Klain. She grew up in New Rochelle, and remembers watching the 1966 telecast as a girl, sitting in the den with her mother. She had just seen Maureen Stapleton play Amanda on Broadway, and thought Booth was all wrong for the role—thinking her delivery too “whiny.” (Her Southern accent was a little patchy, too, which the Times critic also pointed out.) “Maybe three-quarters of the way through, I so disliked her performance that I threw the apple I was eating at the TV screen,” Klain recalled last week, at her office in the Paley Center, which is crammed with vintage theatre posters and boxes of newspaper clippings. “Part of my memory is my mother screaming, ‘Jani, you almost broke the television!’ ”

For actresses over fifty, Amanda is one of the trickiest but most prized roles in the modern dramatic canon, drawing the likes of Jessica Tandy, Katharine Hepburn, Jessica Lange, and Cherry Jones. (Next up: Sally Field, coming to Broadway in February.) Maybe that’s why Klain has received dozens of requests over the years—from historians, from Tennessee Williams festivals—to see the Booth version. About seventeen years ago, Broadway Theatre Archive inquired about releasing the broadcast on DVD. The problem: “It just didn’t exist,” Klain said. “So I helped them try to look. We looked in the bizarre little archives that sometimes things turn up in. Nowhere.” The estate of David Susskind, who produced the telecast, didn’t have it. Neither did CBS, the Library of Congress, or Xerox, which sponsored the broadcast. Booth, who was nominated for an Emmy for her performance, had no heirs. Klain even had a friend call Elia Kazan, who’d been married to Barbara Loden—nothing.


Then, last fall, a breakthrough: Klain was scanning the Susskind estate’s database and found an entry that said “The Glass Menagerie” and “USC.” She contacted an archivist at the University of Southern California, who went hunting and found five or six tapes in the original two-inch format. “It’s just takes,” he told Klain, underwhelmed. Then she mentioned the find to a “mystery angel,” someone who’d been asking for the footage for years (actually, she’s only ever spoken to his assistant), and he agreed to fund a transfer. She got a guy in Burbank—“he’s the Rolls-Royce of transfers”—to convert it to DigiBeta. It turned out to be six hours of raw takes, though one reel was damaged. There was no way to know which takes had been used for the final broadcast, or whether the entirety of what was used was even there.

Breakthrough, Part 2: Klain was noodling around on the Web site Internet Archive and found that someone (who had likely taped it directly off a TV set in 1966) had uploaded a bootleg audio of the entire show. She contacted Dan Wingate, a Los Angeles preservationist who recently worked on a restoration of the 1965 TV special of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” (“And he’s a pussycat,” Klain says.) Wingate spent nearly twenty-four straight hours matching up the audio file with the raw video, comparing wav files until he could tell which takes had been used. Then he set about editing them together and restoring the damaged reel. All that was missing was the musical scoring, so he had to use the bootleg audio. About a month ago, he delivered a “final cut” to Klain. “I turned off all the lights and opened a bottle of red wine,” she told me.

And? “I had the same feeling about Shirley Booth—I just didn’t like her performance,” she said. “But the revelation, watching it again alone at home last month, is that Hal Holbrook is stupendous.”

Klain contacted the head of programming at Turner Classic Movies, who just happened to have a slot open on December 8th—fifty years to the day after the original telecast. (Tracking down who owned the rights and getting all the lawyers to sign off was a whole other headache, one that was resolved just last Tuesday.) And so, this Thursday, at 8 p.m., “The Glass Menagerie” starring Shirley Booth will air for the second time in half a century; the Paley Center will also keep a copy.

Meanwhile, Klain’s archival adventures continue. “The Holy Grail still is the lost ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ with Ethel Merman,” she told me.


Michael Schulman has contributed to The New Yorker since 2006. More
MORE: THEATRE TENNESSEE WILLIAMS "THE GLASS MENAGERIE"
 
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Robert13

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Does anyone know if this will be released on DVD? If the Broadway Theatre Archive wanted to release it more than 17 years ago, I assume there is still an interest?
 

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