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Producers' Showcase (1954-1957) (1 Viewer)

jdee28

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John
I'd love to see someone tackle this series of once a month "90 minute spectaculars" from the mid-1950s. With the stars involved, there should be some selling point -- Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Henry Fonda, Joseph Cotten, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Eva Marie Saint, Margaret Sullavan, Mary Martin.

Showcase Productions currently holds the rights. They have a site that lists all the episodes and whether or not they have material on them (some of the 37 shows are lost). Wish they'd license the existing ones or put them on DVD themselves. Currently the only way to see episodes is by going to the Museum of TV and Radio in NY or LA.

They have released two episodes separately, the Festival of Music ones, but would I'd love to see a complete series release. Would anyone else?
 

Jeff#

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Were those dramas live or filmed? There isn't much demand for kinescopes of early live TV dramas, because the video quality is so poor.

SUSPENSE is a perfect example. It was a wonderful radio series that lasted 20 years (to 1962). But as a live TV show from early 1949 to 1954, it looked very cheap. The full orchestrations on the radio show worked well, but to save even more money they had to use an organist for television and it just doesn't work. :thumbsdown:
 

Joe Lugoff

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I believe this show was always done live. I have copies of both of the times they presented their most successful production, "Peter Pan," and the kinescopes need a lot of work.
 

Elena S

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I, for one, would love to see it released. What about that new miracle process, Livefeed? Would that clean it up enough for DVD?
 

Kevin Segura

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Yes... and thanks for asking! :D

As with any potential project though, it's important that the people who make the decisions become aware that there's a demand for the product. So if there's a particular Showcase production that you'd like to see brought back to life with LiveFeed video Imaging, let them know!

Their website is at:

http://www.showcaseproductions.com/

And their contact email address is:

[email protected]

I know that in the last couple of years their company has cleaned up a copy of "Ruggles of Red Gap" that they hold, for an industry event showing, but I'm not aware of any other current projects that they have on the burner. There's certainly a few I'd like to take on, though!

-Kevin
LiveFeed Video Imaging
 

jdee28

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Does anyone know about the status of the episode "Mayerling" (2/24/57)? Does it exist? Is it locked up in the vault somewhere? With Audrey Hepburn in it, this could have been a candidate for a DVD release.
 

Kevin Segura

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At their site, it's on the list of programs for which source materials have been found (they list the date as 2/4/57), so it's currently just waiting in the vault...

...which is evidently more than can be said for two of their Emmy-nominated programs-- "Cyrano De Bergerac" and "Dodsworth".

-Kevin
LiveFeed Video Imaging
 

Charles H

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I'd love to see Otto Preminger's take on BRIEF ENCOUNTER in their premiere show TONIGHT AT 8:30 ("Still Life") with Ginger Rogers and Trevor Howard. I believe a print was shown a couple of years ago in England as part of a Noel Coward festival. Also mandatory: a musical version of OUR TOWN with Frank Sinatra as the stage manager singing "Love and Marriage" and Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint playing George and Emily. Directed by Arthur Penn. Also: YELLOW JACK with Broderick Crawford, Rod Steiger, Jackie Cooper, Eva Marie Saint, Wally Cox, Dennis O'Keefe, Dane Clark, Victor Jory, Lorne Greene. A musical version of RUGGLES OF RED GAP with Michael Redgrave, Jane Powell, Imogene Coca, Peter Lawford, Hal Linden, Paul Lynde, and David Wayne. All of these were great shows, but there would be a helluva problem clearing the literary rights.
 

jdee28

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I was watching "Tonight at 8:30" at the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of TV and Radio, in NY & LA). They have a really nice copy. I also saw "Our Town" there; that was really good. Why this has never been released on DVD, what with Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, and Eva Marie Saint all in it, is a mystery to me. I also saw "State of the Union" with Joseph Cotten and Maraget Sullavan; that wasn't bad.

The Paley Center has a good collection of Producers' Showcase and Playhouse 90 episodes unfortunately not available anywhere else. I think they might have even paid to restore some of the Producers' Showcase ones. "Mayerling" surprisingly is not part of their collection.
 

Hank Dearborn

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There was so much in the way of great anthology shows that were done live in the 50s and such a scant amount that has ever made it's way onto DVD. There were so many of those shows, many with great stars in them but there just doesn't seem to be enough of a market for it. I'd like to hope otherwise but I think the only place you'll ever be able to see any of these things is at a broadcast museum.
 

Bob Hug

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There are some of these dramatic anthology shows floating around out there, but mostly in public domain collections from companies like Alpha and this one from Passport Video:

Welcome to Passport Entertainment:Television:The Golden Age of TV Drama

The Canadian company Video Service Corp. did a nice job with their "Studio One" collection (you can view the shows with or without the Westinghouse commercials), but it's really fairly limited:

Video Service Corp.

I just picked up a fairly decent looking copy of the "Climax!" broadcast of "Casino Royale" with Barry Nelson as "Jimmy Bond" at Wal-Mart last week for a dollar.
 

Hank Dearborn

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I would love to see Playhouse 90 come out as I know CBS has them all in their vaults. Studio One, there are about 450 episodes and I don't know how many CBS retained. Then there are other shows like Kraft Television Theatre, Robert Montgomerey Presents, Armstrong Circle Theatre, US Steel Hour, Goodyear Playhouse, etc. About 15 years ago there was a proposed network announced called Applause which was going to run all of that stuff but they never got off the ground. Probably couldn't get any advertisers.
 

Bob Hug

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For your reading pleasure, there's a nice article at the Museum of Broadcast Communications on dramatic anthology series with some links (at the end of the article) to some of the individual series.

Anthology Drama
 

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