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A Ticket for Thaddeus & It’s a Most Unusual Day

Ring a Ding Ding It has been some time since I enjoyed the half-hour “Screen Directors Playhouse” movies created for television airwaves in 1955 and 1956. The shows used big-time directors and often big-name actors to create the mini movies and many have proven to be quite good. Among the great ones is Director Frank Borzage‘s “A […]

White Corridors & The Carroll Formula

Ring a Ding Ding      I recently watched two more Screen Directors Playhouse episodes, one of which was highly thrilling the other of which was greatly amusing. The first, White Corridors, was like a mini horror movie. We open on Linda Darnell as Ellen who is distressfully driving her convertible with a panting passenger lying […]

Apples on the Lilac Tree & Bitter Waters

Gasser      Do you know what 1956 television audiences apparently found funny? A man who is skilled at putting together an organized breakfast. I concede that in the Screen Directors Playhouse episode Apples on the Lilac Tree that a group of wives greeting each other in the hallway of their apartment building while grabbing the morning […]

What Day Is It? & Every Man Has 2 Wives

Dullsville      What was going on with the institution of marriage in 1956? Based on my viewing of two episodes of Screen Directors Playhouse from that year I would conclude that no one took that romantic bond very seriously. The two disheartening stories of married couples in What Day Is It? and Every Man Has […]

Final Tribute & Brush Roper

Gasser      My latest foray into the 1955-56 television series Screen Directors Playhouse involved a rather pointless drama and decent, if not annoying, comedy. In The Final Tribute Larraine Day as small-town nurse Joyce Carter narrates the story of the new doctor in town. This Dr. Kent (Dan O’Herlihy) is young, cold and unsympathetic with […]

Hot Cargo & The Titanic Incident

Dullsville Sex and contraband. That’s the way to get ahead in “the Orient”, according to a January 1956 episode of the Screen Directors Playhouse, Hot Cargo. Yvonne De Carlo is Pearl, a bar waitress who deals with the advances of drunken men when her ship captain husband is away transporting cargo. When her good looks […]

Cry Justice & Affair in Sumatra

Dullsville      The two Screen Directors Playhouse episodes I watched this week were the first disappointing ones among those I have seen, one moreso than the other. One of the greatest compliments I have given to these half-hour TV movies are that they somehow fit a whole film plot into a short timeframe and do it […]

Arroyo & Want Ad Wedding

Ring a Ding Ding      Turner Classic Movies last week disbursed a number of Screen Directors Playhouse half-hour TV movies throughout its schedule, giving us another host of fun quickies featuring great actors and directors. For Arroyo, Director George Waggner wrote a story that frankly could have been drawn out into a full-length movie. A […]

Silent Partner & Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog

Gasser      You might recall I wrote several reviews on short subjects coming from Hal Roach Studios a few months back when TCM was playing tribute to the influential production company. Among those were some Screen Directors Playhouse episodes. Well, I’ve finally gotten around to clearing the final two from my DVR, so here they are:      […]

Claire & Markheim

Ring a Ding Ding      Another duo of Screen Directors Playhouse episodes have again impressed me, and both offered “twist” endings. Claire conveyed quite the familiar plot as it largely reflects the story Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier that hit the big screen in 1940 under Hitchcock’s direction. Both stories deal with a deceased wife and the […]