Search - The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Vol. 1 on DVD

The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Vol. 1
The Barbara Stanwyck Show Vol 1
Actors: Milton Berle, Lee Marvin, Vic Morrow, James Hong, Ralph Bellamy
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2009     6hr 30min

?She had grit, sex appeal and vulnerability in spades. No one played a saucy dame better.? ?People In the award-winning and critically acclaimed NBC anthology series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, the beloved actress served a...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Milton Berle, Lee Marvin, Vic Morrow, James Hong, Ralph Bellamy
Creator: Barbara Stanwyck
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Classic TV
Studio: E1 Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 10/27/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1960
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1960
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 6hr 30min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Video Treasures Unseen for Almost Fifty Years
J. Michael Click | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 07/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Originally named "The Barbara Stanwyck Theatre", this anthology series starring the four-time Best Actress Oscar nominee made its debut on September 19, 1960, on the NBC television network. Renamed "The Barbara Stanwyck Show", the series ran for only one season, despite the fact that its host and star received the Emmy Award as Outstanding Actress in a Television Series (Lead). A total of 36 episodes aired, but the show never went into syndication following its initial run; thus, it has been virtually unseen by the general public for almost half a century.

This eagerly anticipated DVD collection includes 15 of the series' first 22 half-hour episodes, plus the never televised pilot episode. Missing are the first four episodes: "The Mink Coat", "Good Citizen", "Discreet Deception", and "The Seventh Miracle"; episode 10, "We Are the Women Who Wait"; episode 12, "No One"; and episode 13, "The Cornerstone".

The search to locate, preserve and restore the long lost gems offered in this collection has taken years of hard work and dedication on the part of the copyright owner and a handful of determined archivists, assisted by loyal fans of the supremely talented Miss Stanwyck. Their efforts are especially appreciated by happy viewers like me, who have waited decades for the chance to see one of their favorite actresses in her first, acclaimed weekly television series.


"The Key to a Killer" (originally aired 10.31.1960). Stella King's (Stanwyck) husband is a sheriff and she's his deputy. So when he falls ill, she's left in full charge of killer Leroy Benson (Vic Morrow).

"House in Order" (11.07.1960). Dr. Steele tells Elizabeth Mowry (Stanwyck) she needs heart surgery immediately. Elizabeth suddenly realizes that she may only have a few hours left to regain the love of her husband (Shepperd Strudwick) and daughter (Yvonne Craig).

"The Miraculous Journey of Tadpole Chan" (11.14.1960). In China, Josephine Little (Stanwyck) is bickering with Mr. Dobson (Ralph Bellamy) of the American consulate about some silk dresses she wants to ship to New York. This was the first of three episodes in which Stanwyck played Josephine Little.

"The Secret of Mrs. Randall" (11.21.1960). Liz Randall (Stanwyck) has been the president of an oil-drilling company since the death of her husband. She arranges for the parole of Roy Turner (Bruce Gordon), who was jailed for stealing the company payroll.

"Ironback's Bride" (11.28.1960). Ella (Stanwyck) doesn't want her son to grow up like his father - shiftless outlaw Charlie Cahill (Gerald Mohr). So she gets a divorce and becomes the mail-order bride of a wealthy man (Charles Bickford).

"Out of the Shadows" (12.19.1960). Mental patient Victor Brackett's (William Stephens) case is coming up for review. But after interviewing Brackett, Dr. Susan Bryce (Stanwyck) decides that he's not ready to be released.

"Night Visitors" (01.09.1961). Estranged from her wealthy husband, Marian Andrews (Stanwyck) plans a trip to Europe. Julie London and Michael Ansara guest star.

"Size Ten" (01.16.1961). Designer Maggie Wenley (Stanwyck), relentlessly dedicated to her business, feels that her staff is completely loyal. It's a shock to find that one of her secret sketches is missing. Robert Paige and Robert Strauss guest star.

"Dear Charlie" (01.23.1961). Tessie and Elvie (Lurene Tuttle and Katherine Squire) are a couple of lonely old maids who decide they need someone around the house to care for. They put an ad in the paper for a male boarder (Milton Berle). Stanwyck hosts this episode, which was an unsold pilot for a proposed new series for Berle.

"Dragon by The Tail" (01.31.1961). Stanwyck returns as Josephine Little, an American importer caught up in intrigue in Hong Kong. Anna May Wong guest stars.

"The Sisters" (02.06.1961). Janet Jones (Stanwyck) indulges in a bit of shoplifting in Julius Ulrich's (Michael Rennie) jewelry store ... but it's all part of a plan. Janet wants to meet Julius, the former husband of her sister Kate (Ellen Drew).

"Big Career" (02.13.1961). Harriet Melvane (Stanwyck) pursues a new career against her husband's wishes. Gene Raymond, Elizabeth Patterson, Frank Overton and Amanda Randolph costar.

"Confession" (02.20.1961). Unhappy in her marriage to Morgan Manning (Kenneth MacKenna), Paula (Stanwyck) seeks legal advice. Jud Hollister (Lee Marvin), her lawyer, believes a divorce may be difficult to obtain, and suggests an alternate plan.

"Along the Barbary Coast" (02.27.1961). Stanwyck stars as Trixie Callahan, a con artist who falls in with bad company. Richard Eastham and Jerome Thor costar.

"Shock" (03.06.1961). Rachel Harrison (Stanwyck) has just made a discovery vital to the national defense. Before she can transmit the information, she gets news of her daughter's death, and enters a state of shock. Eduard Franz, Mike Deene, Ross Elliott, and Donald Buka costar.


1. The never aired pilot episode, "Sponsor's Table"
2. Stanwyck's 1961 Emmy Acceptance Speech
3. Booklet including contributions by film historian and TCM host Robert Osborne"
The Legendary Film Star in Her First TV Series
"Tee" | LA | 11/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The great Barbara Stanwyck, on nearly everyone's list of the five best film actresses of alltime, starred in this long-unseen one-season anthology series for NBC in 1960-61, which was a critic's darling but apparently did not pull in high enough ratings for the network to renew it for a second season. Stanwyck would go on to win the Emmy award for "Best Actress in a Dramatic Series" at the end of the season and the show quietly slipped away into TV history after that although for decades it has been the subject of much lament by Stanwyck buffs at the frustration at not having the chance to see the acclaimed program. Now almost 50 years after it's initial run, THE BARBARA STANWYCK SHOW has at last been unearthed! Sadly, a number of episodes are to date not known to survive (most alarming is the fact that this set has only 15 of the 36 episodes produced although the accompanying booklet says a "volume two" set is in the works, it seems apparent that at this point most of the remaining episodes have yet to be found.) Several of the episodes here are in less than pristine shape, with a few scenes with film scratches or imperfect picture quality but one suspects in many cases the producers of this set were working with mostly 16mm film prints and most likely single copies of most of them. The print quality generally is very good to excellent however and let's just be grateful we have these considering the unknown status of most of the other episodes.

Barbara Stanwyck proves again and again in these episodes she well deserved that Emmy. These little 25-minute dramas may have to use economy to tell their stories (the endings are often a bit rushed) but most of the episodes are highly satisfying. Stanwyck's roles run the gamut to fashion tycoon to brillant physicist to upperclass housewife and, as in her film roles, Stanwyck is always believable and natural. She also has a number of excellent costars including Ralph Bellamy, Charles Bickford, Gene Raymond, Ellen Drew, Elizabeth Patterson, and Lee Marvin. There's also the excellent character actress Doris Packer, a very familiar face on television during this era, giving Babs a run for her money as her domineering mother-in-law in THE SECRET OF MRS. RANDALL, my favorite episode of the lot. There are lots of other notable supporting players although it is disappointing the Anna May Wong who appears in one episode is not the famous star of the 1930's but another actress who used the same name.

Barbara Stanwyck a few years later did enjoy a big tv success with the western THE BIG VALLEY which won her a second Emmy and ran for four years. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel THE BARBARA STANWYCK SHOW was the highlight of Stanwyck's small screen career and I can't wait for "volume two"."
Opening The Stanwyck Vault
J. Prather | Arizona, USA | 12/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For fans of Barbara Stanwyck, this 3 disc DVD set is like finding a vein of pure gold in a mine of lost treasures. Included are 16 episodes of the BARBARA STANWYCK SHOW which aired during the 1960-1961 television season, plus an unaired pilot. Although the series lasted only a single season, it earned Stanwyck the 1961 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Series". After viewing these DVDs, it's easy to see why she won.

Stanwyck stars in 16 of the 17 episodes. The exception is one in which a sleezy Milton Berle plays Romeo to two old maid sisters, scheming to become the heir in both their wills. The shows starring Stanwyck fit nicely with the roles she played on the big screen. In the majority of them, she plays powerful, sucessful women - female executives, wealthy wives, a psychiatrist, even an atomic physicist. In several, her career causes problems with her family life. She was certainly not afraid to play unsympathetic characters. Her only repeated role is that of Hong Kong importer-exporter Josephine Little in two of these episodes.

Two of the programs are westerns. In the first, she is Charles Bickford's mail-order bride. The marriage gets complicated when her first husband in the form of Gerald Mohr shows up. In the second, Barbara is the wife of the town marshall. She has to nurse her sick child and protect her home against a man who has come to town to kill her husband.

The brightest gems of the collection are the ones closest to film noir. Disc 1 opens with her playing the wife of a deputy sheriff. She is handcuffed to punk killer Vic Morrow trying to get him to the nearest town and into jail. Will the punk escape? Will she get him into the slammer? Will she make him cry "mama"? In the terrific episode "Night Visitor", saucy Julie London invades Stanwyck's home and with the help of her boyfriend Michael Ansara, who is also Barbara's butler, takes her hostage in an effort to force her to open her safe and hand over the stacks of cash inside. Delicious! "Confessions" is a TV cousin to DOUBLE INDEMNITY. When Barbara walks through his door, third rate lawyer Lee Marvin sees his big chance to get the girl, frame her husband for murder, and end up with a bundle of money. It's "straight down the line" one more time, with deadly results, of course.

All the programs are crisply written and directed. In her introductions, Stanwyck makes a point of mentioning who wrote and directed each episode. This collection is also a reminder of how much television lost with the disappearance of the half-hour dramatic anthology series. This collection is solid gold.

Michael C. Smith | San Francisco, CA United States | 01/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Barbara Stanwyck was a class act unto herself. She could be great at comedy, drama, and melodrama as she proved time and again over her long film and T.V. Career. But here in this DVD of her first Television series from 1961 she shines like a rare star sapphire.
I won't go into a list of the shows or who the quest stars are since my fellow reviewers have covered that aspect all too well. What I will tell you about this wonderful surprise from Miss Stanwyck and company is that each half hour show is superbly mounted as if it were a feature film. Great lighting, direction, acting, music, story, the entire resources of Desilu where thrown at the show and with great results. These treasures are mini movies that pack a wallop as few other shows of the period did. Some are ahead of their time in fact. That they could pack so much story and drama into each 24 minute episode just leaves me astounded. A short story can be just as compelling here as a 90 minute feature.
A brilliant and fun collection that you can revisit again and again and well worth spending the bucks on.