Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Four Star Playhouse The Dick Powell Anthology Vol 1|
Actors: Dick Powell, Charles Bronson
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 07/25/2006
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Samantha Kelley | USA | 08/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Four Star Playhouse is a very early television series that brought a new dramatic story each week. Hosted by the three producers, Dick Powell, David Niven, and Charles Boyer and later joined by Ida Lupino, Four Star featured many up-and-coming actors. This set features four appearances by Powell, now at the end of his career but showing what he had learned in Hollywood over two decades. Each episode shows a different side of his personality through interesting stories with great dialogue.
A Place Full of Strangers is a bit mystical. It also relates directly to events Powell's life a few years later. A man immerses himself so completely in his business, he loses sight of the important people in his life. In truth, Powell's participation in Four Star caused problems in his marriage to June Allyson. She complained that their children barely knew their father because business took up his whole life. She even sued him for divorce because of it.
Go Ahead and Jump is the best episode here. Powell plays a taxi driver who takes on a passenger who is so depressed, he wants to kill himself. The two get to talking and find out a great deal about each other. The story is engaging and well constructed. Powell's role as the hardened driver is excellent and conjures up images of his film noir performances. He is far removed from the innocent and lovestruck boys in those early musicals. We get a sense that he is a real man right off the street brought before the cameras to tell a story.
The House Always Wins shows Powell in one of his best loved television roles as Willie Dante. This part most resembles the jaded noir characters that Powell played for years in motion pictures. Dante owns a bar that doubles as a casino. One night he spots an old flame with another man, but her presence means more than just a few sentimental pangs. This episode features a brief cameo by a penny-pinching Jack Benny. His bit and the dialogue make for some good laughs in spite of the tense storyline.
The Witness features a budding Charles Bronson whose appearance is credited to Charles Buchinsky. Powell plays his lawyer; Bronson is accused of an armored car theft and murder. It is up to Powell to prove his innocence, but the one girl that could help them is nowhere to be found.
This Alpha release utilizes good prints of some highly entertaining shows. My only complaint is that there aren't more here."