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The Golden Age of TV Drama
The Golden Age of TV Drama
Actors: James Dean, Paul Newman, Jack Palance, Edward G. Robinson, Mickey Rooney
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2006     11hr 54min

This remarkable and entertaining 5-DVD collection of 16 rare television dramas, broadcast both live and filmed from 1951 to 1960, features up-and-coming performers just as they're starting their careers, as well as seasone...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Dean, Paul Newman, Jack Palance, Edward G. Robinson, Mickey Rooney
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama
Studio: Passport
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 07/11/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 11hr 54min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"broadcast live with outstanding productions ~ Golden Age of
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 07/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Passport Video presents "The Golden Age of TV Drama", --- (Dolby digitally remastered)....relive those early years of television with 16 rare and remarkable dramas from 1951-1960...from the archives of Armstrong Circle Theatre, Cavalcade of America, Family Theater, Playhouse 90, The U.S. Steel Hour, Telephone Time, Four Star Playhouse, The Schaefer Century Theatre, Telephone Time and The DuPont Show of the Month ...some of the best writers and directors as Rod Serling, John Frankenheimer, Barnaby Conrad, John T. Coyle, Daniel Petrie, James Sheldon and David Susskind...just remember the mystery and suspense...hitting the bull's eye with pop some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the movie.

The lineup is fantastic and gives the viewer a variety of what live television was all about in the "The Golden Age of TV Drama"
Tige Andrews, Michael Ansara, Ralph Bellamy, James Best, Charles Boyer, Henry Brandon, George Brenlin, Walter Brennan, Jeanne Cagney, Ray Danton, Jane Darwell, James Dean, King Donovan, Joseph Downing, Leif Erickson, Michael Gough, Hugh Griffith, Don Haggerty, John Hoyt, Kim Hunter, Ruth Hussey, Boris Karloff, Michael Landon, Joan Leslie, Gene Lockhart, George Maccready, Kevin McCarthy, Roddy McDowall, Robert Middleton, Mary Murphy, Alan Napier, Paul Newman, David Niven, Edmond O'Brien, Jack Palance, Suzy Parker, George Peppard, Patrick Peyton, Suzane Pleshette, Nicholas Pryor, Edward G. Robinson, Mickey Rooney, Albert Salmi, John Stephenson, Mel Torme, Robert Wilson, Natalie Wood, Joanne Woodward and Loretta Young,

The live dramas in alphabetical order and actors listed:
BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY (1956) - Paul Newman
BELLS OF COCKAIGNE (1953) - James Deanv & Gene Lockhart
THE COMEDIAN (1957) - Mickey Rooney & Mel Torme
DEATH OF MANOLETE (1957) - Jack Palance & Suzy Parker
FIGHT FOR THE TITLE (1957) - Michael Landon
FOR THE DEFENSE (1954) - Edward G. Robinson & John Hoyt
FULL CIRCLE (1955) - David Niven & Joanne Woodward
HILL NUMBER ONE (1951) - James Dean & Roddy McDowall
I BEHELD HIS GLORY (1953) - George Macready
LETTER TO LORETTA (1953) - Loretta Young
MAN AGAINST CRIME (1952) - Ralph Bellamy
PLAYMATES (1952) - Natalie Wood
SUMMER OF DECISION (1959) - Suzanne Pleshette
TREASURE ISLAND (1960) - Boris Karloff & Hugh Griffith
WILD BUNCH (1955) - Charles Boyer & Natalie Wood
WOMAN'S WORK (1956) - Walter Brennan & James Best

This collection of live television dramas still has the magic that we remember from those bygone years --- but as long as we have the labels and networks who play and show these wonderful films of yesteryear, they will never be forgotten ...hats off and a great job by Passport Video for releasing "The Golden Age of TV Drama", digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '50s and '60s vintage...order your copy now from Amazon or Passport Video, stay tuned once again for more remarkable dramas from the vaults of classic television and classic Hollywood...just the relive the good old days from legendary writers and directors with an outstanding cast of actors...celebrating decades of live television with actors and directors who gave their all in the early pioneer days of TV drama, gotta love it!

Total Time: 714 mins on DVD ~ Passport Video 5210 ~ (7/11/2006)"
Dramas of varying quality
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 03/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Not all of the programs on THE GOLDEN AGE OF TV DRAMA were "live" broadcasts. Several of these are 24 minute films (like "The Wild Bunch") that suffer from a lack of time necessary to develop their stories properly. Some seem to be chosen more for the actors in them than the shows' quality of script. Others ("The Comedian," for example) are brilliant representations of what made live broadcasting wonderful and unique.

Poor audio quality hampers many of these selections: oppressive filtering destroys all sibilance, blurs the spoken word and muddies background music, rendering it quite annoying.

The manufacturer, PASSPORT, superimposes a faint watermark of this box set's title on-screen at all times. It's most noticeable on dark scenes. Also, the spindles that hold the DVDs in place are of poor design, and the discs often come loose of their own accord. Their boxes need a redesign.

If you enjoy made-for-TV dramas, I'd recommend the ALL STAR 50 Movie Pack, from MILL CREEK ENTERTAINMENT. The films are of newer vintage (mostly 1970s and '80s) and there are literally dozens of famous actors here.


Bang The Drum Slowly ("The United States Steel Hour") (1956) - Paul Newman/George Peppard
Bells Of Cockaigne ("Armstrong Circle Theatre") (1953) - James Dean/Gene Lockhart
The Comedian ("Playhouse 90") (1957) - Mickey Rooney/Kim Hunter/Mel Torme
Death Of Manolete ("Playhouse 90") (1957) - Jack Palance/Suzy Parker
Fight For The Title ("Telephone Time") (1957) - Michael Landon/Bill Erwin
For The Defense (TV pilot-1954) - Edward G. Robinson/John Hoyt
Full Circle ("Four Star Playhouse") (1955) - David Niven/Joanne Woodward
Hill Number One ("Family Theatre") (1951) - Roddy McDowall/William Schallart/James Dean (in a minor role)
I Beheld His Glory ("Family Theatre") (1953) - Robert Wilson/George Macready
Letter To Loretta ("The Loretta Young Show") (1953) - Loretta Young
Man Against Crime (TV series-1952) - Ralph Bellamy
Playmates ("The Schaefer Century Theatre") (1952) - Natalie Wood (her TV debut)
Summer Of Decision (1959) - Suzanne Pleshette
Treasure Island ("The DuPont Show Of The Month") (1960) - Boris Karloff/Hugh Griffith
The Wild Bunch ("Four Star Playhouse") (1955) - Charles Boyer/Natalie Wood
Woman's Work ("Cavalcade Of America") (1956) - Walter Brennan/James Best"
Return to the golden age of tv drama
Daniel Lee Taylor | GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas United States | 06/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Examine the list of offerings for this item and you will see a who's who list of stars in some very early roles. Paul Newman at the age of 20 in Bang the Drum Slowly,for example. This was a time when many fine and serious drama production were made for tv, because there was thought that the public wanted that entertainment as well as I Love Lucy. This as well acted material by some of the finest actors of our time. It won't be vulgar or gory but maybe just maybe a little insightful."
A fascinating mirror into television's golden age...
Kenneth M. Pizzi | San Mateo, CA United States | 09/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Here's a delightful set showcasing some of Hollywood's greatest talent including James Dean, Jack Palance, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Mickey Rooney among others in some of the best teleplays ever presented on television. Most, if not all were broadcast live and are a testament to the actor's and director's craft.

Included among these are several delightful programs from the celebrated and much acclaimed Playhouse 90. Two standouts in this set include "The Comedian" penned by Rod Serling and directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Mickey Rooney, Mel Torme, Kim Hunter and Edmund O'Brien. Rooney is well cast as an ruthless and megalomanical TV comic who literally abuses everyone he works with--including his writer (O'Brien) and his own brother, (Torme, in a surprisingly understated performance) with devastating results.

Serling, no stranger to Playhouse 90 and before he would achieve the acclaim for "The Twilight Zone" penned this story shortly after he wrote "Patterns" starring Van Heflin. Sterling would write yet another winner for Playhouse 90, that being "Requiem for a Heavyweight" featuring Jack Palance in the title role. Sadly, neither "Patterns" nor "Requiem" are included in this set.

Another winner is the tragic-but-true dramatized story entitled "The Death of Manolete," also directed by Frankenheimer, starring Jack Palance, as the famed bullfighter whose rise to fame and ill-fated demise is well-documented here in this 90 minute dramatization featuring Suzy Parker, Robert Middleton, and Ray Danton as supporting cast.

The set rounds out with other lesser known epsiodes of "Man Against Crime" and an interesting pilot entitled "Man for the Defense" starring Eddie G. Robinson. While these are interesting, they pale in comparison to the other two programs previously mentioned.

Those expecting remastered, pristine transfers should look elsewhere, but then again, the programs in this set from Playhouse 90, The US Steel Hour, Four Star Playhouse and Dupont Theater are difficult to find in any format, so we are fortunate to have this window into television's infancy. And, not to mention, many of the programs presented include their original commercials including spots for Mallboro cigarettes, Ban Deodorant, and Vitalis to name a few.