Search - Studio One: The Defender/The Laughmaker/Sentence of Death on DVD

Studio One: The Defender/The Laughmaker/Sentence of Death
Studio One The Defender/The Laughmaker/Sentence of Death
Actors: James Dean, Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2002     4hr 50min

"Studio One" was a showcase for the best live TV drama in the early years of television. From 1948 to 1958, Westinghouse sponsored a show that delivered many seminal performances in teleplays written and directed by the l...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Dean, Jackie Gleason, Steve McQueen
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Drama, Classic TV, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Video Service Corp
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 10/01/2002
Original Release Date: 01/01/1950
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1950
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 4hr 50min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"You can be SURE...."
Chris Aldridge | Washington, DC USA | 06/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"They are neither movies or videotapes; they are cleaned up, digitally remastered, original kinescopes (the archival film made from the flickering image on the monitor) to show you what type of free, no-holes-barred theatre you could watch in the infancy of television. Because these were live productions done a few years before videotape (roughly between 1953 and 1957) these films are the only record of the performances- dramatic exhibitions with Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Ralph Bellamy; character studies from James Dean and William Shatner; and intoductions to future stars like Warren Beatty, Edward Asner, and Steve (called 'Steven') McQueen. Especially poignant is an annoyingly short documentary on the 10-year show hosted by some of its guest actors: Charlton Heston, Jack Klugman, and Cloris Leachman (who makes an especially heartbreaking commentary that many of the actors never got to watch their performances because the kinescopes were burned in their vaults years ago). There is also a marvelous sound byte from the late great John Frankenheimer (who reveals he would've continued to direct television theatre but *had* to turn to movies when the network's president decided to unilaterally cease doing the live play and concentrate on the filmed sitcom). The CBS "f-stop eye" logo is shown, along with original show bumpers (including a 1956 presidential election preview) and the legendary Betty Furness Westinghouse commercials (one of which demonstrates the new, UHF-channel plug-in adapter!!)."
Nostalgia Plusssss
S. Berner | Cocoa, Fl USA | 04/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For a decade (1948-58)in early television, Studio One was one of the stalwarts of live drama, producing some truly classic television, along with a few monumental duds. This set (available separately as well) brings together some very interesting examples. Nostalgia buffs will get a kick out of seeing actors like James Dean, James Coburn, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen, and William Shatner, to name a few, in VERY early roles (look for Ed Asner as "background"). But there is much more than nostalgia at work here. "The Defenders", "Laughmaker", and "The Night America Trembled" hold up as good, even, "Defenders", great, drama. "Sentence of Death" has some fascinating things to say, even if it says them less than perfectly. And "The Square Peg" shows why live comedy was often so hard to do. The picture quality is, at best, watchable (these are kinescopes, after all) and some of the goofs live TV was prone to are "preserved". An added bonus is the inclusion of all the old Westinghouse commercials which are hilarious! (Imagine! A dishwasher that can do a whole days worth of once! A guaranteed good time for those who know what they are watching."