Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Studio One The Laughmaker/Square Pegs|
Actors: Betty Furness, Mary Sinclair, Maria Riva, James Daly, Charlton Heston
Directors: Fletcher Markle, Norman Felton, Tony Barr
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Westinghouse presented STUDIO ONE every week on CBS from 1948 to 1958. This program presented live dramatic performances which included many big stars as well as a bevy of young talent who would go on to be some of Hollyw... more »
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Live Television, Circa Early 1950s
Robert Huggins | Suburban Philadelphia, PA United States | 04/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a fascinating look at live television from the early 1950s with two hour long productions from the CBS dramatic anthology series "Studio One." Despite the presence of Jackie Gleason and Art Carney (from "The Honeymooners" fame), there aren't too many laughs in "The Laugh Maker" (season 5 - 1953, episode 34), a drama about the rise of comic Jerry Giles (Gleason) in the then new medium of television and the newspaper writer (Carney) assigned to profile Giles. The second episode, "The Square Pegs" (season 5 - 1952, episode 2), is about an industrial psychologist (Orson Bean) who takes a job with the mob. Thomas Mitchell portrays the head mobster and the episode plays a little like "Analyze This" (could this have been the inspiration?) with the psychologist finally realizing who his employer is.
Considering that both of these episodes were sourced from kinescopes that were around fifty years old at the time of this DVD's original release, both episodes look and sound reasonably good for their age and there is an option to play each episode with or without the original Westinghouse commercials with Betty Furness. The extras include fairly typical, static biographies/filmographies for Gleason, Carney, and Bean but, of greater interest, is the short (10 minutes) documentary on "Studio One" with some great clips of actors like Charlton Heston, James Dean, Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jack Palance and others who would go on to greater fame. Director John Frankenheimer, who worked on this series, recalls the very fluid movement of the cameras in these live shows and both episodes vividly demonstrate Frankenheimer's comments. One wishes that the documentary was longer, but what's there is fascinating and I do recommend watching it before you view the episodes, especially if you are viewing "Studio One" for the first time.
Jackie Gleason/Art Carney fans will certainly enjoy seeing them paired together in dramatic roles, but this DVD is also recommended to those who enjoy live drama, especially from the early days of television.
Badly produced DVD?
Looking for Quality | Indiana | 07/19/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I hoped for an actual complete program and it was, start to finish. However the disc doesn't play right. Since you can play the disc with or without commercials, the commercials on program one do not play where they belong. Twice the screen freezes during a scene and a commercial plays. After the commercial the screen freezes at the start of a different scene and then resumes on yet a different scene. I'm waiting to hear from the maker of this disc if it's a bad run or just badly produced. I'm anxious to actually watch the program! Program two plays just fine."