CTVA US Anthology - "NET Playhouse" (WNDT/WNET) Season 5 (1970-71)

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 Season 5 (WNDT/WNET) (1970-71)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by:  Rina Fox, Tom Alger
references:
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive

 

############## NET Playhouse ##############
############ season 5 1970-71 #############
###########################################

In New York City, the series moved to Thursdays.

[--] 01Oct1970 Thur - Repeat of "The Write-Off" (first aired 30Jan1970)

 5.1 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: HELEN HAYES REMEMBERS
08Oct1970 Thur (rerun 01Jul1972)
Produced & Directed by Nathan Kroll
Cast:
Helen Hayes .............. Herself
Orson Bean ............... Himself
Maureen Stapleton ........ Herself
Tennessee Williams ....... Himself
Producer George Abbott ... Himself
Producer Robert Whitehead. Himself
Playwright Marc Connelly.. Himself
Synopsis:
Miss Helen Hayes re-creates some of her most memorable roles ....
Mary Stuart in Maxwell Anderson's "Mary of Scotland" (1933);
Queen Victoria in Laurence Houseman's "Victoria Regina" (1935);
Nora Melody in Eugene O'Neill's "A Touch of the Poet" (1958);
and Grandma in Edward Albee's "The American Dream" (1961).
Miss Hayes is also seen directing Orson Bean and two newcomers in a scene from Booth Tarkington's "Clarence", in which
she starred in 1919, to show changes in acting techniques over the past half-century. ("You didn't walk across a stage,
you flitted.") Old friends, including Tennessee Williams and Maureen Stapleton join in the reminiscing. [RF]

5.2 [---] NET Playhouse: A SCENT OF FLOWERS (Canada-CBC Production)
15Oct1970 Thur
Produced & Directed by Melwyn Breen
Written by James Saunders (who won an International Emmy award in 1969)
Cast:
Martha Henry ........ Zoe
Jack Creley ......... Priest / Scrivens
Paul Harding ........ David
Gerald Parkes ....... Sid
Joseph Shaw ......... Uncle Edgar
Aileen Seaton ....... Agnes
Synopsis 1:
The drama centers on a devout Roman Catholic girl named Zoe, who cannot resolve the conflict stemming from her love for
a married man. [RF]
*Note: Won an international Emmy award in 1969.
Synopsis 2:
A story of a tragic love affair, originally done on the Canadian Broadcasting Company. The cast of competent players arc
unknown here but are generally good, with Martha Henry as the girl whose romance is the center of the problem. This
play won an International Emmy Award in 1969 and also won honors for Miss Henry, one of the stars of the annual
Shakespeare Festival At Stratford, Ont. (Niagara Falls NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 3:
Drama fans have a substantial piece to savor in this fine Canadian Broadcasting Corporation production of James Saunders'
provocative and touching play about a young girl who is driven to suicide. Saunders employs the dramatic device of having
the dead girl review her life as the family prepares for her funeral, and it's a probing and imaginative framework for
the story of Zoe, the deeply religious girl who can't cope with life's disappointments. Martha Henry is brilliant as Zoe
and Garrick Hagon, as her stepbrother, is impressive in his scenes. Tune in for an intriguing and haunting 90 minutes.
Auburn NY Citizen Advertiser) [TA]

5.3 [---] NET Playhouse: OPEN THEATRE - THE SERPENT
22Oct1970 Thur
Synopsis:
Strictly for students of the theatre and the dance who are interested in the critical evaluation of experimental techniques.
Tonight's performance of the Open Theatre Company of "The Serpent" by Jean-Claude van Itallie, attempts a fusion of words
and choreographed movement, which may seriously be challenged as meaningful theatre. Ostensibly, Mr. van Itallie is calling
attention to the chaos and violence in contemporary society by taking a reflective view of the story of Genesis. Actually,
however, it would seem that meaningless words and numbers take precedence over content for provoking much of the stylized
motion, at least until way into the story of Cain and Abel, when Mr. van Itallie makes a memorable statement on moral
responsibility, at last. In any case, here's chance for the serious theatre student to probe and question.
(TV Key Preview column) [TA]

[---] 29Oct1970 Thur - Repeat of "Ceremony of Innocence"

5.4 [---] NET Playhouse: THE STRATFORD NATIONAL THEATRE CANADA - THE THREE MUSKETEERS
05Nov1970 Thur 8:30-10:30pm
Synopsis 1:
"The Three Musketeers." will be presented by the Stratford (Ontario) National Theater of of Canada. [TA]
Synopsis 2:
En Garde! "The Three Musketeers" are coming, as NET Playhouse brings you a new version of the Dumas classic.
This is the work of the Stratford National Theater of Canada, and it received a host of huzzahs when they did it
this summer as a break from usual Shakespearean offerings. The program is embarking on a plot to bring you leading
theatrical companies from all over the world and this is the first in that project. So buckle on your swashes and watch.
(TV Previews, Niagara Falls NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 3:
"The Stratford National Theatre of Canada Presents 'The Three Musketeers'." The best thing about this two-hour production
of Alexander Dumas swashbuckling chestnut of yore, is its marvelous attention to the 17th century atmospheric detail of
costume and set, despite a studio-based origination. There's one other asset it can boast, and that is a brilliant
performance by Martha Henry as the villainous lady of the piece, Milady de Winter, particularly in the closing scenes
of the play. With so heavily plotted an adventure to work with, it is unfortunate that most of the other characters,
including even D'Artagnan and his three Musketeers, are given precious shading so much interest is focused on the
hustle and bustle and the clanging swords. (TV Key Previews, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.5 [---] NET Playhouse: NEW YORK TELEVISION THEATER - MAKING MONEY AND 13 VERY SHORT PLAYS / A SHORT ACCIDENT
12Nov1970 Thur 8:30-10pm
Synopsis:
Fifteen - count 'em. 15 - items for the price of one on NET Playhouse. The main one is William Saroyan's collection
of vignettes called "New York Television Theater: Making Money and 13 other Very Short Plays." That's 14 - and the
last is a one-act by James Saunders called "A Slight Accident." There is a large cast, including Pat Hingle, to act
these. (Niagara Falls NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
"Making Money and 13 Other Very Short Plays" and "A Slight Accident." This production leads off with a mild and
pleasant hour of William Saroyan's romantic, poetic, and slightly ironic fancies about life of everyday folk aged
seven to senile. Then be sure and stay tuned for a macabre, half-hour tour de force by James Saunders, and
pseudosophistication and its price. Saroyan tales are very well played particularly Pat Hingle's husband listening
to his wife's daydreams about Billy Rose; his middle-aged philosopher exchanging words of wisdom with a little boy
at a bus stop; and Edgar Stehli's marvelous old men taking a night school course in writing. And in the cynical Saunders'
adventure with life and death, Carrie Nye plays a human being turned mannequin to perfection.
(Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser newspaper) [TA]

5.6 [---] NET Playhouse: THE SAND CASTLE / THE TAPE RECORDER
19Nov1970 Thur
1) The Sandcastle
story by Lanford Wilson
cast:
Irene Dailey
Don Warfield ............ Owen
Jean Fowler ............. Joan
Barry Symonds ........... Kenny
Lee Lawson .............. Sasha
Synopsis:
The drama revolves around a tense night in the life of a middle-aged widow struggling to keep her tenuous
threads of her family life together. [RF]
2) The Tape Recorder
cast:
Inga Swenson ............. Secretary
Michael Tolan ............ Boss
Synopsis:
A secretary spends a terrifying evening when she arrives at her boss's
deserted apartment to take dictation from a tape. [RF]

5.7 [---] NET Playhouse: FOUL! / ACTOR'S CHOICE
26Nov1970 Thur (rerun 26Nov1971)
1) Foul!
Contemporary playwrights express views on pollution in this collection of 10 brief plays.
Among them ... Ronald Ribman's "The Beautiful Fish", about a couple who go fishing in the Hudson River; Israel Horovitz's
"Play for Trees", in which two pines mourn their Christmas fates; and John Guare's "Kissing Sweet", a spoof on industrial
polluters. [RF]
Cast:
Charlotte Rae
Sam Waterson
Francis Sternhagen
Barbara Cason
2) Actor's Choice: Lewis Carroll
Gwen Verdon and Cyril Ritchard read selections by Lewis Carroll, including "Alice In Wonderland." [RF]

5.8 [---] NET Playhouse: DRAGON COUNTRY
03Dec1970 Thurs Color
Based on Tennessee Williams plays, " I Can't Imagine Tomorrow"
and "Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen".
Produced & Directed by Glenn Jordan
"I Can't Imagine Tomorrow"
Cast:
Kim Stanley
William Redfield
*
"Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen"
Cast:
Lois Smith
Alan Mixon
Synopsis:
Two one-act plays by Tennessee Williams, both dealing with the pain of loneliness and a sense that time is an unendurable
betrayer, make up tonight's moody but gripping theatre fare. Kim Stanley and William Redfield co-star in the second play,
"I Can't Imagine Tomorrow," which makes its worldwide premiere here. Miss Stanley's stoically intelligent, inwardly
desolate, dying middle-aged woman, the only solace of a frightened, horribly immature schoolteacher, is a memorable and
moving experience. The first play, "Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen," is very early Tennessee Williams and
though it has its touching moments, it lacks the driving force of the new play both in the writing and performance.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen Advertiser column) [TA]

5.9 [---] NET Playhouse: MARAT-SADE (1967 movie)
10Dec1970 Thur 8:30-10:30pm
Synopsis 1:
"Marat/Sade," the full title of which is "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as Performed by the
Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade," is an unconventional work of impact.
(Schenectady NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
An artistic achievement beyond compare and a tantalizing shocker you're not likely to forget. It is Peter Brook's
film production of Peter Weiss' furious stage play within a play, about the death of Marat in 1793 at the hands of
Charlotte Corday; set in an insane asylum, performed by the inmates, and written and directed by that torture-loving,
pleasure seeker, the Marquis de Sade. The remarkable thing about this film is the style and invention of Peter Brook's
brilliant direction, and the electrifying performance of its players, ranging from the improvisational look of the
individual inmates, to the fun of a music hall quartet as a chorus, and the ever-increasing tension of actors confusing
their roles with their illnesses. By focusing the camera in closeup most of the time, Peter Brook has given the film a
totally different dimension, visually, emotionally and intellectually, than he achieved on a stage huming with activity.
As a result, the film is a new personal experience for everybody, offering up in indescribable tension, the
unquestionable morality of a debate between the perverse logic of the Marquis de Sade, tormented by "nature's indifference
to death and therefore to life," and the revolutionary hero. Marat, in despair for the failure of his cause. Strange,
stark and memorable. (TV Key column, Oswego Palladium-Times) [TA]

5.10 [---] NET Playhouse: A NICE PLACE TO VISIT
17Dec1970 Thur 8:30-10pm
Synopsis:
NET Playhouse, which often errs in the direction of being too heavy, goes light with a vengeance tonight. You'll see
improvisational theater, done by a group including many from Chicago's Second City. Their sketches are all built around
the general theme of life in a big city. It's called "It's a Nice Place to Visit ..." and among those present is pert
Barbara Dana, who is Alan Arkin's wife. Quite a few different aspects of city life are twitted
in this fast-moving 90 minutes. (TV Previews column, Niagara Falls Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
New York is the place that gets the ribbing in this 90 minute improvisatitmal lark featuring former members of Chicago's
Second City company (not for the pre-teen set). The footage takes you all over the place, (especially Central Park
where some of the best skits are featured, particularly an inspired lesson in the art of panhandling, and a number
of on-the-spot news items, backed up by the refrain of a song called 'Goodtime City." In any loosely woven but neatly
linked series of encounters or sketches, some are decidedly better than others, so be on the watch for a grand spoof
of a woman's lib writer, an inspired new plan for a competing phone company, and apropriate background music for the
blue collar worker dreamed up by a high-priced press agent. (TV Key Previews column) [TA]

[---] 24Dec1970 Thurs - Repeat of "Story Theatre" (first aired 28Nov1969)

[---] 31Dec1970 Thurs - Repeat of "Volpone" (first aired 09Jan1970)

5.11 [---] NET Playhouse: LAY DOWN YOUR ARMS (UK-LWT-London Weekend Television Production)
(first shown in the UK on the ITV Network "Saturday-Night Theatre" 23-May-70)
07Jan1971 Thur 8:30pm
Written by Dennis Potter
Synopsis:
An awkward young genius creates havoc in the British Foreign Office when he is drafted and assigned to military
intelligence as a Russian translator during the Middle East crisis in 1956.
(Waterville Times, NY & Milwaukee Journal) [TA]

5.12 [---] NET Playhouse: AN IDEAL HUSBAND (UK-BBC Production)
(first broadcast in the UK on BBC's "Play Of The Month" 11-May-1969)
14Jan1971 Thur 8:30pm Color
Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Rudolph Cartier
Cast:
Keith Michell ....... Sir Robert Chiltern
Margaret Leighton ... Mrs. Cheveley
Jeremy Brett ........ Viscount Goring
Susan Hampshire ..... Mabel Chiltern
Dinah Sheridan ...... Lady Chiltern
Charles Carson ...... Earl of Caversham
Zena Dare ........... Lady Markby
Raymond Graham ...... Mason
Synopsis:
A strong British cast performs in Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband." This BBC comedy-drama concerns a stuffy politician
whose spotless reputation may be tarnished by a black-mailing socialite. [TA]

[---] 21Jan1971 Thurs - Repeat of "Let Me Hear You Whisper" (Color)

NET Playhouse on The Thirties

5.13 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: A MEMORY OF TWO MONDAYS (US Production)
28Jan1971 Thur 8:30-10pm Color
Produced by Jacqueline Babbin
Directed by Paul Bogart
Written by Arthur Miller
cast:
Donald Buka ............ Mister Eagle
Jack Warden ............ Gus
Estelle Parsons ........ Agnes
Harvey Keitel .......... Jerry
Tony Lo Bianco ......... Frank
Dick Van Patten ........ Raymond
J.D. Cannon ............ Tom
Catherine Burns ........ Patricia
Earl Hindman ........... William
Dan Hamilton ........... Kenneth
George Grizzard ........ Larry
Kristoffer Tabori ...... Bert
Jerry Stiller .......... Mechanic
Tom Rosqui ............. Unemployed Man
Synopsis (newspaper article):
By Cynthia Lowry, AP Television-Radio Writer NEW YORK (AP) Arthur Miller, introducing his 1955 play, "A Memory of
Two Mondays" on the National Educational Television network Thursday night, described it as "a compacted group of memories"
of Depression days when he had a small, hated job in a warehouse.
The 90-minute production, with a fine cast, inaugurated a new "NET Playhouse of the '30s" dramatic series. The Miller play
caught the desperate mood of 1933 as a group of troubled characters stayed on the job in an automobile parts warehouse,
trapped by their fears and inadequacies and by the lack of jobs elsewhere.
The characters included old Gus and his pal who went on rip-roaring weekends on the town until Gus sobered up one Monday
to find his wife had died at home alone. There was Tommy, a drunk who quit drinking and then had no patience for weaker
mortals. There was the weepy spinster bookkeeper; the sullen salesclerk with too many kids and too much debt; a romantic
Irishman who spouted poetry but lacked courage to leave the shabby job that bored him. Miller probably was writing about
himself with a young office boy saving hla $15 a week salary to go to college and wondering how people could stand working
at the same boring job year after year. It was off-beat drama. Miller built to a climax by development of the characters
toward their individual breaking points. Jack Warden, J.D. Cannon, George Grinard and Estelle Parsons were among the
perceptive performers. It was an auspicious beginning for a series that should be greeted warmly by theatre lovers.
(end of article) [TA]

5.14 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: HARD TRAVELIN'
04Feb1971 Thur 8:30-10pm Color
(repeated 22June1972 NYC WNDT-13 Thur 8:30-9:30pm)
Cast:
Ralph Meeker .......... T.C. Hope
Drew Synder ........... Andy
J.A. Preston .......... Mister Dupree
Susan Bracken ......... Sarah Lee
William Roerick ....... Poppa/Daddy Thatcher
Synopsis:
Millard Lampell's mirror of the '30s is particularly telling in its use of the revivalist meeting-circus motif to give
it rhythm, and old film clips to give it the look of truth. Ralph Meeker presides over the rugged, tough-and-tumble of
the hour, as phony preacher, barker, politician, and all-around hypocrite, seeing only what he wants to see, whether he's
looking at marathon dancers or a member of a chain gang. (22Jun1972 Yonkers NY Herald Statesman) [TA]

5.15 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: THE REDISCOVERED FILM - "ONCE IN A LIFETIME"
11Feb1971 Thur
Synopsis:
The Rediscovered Film: "Once in a Lifetime." Young and old film buffs,please take note: Here's your opportunity to see
a 1932 film adaptation of the Broadway stage success by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, which started the brilliant
theatrical career of Hart, and revitalized the satirical genius of Kaufman. Tune in for their madcap adventure,
ridiculing Hollywood and the outrageous excesses and stupidities practiced by the people in the motion picture industry,
when talking pictures came on the scene. [TA]

5.16 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: THE MOVIE CRAZY YEARS
18Feb1971 Thur 8:30-10pm Color (with B&W film clips)
Synopsis 1:
NET Playhouse continues its series on the 1930s with an entertaining look at Hollywood during that era.
(Schenectady NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
NET Playhouse on the Thirties. "The Movie Crazy Years." Film buffs and movie fans who planked down their coins to see
their screen favorites during the thirties, will be fascinated by this nostalgic 90 minute review of the Warner Bros.
product of the era, coupled with inside stories of studio politics. On hand to give meaning to these reminiscences are
such stalwarts of the period as Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson, Olivia de Havilland, Pat O'Brien, and Joan Blondell;
directors Busy Berkeley, Mervyn Le Roy and William Wellman; and writers John Bright and Dalton Trumbo; plus Hal Wallis.
who was production head of the studio in its heyday. Film clips from such memorable trendsetters as "Public Enemy,"
"Golddiggers of 1933," "Captain Blood," and "Juarez" are interspersed between the interviews and commentary of the
golden years of Hollvwood. Tune in and enjoy them all. (Yonkers NY Herald Statesman) [TA]

5.17 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: PARADISE LOST, Part 1
(US Production)
25Feb1971 Thurs 8:30-10pm Color
(rerun 24Jan1972)
Produced & Directed by Glenn Jordan
story by Clifford Odets
Videotape Editor Frank Herold (nominated for an EMMY)
cast:
Eli Wallach ............ Leo
Jo Van Fleet ........... Clara
Sam Groom .............. Ben
Dorrie Cavanaugh ....... Pearl
Sam Schacht ............ Julie
George Voskovec ........ Gus
Bernadette Peters ...... Libby
Mike Kellin ............ Sam
Fred Gwynne ............ Pike
Cliff Gorman ........... Kewpie
Marian Winters ......... Bertha
Biff McGuire ........... Foley
Jay Garner ............. May
David Hurst ............ Schnable
Synopsis 1:
The 1932 drama unfolds as a compassionate middle-class people cope with the financial and moral crises of the
Depression. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
A sympathetic picture of tha decaying middle class of the depression.
Synopsis 3:
Take time out and spend the evening with Clifford Odets' intensely human study of a middle-class family, bugged down
by the calamitous conditions visited on everyone during the Great Depression of the 30s, yet full of a haunting warmth
that pervades the atmosphere even at its worst. (TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]
Awards:
"Paradise Lost' was nominated for a video editing Emmy Award in 1972. "I was the editor of the video which was
produced at Teletape Studies in New York City using one of the first electronic editing systems called "Editec".
The piece was achieved on 2" video tape. I lost the nomination to a fellow editor. The winning entry that year was
"Hogan's Goat" edited by Patrick McKenna. I am still active in the video business but will always remember this
show as one of the high points of my early career".
Courtesy of Frank Herold. [RF]


[---] 27Feb1971 Sat - Special NET Playhouse broadcast - "Paradise Lost," Parts 1 & 2 combined.

5.18 [---] NET Playhouse on the Thirties: PARADISE LOST, Part 2
04Mar1971 Thurs 8:30-10pm Color
Synopsis:
If you missed the complete telecast of Clifford Odets' memorable study of a middle-class family in the throws of the
Great Depression last Saturday night, and saw Part I last Thursday, here's an opportunity to follow the disintegrating
but nonetheless absorbing fortunes of the
Gordon family and their friends and boarders, tonight. Perhaps the most touching scenes revolve around the basic
goodness of Leo and Para Gordon, even as they find themselves cheated by friends and plagued by family tragedies.
Eli Wallach and Jo Van Fleet are tremendously affecting in these roles, and their integrity to the spirit of their
characters, fleshes out the quality of humanity that Clifford Odets was seeking to defend.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.19 [---] NET Playhouse: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Part 1)  (UK-BBC Production)
 (first broadcast in the UK Sunday 5-Feb-1967 BBC1)
11Mar1971 Thur 8:30-10pm B&W
Cast:
Maggie Smith ... Beatrice
Robert Stevens ... Benedick
Caroline John ... Hero
Michael Byrne ... Claudio
Frank Finlay ... Dogberry
Derek Jacobi ... Don Pedro
Ronald Pickup ... Do John
Harry Lomax ... Antonio
Synopsis 1:
Net Playhouse starts a two-part Shakespearean production, "Much Ado About Nothing," originally filmed In '65 by Franco
Zefferelli. It stars Maggie Smith (Oscar winner last year for "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie") and her husband, Robert
Stephens, and others from the National Theater Company in England. (Niagara Falls NY Gazette) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
The play is about a quarrelsome young Couple Beatrice and Benedick who exchange some very witty dialogue and are
incapable of calling a truce. (Schenectady NY Gazette) [TA]

5.20 [---] NET Playhouse: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Part 2)  (UK-BBC Production)
 (first broadcast in the UK Sunday 5-Feb-1967 BBC1)
18Mar1971 Thur 8:30-10pm B&W
Synopsis:
A production lending imaginative theatricality to the Bard's tale of two contrasting love affairs. Tonight, Don Pedro's
trickery is uncovered and the lovers are reunited. [TA]

[---] 25Mar1971 Thur - Repeat of "They" (first aired 17Apr1970 NYC)

5.21 [---] NET Playhouse: REDDICK (Canada - CBC Production)
01Apr1971 Thurs 8:30-10pm Color
Cast:
Donald Harron
Synopsis:
This is a shocker, produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, calculated to get a rise out of you, no matter what
your convictions on religion, ethics, hippies, or the Establishment may be. Donald Harron is superb as an inner-city
minister who has not only won the allegiance of a gang of alienated young people, but has created a haven for them in his
church, and has served as a buffer between them and the conventional forces of society. What makes all those sparks of
the drama fly comes to light when the kids put the minister, Mr. Reddick, on trial in a kind of kangaroo court, for what
they read as "dishonesty" and "exploitation" for personal gain. Actually, the motives and morals of all the characters
involved, including the author Munroe Scott, would seem to be on trial. Tune in for a provoking and provocative experience.
(Yonkers NY Herald Statesman & The Auburn, NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

[---] 08Apr1971 Thur - Repeat of "Jesus: A Passion Play for Americans," (first aired 27Mar1970 NYC)

5.22 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: SIEGFRIED SASSOON - MAD JACK (UK-BBC Production)
(first broadcast in the UK on BBC's "The Wednesday Play" 4-Apr-1970)
15Apr1971 Thur
Directed by Jack Gold
Written by Tom Clarke
Cast:
Michael Jayston ... Siegfried Sassoon
Synopsis:
Biography on the anti-war British poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967).
Synopsis 2:
This is the first program in a 15-week series which will examine the lives of outstanding historical personalities,
all of whom persisted in ways of thinking which were opposed to the trend of their times. Tonight's film, "Mad Jack,"
which won the Grand Prize at this year's International Television Festival at Monte Carlo, probes the crisis in the
life of anti-war poet Siegried Sassoon, a British WWI soldier who, by writing a protest against war profiteers,
alienated himself from society and the army. Michael Jayston of the Royal Shakespeare Company stars.
(TV Times Preview column, Utica NY Daily Press) [TA]

5.23 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: GEORGE ELIOT
22Apr1971 Thur 8:30pm
Cast:
Sheila Allen ...... George Eliot
Synopsis:
More a portrait of a homely woman with a brilliantly compensating intellect than a biography of a novelist, this is
nevertheless an illuminating study of an extraordinary personality, brought to life with subtle grace of actress
Sheila Allen. George Eliot is, of course, the penname of Marian Evans (1819-1880), the great Victorian author of such
classics as "Silas Marner," "Adam Bede," and "Daniel Deronda." The only thing we learn about her novels is that her
common-law husband, the famous literary critic George Henry Lewes, was the source of inspiration and encouragement
that made writing fiction in her middle years both a possibility and a reality. However, what we do see is the growth
and development of a young girl full of self-pity for her homely face, but determined to achieve something in life
despite her ugliness, into a woman of stature and infinite charm, able finally to give and receive love.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.24 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (UK-BBC Production)
(first broadcast in the UK on BBC's "Biography" series 11-Nov-1970)
29Apr1971 NYC Thur
Cast:
Michael Jayston ... Beethoven
Synopsis:
It is no small feat to play Beethoven, but British actor Michael Jayston is not just your every-day actor, as anyone who
saw his beautifully sensitive performance of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon can attest. In this biography of
Beethoven's early years, from age 22, when he came riding into Vienna on a stagecoach, happy to be on the heels of
Napoleon's victorious revolutionary army and aching to conquer the city with his music, to age 35 when he finally became
completely deaf and utterly disillusioned with the Emperor, Michael Jayston is magnetic. Jayston sees him as a man
full of passionate response to every aspect of life, good and bad, beautiful and hateful, in love and in torment,
bursting with the knowledge of his genius and the absolute need to express it.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.25 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: ISADORA DUNCAN: THE BIGGEST DANCER IN THE WORLD (UK-BBC Production)
(first broadcast in the UK on BBC 22-Sep-1966)
06May1971 Thur 8:30pm (repeated 09Mar1972 Thur)
Directed by Ken Russell
Cast includes:
Vivian Pickles .... Isadora
Synopsis:
The fabulous Isadora (1876-1927) revolutionized the dance world with her barefoot-Grecian gown, arm-swinging,
freedom-seeking dance style; lived the impetuous life of a convention-loathing tigress; battled with cities and
governments when her maniacal desire to teach the children of the world to dance was thwarted; and actually won out
after death through the dancers she inspired.
Synopsis 2:
As the host of Biography, Antonia Fraser points out (that) Isadora fascinated, and still fascinates, the general public's
the complete embodiment of the free spirit, both in her back-to-nature dancing and in her scandal-prone private life.
International triumphs, on stage and off, were nicely balanced with proper "retributions," including the accidental
deaths of two of her children and her own freakish death. (excerpt from New York Times article) [TA]

5.26 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: JOHN AND SAM ADAMS
13May1971 Thur 8:30-10pm
Cast:
Laurence Luckinbill ... John Adams
James Karen ........... Sam Adams (John's radical second cousin)
Synopsis:
NET Playhouse presents "John and Sam Adams." another in their biography series. On March 5, 1870, British troops stationed
in Boston fired on an angry mod of colonists and killed five of them. The shooting became known as the Boston Massacre
and John Adams said in later life that "the foundations of American independence were laid on that day." The drama focuses
on the trial that followed the massacre and studies the consciences and motivations of the two American revolutionaries.
Laurence Luckinbill plays John Adams and James Karen portrays John's radical second cousin, Sam, who felt that bloodshed
was needed to show the colonists how great their differences were with the British.
(TV Previews column, Niagara Falls NY Gazette) [TA]

5.27 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: DANTE'S INFERNO (UK-BBC Production)
(first shown in the UK on the BBC Arts series "Omnibus" 22-Dec-1967)
20May1971 Thur 8:30
Directed by Ken Russell
Cast:
Oliver Reed ... Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Synopsis:
Oliver Reed, whose principal credits include co-starring roles in the films "Oliver!" and "Women in Love," portrays the
tormented and erratic painter-poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti, on "NET Playhouse Biography" "Dante's Inferno," Thursday,
May 20 at 8:30.
The title of the film alludes to the private hell in which Rossetti suffered, largely because of an inner conflict which
he never resolved. His marriage to Elizabeth Siddal, who had been his model for hundreds of idealized portraits and his
chaste fiancee for 10 years, did not prevent him from continuing relationships with other models. The death of Elizabeth
two years after her marriage to Rossetti filled the artist with such grief and remorse that he decided to bury his
manuscripts with her body. Seven years later he had the body exhumed and recovered his poems, but not his peace of mind.
He spent his last years in seclusion, addicted to drink and drugs, still seeking a lifetime dream of the ideal
beauty.
The indomitable director Ken Russell ("Women in Love," "The Music Lovers") at his most exuberant, captures the fevered,
decadent whirl of the pre-Raphaelite group of English artists. (Schenectady NY Gazette newspaper article) [TA]

[---] 27May1971 Thur - Repeat of "Frederick Delius: A Song of Summer" (first aired 27June1969)

5.28 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: GEORGES JACQUES DANTON (UK-BBC Production)
(first shown in the UK on BBC's "Biography" series 21-Oct-1970)
03Jun1971 Thur 8:30pm
Written by Arden Winch
Directed by John Davies
Cast:
Anthony Hopkins ....... Danton
Synopsis:
While portions of this Biographical study of Gorges Jacques Danton (1759-1794) tend to be both polemic and repititious
in nature, it is, in essence, a most colorful portrait of the famous French Revolutionary leader. Set in the last hours
of his life before he and his cellmates were guillotined, highlighted by flashbacks that mirror his conflict with
Robespierre, it offers a vivid contrast between Danton, the charismatic vulgarian and lover of humanity, on the one
hand, and Robespierre, the devastatingly bloodless embodiment of the logician, on the other.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.29 [---] NET Playhouse Biography: SOCRATES (UK-BBC Production)
("The Drinking Party" first broadcast in the UK on BBC's Arts series "Sunday Night" 14-Nov-1965)
("Death of Socrates" first broadcast in the UK on BBC's Arts series "Sunday Night" 03-Jul-1966)
10Jun1971 NYC Thur 8:30pm
Producer-Director Jonathan Miller
Cast:
Leo McKern
Alan Bennett
John Fortune
Michael Gough,
Barry Justice
Robert Gillespis
Roddy Maude-Roxby
Synopsis:
Leo McKern, currently seen as the informer in "Ryan's Daughter", plays the title role in "NET Playhouse Biography:
Socrates." The program is composed of two BBC produced dramatizations from the dialogues of Plato.
The first, "The Drinking Party," is drawn from the "Symposium", the great dialogue on love, and is set in the context of a
modern English public school reunion.
The second is a modern-dress adaptation entitled "The Death of Socrates", based on "The Crito" and "Phaedo".
In "The Drinking Party", a group of young men return to their old school to celebrate their reunion with a dinner held
on the terrace of a summer house in the gardens. After the meal, their philosophical Latin master assumes the role of
Socrates and leads his disciples in a re-enactment of the dialogue on love. (Auburn NY Citizen Advertiser) [TA]
Synopsis 2:
There is one unforgettable scene in this modern adaptation and recreation of the Socratic dialogues, dreamed up by
producer-director Jonathan Miller and his co-scripter Leo Aylen, that illuminates the whole. In it, a British school
teacher and his students meet for a grand reunion luncheon called "The Drinking Party," in which they evolve the conceit
of assuming the characters of Socrates and his disciples and discourse on the subject of "love." As the teacher who plays
Socrates, actor Leo McKern is nothing short of scintillating!
The second dialogue dwells on the subject of "justice" and the "immortality of the soul," in a dramatization of
"The Death of Socrates," again in modern dress, shortly before he drinks the fatal hemlock.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.30 [---] NET Playhouse: JULIUS CAESAR (2hrs) (UK-BBC Production)
(first broadcast in the UK on BBC's "Play Of The Month" 13-Apr-1969)
17Jun1971 NYC Thur 8:30pm
Directed by Alan Bridges
Cast:
Frank Finlay ........ Brutus
Robert Stephens ..... Marc Antony
Edward Woodward ..... Cassius
Maurice Denham ...... Caesar
Anthony Bate ........ Casca
Synopsis 1:
The story one of political assassination - is timeless. [RF]
Synopsis 2:
Shakespeare's highly-charged political drama is presented here tonight in an atmosphere so full of foreboding as to
make his brooding poetry come to memorable life. Everything moves at a deliberate yet fascinating pace, as the scenes
flow into one another without so much as a pause or a bridge. As for the cast, it is generally quite brilliant, even
if a number of interpretations are sufficiently unorthodox to be startling. At the very top, there's Frank Finlay's
remarkably introspective and moving performance as Brutus. Then there is Robert Stephens as Marc Antony, and his gutsy,
rabble-rousing characterization is likely to cause a raised eyebrow or two.
(TV Key column, Auburn NY Citizen-Advertiser) [TA]

5.31 [---] NET Playhouse: Biography: THE WRIGHT BROTHERS (90 min)
24Jun1971 [RF]
Written & Directed by Arthur Barron
Photography by Paul Goldsmith
cast:
Stacy Keach ............ Wilbur Wright
James Keach ............ Orville Wright
George Mitchell ........ Bishop Wright
Jennie Maclean ......... Katherine
Katherine Frye ......... Harriet
Irene Schweyer ......... Carrie
David Hurst ............ Chanute
Synopsis:
Kitty Hawk, N.C., December 17, 1903: the Wright Brothers fly the first powered airplane. That historic day, and events
leading up to it, are re-enacted in this drama. [RF]

[---] 01Jul1971 Thur - Repeat of "Rembrandt" (first aired 03Oct1969 NYC)

[---] 08Jul1971 Thur - Repeat of "Trail of Tears" (first aired 01May1970 NYC)

[---] 15Jul1971 Thur - Repeat of "Massacre at Fort Phil Kearny"

[---] 22Jul1971 Thur - Repeat of "The Queen and the Welshman" (first aired 25Apr1969 NYC)

[---] 28Jul1971 Thur - Repeat of "The Prodigal" (first aired 02May1969 NYC)

[---] 05Aug1971 Thur - Repeat of "The Lady with the Dog" (first aired 02Feb1968 NYC)

[---] 12Aug1971 Thur - Repeat of "Heimskringla! (or the Stoned Angels)" (first aired 07Nov1969 NYC)

[---] 19Aug1971 Thur - Repeat of "Traveler without Luggage" (first aired 19Dec1969 NYC)

[---] 26Aug1971 Thur - Repeat of "Five Tomorrows" (first aired 06Feb1970 NYC)

[---] 02Sep1971 Thur - Repeat of "Yesterday the Children Were Dancing" (first aired 27Feb1970 NYC)

[---] 09Sep1971 Thur - Repeat of "The Taking" (first aired 29May1970 NYC)

[---] 16Sep1971 Thur - Repeat of "Dragon Country" (first aired 03Dec1970)

[---] 23Sep1971 Thur - Repeat of "The Blood Knot" (first aired 31Jan1969 NYC)

[---] 30Sep1971 Thur - Repeat of "Cathy Come Home" (first aired 28Mar1969 NYC)

############## NET Playhouse ##############
############# end of season 5 #############
###########################################

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