CTVA US Documentary - "It Was A Very Good Year" (ABC)(1971)

CTVA
The Classic TV Archive - US Documentary Series

It Was A Very Good Year (1971)
Episode Guide compiled by The Classic TV Archive
with contributions by: Rina Fox
references:
TV Guide / Library of Congress (telnet://locis.loc.gov)
Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com)
UCLA Film and Television Archive
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IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR
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Alan Landsburg Production
for ABC
Executive Producer Alan Landsburg / Co-Produced by Mel Torme

US Documentary series 1971 (summer replacement series)

Hosted by Mel Tormé

Premise:
A Nostalgic look back at selected years from the twentieth century;
each week a different year is selected through the use of film clips and songs.

######## It Was A Very Good Year ########
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ABC Mondays (10May71-30Aug71)

1.1 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1945
10May1971 ABC Mon [Premiere]
Host Mel Torme
Guests:
Mae West
Henry Fonda

Summary:
Memorable moments of the last 50 years, first show focuses on 1945, the year that World War II ended, the death of
President Roosevelt among other events. The new trend toward nostalgia is spotlighted in this summer series hosted
by Mel Torme, offering a kaleidoscopic review in words, music and film of the years between 1919 and 1968.
Opener turns back the clock to 1945 with Henry Fonda recalling his his life as Naval lieutenant and Marine Andrews
(of the sisters) telling of the troops' reaction to news of the Allied victory. Mel Tormé sings songs of that year, with
films recalling the end of World War II, the death of FDR, ration stamps, Rosie the Riveter, Kilroy and the AL
champion St. Louis Browns. [RF]

1.2 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1964
17May1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guests
Gower Champion
Don Schollander
Harold Sakata

Summary:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1964. [RF]

1.3 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1958
24May1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Gisele Mackenzie
Summary:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1958.
Gisele Mackenzie tells how it was during the final days of popular television show "Your Hit Parade" and sings
several favorites. [RF]

1.4 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1933
31May1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Sally Rand
Summary:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1933. [RF]

1.5 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1949
07Jun1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guests
Sid Caesar
Dave Garroway

Cecil Smith, columnist of The Los Angeles Times.
Summary:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1949.
Sid Caesar talks about his characterizations and plays a gangster trying to get a nickel back from a pay phone;
Hollywood columnist Cecil Smith recalls an early example of TV event coverage: a three-day attempt to rescue a
little girl from a well. [RF]

1.6 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1956
14Jun1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guests
Jonathan Winters
Ruth Roman
Bill Russell

Summary:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1956. [RF]

1.7 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1961
21Jun1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Henry Mancini
Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1961.
John F. Kennedy's inauguration and his signing of the Peace Corps bill; fashions set by Jackie Kennedy; stills from
"West Side Story" paintings by Grandma Moses, who died in December; and films covering the aborted Bay of Pigs invasion,
and the building of the Berlin Wall.
Guest Henry Mancini joins host Mel Torme for a performance of Mancini's Oscar-winning song "Moon River" from
"Breakfast at Tiffany's". [RF]

1.8 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1939
28Jun1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1939.
The German invasions of Czechoslovakia and Poland; "The City" a film short about problems created by new prosperity
(such as choking traffic); stills from "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind"' Pablo Picasso's antiwar painting
"Guernica" (with films of Madrid in flames); the opening of the New York World's Fair; and Lou Gehrig's farewell to
baseball. [RF]

1.9 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1953
05Jul1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Sir Edmund Hillary
Mickey Spillane

Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1953.
The Coronation of Elizabeth II; the Korean Armistice; Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) laughably pregnant in "I Love Lucy";
Dark Star beating Native Dancer in the Kentucky Derby; the premiere of the 3-D movie, "House of Wax"; Guest Sir Edmund
Hillary, with slides of his conquest of Mount Everest; and Mickey Spillane, reading excerpts from his Mike Hammer
novels. [RF]

1.10 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1947
12Jul1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Ralph Edwards
Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1947.
The attempts by Jewish refugees to enter Palestine; the "Subway Series" between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn
Dodgers; the influx of married veterans on college campuses; and long-skirt fashions. Guest Ralph Edwards recites
the Miss Hush riddle from his radio program "Truth or Consequences". [RF]

1.11 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1927
19Jul1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Richard Arlen
Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1927.
The flight of the Charles A. Lindbergh; a Knute Rockne half-time speech; an excerpt from Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer";
Helen Morgan singing "My Bill" (from "Showboat"); excerpts from "Wings" the first Oscar-winning film. Richard Arlen is
the studio guest. Also a recreation of the Round Table at New York's Algonquin Hotel, mecca of the 20's literati;
played by Victor Buono (Woollcott), Anne Seymour (Edna Ferber), Jonathan Harris (Noel Coward) and Alice Backes
(Dorothy Parker). [RF]

1.12 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1941
26Jul1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Agnes Moorehead
Synopsis:
Outstanding moments of the past 50 years focusing on 1941.
Films include Pearl Harbor; President Roosevelt's "Date That Will Live in Infamy" speech; the Battle of Britain;
arms production in the U.S.; Japanese-American internment camps; Civil Air Defense training sessions; and comedians
Abbott and Costello selling War Bonds. Agnes Moorehead visits with Mel and reminisces about Orson Welles and her part
in "Citizen Kane", concluding the program, boxing champ Joe Louis is seen in training. [RF]

1.13 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1932
02Aug1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Jackie Cooper
Synopsis:
Franklin Roosevelt campaigns for the Presidency; the Bonus Army marches on Washington; Radio City Music Hall opens
in New York; Jackie Cooper talks about his role in "The Champ"; Mel Torme sings excerpts from Broadway's
"Of Thee I Sing"; and a salute to Greta Garbo. [RF]

1.14 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1944
09Aug1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Guest
Margaret O'Brien
Synopsis:
Films of the D-Day invasion at Normandy; Frank Sinatra wowing bobby soxers at the New York Paramount; Marlene Dietrich
recording "Lili Marlene" for the OSS; GIs being entertained by stars such as Hope and Crosby and a tribute to war
correspondent Ernie Pyle. Guest Margaret O'Brien discusses the special Oscar she won for her role in "Meet Me
in St. Louis". [RF]

1.15 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1919
16Aug1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Synopsis:
The films show doughboys enjoying Paris; aerial antics by aces Eddie Rickenbacker, Hap Arnold and Billy Mitchell;
and action in the scandal-riddled World Series (eight players were convicted of throwing games). Also a tribute to
the Tin Lizzie (with zany clips from the Keystone Kops) and voice recordings of vaudevillians George Jessel,
Fanny Brice and Nora Bayes. Mel Torme sings, "September Song" and "Just an Ordinary Day" an original number by Mel
and producer Draper Lewis. [RF]

1.16 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1936
23Aug1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Synopsis:
Jesse Owens' triumphs at the Olympic games in Berlin; the dust bowl tragedy caputred in the WPA films "The Plow That
Broke the Plains" (songs by Woody Guthrie) and "The River"; the reuniciation of the British throne by Edward,
Prince of Wales; the popular music of Count Basie, Bing Crosby ("Pennies From Heaven") and Rudy Vallee
("The Whiffenpoof Song"); and the birth of Life Magazine. An 80-second pictorial montage shows the year's major
news events. [RF]

1.17 [--] It Was A Very Good Year: THE YEAR WAS 1925 (Last show of the series)
30Aug1971 ABC Mon
Host Mel Torme
Synopsis:
A look at the flappers and fur-coated college men of the Roaring Twenties.
A salute to the New Yorker magazine; the Scopes "Monkey" Trial"; movie stars Lon Chaney (in a clip from "Phantom of
the Opera"), Charlie Chaplin and Theda Bara; the Navy dirigible Shenandoah being torn to pieces in a windstorm.
A visit to Paris, mecca of the arts with clips of Hemmingway, Picasso, Chevalier, Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein,
Beatrice Lillie and Elsa Maxwell. [RF]
 
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