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Playhouse 90 (1956-1960)

Playhouse 90


90 minutes

Anthology / Drama

134 episodes aired on CBS from October 4, 1956 to May 18, 1960 

The most ambitious and acclaimed of all the anthology series, Playhouse 90 was in a league of its own. "Requiem for a Heavyweight," written by Rod Serling, garnered numerous Emmys and remains one of the best live dramas. Each week the series presented a 90 minute live drama (later went to tape in 1957). John Frankenheimer, Arthur Hiller, John Brahm, Arthur Penn were a few of the directors. Every angle and every shot left an impact on the viewing public. It was a treasure of a show, that rare gem that lives on.

Playhouse 90 received many Emmy Award nominations, and it later ranked #33 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.

Episodes of the program included:

NO TIME AT ALL starring William Lundigan, Betsy Palmer, Keenan Wynn, Reginald Gariner, James Gleason, Jay C Flippen, Cliff Edwards, Jack Haley. Buster Keaton, Chico Marx, Sylvia Sidney, Regis Toomey, Charles Bronson and Richard Crane.  On a night flight from Miami, Florida to New York, an airliner develops electrical trouble. In cameo portrayals we see the reactions of friends and families to the possible fate of the plane passengers.

THE DUNGEON starring Paul Douglas, Agnes Moorhead, Thomas Gomez, Dennis Weaver, Patty McCormack. Patrick McVey, Werner Klemperer and Johnny Crawford.  After a young man is acquitted of murder on the grounds that the killing was accidental, a wealthy sadist who has been following the trial decides to mete out his own brand of justice.

ELOISE starring Ethel Barrtymore, Hans Conried, Conrad Hilton, Louis Jordan, Mildred Natwick, “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom, Kay Tompson, Charlie Ruggles, Monty Woolely,  Evelyn Rudie and Inger Stevens. There was a lot of press and excitement surrounding the live show. Adaptation of the Eloise book, a threatened divorce by Eloise's parents, with a romance between the tutor and the chambermaid as the subplot.

SO SOON TO DIE starring Richard Basehart, Anne Bancroft & Sebastian Cabot.  An unemployed actor is hired to kill a young girl and becomes curious why someone would want her dead.

THE PLOT TO KILL STALIN starring Melvyn Douglas, Eli Wallach, E.G. Marshall and Tomas Gomez.  tension mounts as one of the centuries biggest assassination plots unfolds.

WITHOUT INCIDENT starring Errol Flynn, John Ireland, Ann Sheridan and Julie London.  Captain Russell Bidlack, commander of a U.S. Cavalry unit in 1870, determines to complete a rescue mission through dangerous Indian territoy. In the course of the mission, he rescues the wives of two slain traders and captures the Indian chief accused of the murders. When he returns to the fort, he's faced with a revolt among his own men.

THE KILLERS OF MUSSOLINI starring Michael Ansara, John Dehner.  In April 1945, as American forces close in on Milan, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini tries to decide whether to surrender or flee.

DEATH OF A MANOLETE directed by John Frankenheimer starring Jack Palance, Robert Middleton and Suzy Parker.  the true story of the rise and fall of a famous bullfighter. Bullfighter Manolete is accused of being responsible for the death of a torredero that he has now replaced. And now later in life he finds himself in the same position.

HOMEWARD BOUND starring Richard Kiley and Linda Darnell. A drama of a refugee orphan, who was both wanted and unwanted in the family of a returning war hero. The wife fought against her own happiness to take in the orphan. To the orphan, the husband is a killer of his people and resentment burns deep. The husband is equally inflamed against the orphan and is determined he must go. It becomes a family divided, but ends when scorn turns to love.

AIN’T NO TIME FOR GLORY starring Barry Sullivan, Gene Barry and John Barrymore Jr. A World War II drama about a self-styled American C.O. and his dedicated troops, who used their minds, rather than their weapons, to take over a strategic Nazi outpost at Normandy.

THE COMEDIAN starring Mickey Rooney, Edmond O'Brien, Kim Hunter and Mel Torme. Sammy Hogarth has reached the top of his profession as a TV comedian. But though his audience loves him, his co-workers hate him. They know him as an egotistical, petty tyrant. What keeps them from quitting is money--his salaries are the best in the business. Hogarth's head writer is Al Preston, and Al is in a jam. He has run out of ideas, can't think up anything Sammy will accept for the next show. In fact, Sammy threatens to fire Al unless he comes up with some especially clever and unusual material for that show.

CHARLIE’S AUNT starring Art Carney, Orsen Bean,  Richard Haydn, Tom Tryon, Jackie Coogan, Janette MacDonald & Gene Raymond. Fancourt must pose as the elderly aunt of his roommate Charley Wyckeham so that Charley and his friend Jack Chesney will have a proper escort for their two dates. This of course causes problems when the real Auntie shows

BOMBERS MOON starring  Cliff Robertson, Robert Cummings, Rip Thorn & Martin Balsam. An American bomber wing stationed in England in 1943 has flown many dangerous missions. The fliers regard their commander, Col. Culver, as a man devoid of any human emotion or understanding. After a mission in which one of Culver's best pilots was shot down, the overwrought colonel singles out a young flier and publicly accuses him of cowardice. This accusation brings the conflict between the two men into the open.

THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES starring Cliff Robertson, Charles Bickford & Piper Laurie. Joe Clay, a once successful businessman, and his wife have become alcoholics. In an effort to get help and to save his marriage, Joe goes to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Here he is asked to recount how he became an alcoholic. Ten years earlier, Joe recalls he met pretty Kirsten Arnesen at a party. Attracted to each other they left the party, taking a bottle of liquor with them.
VELVET ALLEY starring Art Carney, Leslie Nielsen, Jack Klugman, Dyan Cannon , Burt Reynolds Ernie Pandish's literary efforts have carried him to middle age without ever giving him a decent living. He and his wife Pat live in a New York tenement while he still tries to sell his work. When the big break finally comes, it comes from "Playhouse 90." Ernie's agent brings him the good news. Heeding the producer's wishes, Ernie prepares to fly to Hollywood with Pat, and leave poverty behind them forever.

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