The Comedian (Playhouse 90)

The ComedianThe Comedian'' (1957 TV drama)
The Comedian is a 1957 live television drama written by Rod Serling from a novella by Ernest Lehman, directed by John Frankenheimer, and starring Mickey Rooney, Edmond O'Brien, Mel Tormé and Kim Hunter. Rooney's portrayal of a lecherous, vicious comedian who tears down everyone around him was widely praised. The 90-minute drama was part of the anthology series Playhouse 90 on February 14, 1957. The show was captured on kinescope and is available on DVD. Egomaniacal television comedian Sammy Hogarth (Rooney) routinely makes fun of his brother Lester (Tormé) on the air, and is constantly bullying his writers for better material.

Jack Palance

Jack Palance’sVolodymyr Palahnyuk
So too was The Horsemen (1971) with Sharif, directed by John Frankenheimer. Palance supported Bud Spencer in It Can Be Done Amigo (1972) and Charles Bronson in Chato's Land (1972) and had the lead in Sting of the West (1972), and Brothers Blue (1973). In Britain he appeared in a highly acclaimed TV movie Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973) playing the title role, directed by Dan Curtis. Three years before, comic book artist Gene Colan based his interpretation of Dracula for the acclaimed series The Tomb of Dracula on Palance, explaining, "He had that cadaverous look, a serpentine look on his face. I knew that Jack Palance would do the perfect Dracula."

Sidney Lumet

LumetSydney Lumet
He also directed original plays for Playhouse 90, Kraft Television Theatre and Studio One, directing around 200 episodes, which established him as "one of the most prolific and respected directors in the business," according to Turner Classic Movies. His ability to work quickly while shooting carried over to his film career. Because the quality of many of the television dramas was so impressive, several of them were later adapted as motion pictures. His first movie, 12 Angry Men, originally a CBS live play, was an auspicious beginning for Lumet. It was a critical success and established Lumet as a director skilled at adapting theatrical properties to motion pictures.

Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Bloombergs
An earlier version of the story was broadcast as a television episode of Playhouse 90. Schell and Klemperer played the same roles in both productions. In 2013, Judgment at Nuremberg was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Judgment at Nuremberg centers on a military tribunal convened in Nuremberg, Germany, in which four German judges and prosecutors stand accused of crimes against humanity for their involvement in atrocities committed under the Nazi regime.

John Houseman

Houseman, JohnJohn Houseman ProductionsJohn Houseman Studio Theater
Houseman moved into television producing, notably doing The Seven Lively Arts (1957) and episodes of Playhouse 90. He also returned to theatre, producing revivals of Measure for Measure (1957) and The Duchess of Malfi (1957). Houseman was enticed back to MGM as a producer, and given his own production company, John Houseman Productions. His films were All Fall Down (1962), Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) and In the Cool of the Day (1963). Houseman returned to television where he made The Great Adventure and Journey to America (1964). He returned to Hollywood briefly to produce This Property Is Condemned (1966), then went back to TV for Evening Primrose (1966).

Burt Lancaster

Hecht and Lancaster worked together on The Young Savages (1961), directed by John Frankenheimer and produced by Hecht. Sydney Pollack worked as a dialogue coach. Lancaster starred in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) for Stanley Kramer, alongside Spencer Tracey, Richard Widmark and a number of other iconic stars. The film was both a commercial and critical success, receiving 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. He then did another with Hecht and Frankenheimer (replacing Charles Crichton, Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). The second film earned Lancaster a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Arthur Penn

Mr. PennPenn
Penn began working on The Train in France in June and August 1963 when star Burt Lancaster had Penn fired after three days of Penn's filming and called on John Frankenheimer to take over the film. In 1965 Penn directed Mickey One. Heavily influenced by the French New Wave, it was the dreamlike story of a standup comedian (played by Warren Beatty) on the run from sinister, ambiguous forces. In 2010, Penn commented: "You know, you could not have gone through the Second World War with all that nonsense with Russia being an ally and then being the big black monster. It was an absurd time. The McCarthy period was ridiculous and humiliating, deeply humiliating.

Mickey Rooney

Fryman EnterprisesMickey McGuire
Rooney also starred as a ragingly egomaniacal television comedian, loosely based on Red Buttons, in the live 90-minute television drama The Comedian, in the Playhouse 90 series on the evening of Valentine's Day in 1957, and as himself in a revue called The Musical Revue of 1959 based on the 1929 film The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was edited into a film in 1960. In 1958, Rooney joined Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in hosting an episode of NBC's short-lived Club Oasis comedy and variety show. In 1960, Rooney directed and starred in The Private Lives of Adam and Eve, an ambitious comedy known for its multiple flashbacks and many cameos.

Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May'' (1964)the movieThe Seven Days In May
The surname "Corwin" was a tribute to the radio drama writer Serling described as his idol, Norman Corwin, while the given name "Art" was a nod to Serling's personal favorite, Art Carney, who played a fictionalized version of Serling in Serling's autobiographical 1959 Playhouse 90 drama, "The Velvet Alley", as well as the reincarnated Santa Claus, "Henry Corwin", in "The Night of the Meek", Serling's 1960 Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone. Kirk Douglas and director John Frankenheimer were the moving forces behind the filming of Seven Days in May; the film was produced by Edward Lewis through Douglas's company Joel Productions and Seven Arts Productions.

Martin Manulis

Asked to pick the worst "clinker" in his run as producer of Playhouse 90, Manulis chose the season two premiere episode, The Death of Manolete, starring Jack Palance in ill-fitting bullfighter clothes and model Suzy Parker as the love interest. He later wondered how a group of sophisticated men (including himself and John Frankenheimer) could have gone forward with a live show featuring a bull that was "played by a fake bull's head with a couple of stage hands jerking the head up and down in the middle of people and between things lying below the camera." In 1958, Manulis left Playhouse 90 and took a three-month break to tour Europe with his family.

Golden Age of Television

Golden AgeTelevision's Golden AgeTV's Golden Age
Although producer David Susskind, in a 1960s roundtable discussion with leading 1950s TV dramatists, defined TV's Golden Age as 1938 to 1954, the quiz show scandals of 1958, the final show of Playhouse 90 (debuted October 4, 1956) on May 18, 1960, and the departure of leading director John Frankenheimer brought the era to an end. Indeed, the 1960–61 television season was noted by Time magazine as being the worst season in television up to that point, a sentiment echoed by Newton Minow, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, who lambasted the television networks for creating a "vast wasteland" of inferior programming in his speech "Television and the Public Interest."

Forbidden Area

Rod Serling adapted it for the debut episode of the American television anthology series Playhouse 90, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Charlton Heston, Diana Lynn, Vincent Price, Victor Jory and Charles Bickford. Rehearsals started in September 1956. Manulis says he attracted top line talent by giving them an opportunity to play different kinds of roles, like Tab Hunter, who was cast as the villain. "My acting ability has yet to be proven," said Hunter. "I've played the naive GI so many times that the army should be ready to retire me. Not that I'm ungrateful... I'm grateful to the people who've helped me so far. I'd like to justify their faith in me."

Days of Wine and Roses (Playhouse 90)

Days of Wine and RosesDays of Wine and Roses'' (1958 TV drama)same name
Brief Playhouse 90 preview scenes of Cliff Robertson, Piper Laurie and Charles Bickford can be seen in this video at the 41-minute mark.

Robert Alan Aurthur

He wrote two teleplays for Playhouse 90, and one of these, A Sound of Different Drummers (3 October 1957), borrowed so heavily from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 that Bradbury sued. After 1957, he continued to do screenplays. He was one of the writers on Spring Reunion (1957), notable as Betty Hutton's last movie, following with Warlock (1959), and his earlier association with Cassavetes led to script contributions on the actor's directorial debut with Shadows (1959). After an uncredited contribution to Lilith (1964), he scripted John Frankenheimer's Grand Prix (1966). He wrote and directed The Lost Man (1969) about a black militant (Sidney Poitier).

The Family Nobody Wanted

The story was also featured in a 1956 episode of Playhouse 90 directed by a young John Frankenheimer and made into a 1975 ABC Movie of the Week starring Shirley Jones of The Partridge Family fame.

The Last Tycoon

Monroe StahrThe Love of the Last Tycoon
Kathleen Moore, Stahr's love interest. 1957: John Frankenheimer directed a TV version for Playhouse 90, with Jack Palance as Monroe Stahr. 1976: A film version was adapted for the screen by British playwright Harold Pinter, directed by Elia Kazan (his last film). It was produced by Sam Spiegel and released as The Last Tycoon. It starred Robert De Niro as Monroe Stahr and Theresa Russell as Cecelia Brady, and featured appearances by Robert Mitchum and Jack Nicholson. Pinter later won the Nobel Prize for his dramatic plays. 1998: A stage adaptation of the 1993 edition, by Simon Levy and authorized by the Fitzgerald Estate, opened at The Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

novel of the same name1940 novelbook of the same name
In 1959, a television adaptation, directed by John Frankenheimer, was broadcast in two parts on CBS's Playhouse 90, starring Jason Robards and Maria Schell as Robert Jordan and Maria, with Nehemiah Persoff as Pablo, Maureen Stapleton as Pilar, and Eli Wallach as the gypsy Rafael. In 1965, the BBC produced another adaptation, as a four-part serial (miniseries in American English). In 1978, the Takarazuka Revue adapted the novel as a musical drama, produced by Star Troupe and starring Ran Ootori as Robert Jordan and Kurara Haruka as Maria. Cosmos Troupe revived the show in 2010.

Emmy Award

EmmyEmmysEmmy Awards
An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry, and is the equivalent of an Academy Award (for film), the Tony Award (for theater), and the Grammy Award (for music).

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CaliforniaLos Angeles, CALA
Los Angeles (Los Ángeles), officially the City of Los Angeles and often known colloquially by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of the West Coast. Nicknamed the "City of Angels" partly because of its name's Spanish meaning, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.

Paley Center for Media

PaleyFestMuseum of Television and RadioThe Paley Center for Media
Past seminar participants have included Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Dick Cavett, Alan Alda, Al Franken, John Frankenheimer, James Garner, Bob Hope, Roy Huggins, Jack Paar, Dennis Potter, Dick Van Dyke, and Gore Vidal. Also available for viewing are seminars featuring creators and cast members from TV shows, including The Larry Sanders Show, Seinfeld, King of the Hill, The Simpsons, South Park, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Arrested Development, House, Battlestar Galactica, and The League. Panel discussions have varied from what it was like to work with Orson Welles to a celebration of Roy Huggins's career. PaleyFest, also known as the William S.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Outstanding Directing for a Drama SeriesOutstanding Directing in a Drama SeriesOutstanding Directing
John Frankenheimer. Lesli Linka Glatter. Mimi Leder. Alex Segal. Mark Tinker. 4 nominations. Allen Coulter. Vince Gilligan. Gregory Hoblit. Rod Holcomb. Gene Reynolds. Thomas Schlamme. Scott Winant. 3 nominations. Paris Barclay. Burt Brinckerhoff. Georg Stanford Brown. Christopher Chulack. Fielder Cook. Bill D'Elia. David Greene. George Roy Hill. Eric Laneuville. Sydney Pollack. Jeremy Podeswa. Franklin J. Schaffner. Robert Scheerer. Alan Taylor. 2 nominations. Phil Abraham. Edward M. Abroms. Corey Allen. Alan Ball. Bob Banner. Jeff Bleckner. Marvin J. Chomsky. Stephen Daldry. Mel Damski. The Duffer Brothers. Alex Graves. Charles Haid. Harry Harris. Clark Jones. Jonathan Kaplan. Lee H.


mini-seriestelevision miniseriesmini series
Lincoln from Omnibus series, which was presented in two parts, or 1959 adaptation of For Whom the Bell Tolls from Playhouse 90 series, which was initially planned by the director John Frankenheimer to consist of three parts, but ultimately was broadcast as two 90-minute installments. The high cost and technical difficulties of staging a new play every week, which would cost as much as—or more than—an episode of a filmed television series, led to the demise of anthology programming by the end of the 1950s.