MVD Entertainment: "TELEVISION'S LOST CLASSICS" - VOLUME ONE - JOHN CASSAVETES


Ep. 1 - CRIME IN THE STREETS: actors: Robert Preston, John Cassavetes
Ep. 2 - NO RIGHT TO KILL: actors: John Cassavetes, Terry Moore, Robert H. Harris

The 1950s produced a treasure trove of live dramatic programs originating from New York.  Top talent from stage and screen were retained for both in front and back of the camera.  These two prime examples convey the feeling of watching a Broadway performance, but with the advantage of abundant and intimate close-ups and medium shots. They are surprisingly cinematic, especially considering the impediments those behind the camera had to face - clunky cameras, hot lights, quick set changes, live music and sound effects and always being mindful of keeping microphones out of the frame.  Clearly, the highlights of these programs are the intense performances by John Cassavetes, with his variation of method acting displayed in full form.
 


The first program is titled "Crime in the Streets" and is from The Elgin Hour (Elgin watches) and was broadcast live on ABC, Tuesday, March 8, 1955. It was written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Robert Preston and a very young John Cassavetes. The second program, "No Right to Kill," was part of the Climax! series and was presented by the Chrysler Corporation. It is based on Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and adapted for TV by Victor Wolfson. It was broadcast on CBS, Thursday, August 9, 1956. Nostalgia buffs will enjoy the original commercial messages that are included in the episode. Also included: a bonus blooper reel from the "Defenders" and "The Nurses" series. (120 minutes, B&W, 1955-1956, TV-PG)
 
Jeremy [Six Strings]

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