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Studio One Anthology

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"A pinnacle of the Golden Age of Television, "Studio One" presented a wide range of memorable dramas and received 18-Emmy nominations and five wins during its prestigious nine-year-run on CBS. Showcasing some of the greatest talents of the era, this groundbreaking series created an enormous impact and still remains a treasured part of America's broadcasting history.

Embracing the work of some of television's most iconic writers, directors, actors and technical artists, the Studio One Anthology features the complete 1954 original television production of "Twelve Angry Men" and is highlighted by early performances by Charlton Heston, Art Carney, Jack Lemmon and Leslie Nielsen as well as teleplays written by Rod Serling and Gore Vidal. Also included as part of this 6-DVD release are all the original Westinghouse commercials as well as extensive archival interviews and other rare bonus materials.

"1984" (original broadcast: September 21, 1953)
"An Almanac of Liberty" (original broadcast: November 8, 1954)
"The Arena" (original broadcast: April 8, 1956)
"Confessions of a Nervous Man" (original broadcast: November 30, 1953)
"Dark Possession" (original broadcast: February 15, 1954)
"The Death and Life of Larry Benson" (original broadcast: May 31, 1954)
"Dino" (original broadcast: January 2, 1956)
"Julius Caesar" (original broadcast: August 1, 1955)
"June Moon" (original broadcast: June 22, 1949)
"The Medium" (original broadcast: December 12, 1948)
"Pontius Pilate" (original broadcast: April 7, 1952)
"The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners" (original broadcast: January 11, 1954)
"The Storm" (original broadcast: October 17, 1949)
"The Strike" (original broadcast: June 7, 1954)
"Summer Pavilion" (original broadcast: May 2, 1955)
"Twelve Angry Men" (original broadcast: September 26, 1954)
"Wuthering Heights" (original broadcast: October 30, 1950)

Featuring Rare Performances From:
Eddie Albert, Art Carney, Robert Cummings, Norman Fell, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Lorne Greene, Charlton Heston, Marsha Hunt, Jack Lemmon, Sal Mineo, Elizabeth Montgomery, Leslie Nielsen, Barbara O'Neil, Lee Remick, Eva Marie Saint

-The Paley Center for Media's "Studio One Seminar"
-Excerpted interview with director Paul Nickell from The Paley Center for Media's "Studio One Video History"
-Voices from the Archive: Studio One-related footage from the Archive of America Television
-Studio One historical overview and rediscovery featurette

ALSO INCLUDES: 52-page book featuring written contributions by Gore Vidal, the Archive of American Television and Larry James Gianakos (author of Television Drama Series Programming: A Comprehensive Chronicle)"


The programs represented in this essential collection are more than 50 years old. These rare kinescopes may look primitive, but they put much of what is offered today in prime time to shame. Studio One premiered in 1948, and for a decade it was the benchmark of live drama in television's vaunted Golden Age. Not all the productions were great, but as Jack Klugman, who got his start on Studio One, observes in a bonus series retrospective, the series was a training and proving ground for writers, directors and actors. The now recognized talent that went into these productions is dazzling. Many established actors considered television beneath them, opening the door for a new and hungry generation who got their big breaks and honed their skills under the fire of live performance while millions watched at home. The charming "June Moon," adapted from Ring Lardner, Jr. and George S. Kaufman's Broadway play, features Jack Lemmon (in what is thought to be his television debut), and Eva Marie Saint. Charlton Heston portrays Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights," Eddie Albert is the disillusioned Winston in "1984," and Theodore Bikel is "Julius Caesar." Studio One also premiered original works, none more exemplary than Reginald Rose's Emmy-winning Twelve Angry Men, the long-lost treasure of this set, with Robert Cummings as Juror #8, the lone holdout in a murder case. Other notable original works include The Seven Year Itch playwright George Axelrod's "Confessions of a Nervous Man," a will-success-spoil-George Axelrod "comedy documentary" starring Art Carney as Axelrod, Gore Vidal's "Summer Pavillion," featuring Elizabeth Montgomery, and Rod Serling's all-too-timely political drama, "The Arena." This set is packaged with a 52-page "Reference Guide" that offers a history and appreciation of Studio One and production information about each play. DVD extras include a 1987 Studio One seminar featuring series veterans, as well as lively interview excerpts with actors and crew members that etch a thrilling portrait of this now bygone era. From the innovative direction in a day of unwieldy equipment to the literate writing and superb performances, Studio One's legacy of artistic ambition is undimmed, and is a must for anyone interested in television history, theatre, and acting. One can only hope there is an encore set with more unearthed broadcasts. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Eva Marie Saint, Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Art Carney
  • Directors: Paul Nickell, Franklin Schaffner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Color, Dolby, Restored, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: KOCH Vision
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2008
  • Run Time: 982 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E1HCQY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,406 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Studio One Anthology" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Ramm TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 23, 2008
Format: DVD
In 2002 a company named Video Service Inc released 3 DVDs of kinescopes of original "Studio One" programs (including the original play "The Defender", which became a long running CBS-TV series, "The Defenders" with E.G. Marshall. These discs brought back memories of when I original watched these shows LIVE, as they were broadcast in real-time in the early 1950s. I wished for more of these, especially the highly acclaimed - and probably the best well known - teleplay, "Twelve Angry Men" (TAM).

2008 brought my wish with this fabulously six-disc set produced by Koch Vision in partnership with the Archive of American Television (a program of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences). There are 17 dramas (well 16 plus the TV opera "The Medium") here and each runs about an hour. Most of them have the original Westinghouse Commercials (with Betty Furness) included - and thankfully they are indexed so you can skip them on repeat viewings. Some shows are missing the commercials - as they were probably from versions made for the Armed Forces broadcasts - and "Twelve Angry Men" (TAM) is one of them. This is such a riveting drama that you don't want to see a refrigerator or washing machine being sold in the middle of this jury room drama by Reginald Rose. Another Rose drama - which most won't remember is "An Almanac of Liberty", which was based on a book (published the day the play was originally aired) by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Douglas. Like TAM, and 1984 (an adaptation of Orwell's novel starring Eddie Albert) there is a message about prejudice. Rose was a master at writing these. Though TAM was later made into a movie, it was somewhat padded. Here, in 50 minutes, the story has even more impact.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Studio One ran for nine years on CBS and presented a wide range of dramas and received 18-Emmy nominations and a total of five Emmy wins. Its story began in 1948 when a CBS executive took one of their long-running radio programs and adapted it to television. It was one of several drama anthology series which were common in the 1950's and had a single sponsor. However, its quality was superior to many of the others.

This collection features 17 restored and remastered episodes along with bonus materials. The episodes include:

Twelve Angry Men - long thought lost, a copy was discovered in 2003.
Wuthering Heights
The Arena
June Moon
Dino - Sal Mineo reprised his role here in the 1957 film.
Julius Caesar
Pontius Pilate
The Storm - an exceptionally good crime drama
Confessions of a Nervous Man
The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners
Dark Possession
The Death and Life of Larry Benson
The Strike
The Medium
An Almanac on Liberty
Summer Pavilion

The guest stars in these episodes include include Charlton Heston, Art Carney, Jack Lemmon, Leslie Nielsen, Norman Fell, Sal Mineo, Elizabeth Montgomery, Vaughn Taylor, Lorne Greene and Lee Remick.


Footage from the Archive of American Television Utilizing Interview Excerpts about Studio One
Excerpts from The Paley Center's Studio One Seminar
Interview with Director Paul Nickell
PLUS: Collectible - 52-page Booklet with Detailed Information about Each Anthology Episode

The expense is probably due to the fact that Studio One was filmed only in kinescope for the purpose of re-broadcasting across timezones.
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Format: DVD
"Studio One," a live drama anthology, was the first of the early TV drama programs that focused on the visual, always experimenting with innovative camera work and showing rather than having actors talk, talk, talk. The series received 18 Emmy nominations and five wins during its nine-year run on CBS.
"Studio One Anthology" is a six-disc box set containing 17 shows, including the original broadcast, "The Storm," and 1954's "Twelve Angry Men," a show later transferred to the big screen starring Henry Fonda. Others include "Dino" starring Sal Mineo (who reprised this role in the 1957 theatrical version), "Wuthering Heights," starring Charlton Heston as Heathcliff, Lee Remick in "The Death and Life of Larry Benson," Art Carney in "Confessions of a Nervous Man," Jack Lemmon in "June Moon," and Leslie Nielsen in Gore Vidal's "Dark Possession." Other actors in the set include Robert Cummings, Eddie Albert, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Montgomery, Eva Marie Saint, Lorne Greene, and Marsha Hunt.
Bonus features include "Studio One"-related footage from the Archive of American Television, a 52-page book, and a "Studio One" historical overview and rediscovery featurette. Because the shows are taken from kinescopes -- films of the original broadcasts made from a TV screen -- quality is not up to the usual DVD standard, but the material is so fascinating, it would be a shame not to have these shows preserved.
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I purchased this almost exclusively to see the original production of '12 Angry Men', which is quite good, but not quite as compelling as the full Hollywood movie treatment with Henry Fonda, which shares three actors from this original TV production. The collection is fascinating for its breadth of stories that were turned into dramas. Some are brilliantly acted, others are a little ragged. The production values of the programs are perhaps the best one may expect for early live television, but even that is instructive in seeing how they tried to deal with such a new medium back then. For example, in a particularly charged moment of '12 Angry Men', a camera lens is clearly seen to the side on screen as the camera's operator obviously tried for a compelling alternative to what was at that moment being broadcast. It's okay of course, but some might judge these programs by modern standards that would never allow such a mistake to be broadcast; the obvious benefit of pre-recorded programming. Another obvious "weakness" of these programs is the image that is shown for each program. Black and white TV/kinescope, minimalist or avant-garde set designs, odd lighting, sudden cuts, and single shots that last for minutes, etc., can wear on the modern viewer used to slick imagery and transitions. Nevertheless, like reading a classic novel from an earlier era, one must resolve to "get through it." Doing the work pays off with great rewards.

Many of these programs are memorable for their acting. I found it most interesting, for example, to see 'Julius Caesar' played by Theodore Bikel, (who was the original Captain Von Trapp on Broadway) in one program. And Bob Cummings's version of the lone holdout in '12 Angry Men' is far different from Henry Fonda's.
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