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 Post subject: Studio One - The Willow Cabin
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:21 am 
Prince Judah
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:18 am
Posts: 1360
original air date: February 27, 1950
directed by Paul Nickell for the Westinghouse-sponsored Studio One
Starring Charlton Heston, Priscilla Gillette, Jane Seymour*

* not the current actress, but someone who died almost 60 years ago

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 Post subject: Re: Studio One - The Willow Cabin
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:22 am 
El Cid
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1138
Location: Lincoln, England
Here are two IMDb reviews of an early Heston tv show, THE WILLOW CABIN

Dreary and tough to like.
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
30 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very early teleplay from 1950. What makes it interesting is the casting of a very young Charlton Heston in the lead--early in his acting career. Priscilla Gillette also stars and although she did little TV or film work, she was quite active on the stage.

Like so many of the teleplays that survive today on DVD, this one was saved using a Kinescope. While it made an ugly print (very washed out and blurry), we are fortunate that at least these were used as this was broadcast LIVE! The Kinescope was used to make a copy for televising the show on the West Coast--as this was necessary due to the time zone differences.

I've seen a few dozen late 40s and 50s teleplays in recent months and have marveled at how wonderful the quality was overall, as in many cases the producers basically created and televised a live play each week--a gargantuan task to say the least. In fact, many of them are among the finest moments in television history and some are far better than what's being aired today. Such great teleplays as "Marty", "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and "Days of Wine and Roses" are simply brilliant. Unfortunately, they were not all uniformly brilliant and "The Willow Cabin" is far from good, in fact. The biggest problem is the acting. Heston was a wonderful actor, but here he's pretty wooden and his accent phony. Gillette seemed to over-act quite a bit--and came off as quite moody. In addition, the writing was rather limp as well--and so often the dialog came off as fake.

Here's the plot: Heston is a doctor with a weird accent. He and his wife are estranged and he's carrying on with Gillette. He plans on divorcing his wife for Gillette but WWII intervenes. During the war, the wife's whereabouts are unknown and Heston goes to war--with Gillette following him up until he's sent into action. Eventually, Heston dies and Gillette is angry at the wife for keeping him from re-marrying--that is until she discovers where she was during the war.

There just wasn't much to recommend this film, though I don't want to be too harsh, as doing such a production must have been a nightmare and took a lot of work. Too bad it just didn't work.


2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A non-classic look at a classic show

Author: schappe1 from N Syracuse NY
8 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is perhaps the earliest complete TV show I have ever viewed. Studio One was probably the second most famous of the live anthology series of the 1950's, after Playhouse 90. And it was far more prolific, being on for 10 years. The narrator tells us we are about to see one of its classic shows. I was pleasantly surprised that it really wasn't. Classic episodes of show tend not to be typical episodes of shows: they don't give you an idea of what the show was usually like. This is a reasonable but hardly classic story of an actress, (Priscilla Gillette), who falls in love with a prominent but unhappily married surgeon, (a 25 year old Charlton Heston, one of several stars who began their careers on this show), just before World War II. He keeps promising to divorce his wife but doesn't. The wife gets captured by the Nazi's when the war breaks out and spends it in a concentration camp. This prevents any divorce. Heston dies during the war and Gillette comes to blame the wife for not letting him free. After the war, they have a confrontation and she finds that the wife is blameless and is liberated of her hatred for her. Gillette was a musical comedy star who also appeared on Studio One several times but seems to have spent most of her career on the musical stage. She faintly resembles Katherine Hepburn but her acting style is more Bonnie Franklin. Look for a very young Lois Nettleton, who passed away last month, as an extra.

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