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Academy Award Theater (OTR 1946)

Academy Award Theater (OTR 1946)
Product Code: OTRAcademyAw
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Price: $6.00
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Stars and movies with Oscars were the idea - in most cases, the movie stars recreated their Academy Award roles for the show, or in other cases, fine actors played the parts and gave it a different character. Both ways made for great radio drama and first class Hollywood motion picture star entertainment. The Lux Radio Theater had been doing this kind of radio show in the grandest manner for many years, but sponsor Squibb had the hubris and deep pockets to take on the competition by doing Academy Award Theater right after the Second World War. The year 1946 was pre-television, and so movies were still the major American visual art form, with radio the other popular network entertainment. In this final pre-TV time, Academy Award Theater was thought of as a premier radio production, a wow show, much like CinemaScope was to be in the 1950's when Hollywood felt the box office blow of early TV.

The list of films and actors on Academy Award Theater is very impressive. Bette Davis begins the series in Jezebel, with Ginger Rogers following in Kitty Foyle, and then Paul Muni in The Life of Louis Pasteur. The Informer had to have Victor Mclaglen, and the Maltese Falcon, Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet (this movie was his first major motion picture role) plus Mary Astor for the hat trick. Suspicion starred Cary Grant with Ann Todd doing the Joan Fontaine role, Ronald Coleman in Lost Horizon, and Joan Fontaine and John Lund were in Portrait of Jenny.

Some films are less well known, such as Guest in the House, with Kirk Douglas and Anita Louise, It Happened Tomorrow, with Eddie Bracken and Ann Blythe playing Dick Powell and Linda Darnell's roles, and Cheers for Miss Bishop with Olivia de Havilland. Each adaptation is finely produced and directed by Dee Engelbach, with music composed and conducted by Leith Stevens. Frank Wilson wrote the movie adaptations. In his book,"On the Air, The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio," John Dunning tells us why such a fine production lasted less than a year, "The House of Squibb, a drug firm, footed a stiff bill: up to $5,000 for the stars and $1,600 a week to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for use of the title. The production had all the class of a Lux or Screen Guild show…But the tariff took its toll, and after 39 weeks the series was scrapped."

This disc includes the following shows:
  • 1946-03-30 (01) Jezebel
  • 1946-04-06 (02) Kitty Foyle
  • 1946-04-13 (03) The Life of Louis Past
  • 1946-04-20 (04) The Great McGinty
  • 1946-04-27 (05) Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
  • 1946-05-04 (06) Stagecoach
  • 1946-05-11 (07) If I Were King
  • 1946-05-18 (08) My Sister Eileen
  • 1946-05-25 (09) The Informer
  • 1946-06-01 (10) Arise My Love
  • 1946-06-08 (11) Ruggles of Red Gap
  • 1946-06-15 (12) The Pride of the Marin
  • 1946-06-22 (13) Front Page
  • 1946-06-29 (14) A Star is Born
  • 1946-07-03 (15) The Maltese Falcone
  • 1946-07-10 (16) Young Mister Lincoln
  • 1946-07-17 (17) The Prisoner of Zenda
  • 1946-07-24 (18) Foreign Correspondent
  • 1946-07-31 (19) Hold Back the Dawn
  • 1946-08-07 (20) The Watch on the Rhine
  • 1946-08-14 (21) Vivacious Lady
  • 1946-08-21 (22) Keys to the Kingdom
  • 1946-08-28 (23) One Sunday Afternoon
  • 1946-09-04 (24) Pinochio
  • 1946-09-11 (25) Shadow Of A Doubt
  • 1946-09-18 (26) The White Cliffs of Dover
  • 1946-09-25 (27) Guest in the House
  • 1946-10-02 (28) My Man Godfrey
  • 1946-10-09 (29) It Happened Tomorrow
  • 1946-10-16 (30) Blood on the Sun
  • 1946-10-23 (31) Devil and Miss Jones T
  • 1946-10-30 (32) Suspicion
  • 1946-11-06 (33) Cheers for Miss Bishop
  • 1946-11-13 (34) Night Train
  • 1946-11-20 (35) Brief Encounter
  • 1946-11-27 (36) Lost Horizon
  • 1946-12-04 (37) Portrait of Jenny
  • 1946-12-11 (38) Enchanted Cottage
  • 1946-12-18 (39) Lost Angel
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