Screen Director's Playhouse was a popular radio and television anthology series which brought leading Hollywood actors to the NBC microphones beginning in 1949. The radio program broadcast adaptations of films, and original directors of the films were sometimes involved in the productions, although their participation was usually limited to introducing the radio adaptations, and a brief "curtain call" with the cast and host at the end of the program. The series later had a brief run on television, focusing on original teleplays and several adaptations of famous short stories (such as Robert Louis Stevenson's "Markheim").
The radio version ran for 122 episodes and aired on NBC from January 9, 1949 to September 28, 1951 under several different titles: NBC Theater, Screen Director's Guild Assignment, Screen Director's Assignment and, as of July 1, 1949, Screen Director's Playhouse.
Actors on the radio series included Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunne, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, William Holden, Burt Lancaster, James Mason, Ray Milland, Gregory Peck, William Powell, Edward G. Robinson, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyck, James Stewart, John Wayne, and Loretta Young.
The television version, produced and filmed at Hal Roach Studios, was broadcast for one season of 35 half-hour episodes on NBC, under the sponsorship of Eastman Kodak, airing from October 5, 1955 to September 12, 1956. Actors on the television series included John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Walter Brennan, Peter Lorre, Evelyn Ankers, Fay Wray, Errol Flynn, Edmond O'Brien, Buster Keaton, Buddy Ebsen, William Bendix, Robert Ryan, Laraine Day, George Sanders, Ward Bond, Rory Calhoun, Jack Carson, Neville Brand, Alan Young, Cloris Leachman, Edgar Buchanan, Peter Lawford, Marie Windsor, Charles Bickford, Zasu Pitts, Joe E. Brown, Jack Elam, Herb Shriner, Kim Hunter, Keenan Wynn, Jeanette MacDonald, Leo Durocher, Macdonald Carey, Ralph Bellamy, Basil Rathbone, Fred MacMurray, Jerry Mathers, Rod Steiger, Ray Milland, Alan Hale, Jr., Gower Champion, Marge Champion, Linda Darnell, Howard McNear, Dennis Hopper, and Leo Gordon. But there was one difference between the two versions of the program: while the radio program had presented only condensed versions of well-known plays and films, the television version presented mostly original dramas.
Directors included Frank Borzage, Leo McCarey, John Ford, Tay Garnett, Allan Dwan, George Waggner, Ida Lupino and Fred Zinnemann.
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