Public Domain Catalog

Lost and Rare

Anthology TV Shows

Anthology TV Shows were quite popular in the 1950s. They presented a complete story each week - drama, comedy, western or suspense - with a different case. Festival offers numerous episodes of these anthology shows: Four Star Playhouse, Climax, Westinghouse Studio One, One Step Beyond and others.

This page lists some rarer anthology series of which not many episodes are available.


1950s TV

I Spy
(1955-56) True stories of famous spies from history, hosted by Raymond Massy.
Bits and Pieces The sardonic spymaster Anton (Raymond Massey) hosts and narrates a WWI story set at a Warsaw hotel, where beautiful German super spy Maria Sorrell uses her wiles to wheedle secret information out of lovestruck Russian soldiers caught in her web.
Green Coat In Cairo, Napoleon Bonaparte carries on a secret affair with the wife of one of his captains. English spies conspiring to kill "The Little Colonel" make the captain aware of his wife's infidelity - and plant in his mind the idea that Napoleon deserves to die.
The Amateur (1955) The story of Confederate spy Belle Boyd.
Bismarck’s Super Spy The story of spy Wilhelm Steibel, who created the spy network used by every country since.

Telephone Time
The Stepmother
Following the death of his spouse, Tom Lincoln brings home a new wife. Young Abe resents his new stepmother, but she slowly wins him over with her kindness.
Alice’s Wedding Gown Reform school girls are filled with hope when one of them invents a story about her imaginary upcoming wedding. Stars Fay Wray, Norma Eberhardt.
Again the Stars (1956) Dr. Philippe Pinel tries to modernize mental therapy.
Grandpa Changes the World
(1956) In 1735, New York publisher John Peter Zenger is sued for libel by Governor William Cosby, after accusing him of embezzlement in print. Zenger's case is taken up by legendary litigator Andrew Hamilton, roused from retirement for his final case -- one that essentially puts the freedom of speech on trial. Stars Thomas Mitchell, Reginald Denny.

Telephone Time & Conrad Nagel Theater
Conrad Nagel: Model Couple
- (1953) In an English town, a marriage is almost destroyed when the wife inherits money from a mysterious Frenchman.
Conrad Nagel: Unknown Madonna - 1953 A famous painter meets a girl of the streets. He paints her portrait and falls in love with her.
Telephone Time: Jumping Parson Billy Halop plays Chaplin's Lt.Ray Hall in this true story. He battles his fear and a fellow soldiers of jumping out of an airplane. They both jump and conquer their fear and Chaplin Hall survives the war and becomes a doctor.
Telephone Time: Stranded Bette Davis as a strong-willed Minnesota teacher trapped with her pupils in a ramshackle one room schoolhouse during a record-setting blizzard. With House Peters Jr., Edd Byrnes.
Invitation Playhouse: A Pair of Shoes

Stage 7 - Vol. 1
Time of Day
Charles Bronson, Peggy Ann Garner Complications arise when a politician's daughter befriends a poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Starring Peggy Ann Garner, Charles Bronson.
Billy and the Bride Angela Lansbury New Yorker Vanessa marries cowboy Archie, and moves to his desert ranch. While Archie and a posse are out hunting Billy the Kid, Vanessa - the tenderest of tenderfeet - unknowingly opens her home to the outlaw.
Traveling Salesman George Montgomery A family man with eight kids, catches the eye of two pretty waitresses. Their boyfriends, however, are thugs and decide to teach him a lesson he won't forget.
Fox Hunt Dennis Morgan On the bloody trail of notorious gold robber Fox Durkin, a ranger organizes a posse - unaware that the saddle tramp he just enlisted is the ruthless killer.

1950s TV Stage 7 - Vol. 2
Appointment at Highbridge
2/6/1955 Dan O'Helihy, Phyllis Coates. A meeting 10 years later awakens the memory of a romance between a British Army captain and an American Army nurse.
The Deceiving Eye 1/30/1955 Frank Lovejoy. College criminologist professor Fletcher is accused of murdering one of is students.
The Legacy 2/13/1955 A grandmother dies. Though Julia had spent three selfless years attending the sick woman, she must vie with her selfish cousin Julian for the inheritance.
Press Conference 3/20/1955 Dennis Morgan. An incident from a lawyer's past jeopardizes his chances for the future.


The Star and the Story
39 episodes were produced in 1955-'56 by Four Star Productions, the same company that made Four Star Playhouse and Stage 7. The "Star" of each show was allowed to pick his own story.

Vol. 1:
Safe Journey
Frank Lovejoy. On a train, a reporter tries to interview a convict who is being sent to testify at an important underworld trial.
Ferry to Fox Island Edmond O'Brien. A thief accidentally kills a man and then falls in love with the victim's widow.
The Lie Dan Duryea, Beverly Garland. A tuberculosis victim is befriended by a guilt-ridden woman whose false testimony sent him to prison.
Dark Stranger Joanne Woodward, Edmon O'Brien. An author, in love with a girl who resembles his ill-fated fictional heroine, begins to fear for the real girl's life.

Vol. 2:
The Thin Line
David Niven. A former bandleader just released from a mental institution, Johnny returns home to make a startling discovery. We relive the days prior to his confinement through the eyes of Tubby, a former member of the band.
Desert Story Jan Sterling. A socialite kills an Army chaplain's wife in an auto accident and then cares for his children.
The Lady's Game Charles Coburn. An Englishman is blackmailed by a dancer after winning at roulette.
Hand to Hand Zachary Scott. Youth vs. middle age in this tale of rivalry between two bullfighting brothers.

Vol. 3
Her Crowning Glory
Teresa Wright. A girl bolsters her morale with an expensive hat as she goes job hunting.
The Man Who Was Dead Thomas Mitchell, Chuck Connors. After his funeral, a man returns from the dead to bring help to the living.
Act of Decision Frank Lovejoy. On the eve of an important game, the winning and well-liked coach of a small-college football team finds out from the police that his star player, Watkins, has been out late and speeding with a girl in his car.
Arab Duel Sidney Blackmer, Hugh O'Brian. A motion picture producer's love for his wife leads him to desperate measures.


Dupont Cavalcade of America - Vol. 1
Aka. "Cavalcade of America," this DuPont sponsored anthology often featured true stories from American history.
Crisis in Paris - Ben Franklin (1955) As American's emissary in Paris, Benjamin Franklin has two problems: to negotiate a treaty with the French, and to bring two lovers together.
New Salem Story - Lincoln Legend (1953) In 1830s Illinois, Abraham Lincoln ("Honest Abe" to his friends) is smitten with neighbor Ann Rutledge. When she dies tragically of illness, Lincoln is inspired to run for state legislature.
Man Who Took a Chance - Eli Whitney Story (1952) From the necessity of making muskets in defend America. Whitney gets the idea of manufacturing interchangeable parts.
Rescue of Dr. Beanes (1955) During the War of 1812, Attorney Francis Scott Key observes the British attack on Fort McHenry off the coast of Baltimore and is inspired to write the poem "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Dupont Cavalcade of America - Vol. 2
Boy Who Walked to America
(1956) Hugh Beaumont. An American Army troop takes in an orphaned Korean boy, but when the troop is sent to France, "Little Joe" has to fend for himself. His dreams of a future in the United States lead him to seek help from good-hearted Americans on a military base in Japan. The screenplay was based on a true story from The Saturday Evening Post.
The Frightened Witness (1957) Dan Duryea. A shopkeeper is threatened by a mobster after he witnesses a fatal hit-and-run.
People and General Clancy (1956) This dramatic true story shows General A.R. Glancy's efforts to help impoverished Duluth, Georgia build a much needed hospital. Starring Minor Watson, Ralph Moody.
Dowry for Ilona (1957) When Ilona and Miklos get engaged, their Hungarian-American families try to top each other with wedding gifts. Ilona's father, Bela, wants to sell his prized violin to raise money for her dowry. The young couple struggle to preserve Dad's pride and save the family heirloom. Starring Oscar Homolka, Caroline Craig,

Dupont Cavalcade of America Theater - Vol. 3
Riders of the Pony Express
(1953) Amid great clamor and controversy, the US Government is determined to bring mail service to citizens in California -- and the Pony Express is born.
Chain of Hearts (1955) Charles Bronson stars as an undocumented immigrant who desires American citizenship more than anything else.
Diplomatic Outpost (1956) In the Far East, a young American diplomat and his wife cope with a polio epidemic and the threat of civil war.
Dan Marshall’s Brat Trudy Marshall and her family move onto their new frontier farm only to find themselves in the middle of a feud between the miserly rancher Barton, and his nemesis the Calaveras Kid. With Patty McCormack Russell Johnson.

Dupont Cavalcade of America Theater - Vol. 4
Widow Was Willing
(1957) An impoverished writer is oblivious to the attentions of a widowed seamstress. When he comes into possession of a stolen ledger, their determination to return it to its rightful owner brings them closer together. Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys previously appeared in the popular '50s sitcom "Topper."
Man Who Asked No Favors (1957) A drought-ridden community believes that a new minister for their long-neglected church will bring the rain they desire. When the preacher prays for the townspeople to have strength and humility instead of rain, the farmers are outraged. Starring Lew Ayres,
Douglas Fairbanks Presents - Counterfeit US Counter Intelligence Officer Bill Campbell (Fairbanks Jr.) stumbles upon the identifty of a gang of counterfeiters. But Campbell is in love with an Austrian girl - a girl desperately in need of money.
Douglas Fairbanks Presents - Flight of Birds Two young gypsy refugees, who have never known their parents or a permanent home, find shelter in the castle of an aging Baron. Stars Margaret McCourt, Richard Palmer.
Playhouse 15 - Hobo

Douglas Fairbanks Presents
Hollywood legend Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. hosted, produced and often starred in this top drawer British anthology series which ran from 1953-1957. Although generally filmed in England, some episodes were filmed in Germany with all German actors.
Murderer (1956) Sullivan (played by Fairbanks) is a professional blackmailer, a crook and a murderer whose domestic affairs are not going too well. Another man hires him to kill someone else's husband - which turns out to be himself."
Ship Day (1956) On a small island the most exciting time of the month is the day when the ship calls, bringing supplies. But on this ship day, they need more than supplies - they need a doctor.
A New Life (1956) When Susan Braden, a young woman doctor, joins a medical mission in Malaya, she is appalled by the harsh methods employed by Doctor Lambert, the old fashioned doctor in charge of the mission. She decides to take action.
The Dunce (1956) Paul Nueller, a slow-witted merchant seaman, returns after fifteen years to the Austrian village that knicknamed him "Dunce". He has come to avenge the death of his sole benefactor, found dead in the street six months before. His old persecutors and his fists soon land him in trouble.

Crossroads
(1955-'57) Half-hour TV anthology series dramatizes the lives of clergymen of all faiths and the problems they face in both their professional and personal lives.
Paratrooper Padre A young boot-camp private makes a selfless sacrifice to save the life of the platoon's least favorite member - an angry loner with a troubled past. Starring Donald Woods and Charles McGraw.
Lifeline Working for the mob in an illegal casino doesn't trouble a woman's conscience until the syndicate bosses hire her naive younger sister. Starring Barbara Hale and Regis Toomey.
Last Strand After an unsuccessful suicide leap from her hotel window, a hospitalized young actress is terrified of the upcoming Christmas holiday, sure that it heralds her death. Starring Conrad Nagel and Mala Powers.
9:30 Action A young mother's shady past catches up with her when an ex-partner in crime returns from prison to recruit her for a new heist. Starring Richard Arlen and Susan Oliver.
Other episodes of CROSSROADS at Religious TV.

Alfred Hitchcock & Thriller
These are the only public domain episodes of these classic suspense/horror anthology series.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cheney Vase (1955) Hitchcock introduces and comments on a strange tale. When Lyle Endicott is fired from his job at an art museum, he comes up with a plan to take advantage of a trusting invalid whom he befriended at the museum.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Sorceror's Apprentice (1962) Rather gruesome episode written by Robert (Psycho) Bloch. A magician takes a simple-minded runaway under his wing. But the magician's wife has a sinister idea for the manipulable young man.
Thriller: The Return of Andrew Bentley (1961) Boris Karloff introduces a particularly scary episode starring One Step Beyond's John Newland. White magic practitioner Amos Wilder kills himself after securing his nephew's sworn promise to guard his body against evil spirits. The nephew must never leave his uncle's mansion, to protect the shire from the return of black necromancer Bentley, cast back to Hell by Wilder.

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