Balladeer’s Blog’s Forgotten Television category takes its final look at episodes of the 1966-1972 series N.E.T. Playhouse. For the opening look at the 1966 episodes click HERE

lorraine hansbLORRAINE HANSBURY: TO BE YOUNG, GIFTED AND BLACK (January 20th) – A 90-minute biography of African-American playwright Lorraine Hansbury, whose works include A Raisin in the Sun. Her husband Robert Nemiroff wrote this drama which includes performances of scenes from her plays. Ruby Dee, Roy Scheider, Blythe Danner, Barbara Barrie and Claudia McNeil were among the cast members. 

GALILEO (January 27th) – An airing of the 1968 Italian film about the famed scientist who was charged with heresy for agreeing with Copernicus by refuting the notion that the sun and the planets revolved around the Earth. Liliana Cavani directed this 1 hour and 45 minute production starring Cyril Cusack.   

HARRIET (February 3rd) – Adaptation of the 1943 stage drama about the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe. The drama follows Stowe from her early fantasy writings through her important novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an indictment of the Democrats’ “peculiar institution” of slavery. Kitty Winn, Gretchen Corbett, Dolph Sweet, Richard Dysart and Madeleine Sherwood starred. 90 minutes.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN (February 10th) – An airing of the 1930 biopic about the 16th president. Walter Huston starred as Abe Lincoln, with a supporting cast which included Una Merkel, Jason Robards Sr. and Kay Hammond. 96 minutes. 

my mothers houseCOLETTE: MY MOTHER’S HOUSE (February 17th) – A 1967 telefilm about the younger years of the female author Sidonie Gabrielle Claudine Colette. Kathy Cody portrayed Colette, Colleen Dewhurst portrayed her mother Sido with Joanna Miles as Collette’s half-sister Juliette. The story centers around the young woman’s formative years and her relationship with her influential mother. 90 minutes. 

SIR ALEXANDER FLEMING (February 24th) – This was a 1970 made for British television drama about the life of the title scientist, who discovered penicillin. Bill Gavin, Nancie Jackson, Richard Warner and Rupert Davies starred in this 90-minute production. 

CHARLES DICKENS – THE HERO OF MY LIFE (March 2nd) – A biopic tracing the rags to riches life of writer Charles Dickens. Michael Jayston and Johnny Butler portrayed Dickens at different stages of his life. The other cast members included Ken Wynne, Sheila Grant and Ciaran Madden. 78 minutes.

between time and timbuktuBETWEEN TIME AND TIMBUKTU – A SPACE FANTASY BY KURT VONNEGUT JR (March 13th) – Dated humor mars this 90-minute sci-fi story directed by Fred Barzyk and based on the writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The winner of a contest gets to be launched toward a time/space fluke called a chronosynclastic infundibulum. The space vessel explodes, and the main character Stoney Stevenson, played by William Hickey, experiences time as multiple events that all occur simultaneously, not sequentially. Features segments from The Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle, Player Piano, Welcome to the Monkey House and more. Co-starred Bob & Ray, Susan Sullivan, Kevin McCarthy and Dolph Sweet.  

BYRON (March 16th) – A 1970 British telefilm about the final 6 years in the life of Lord Byron. The story centers around his various affairs of the time, his morbid belief that all those close to him were doomed to die (a belief brought on by the deaths of his daughter and his friend Percy Shelley) and his eventual service in the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turks. Starring Keith Barron and Anthony Ainley. 85 minutes. 

IN SEARCH OF STRINDBERG (March 23rd) – Max Von Sydow starred in this hour-long drama synopsizing the life of the Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Features excerpts from Strindberg’s works like The Father, Miss Julie and The Bond. Lena Granhagen and Anita Bjork co-starred. 

gertrude steinGERTRUDE STEIN: WHEN THIS YOU SEE, REMEMBER ME (April 6th) – Producer and director Mrs. Perry Miller Adato used photographs, radio, letters and voice actors in this 90-minute documentary about the iconic writer Gertrude Stein. This was hailed as a brilliant innovation in documentary filmmaking and basically paved the way for everything Ken Burns would later produce. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON – PORTRAIT OF A HERO AS A YOUNG MAN (April 13th) – Rene Auberjonois and Michael Miller starred in this production depicting the young George Washington as a Lieutenant Colonel during the French and Indian War. The future president gains valuable military experience in a 1754 campaign in western Pennsylvania. 90 minutes.    

THE RISE OF LOUIS XIV aka THE TAKING OF POWER BY LOUIS XIV (April 20th) – An airing of the 1966 French telefilm depicting the battle between King Louis the 14th and his rival aristocrats – including his own mother – following the death of Louis’ advisor Cardinal Mazarin. 1 hour and 40 minutes. 

VINCENT THE DUTCHMAN (May 4th) – Mai Zetterling directed this drama about the artist Vincent Van Gogh. Michael Gough starred as Van Gogh during the most productive but emotionally tormented period of his life. 58 minutes.  

particular menPARTICULAR MEN (May 8th) – Decades before the film Oppenheimer came this adaptation of Loring Mandel’s play about the development of the atomic bomb and the aftermath. The characters and some events are fictional but the lead character, conscience-stricken Dr. William Benjamin (Stacy Keach), is based on J. Robert Oppenheimer. 1 hour and 57 minutes. 

HOLLYWOOD – YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS (May 18th) – A look at the way Hollywood depicted the military and the war effort during World War Two and the changing political sentiments after the conflict ended. Features clips from commercial films and propaganda shorts. 90 minutes.

THE LAST GIs (May 25th) – The entire series came to a close with this 90-minute documentary examining America’s World War Two soldiers both during and after the war. Archive footage and dramatic recreations are featured. 




Filed under Forgotten Television


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