THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER OF CRAWFORD
"The Revlon Mirror Theater" (1953)Character: Margaret HughesEpisode: "Because I Love Him"Premiered: September 19th, 1953 (CBS)Episode Synopsis: Margaret Hughes (Joan Crawford) visits her family doctor, Alan Gordon (James Seay), following her and her husband's health checkups. Dr. Gordon tells Margaret her husband, David (William Ching) of ten years, is dying of a blood disorder, giving a prognosis of one year. Dr. Gordon suggests she not tell her husband as to make his last year happy and not worrisome for him.Margaret follows their doctor's suggestion and attempts to make life for David as enjoyable as possible. During this time, David attempts to adopt a child via an adoption agency worker (Ellen Corby), however, Margaret prevents the adoption due to David's prognosis. Later, Margaret discovers David is having an affair with family friend Ann (Virginia Grey), and he soon decides to leave Margaret.Margaret goes to Dr. Gordon to report the news, who informs her that it's she who is dying of the blood disorder, and not her husband.Margaret thanks Dr. Gordon for his way of handling telling her about her condition, and he confesses to having loved her for some time.
Cast & Crew:
Written By: Les Crutchfield (Story), Jay Dratler (Teleplay)
Producer: Revue Productions
Joan Crawford - "Margaret Hughes"
William Ching - "David Hughes"
James Seay - "Alan Gordon"
Virginia Grey - "Ann"
Ellen Corby - "Mrs. Logan"Production: Joan's gowns were designed by wardrobe designer Sheila O'Brien.
This was Joan's debut on television. CBS reran the episode in November 1953 due to viewer requests.
This was Joan's third collaboration with Ellen Corby ("Harriett Craig", 1950 and "Goodbye My Fancy, 1951) and second with Virginia Grey
("The Women", 1939).
While working on her next film "Johnny Guitar" for Republic Pictures, Joan commented the following about this appearance, and why she waited to appear on television for so long;
"It can harm a player if things aren't exactly right. They must have the proper story, facilities and material. I believe in film for television, because I think a player, especially an actress, should look the way she looks on the screen - her best at all times."
Following this first television appearance, Joan stated she had retained writer Andrew "Buddy" Solt (who adapted the screenplay of Joan's 1942 film "They All Kissed the Bride") to script 26 episodes of a television series Joan was to star in, portraying a newspaper columnist, with the series having an expected debut in early 1955.
Webmaster's Note: This series never materialized, however, it is the opinion of this Webmaster that Joan filmed the pilot for this series and it was later sold to CBS as the "General Electric Theater" episode "The Road To Edinburgh", which aired on October 31, 1954.
"General Electric Theater" (1954)Character: Mary AndrewsEpisode: "The Road To Edinburgh"Premiered: October 31st, 1954 (CBS)Episode Synopsis:
Widowed American newspaper columnist Mary Andrews (Joan Crawford) is driving from London, England to Edinburgh, Scotland to cover a news story.
Along the way, she experiences a flat tire, and while attempting to change it, she is helped by a stranger who happens upon her named Tom Wickers (John Sutton). For his help, Mary offers him a ride.
During their road trip, Tom reveals that he has just been released from prison for murder. This distresses Mary, who's mind begins to wonder after they hear a radio announcement about an escaped prisoner in the area.
Tom tells Mary she can let him out of the car if she's uncomfortable, but she insists she's not afraid.
Mary attempts to escape without Tom at a gas station, however, Tom gets back into the car before she can flee.
Later, she sees a police car on the road and speeds to catch up to it. The police officer cites Mary for speeding and gives her a ticket.
All the while, Mary is insisting she was speeding in an attempt to warn them about the man traveling with her, who she is now convinced is the escaped inmate.
The police inform Mary that the inmate has already been apprehended, and still gives her the ticket. Tom overhears the accusation by Mary, and then excuses himself from proceeding with her further. Tom gives Mary the money for the cost of the ticket, leaving Mary feeling ashamed of herself.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Rod Amateau
Written By: Andrew Solt
Producer: Revue Productions
Joan Crawford - "Mary Andrews"
John Sutton - "John Wickers"
Chuck Conners - "Hitchhiking Soldier"
Production: Webmaster's Note: Via my research, I believe this was a pilot episode produced by Revue production which Joan filmed in late-January 1954 for her own television series.
In September 1953, following her television debut in "Because I Love Him" for Revlon Mirror Theater, Joan stated she had hired Andrew "Buddy" Solt to script 26 episodes for a new series starring her as a newspaper columnist (which is the same profession as her character in this project), and in
January 1954, Joan filmed the pilot for that series. The pilot was directed by Rod Amateau, which is who also directed "The Road To Edinburgh". By June 1954, after attempting to sell the series to a network failed, it appears Joan forfeited the pilot of her series to CBS for use as an episode of their "General Electric Theater" program. However, it is possible that in August 1954, Revue Productions decided to use the pilot as an episode on "General Electric Theater" against Joan's choice, being as that the project was owned by Revue Productions, who also produced "General Electric Theater".
For these reasons, I believe "The Road To Edinburgh" to be the pilot of Joan Crawford's failed 1954 television series.
"General Electric Theater" (1958)Character: Ruth MarshallEpisode: "Strange Witness"Premiered: March 23rd, 1958Episode Synopsis:
Ruth Marshall (Joan Crawford) is having an affair with family friend David (Tom Tryon), who begins to pressure Ruth to ask her wealthy husband, John (John McIntire) for a divorce, however, Ruth says she isn't ready for a divorce, yet.
Later in the day, Ruth's husband comes home unexpectedly, and notices lipstick on David's face. John asks David how long his wife and he has been seeing each other behind his back, to which Ruth says two months. John begins to tell David there were a string of other lovers before him, and that Ruth doesn't love anyone. This begins to anger David, who shoots John after another insult from him. Ruth tells David he made a mistake to have killed John so impulsively.
A short time later, Ruth and John's old friend Chris (Sidney Blackmer) stops by to visit. Ruth tells David that Chris is blind and that she'll ask him to leave before he suspects anything is amiss.
During his visit, Chris asks Ruth where John is, and she says he had to see a client out of town. Ruth gives Chris a drink while David stands on the other side of the room gesturing to Ruth to make Chris leave. After a near-miss of Chris stepping on John's body, which is still laying in the floor where he fell, Ruth is able to have Chris to leave.
After Chris' departure, David begins coaching Ruth on how to lie to the police about John's appearance, when the telephone rings.
Ruth answers it, and Chris is on the other line (from a police station) informing her that John had lent him money for an eye operation and that it was successful and he can now see.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Herschel Daugherty
Written By: John Whiting (Story), Gavin Lambert (Teleplay)
Producer: Revue Productions
Joan Crawford - "Ruth Marshall"
Tom Tryon - "David"
John McIntire - "John Marshall"
Sidney Blackmer - "Chris"
Production: The episode was originally titled "Eyewitness".
Filming took place in late February/early March 1958.
"General Electric Theater" (1959)Character: Ann HowardEpisode: "And One Was Loyal"Premiered: January 4th, 1959Episode Synopsis: Ann Howard (Joan Crawford) happens upon old flame George Manson (Tom Helmore) while at her art showing in New York.Ann and George had met previously in Singapore, and the episode acts as a large flashback to the time of their original meeting. At that time Ann was a mute, and George met her during his stay at the bed and breakfast Ann and her husband own.
George complimented Ann's art and encouraged her to pursue her talent.After a game of cards between Ann, George, and Ann's husband, Roger (Robert Douglas), Ann wins, and documents the winnings in a special notebook she keeps of all her card winnings.
Roger becomes angry that Ann won the game, and assaults a nearby porter, who is protected by Ann against her husband's anger.Following the assault, George invites Ann to come live in a house he owns in London while pursuing her art career, and as a refuge from her husband. Later, Roger is attacked by a snake that has been tied above his bed, and after escaping attempts to charge at Ann, but only succeeds in plummeting over a balcony railing and dying from the fall.Afterword, Ann's ability to speak returns, and George learns that Ann became a mute due to shock after her husband had tied her up near a riverbank with the threat of death via a crocodile.
After meeting with a police inspector investigating the snake incident, George takes Ann's notebook detailing her card winnings.
Back to the present day in the episode, George visits Ann after her showing, and reveals to her that he had taken her notebook documenting her card winnings as so that the police inspector wouldn't find it and surmise Ann is who paid to have the snake placed in her husband's bedroom.
Ann reveals to George that she knew the houseboy Roger assaulted is who attempted to kill her husband with the snake.
George and Ann embrace as the episode fades to black.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Herschel Daugherty
Written By: Stanley Abbott (Story), Francis M. Cockrell (Teleplay)
Producer: Revue Productions
Joan Crawford - "Ann Howard"
Tom Helmore - "George Manson"
Robert Douglas - "Roger Howard"
Joan began filming for this episode in November 1958.
Peter Sabiston of the Kurt Frings agency negotiated the episode's contractual agreements.
"Zane Grey Theater" (1959)Character: Stella FaringEpisode: "Rebel Range"Premiered: December 3rd, 1959Episode Synopsis: Stella Faring (Joan Crawford) and her son Rob (Don Grady) visit their old family home and ask the new owner Case Taggart (Scott Forbes), for a look inside, which Case allows. To Case's dismay, once inside the house, Stella and Rob contend it is their home and they will not leave it again. What has happened is that Stella's deceased husband lost the land to public auction when it was abandoned while he was fighting for the Confederacy. Case explains to Stella that he purchased the property legally, however, Stella doesn't care, and remains adamant that she and her son will remain.
As a result, Case forcibly removes them from the house and watches as they leave. Later, Case returns home to find that Stella and her son are back in the house, and have brought two men named Fisk and Cressie (John Anderson and Joseph V. Perry) with them to throw Case off the property., which they do.
Later, Fisk (Anderson) gives Rod a gun and says he wants to teach him how to protect the property by letting Rob stand guard over the property.
When Case returns, Rob threatens to shoot Case, however, Case calls his bluff and pulls him to the house, where Fisk is attempting to assault Stella.
Case throws Fisk outside, and follows him out, as does Rob with a gun in hand, and he shoots Case in the shoulder.
Stella treats Case's injury and cares for him until he's better. Stella tells Case she and Rob are now going to leave to stay with friends she has in town.
Case decides that perhaps he and Stella can come to a compromise and she can return back to the house at some point in the future.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Don Medford
Written by: Kathleen Hite & Joseph Chadwick (Teleplay)
Producer: Four Star Productions
Joan Crawford - "Stella Faring"
Scott Forbes - "Case Taggart"
Don Grady - "Rob Faring'
John Anderson - "Fisk"
Joseph V. Perry - "Cressie"
Joan signed on for this appearance in September 1959.
"Zane Grey Theater" (1961)Character: Sarah Hobbes/Melanie Hobbes (In a "duel" role)Episode: "One Must Die" Duration: 30 minutesPremiered: January 12, 1961 (CBS)Episode Synopsis: When John Baylor (Phillip Carey) is summoned to the house of wealthy, but ill, Thaddeus Hobbes (Carl Benton Reid) to draft his Will, he meets Hobbes' twin daughters, Sarah and "Melanie" (Joan Crawford) in individual encounters. Shortly afterword, Hobbes dies while arguing with "Melanie" about the Will which only includes Sarah. At the funeral for her father, Sarah tells John that she's afraid to return to the family home because of "Melanie".
When Baylor later meets with "Melanie" at the family home, she attempts to seduce him, but he pushes her away, to which an enraged "Melanie" runs away. Baylor later finds Sarah, who claims to have locked "Melanie" in her room. When John goes to the room looking for her, "Melanie" isn't there.
Sarah tells John she is there and points to her clothing on the bed claiming it's "Melanie". John realizes that "Melanie" doesn't exist and that Sarah has a split personality. Comprehending that "Melanie" isn't real, Sarah decides to burn the house down as a means of ridding herself of "Melanie" for good.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Lewis Allen
Written by: Walter Germano
Producer: Four Star Productions
Joan Crawford - "Sarah/Melanie Hobbes"
Phillip Carey - "John Baylor"
Carl Benton Reid - "Thaddeus Hobbes"
Production: Joan signed her contract with producer Aaron Spelling to appear in this episode in mid-September 1960. The episode was written especially for Joan. Joan filmed her scenes for “One Must Die” from October 10th - 14th, 1960.
On October 6th, MCA attempted to prevented Joan from filming the "Zane Grey Theater" segment due to a prior contractual agreement, citing Joan was to be used by Revue Productions, a MCA subsidiary, on the dates planned for the filming of “One Must Die“. Joan began filming of “One Must Die” on October 10th after explaining to producer Dick Powell that she is “willing and available.” One day during filming actress Carolyn Jones visited Joan on the set and later sent Joan a gallon of home made vegetable soup. The following day, Joan had her chauffeur deliver a 10-pound home-made meat loaf to Jones.
"Route 66" (1963)
Character: Morgan Matheson HarperEpisode: "Same Picture, Different Frame"Duration: 60 minutesPremiered: October 4, 1963 (CBS)Episode Synopsis:
As the citizens of Poland Springs, Maine are confused by someone occupying the city's old mill, local horse rancher Morgan Matheson Harper is left a painting at her stables indicating that her artist ex-husband, Eric (Patrick O'Neal), has located her and is the area.
Following a series of near-misses with Eric harassing her, Morgan is saved by Linc Case (Glenn Corbett). Morgan explains to Linc that Eric is mentally unstable, and that she was his artistic muse, and she feels this is the reason he is harassing her. Later, Linc saves Morgan again from being shot by Eric, who misses and accidentally shoots Morgan's ranch assistant. Eric later abducts Moran and Linc at gunpoint and forces them to go with him back to the city's old mill where he's been in hiding as so that he can paint a portrait of Morgan and Linc together. On their way, Linc' friend Tod (Martin Milner) notices something is amiss and follows the three back to the old mill, where he summons the police to come. When Linc spots the opportunity, he distracts Eric while Morgan runs out, with Eric chasing her. As Eric, with gun in hand, runs out of the mill after Morgan, he is shot by the police. Eric dies as Morgan holds him professing she is sorry this had to happened to him, and that she felt responsible for his death. The episode ends with Morgan turning and walking away.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Phillip Leacock
Written By: Stirling Silliphant and Herbert B. Leonard
Producer: Screen Gems
Joan Crawford - "Morgan Matheson Harper"
Glenn Campbell - "Linc Case"
Patrick O'Neal - "Eric Harper"
For location filming, Joan traveled with the production team to Monmouth, Maine. Where locals were enchanted by her.
Filming for the episode took place in early September 1963.
"Royal Bay" (a.k.a. "Della") (1963)
Character: Della ChappelEpisode: Pilot (Later sold as a television film and shown repeatedly throughout the 1960s in sindication)Duration: 65 minutesPremiered: Late-1964 (In syndication)Episode Synopsis:
Della Chappel (Joan Crawford) is the infamously wealthy reclusive of the town of "Royal Bay". When developer/attorney Barney Stafford (Paul Burke) becomes intertwined in her life while attempting to encourage her to sell property she owns for development and job growth for the community, he becomes infatuated with her daughter Jenny (Diane Baker). Jenny suffers from a rare disease which makes her allergic to bright light, in particular to the sun. Therefore, Della and her daughter live in a secluded mansion, and are only active after nightfall.
Unknowing of Jenny's illness, Barney begins to feel Della is more of a prison warden over Jenny than a mother, therefore, Barney begins encouraging Jenny to leave the house, but she knows she can't. Barney interprets this as being due to the influence of her mother.
After heated a exchange with Barney, Della reveals the true to him, who then decides it's best for him to leave Jenny and her mother alone.Barney's abandonment, forces Jenny to attempt to runaway during the day, and while speeding down the road, loses control of her car and is killed.
Following the accident, Della meets with Barney and further explains her relationship with Jenny, and asks to oversee a project to place something in the city for the enjoyment of children in memory of Jenny. After Barney leaves, Della, feeling it's time to let the 'light' into her house and life, proceeds to open all the closed curtains throughout the house.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Robert Gist
Written By: Richard Alan Simmons
Producer: Four Star Productions, Joan Crawford (executive producer without credit)
Joan Crawford - "Della Chappel"
Paul Burke - "Barney Stafford"
Diane Baker - "Jenny Chappel"
Charles Bickford - "Hugh Stafford"Production:
This was the pilot episode for the series "Royal Bay", which Joan co-produced along with "Four Star Productions".Joan and "Four Star Production executive Tom McDermott attempted to pitch the show to several networks throughout 1963, however, none were interested. Finally, Joan and McDermott decided to film the series pilot and attempt to sell the series to a network with the pilot in hand. Filming took place from October 7th, 1963 until the final week of October 1963. During the filming, Joan commented to a reporter that she felt the series may not be purchased by a television network, and if not, it would be edited into a television feature film. It was reported in March 1964 that the pilot was scheduled to be added to the 1964 fall line-up, however, that did not happen and "Royal Bay" ultimately premiered on television in 1965 as a movie of the week with the title "Della". Had the series sold, Paul Burke was to receive 25% of the series' profits, along with top billing. This was the third and final collaborative project between Joan and actress Diane Baker. Baker had previously worked with Joan in two feature films;
"The Best Of Everything" in 1959, and "Strait-Jacket", filmed only two months prior in July/August 1963.Webmaster's Note: This was not intended to be a weekly series starring Joan Crawford, however, she was a producer on the project and planned to be a regular guest star if it were to have became a series.
"The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (1967)Character: Amanda TrueEpisode: Season 3, Episode 28 "The Five Daughters Affair" (a.k.a. "The Karate Killers")Duration: 60 minutesPremiered: March 31, 1967 (NBC)Episode Synopsis:
Following the sudden death of her scientist husband Simon True (Jim Boles) from an apparent heart attack, THRUSH mastermind Randolph (Herbert Lom) visit to Amanda True (Joan Crawford) to find documentation about the secret formula Dr. True had been working on to transform water into gold.
When Amanda is oblivious to as to any knowledge of the formula, it angers Randolph, who then lets Amanda know it was he who caused her husband's death by having Amanda give him "vitamins" that were actually poison. Enraged, Amanda attempts to stab Randolph with a nearby letter opener, however Randolph grabs her and stops her from succeeding. The scene closes with THRUSH agents closing in around her as she pleads for forgiveness for unknowingly participating in her husband's death.
In the next scene, U.N.C.L.E. agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum) arrive at Amanda's house to question her, but find the house ransacked with Amanda missing. As Napoleon talks with Dr. True's daughter from a previous marriage (Kim Darby) who has also just arrived to the house, Illya discovers Amanda's lifeless body laying on the floor under a window curtain.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Barry Shear
Written By: Boris Ingster (Story), Norman Hudis (Teleplay)
Producer: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
Joan Crawford - "Amanda True"
Robert Vaughn - "Napoleon Solo"
David McCallum - "Illya Kuryakin"
Herbert Lom - "Randolph"
Kim Darby - "Sandy True"
Jim Boles - "Simon True"
Production: For the production, Joan returned to the MGM Studios lot for the first time in 14 years.
Joan filmed her scenes for this episode in February 1967.
Originally filmed as a two-part episode entitled "The Five Daughters Affair", this episode was later released theatrically as "The Karate Killers".
Webmaster's Note: There are two versions of Joan's scenes from this production available. They are parallel in dialogue, however, one version's camera angles are slightly different than the other's. Also Joan and the other actors deliver some of their dialogue in a slightly different manner. There is a lifemask of Joan Crawford in existence, which is believed by this Webmaster to have been created for this project.
For the scene involving the discovery of Amanda's body, it is obvious to the viewer they are looking at a dummy with a 'mask' of Joan Crawford on it, rather than at the actual Joan Crawford appearing in the brief scene.
"The Secret Storm" (1968)Character: Joan Borman KaneEpisode: Duration: 30 minutes Premiered: October 25th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 1968 (CBS)Episode Synopsis:
Joan portrays the character of "Joan Borman Kane" on four episodes in October 1968 on this daily soap opera.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Gloria Monty
Producer: Columbia Broadcasting System
Joan Crawford - "Joan Borman Kane"
Keith Charles - "Nick Kane"
Terry O' Sullivan - "Judge Sam Stevens"
Larry Weber - "Peter Ames"
After Joan's daughter Christina was hospitalized for an ovarian tumor on October 15th, Joan volunteered to fill her daughter's role until she could return.
Joan rehearsed her scenes for the show on October 18th, and 19th. Joan's scenes for all four episodes were taped on October 20th, 1968.
Director Gloria Monty felt Joan did a wonderful job during the rehearsals, however, thought Joan was inebriated during the episodes' tapings. For her services, Joan was paid $3,500, for which she gave to her hairdresser. CBS reported an increase in viewers of the soap opera during the week Joan guest-appeared.
Much has been said regarding Joan replacing her daughter on this show, however according to Gloria Monty, Joan did so out of fear of her daughter losing her role on the soap opera during her illness, and because show director Gloria Monty asked Joan to do so.
The following is a 1979 quote from show director Gloria Monty:"Joan called me to go to Christina's apartment. She called the doctor to go there, and from her own bedside, because she was ill, called the ambulance to take Christina to the hospital. Joan also sent her secretary, Betty Barker, to see that everything went smoothly for Christina.The only reason Joan was not there was because she was ill with the flu and the doctor advised her not to go near Christina. As soon as Joan was declared noncontagious, Joan planted herself in her daughter's hospital room and saw to it that Christina was well-cared for.She spoke to all of us on the show about keeping Christina's job open, Joan was afraid her daughter would lose her running part by being absent.She kept asking us, 'Can I do anything to help her keep it? What can I do?'It was difficult for me to make Joan understand this was not like the studio days when if you were ill the production had to shut down. She didn't understand that we could write out Christina's character for a while, although the story, at that moment, was at a peak. One time when Joan asked 'What can I do?" I said 'Play the part for us.'She said 'OK, I'll do Christina's part until she comes back.' And that's how she came to do the role on 'The Secret Storm'."
The following is an excerpt from "Joan Crawford: A Biography" by Bob Thomas:
"Fred Silverman, chief of daytime programming at CBS was delighted with the news, and he cleared the use of the studio for rehearsals on Saturday and taping on Sunday. Gloria Monty went to Joan's apartment and found her in a state of excitement.
'I know this character like this.' said Joan, snapping her fingers' It's Mildred Pierce'.
'Okay, let's not talk too much, let's just read the scene' said Monty.
She was amazed how adroitly Joan fell into the character, and at the subtlety she lent to the soap-opera dialogue.
On the day of the taping, Joan grasp Monty and said 'I'm in your hands'."
"Journey To The Unknown" (1969)Character: HostessEpisode: N/ADuration: 86 minutesPremiered: 1969Episode Synopsis:
Joan acts as hostess in this made for television film which is compiled of two prior episodes from the series' first season.Joan opens the film with a short narration and introduction of "Matakitas Is Coming" (Starring Vera Miles), then an introduction to "The Last Visitor" (Starring Patty Duke), with a final summation from Joan of the stories.Synopsis of "Matakitas Is Coming": Mystery writer June Wiley (Vera Miles) is researching the 1927 murder of a young librarian which occurred in the same library where she is conducting her research, and exactly 41 years to the hour that the murder occurred.
June becomes so interested in studying the case that she doesn't hear the closing bell and becomes locked in the building.
While trying to locate someone to help, June finds a young librarian named Tracy who claims to not know an alternate way out of the library.
June begins hearing loud heavy footsteps echoing throughout the building and the young librarian keeps disappearing and reappearing.
June attempts to use the telephone to call for help and realizes that she has somehow been transported back to that September night in 1927. Later, June discovers that Tracy is the young library who died in 1927 and the plan is to sacrifice June to the devil.
Synopsis of "The Last Visitor":
Barbara King (Patty Duke) is recovering from broken love affair and nervous breakdown, and goes on vacation alone to the English Coast, and becomes the last guest of the season at a seaside hotel.
One night she is awakened and finds a man standing over her bed. Barbara runs for help and soon lead other residents to her room to investigate.
Barbara begins to suspect it is one of the tenants staying next door, however, her room is broken into again the following day while he is gone.
The hotel's owner, Joan Walker, decides to admit it's her former husband coming into her room, that he has mental troubles and had to be committed.
Barbara helps Mrs. Walker replace the hotel locks to keep her ex husband from entering, however, they later find a smoking pipe left in a room and realize he has came back, even after the locks were changed.
One night while in bed, Barbara sees the figure in her bedroom again, and throws a lamp at them. When she turns on the light, she finds it's Mrs. Walker dressed as her husband. It's revealed later that Mrs. Walker's husband had died years prior and that she had been dressing up as him and pretending he was ill as a means of coping with his absence.
Cast & Crew:Director: Michael Lindsay-Hogg ("Matakitas Is Coming"Written by: Robert Heverly (Episode: "Matakitas Is Coming"), Alfred Shaughnessy (Episode: "The Last Visitor")Producer: Hammer Films Production LTD (United Kingdom)Joan Crawford - "Hostess"Vera Miles "June Wiley" (Segment: "Matakitas Is Coming")Leon Lisses - "Andros Matakitas" (Segment: "Matakitas Is Coming")Lynn Pinkney - "Tracy"Patty Duke - "Barbara King" (Segment: "The Last Visitor")
Kay Walsh - "Joan Walker" (Segment: "The Last Visitor")
Sally James - "Peggy" (Segment: "The Last Visitor")
This television film was produced by Hammer Films of the United Kingdom.
"Night Gallery" (1969)Character: Claudia MenloEpisode: "Eyes" (The second segment in the pilot episode consisting of three stories)Duration: 138 minutes with each segment's runtime being approximately 30 minutes each.Premiered: November 8th, 1969 (NBC)Episode Synopsis:
After her doctor, frank Heatherton, (Barry Sullivan) discovers a means of replacing the optic nerve in the eyes to allow temporary vision to the blind, wealthy blind woman Claudia Menlo (Joan Crawford) demands he perform this procedure on her, thus allowing her to see for roughly 11 hours. When Dr. Heatherton refuses based on the principal it will leave the donor blind, Claudia threatens him with exposing an infidelity. thus blackmailing him into performing the surgery. Claudia uses a similar tactic to force her attorney to perform the legalities of the agreement between herself and the donor, Sidney Resnick (Tom Bosley).
On the night following the procedure, while alone in her apartment, Claudia unwraps the bandages at the exact moment of the 1965 New York blackout.Enraged, Claudia thinks the operation was a failure and begins grasping for any object in reach to throw into the darkness. Claudia spends the night attempting to find help in the vacant apartment building she constructed to reside in alone.
The following morning, the sun rises to reveal to Claudia that she had the ability to see the entire time, and now her 11 hours are over as her vision begins to fade rapidly. As she leans against the large picture window in front of her beckoning the sun not to fade, she does not realize the window was cracked severely by her throwing an object against it during the night. The window breaks, causing Claudia to plummet to her death to the street below.
*** Click here to read the entire script for this episode, including a deleted scene between Claudia Menlo and her maid which was filmed, however, edited out from the final production.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Rod Serling
Joan Crawford - "Claudia Menlo"
Barry Sullivan - "Dr. Frank Heatherton"
Tom Bosely - "Sidney Resnick"
Byron Morrow - "George Packer"
Production: The segments were written by producer Rod Serling, with "Eyes" being taken from his book "The Season To Be Wary", which was published by Little, Brown & Co in 1967.
Serling originally thought of the concept of "Night Gallery" when "The Twilight Zone" ended in 1964. At that time, Serling's series idea wasn't based around oil paintings, but rather wax figures, with the working title of "Rod Serling's Wax Museum".
Serling originally approached studio executive Arthur Joel Katz with the concept of "Night Gallery" via letter on April 30th, 1968.
In the letter, Serling suggested the concept of one actor portraying all three main characters in each story of the pilot, and named Rod Steiger as a potential candidate for the lead.
In susiquent meetings, that idea was discarded, and by December 1968, Serling had Joan Crawford in mind for the lead role in "Eyes".
In a December 1968 letter to Universal executive William Sackheim, Serling wrote the following regarding casting of the pilot:
"Your casting ideas are really exceptional. The idea of Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson [for "The Escape Route"] is really walloping. Telly Savalas and Lee Grant would be my second choice. Karl Malden and Pat Barry or Lola Albright would be my third.
Davis, Crawford or Helen Hayes knock me out for the blind woman. [Jacob] Klugman would be my pick for Resnick., though what happened to Buddy Hacket? Maurice Evans - lovely for Portifoy, but John Mills also. And I'd certainly go for Roddy McDowell or Peter Lawford for Jeremy."
This episode was the first directing assignment by new young director Steven Spielberg. Spielberg had impressed the pilot's producer William Sackheim previously with a short film subject entitled "Amblin", and Sackheim chose Spielberg for the "Eyes" segment.
Joan was apprehensive about Spielberg due to his age and inexperience, however, shortly after meeting with Spielberg, she was impressed and he gained her respect, and they remained in touch until her death in 1977. Filming began on February 3rd, 1969 on the Universal Lot in Los Angeles. Joan lived in her bungalow on the lot during the filming. During filming Joan and co-star, Barry Sullivan, had difficultly reciting their lines, and director Steven Spielberg places cue-cards around the set. Joan later recalled her experience on "Night Gallery" to a reporter saying she adored Rod Serling and his writing "but his dialogue was the hardest to memorize. There's a rhythm to his words and if you change one of them, the rhythm is off and you can't remember." On February 5th, Joan lost her equilibrium (caused by an inner ear cold) on the set, and she credited her makeup-man Monty Westmore for saving her from a possible injury when she lost her equilibrium in her bungalow around 5:30 am just as Westmore was entering to begin her make-up for the day. According to director Steven Spielberg, the entire segment was re-edited by the producer due to Spielberg's filming style being influenced by the European "new wave" films of the 1960s. Spielberg said his editing wasn't felt to be appropriate for the average NBC viewer.
"The Virginian" (1970)
Character: Stephanie WhiteEpisode: "Nightmare"Duration: 90 minutesPremiered: January 21, 1970 (NBC)Episode Synopsis:
Stephanie White (Joan Crawford) is a former palm-reader turned married lady of the house. After a month of marriage, her husband, John, (Michael Conrad) plans to make a Will leaving Stephanie his entire estate, which includes the family business. News of this angers his younger brother, Billy (Steve Sandor) and they argue. That night someone tampers with the wheels on John's wagon, causing it to flip over the following day, injuring John to the point that he will never walk again.The Virginian (James Drury) helps the couple after the accident, and attempts to be vigilant in protecting them. Stephanie becomes his nursemaid, while an old acquaintance, Frank (Warren J. Kemmerling) begins making advances towards her. Later one night, Stephanie goes outside to investigate strange noises, and while she's outside a fire suddenly breaks out in the house. Stephanie rushes back in, but is unable to save John. However, she manages to get a glimpse of the person who set the fire as the perpetrator runs past her on his way out of the house, which Stephanie believes is John's brother, Billy. While recuperating from the ordeal, Stephanie is given a note supposedly by Frank asking her to meet him claiming he has proof of Billy's guilt in John's death. When Stephanie goes to Frank, she discovers it's a trap and she and Frank are shot at, with Frank being hit and killed. Despite her pleas of innocence, the sheriff arrests Stephanie and charges her with Frank's murder. Believing she murdered Frank due to thinking he killed John. Stephanie stands trial, however, due to the evidence against her, and the certainty that she'll be found guilty, The Virginian convinces her to plead 'not guilt by reason of insanity' until he can prove her innocence.The Virginian decides the best way to prove her innocence is to give Billy the chance to attempt to kill her again. The Virginian's plans works, and when it's time to transfer Stephanie from jail to a mental hospital, Billy arrives to take Stephanie. Instead, Billy uses the opportunity to attempting kill Stephanie by taking her back to her house and setting it on fire with her in it, with plans of claiming she escaped his custody. The Virginian discovers Billy has taken Stephanie and tracks them back at her house. After he is knocked out by Billy, Billy attempts to shoot Stephanie, but she shoots him first. The episode closes with Stephanie working on the books of her late husband's business and thanking The Virginian for his help in saving her life.
Cast & Crew:
Director: Robert Gist
Written By: Gerry Day and Bethel Leslie
Joan Crawford - "Stephanie White"
James Drury - "The Virginian"
Michael Conrad - "John White"
Steve Sandor - "Billy White"
Warren J. Kemmerling - "Frank"Production: Joan began filming this project on November 17th, 1969 on the Universal Studios Lot in Los Angeles, California.
During the filming, Joan resided her in bungalow on the lot.
One day during filming, Joan and James Drury stopped production as so that they could take a telephone call from seven American GIs in Vietnam who had requested to talk to some movie stars.
The episode was released as a theatrical feature in some parts of Europe in 1970, with the title of "Nightmare".
This was Joan's second collaboration with Sara Lane. Lane had previously co-starred with Joan in "I Saw What You Did" in 1965.
This was Joan's final collaboration with director Robert Gist. Joan had previously been directed by Gist on the pilot "Royal Bay" in 1963, and was scheduled to be directed by Gist in "You'll Hang My Love" in 1967 before to the project's financing difficulties caused it to never begin filming.
"The Sixth Sense" (1972)
Character: Joan FairchildEpisode: "Dear Joan, We're Going To Scare You To Death"Duration: 60 minutesPremiered: September 30, 1972 (ABC)Episode Synopsis:
After wreaking her car, Joan Fairchild (Joan Crawford) seeks refuge at a nearby house which is inhabited by a group of people exploring ESP
(Scott Hylands, David Ladd, Martine Bartlett, Lenore Kasdorf). With the group headed by Jason (Scott Hylands).
When Joan stumbles upon this, she is alarmed, and begins to wonder the true intentions of the group.
After having a vision of her deceased daughter "Diana" (Anne Lockhart), Joan decides to leave, however, finds herself held prisoner by the group.
Joan's attention turns to helping a deaf girl named "Lori" (Kelly Jean Peters) who is also in the house.
Joan feels Lori is also in danger by the group, having previously saw her drowning in a 'vision'.
The group decides to use their ESP talents to attempt to scare Joan to death via making her see visions of her dead daughter reaching out for her.
After Joan manages to escape her room, she discovers Lori has attempted to obtain help from neighbors by rowing a boat across a lake behind the house, however, the row boat is slowly sinking into the lake due to a hole punched into the boat by Jason.
Joan uses her ESP to help Lori find a life jacket hidden on the boat, and saves her.
The group begins to argue when Paul (David Ladd) refuses to be part of the plan to kill Joan. He and Jason engage in a physical fight, to which Paul wins by throwing Jason over a second story banister. The police are summoned and the group is arrested, with the exception of Paul, who saved Joan and Lori from the group's ill intentions.
Cast & Crew:
Director: John Newland
Written By: Anthony Lawrence, Jonathan Stone
Joan Crawford - "Joan Fairchild"
Scott Hylands - "Jason"
David Ladd - "Paul"
Kelly jean Peters - "Lori"
Martine Bartlett - "Carrie"
Anne Lockhart - "Diana Fairchild"
Filming took place on the Universal Lot in Los Angeles, California during July 1972. While on the lot, Joan was visited by Alfred Hitchcock and Rock Hudson.
This was Joan's final acting performance.
There are two versions of this episode available. One being the full-length complete episode for "The Sixth Sense" series, and the other being a shorter approximately 30-minutes version edited for syndication as part of the "Night Gallery" series.
In the final moments of the episode, Joan sits down with the show's main character, Gary Collins (who didn't appear in the episode) to talk about ESP, and shares a story about her own premonition of her dog falling prior to the dog falling 30 feet from the second story banister in her New York apartment.
The episode closes with Joan wishing Gary a goodnight, and he simply says "Goodnight, Joan" before the screen fades to black, thus ending
Joan Crawford's 47 years of acting.
Drama & Suspense
(Listed In Chronological Order Of The Date Of The Original Television Broadcasting)
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