I get a lot of e-mails from people asking me about television shows, made-for-TV movies or miniseries they remember from years or decades past. I try to answer each question as best I can. Every now and then I like to dig through my inbox and pull out a few choice e-mails to answer here at Television Obscurities for everyone to read. Keep reading for today’s questions and answers.
I am trying to pin down a recollection. In the early Seventies, one of the networks — I believe it was ABC — ran a summer series of classic black-and-white movies over several weeks. Two of them were definitely Portrait of Jennie and The Spiral Staircase. Can you or any of your readers help me identify which other films were screened in this series? It was my introduction to classic Hollywood as a young adolescent, and I have always been grateful for it.
I was impressed with Patrick’s memories of this short-lived summer movie series that did indeed air on ABC. The Movie Classics of David O. Selznick was broadcast over the course of four weeks during the summer of 1971, presenting a new film produced by Selznick each week. It was the first time any had been seen on television. The films ran from 8:30-10PM on Tuesdays, taking over the time slot usually held by The Movie of the Week.
Here’s the schedule for the series:
Tuesday, June 22nd, 1971
“The Spiral Staircase”
Tuesday, June 29th, 1971
“Portrait of Jennie”
Tuesday, July 6th, 1971
“Made for Each Other”
Tuesday, July 13th, 1971
Martin Starger, ABC’s vice president in charge of programming, explained that “the great films of the past have usually been relegated to something other than primetime exposure on television. We are proud to present four of David O. Selznick’s great films on ABC this summer in primetime” . Ruby Gentry was originally intended to be shown as part of the series but was ultimately replaced by The Spiral Staircase .
I assume the films were preceded by an introduction or at the very least a credit sequence.