The UCLA Film & Television Archive will stream “The Sty of the Blind Pig,” a 1974 episode of the PBS dramatic anthology series Hollywood Television Theatre, on Thursday, February 10th at 9PM ET/6PM PT. Produced by PBS station KCET, the episode adapted Philip Hayes Dean’s play of the same name for the small screen. It starred Mary Alice, Maidie Norman, Richard Ward, and Scatman Crothers.
Here’s the description:
KCET’s production of Phillip Hayes Dean’s critically-acclaimed play, first presented by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1971, examines the volatile relationship between a mother and daughter torn by generational change amidst the backdrop of the burgeoning civil rights movement. Directed by pioneer Ivan Dixon (The Spook Who Sat by the Door), the incisive character drama stars Emmy, Obie and Tony Award-winner Mary Alice (Fences) as a lonely woman trapped between the desire for a free, modern life and the traditionalist force of her religious, domineering mother (Maidie Norman). When a blind, itinerant street singer (Richard Ward) enters their fragile world, the tensions of the past and present converge to shattering results. Dixon artfully brings the claustrophobic teleplay to a forceful boil, with Mary Alice delivering a harrowing performance of depth rarely seen in prime-time television. In 1971, Time magazine hailed the off-Broadway production of The Sty of the Blind Pig as “one of the ten best plays of the year.” Newsweek wrote that the play “captures with great sensitivity the moment of transition … triggered by Martin Luther King Jr. when the civil rights movement was born.” Originally set in the early 1960s, Dean’s work is adapted here to 1955, during the historic Montgomery bus boycott. In an interview with The Los Angeles Sentinel, Dixon described the powerful TV drama as “about Blacks who came up from the South to make their way in the big Northern cities … just when Blacks in the South were beginning their long struggle for equality, their right to sit anywhere they wanted to …”.
“The Sty of the Blind Pig” originally aired on May 29th, 1974. Ivan Dixon directed the episode; Norman Lloyd produced it.
Registration is required but free. You can register here.