Leading Ladies of Television's Golden Age [2 Discs] [Tin Case] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

When movie favorite Loretta Young launched her long-running anthology series in the fall of 1953, it was under the title A Letter to Loretta, with each episode ostensibly inspired by a letter sent to the star by one of her fans. The opening episode is appropriately named "Trial Run," one of several this season directed by Robert Florey, with Young cast opposite a promising newcomer named George Nader. Either by accident or design, viewers got to see quite a lot of Nader during the series' freshman season, with the actor popping up in virtually every other episode. Highlights of A Letter to Loretta include "Earthquake," with Young playing a beleaguered housewife desperately trying to keep her polio-stricken husband's iron lung activated during a power blackout; "The Bronte Story," a period piece with Loretta as author Charlotte Brontë and Hugh Beaumont (yes, that Hugh Beaumont!) as her lover, Arthur Nichols; and "Inga," the first of three episodes in which Loretta is cast as Swedish-American farm girl, a characterization reminiscent of her Oscar-winning turn in the 1947 theatrical feature The Farmer's Daughter. Beginning with the episode "A Family Out of Us," originally telecast February 7, 1954, the series' title was changed to The Loretta Young Show, though the "letter" format would be maintained for the next season and a half. Episodes seen after the title switch include another mini-biopic, "The Clara Schumann Story, with Loretta in the title role and the ubiquitous George Nader as composer Robert Schumann; "Son, This is Your Father," which offers the unique spectacle of Loretta Young married to Alan Hale Jr.; and "Dear Madge," representing a rare non-I Love Lucy appearance by William Frawley. The series' first season came to an end with its 36th offering, "Wet Paint." ~ Hal Erickson

Cast & Crew

  • Loretta Young
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