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Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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AMOLAD broadcast as a TV play

See also Lux Theater broadcasts and NBC Radio and The Hedda Hopper Show

Over the years I've bought many AMOLAD connected (or related) items such is my fascination with the film. Sometimes the connection was quite tenuous. One item that attracted my attention was a book about scriptwriting for TV that included the "script of 'Stairway to Heaven'".

Now I have no particular interest in becoming a TV scriptwriter but I still bought it. And sure enough, at the back was a script for 'Stairway to Heaven' - but one that was broadcast as a live TV show!

The book is "Television Writing" by Robert S. Greene, Harper & Bros, NY, 1956.

The credits for the TV performance read:

Original story by Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell
Adapted for television by Alvin Sapinsley
Presented on the Lucky Strike Theatre
(remember the book was first printed in 1952 & this revised edition is dated 1956)
Produced by Robert Montgomery
Starring Richard Green, Jean Gillespie and Bramwell Fletcher
Directed by Norman Felton
Production supervisor Joseph W. Bailey

There is a note saying why they chose this one for this book:

There are many reasons why this particular script was selected. The original story by Mr. Pressburger and Mr. Powell is superb - it is warm, sensitive and human, containing great dramatic impact, and is most imaginative in concept. In addition to this, it achieves great success in combining the elements of fantasy and reality into a really satisfying story.

As well as the usual production notes and stage directions there are some other notes from the author of the book referring certain things back to passages in the book.

As it was broadcast as a live TV show on April 9, 1951 they had to scurry around and do some quick changes to get from one set to another & change costumes where appropriate. They were helped in a few places for the bigger changes by the ad breaks.

A few notes and comments comparing the TV script to the film:

The goat herd is there - but there's no mention of his being naked :)

There is some "translation" into American but most of it seems fairly faithful to the original.

There's no camera obscura but there is ping-pong

Peter meets Doc Reeves while Peter and June are playing chess but it's at the Doctor's house, not at Lee Wood House so there's no Midsummer Night's Dream.

They give the 3 lead characters but don't say who was who.

I think we can assume Jean Gillespie played June :)

It says "Richard Green" in the book but the web site Lou found says "Richard Greene" (ie. TV's Robin Hood)

Richard Greene was born in 1918 & Bramwell Fletcher in 1904 so I expect Greene played Peter & Fletcher was the Doc.

But I wonder who played the Conductor (called "The Collector" here as he was in the original script) and who played Farlan?

It seems to be from the script for AMOLAD as originally planned and doesn't have any of the late changes they made.

I see Robert Montgomery also starred in "Here Comes Mr Jordan (1941)" Glad to see he picked the better film for the TV version :)

As I mentioned above, Lou Volpe found a web site at about the "Robert Montgomery Presents" series. It didn't have much information about this broadcast so I emailed the person who runs it. He replied:

"R.E. Lee" wrote:

> Hi Steve, Thanks for your e-mail and the additional info on the
> "Stairway to Heaven" episode of Robert Montgomery Presents. Regarding
> your question about the television broadcast, Robert Montgomery
> Presents was broadcast live and at this point (1951) would have been
> kinescoped so that it could be seen on non-interconnected affiliates.
> Many of these kinescopes to survive (I have some of the programs
> myself), but checking my database of extant episodes I don't find this
> particular one listed. Of course that doesn't mean there isn't a copy
> of it out there... I'm always on the lookout for additional episodes. I
> hope that answers your question and thanks again for the info, I will
> be adding it to my site shortly. --R.E. Lee
> Webmaster of The Earl of Hollywood
So now if anyone stumbles across one I think it could make VERY interesting viewing.

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