75 years ago today, on January 9th, 1949 The Screen Directors' Playhouse debuted.
It was a series of classic films of the time, adapted for radio, and created to honor the directors of the movies. The directors of the film would personally bring you their favorite film assignments along with the stars who created the original roles.
The very first show of the series was the time-honored film Stagecoach, directed by John Ford, who in his career won five academy awards.
It's the tale of a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory, where the notorious Chief Geronimo and his braves were on the warpath.
The passengers on the coach include the drunken Doc Boone, good-hearted prostitute Dallas, a pregnant woman, a bank manager who has taken off with his client's money, and of course the famous outlaw, Ringo Kid.
In each episode of the series, movies were adapted into sixty minute and thirty minute shows, with many of Hollywood’s elite heard recreating their movie roles on the radio.
The series differed from others such as The Screen Guild Theater, due to the addition of director participation. The films’ directors introduced their work, often recalling how the pictures themselves were made and also what those involved had been doing since.
The series ran until September 28th 1951, producing 123 episodes - of which almost 120 are extant.
It's hard to believe that Screen Directors' Playhouse produced the first show of the series 75 years ago! For fans of old-time-radio and old classic movies this is a series that won't disappoint!