3 November 1956
| 7.3/10 |
24 September 1955
| Maxwell Anderson
John Cherry Monks, Jr.
Franklin J. Schaffner
Frederick de Cordova
Franklin J. Schaffner
Lloyd Nolan, Barry Sullivan
Startime, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Sh, Climax!
Ford Star Jubilee is an American anthology series that aired once a month on Saturday nights on CBS at 9:00 P.M., E.S.T. from the fall of 1955 to the fall of 1956 (With a summer hiatus). The series was approximately 90 minutes long, broadcast in black-and-white and color, and was typically telecast live. Ford Star Jubilee was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.
Ford Star Jubilee routinely featured major stars, such as Judy Garland, Betty Grable, Orson Welles, Julie Andrews (at the time that she was preparing for her starring role in My Fair Lady on Broadway), Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Lillian Gish, Charles Laughton, Jack Lemmon, Raymond Massey, Lauren Bacall, Claudette Colbert, Noël Coward, Nat 'King' Cole, Mary Martin, Eddie Fisher, Ella Fitzgerald, Red Skelton and Debbie Reynolds.
Instead of the usual live performance staged especially for Ford Star Jubilee, the final episode on November 3, 1956 was a special, two-hour presentation of the 1939 MGM theatrical Technicolor film The Wizard of Oz, hosted by Bert Lahr, 10-year-old Liza Minnelli and young Oz expert Justin Schiller. This marked the first time that the film had ever been shown on television, and the only time that one of the film's actual actors (Lahr) as well as one of the children of the film's star (Judy Garland) hosted it. The broadcast was a critical and ratings smash, but the film was not shown on TV again until 1959, when it was presented by CBS at 6:00 P.M., E.S.T. rather than 9:00 P.M., and this time as a Christmas season special in its own right, not as part of an anthology series. The 1959 telecast was hosted by comedian Red Skelton and his daughter Valentina. This broadcast attracted an even wider audience, because children were able to watch, and thus began the tradition of showing the film annually on television.
Another rare instance of Ford Star Jubilee presenting a filmed, rather than live, program was their 1956 musical version of Maxwell Anderson's High Tor, starring Bing Crosby and Julie Andrews. Music was by Arthur Schwartz, noted composer of such scores as those for The Band Wagon and Revenge with Music. Crosby, according to sources, had insisted the production be filmed rather than presented live, because he did not feel comfortable acting in a live television musical play. Although it was filmed in color, the musical version of High Tor has never been released on VHS or DVD.
Ford Star Jubilee Wikipedia