26 November 2009 | HarlowMGM
Brilliant Showcase for the Great Barbara Stanwyck
53-year-old Barbara Stanwyck, her days as a romantic movie lead at an end, jumped into television with gusto in this outstanding anthology series which rather shockingly only ran one season, 1960-61. Ms. Stanwyck played a different character each week (with the exception of a few episodes playing Hong Kong export dealer "Little Jo") in programs that range from murder melodramas to westerns to semi-comedies. Stanwyck gives each episode her all and brings these little dramas up to the level of mini movies, some of them with excellent stories that could have easily played out in a feature film. I can only imagine why this program lasted just one season, changing tastes by the public most likely (anthology series were on the way out) particularly in regards to older actresses (besides Stanwyck, Loretta Young, June Allyson, and Ann Sothern's shows were also canceled that fall.) Fortunately, the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences recognized her superb work and awarded her the first of three Emmys she would receive (one for her later, successful series THE BIG VALLEY in 1965, another for her work in the mini-series THE THORN BIRDS in 1984.) Fifteen episodes from the 36 produced released in a DVD set in 2009 (it appears the survival status of quite a few episodes is uncertain) that show, as if there was any doubt, that Barbara Stanwyck is just as captivating an actress on the small screen as she was on the big one.