24 August 2008 | rcj5365
The Kraft Suspense Theatre,a brilliant anthology from the 1960's in color
KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE was one of the great television anthology series that came out of the early 1960's. For the two seasons that it ran on NBC-TV,this was one of the few suspense programs that was produced in color,which the Peacock network's majority of shows were at the time. This was produced by the great Roy Huggins(whose name is uncredited here)who was behind some of the greatest shows ever produced for television("Cheyenne","Maverick", "77 Sunset Strip", "The Fugitive", "Run For Your Life", and "The Rockford Files") in arrangement with Roncom Films and Universal Studios. A total of 59 episodes were produced for NBC-TV from its premiere on October 10,1963 until July 1,1965. The theme music composed for this series was done by one of the greatest of all Hollywood composers to do scores for film and television......the maestro himself, John Williams.
And with other anthology series that were around during the 1960's,almost every program featured a self-contained episode with its own cast. Roy Huggins,also brought a wealth of talent to this series,including casting some of the stars from his Warner Brothers shows to be in some of the episodes for Kraft Suspense Theatre. Stars like Jack Kelly("Maverick"),Ebb Byrnes("77 Sunset Strip"), Ty Hardin("Bronco"), Clint Walker("Cheyenne"),Roger Smith("77 Sunset Strip"), Troy Donahue ("Surfside Six"),and Robert Conrad("Hawaiian Eye").
Several episodes from this series were brilliant including the premiere episode(which was a two-parter)titled "The Case Against Paul Ryker". The episode starred Lee Marvin as Paul Ryker,a soldier who is being court martialed for treason during the Korean War. Vera Miles played his wife,Bradford Dillman was his JAG defense lawyer who had an intense flirtation with Ryker's wife. Peter Graves was the prosecuting attorney. Marvin's performance in the role is astounding here. However,the 1968 theatrical film "Sergeant Ryker",starring Lee Marvin was actually a two-part made for TV film that first aired on Kraft Suspense Theatre is based on this episode,which Universal Pictures released as a theatrical feature with newly added scenes.
Some of Hollywood's greatest appeared in several episodes here:
Cornel Wilde("Doesn't Anyone Know Who I Am?")
Jack Kelly("Kill Me On July 20th")
Lloyd Bridges("A Hero For Our Times")
Leslie Nielsen("One Step Down",with Gena Rowlands, "The Green Felt Jungle")
Jack Lord("The Long Ravine")
Richard Crenna("The Long Lost Life of Edward Smalley",also starring James Whitmore and Phillip Abbott)
John Forsythe("The Kamchatka Incident","The Sweet Taste of Vengeance")
Brian Keith("The Cause of Anger")
Ronald Reagan("A Cruel and Unusual Night")
Ben Gazzara("Rapture at Forty Two",the pilot episode for the "Run For Your Life" TV series)
Telly Savalas("Watchman", "The Eye of the Tiger")
Philip Carey ("My Enemy,This Town")