Playhouse 90

The Shape of the River

Season 4, Ep 15, Aired 5/2/60
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  • Episode Description
  • In 1893 Samuel Clemens better known as American author Mark Twain sets out on a round the world lecture tour to payoff his $100,000 debt. The story unfolds as his daughter Susy dies in 1896, tragedy after tragedy his strength to go on after the passing of his wife in 1904 and then his last daughter Jean.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Horton Foote

  • Jerry Goldsmith

  • Boris Sagal

  • James Bell

    John Briggs

  • Philip Coolidge

    Albert Bigelow Paine

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (1)

    • Samuel Clemens: Every time I get used to something, get comfortable in a way of living and I think I've learned all the things that I need to know, (he says), I have to start in learning all over again and figure out a new way to do and get along.

    Notes (1)

    • John Frankenheimer was originally scheduled to direct "The Shape of the River" but was working on another project.

    Trivia (2)

    • For prime-time television in 1960, "Shape of the River" was an especially unblinking and unalloyed character study, and deserves to be thought of in the same landmark terms as such Golden Age TV triumphs as Rod Serling's "Patterns" and "Requiem for a Heavyweight," Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty" and Reginald Rose's "Twelve Angry Men." As this teleplay publication gains notice, and especially if the original CBS production is remastered and released on DVD, Foote's forgotten TV masterwork should be remembered, and revered, much more readily.

    • Published for the first time and reprinted from the only surviving copy of the script, which was discovered in the CBS-TV vaults, "The Shape of the River", is the ambitious television drama by Horton Foote.

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