Omnibus - Season 2

CBS (ended 1961)




Episode Guide

  • The Apollo of Bellac
    1) "The Apollo Of Bellac" is the first segment of Jean Giraudoux's play, adapted for television by Maurice Valency and staged by Cyril Ritchard. The scene is the front office of the Bureau of International Inventions in Paris. The heroine (Gaby Rodgers) an inventor of sorts, discovers that the quickest way to a man's heart is a semi-sincere sort of flattery that whisks her all the way to the President (Oscar Karlweis) and the chairman of the Board (Mel Ferrer). The man behind her success is portrayed by Claude Dauphin. 2) Omnibus in Retrospect; A cavalcade of the program's 1953-54 highlights also is shown.moreless
  • Tell Me is it Hurts
    Tell Me is it Hurts
    Episode 25
    1) Tell Me If It Hurts A comedy film made in England describing a trip to the dentist. 2) Ballet Girl will depict the arduous training of a young girl aiming to be a ballerina. 3) The second segment "Arteriosclerosis" A combination microprojector and motion picture camera focused upon a functioning blood vessel illustrates the cause and effect of arteriosclerosis. Tests indicate the presence of cholestrol and other fats which contribute to the condition. (10min) 4) Village Festival 5) A tour of the New York ATimes city room and composing room and how the first edition of tomorrow's Times is prepared.moreless
  • Three Sketches
    Three Sketches
    Episode 24
    1) The first segment "Three Sketches" has London comedienne and Broadway star Hermione Gingold featured in three short comical sketches. The first "Conquest" with Cyril Ritchard as two mountain climbers who argue about who reached the summit first. The second "Hats" has Hermione visiting a hat shop. The third "Cello Lesson" Hermione presents a portion of her Broadway hit, "Almanac". 2) The second segment "Shoot the Nets" is a Dutch film that won the Robert Flagherty Award for best European documentary in 1953. It traces the activities of Dutch herring fishermen as they bring in the first catch of the season. Produced and directed by Herman van der Horst. 3) The third segment "The New York Times" with Host Alistair Cooke visiting the central offices of the most comprehensive newspaper in the business as Omnibus documents the multiplicity of activities in preparing a morning edition, in this case the March 22, 1954 issue. Coverage includes numerous activities and interviews with staff members in the central news room, the teletype room as we preview James Reston's story, the composing room, layout presentations and the assembly of dummy plates. Of most interest is the editor's daily news conference as they review significant news to be included and stressed. Alistair Cooke concludes by interviewing the TIMES publisher and president Louis Sulzberger. 4) The fourth segment "The Gambler, The Nun and the Radio, adapted from Ernest Hemingway's short story featuring Geraldine Fitzgerald and Harry Townes. It is the story of a nun who desires to be a saint and a Mexican gambler who aits his murderer as he recovers in a hospital.moreless
  • The House
    The House
    Episode 23
    1) The first segment "The House" is from John Steinbeck's novel "The Pastures of Heaven". The story of Pat Humbert has a burning hatred for his domineering mother's home and his belated efforts to completely remodel the house in the image of a young lady whose marital course follows another path. Starring Buddy Ebsen and Mabel Paige. 2) The second segment "Letters to be Answered", Alistair Cooke reads letters sent in by listeners. Near the conclusion of the second season of OMNIBUS, host Alistair Cooke reads and responds to letters submitted by various viewers concerning certain programs - the California Condor, the rocket flight of the mice, comments by Frank Lloyd Wright concerning Levittown etc. 3) The third segment "Treason, 1780" is the story of Benedict Arnold from a series of authentic letters written to and by Benedict Arnold are used in dramatizing the events that led to his betrayal of his country during the American Revolution. Starring Martin Brooks as Benedict Arnold. 4) The fourth segment "Jonathan Winters" with comedian Jonathan Winters pays tribute to a gasoline attendant, a mad doctor and General Custer in a series of hilarious monologues.moreless
  • Hilde and the Turnpike
    1) The first segment is a dramatization of Andy K. Lewis' play "Hilde & the Turnpike", starring Peggy McCay, Gene Saks and Olga Fabian. Hilde's restlessness is symbolized by the nearby turnpike which threads past her quiet rural horizon until she meets a young man whose life was trapped by it. Her determination to find a man changes the picture. 2) The second segment "Undersea Research Part III" The French Navy's specially designed Bathyscaphe carried Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau 13,000 feet below the surface of the sea. The Captain discusses this special device and illustrates its function with film. 3) The third segment "A Marriage Has Been Arranged" is a scene from Alfred Sutro's play, starring Lorne Greene and Joan Greenwood. In an Edwardian garden a self-made man and a lady with financial aspirations discuss a business-like marriage arrangement, and discover each other in their frank exchanges.moreless
  • A Time Out of War
    A Time Out of War
    Episode 21
    1) "A Time Out of War" is an award-winning film produced by student Dennis Sanders as his master's thesis at the University of Southern California and was photographed by his brother Terry. The plot is based upon Robert W. Chambers' Civil War story "Pickets". 2) Yale Shakespeare Festival with Burgess Meredith joining Alistair Cooke at Yale University where Dr. A. Whitney Griswold, President of Yale, explains the function of the Shakespearean Festival. Mr. Cooke tours some exhibits, talks with staff members and hears students enact scenes from "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in the original English. 3) South African Folk Songs by popular South African folksingers Josef Marais and Maranda are presented in a medley of popular tunes in their area. Burgess Meredith interviews them.moreless
  • The Confidential Clerk
    1) The first segment "The Confidential Clerk" is a play by T.S. Eliot from selections of his poetry commenting on the man and his work. Poet W.H. Auden does the introduction with Claude Rains and Douglas Watson playing father and son. 2) The second segment "The Whale Who Wanted to be a Submarine" is narrated by Orson Bean. The humorous story of a whale with a consuming passion to serve his country and encounters the bureaucratic structure of the government agencies and enough psychiatric treatment to send him back with a splash. Written and illustrated by Leo Salkin. 3) The third segment "Azuma Kabuki Dancers and Musicians" with Japans Azuma Kabuki dancers will make their American debut on this program. The art of Kabuki involves both dancing and the drama, since Japanese dances usually tell a story. 4) The fourth segment "Paso Doble" was especially written for Omnibus by Budd Schulberg. The cast includes Will Kuluva, Kim Stanley, Arthur Franz, John Cassavettes and Alexander Scourby. The story is about a pair of newleyweds in a Mexico City cafe who befriend a matador whose defeat and ultimate death are sealed by his father and social system so remote from their own.moreless
  • Comedy in Music
    Comedy in Music
    Episode 19
    1) The first segment "Comedy in Music" pianist-satirist Victor Borge performs his one-man show in an entertaining interlude by disrupting the conventions of the world of music. 2) The second segment is an interview with Ski Lecturer John Jay. 3) The third segment is a documentary on recovery of art treasures sunk off coast of France. 4) The fourth segment is from the 1952 Lincoln Part 1: series "The End and the Beginning" excerpts from the early and last days of Abraham Lincoln, starring Royal Dano.moreless
  • Sleeping Beauty in the Woods
    1) The first segment is the ballet performance of "Sleeping Beauty". The opera opens with a puppet sequence in an enchanted forest. Fairies and elves are summoned to present their gifts to the princess, but the wicked witch arrives to cast a spell. 2) The second segment "Skiing" with cinematographer John Jay who discusses the popular winter sport and illustrates his topic with a number of his films showing novices and professionals in action. 3) The third segment "The Conquest of Everest" Sir Edmond Hillary and other members of Sir John Hunt's expedition explain their successful ascent of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. Films, drawings and a model are used to illustrate their historic feat. 4) Plus other fine features of the Greyhound Bus; Nash-Kelvinator; Scott Paper.moreless
  • Nothing so Monstrous
    1) The first segment "Nothing So Monstrous" is a dramatized adaptation of one of John Steinbeck's stories from his collection "The Pastures of Heaven". Community pressures alter the lives of three heretofore contented people - Jacob O'Shaugnessy (Arthur Shields), Julius Maltby (Lew Ayres) and his young son Robert (Tommy Rettig). 2) The second segment "E=MC2 (Columbia University Cyclotron) On January 25, 1939, scientists succeeded in splitting the first uranium atom at the Columbia University cyclotron. OMNIBUS celebrates the 15th anniversary by visiting the cellar installation. Dr. John R. Dunning, dean of Engineering at Columbia, who first led the experiment, recounts the past by explaining the equipment and the splitting process in action. An insight into the Columbia University cyclatron, an interview with the builder of animated signs. 3) The third segment "The Hunter" Arne Sucksdorff's camera records an early morning walk by a hunter and his dog as they view the beauty of nature and search for game.moreless
  • The Duchess and the Smugs
    1) The first segment "The Duchess and the Smugs" is based on the novel by Pamela Frankau about a young English girl, in her loneliness and confusion finds herself angered and embarassed by her parents and more particularly their visiting scandalous and charming Duchess when the prudish family next door disapproves of their habits. Starring Susan Strasberg, John Beal and Lilyan Chaunvin. 2) The second segment "Henry A. Barnes, Traffic Engineer" Mr. Barnes, who worked on traffic problems in such cities as Denver and Baltimore outlines some of the perplexities and solutions concerning metropolitan traffic control. He illustrates with various models the application of complex electronic devices.moreless
  • The Remarkable Case of Mr. Bruhl
    1) The first segment "The Remarkable Case of Mr. Bruhl" is adapted from James Thurber's story about Mr. Bruhl's life is turned upside down, when it turns out that he looks exactly like an escaped convict. 2) The second segment "Decision for Chemistry" Excerpts from a film produced by the Monsanto Chemical Company. 3) The third segment "Forgery in Art" Chief Advisory to the Amsterdam Municipal Museum, Mr. M.M. van Dantzig displays examples of fake and original pieces of art, and explains how they are detected through application of historical facts, X-rays, and chemical analysis.moreless
  • Nobody's Fool
    Nobody's Fool
    Episode 14
    1) The first segment "Nobody's Fool" is a film play from John Steinbeck's "The Pastures of Heaven" collection of stories. It is the story about a valley farmer who was renowned for his avarice and as a result divorced love and happiness from the lives of his wife and daughter in his fear of being discovered. 2) The second segment "Village Incident - India" is a live drama using the living newspaper technique written by Arnold Sundgaard. The drama takes up the problems of a single village in India during it's transition towards modern technology and revised social systems after 6 1/2 years of independence. Starring E.G. Marshall and Everett Sloane. 3) The third segment "Benediction" New Years greetings from Alistair Cooke who reads a short poem by Stanley J. Kunitz.moreless
  • The Sojourner
    The Sojourner
    Episode 13
    1) The first segment "The Sojourner" is a dramatization of Carson McCuller's play about a lonely, unsettled man who is summoned home from Paris when his father dies. Through a conversation with his mother and a visit with his ex-wife and her new family, he discovers the invisible shield of love he left in Paris. Staged by Mel Ferrer. 2) The second segment "Chicken Little" an original operetta with libretto by William Engvick and music by Alec Wilder. The scene is a barnyard. 3) The third segment "Melies the Magician" Georges Melies, a professional magician, in 1896 began his career as the first major film producer by inventing his own camera, the first film studio with movable backgrounds, ingenious trick film techniques, and organizing and operating the first entertainment cinema. This French documentary film uses considerable footage from several of his films, including, "Trip to the Moon" and "400 Tricks of the Devil". Shots of his widow who survived his death in 1937 are also included.moreless
  • Mom and Leo
    Mom and Leo
    Episode 12
    1) "Mom and Leo" is a dramatization about a mother (Helen Hayes) who attempts to convince her son Leo (Robert Strauss) that a steady job would be the best thing for him, and ends by convincing herself instead after some theatrics. 2) "Irish Linen" a story by Mary Chase is about a little old proprietress in a Dublin linen shop is confronted by a rushed American tourist. Starring Helen Hayes and Evelyn Varden. 3) "Mary's Baby" a Christmas poem by Shaemas O'Sheel is read by Helen Hayes. 4) The fourth segment "The 51st Dragon" Heywood Broun's story of a medieval boy who was trained to slay dragons through a slogan he learned is adapted to a UPA animated cartoons. Narrated by John Lund. 5) The fifth segment "The Young Fighter" a documentary that uses a newly developed camera and sound equipment that was designed to make subjects unaware of being photographed.moreless
  • The Nature of the Beast
    1) The first segment "The Nature of the Beast" is an experiment of the mind of playwright Moss Hart as we preview the first scene of his yet incomplete play concerning a man who feigns amnesia (Mel Ferrer). The author later comments on the scene with host Alistair Cooke. 2) The second segment "Animals in Rocket Flight" a United States Air Force film shows the behavior of white mice and monkeys during and after test rocket flights in the early 1950's thus confirming the theory that organic life can survive space travel. 3) The third segment "Birth of a Band" The Band of Manhattan uses Turkish cymbals, French horns, a bassoon, picolo, and other instruments not usually associated with a jazz band. Arranger Will Loran explains the features of his form of progressive jazz with the assistance of the orchestra and vocalists.moreless
  • Capital of the World
    1) The first segment "Capital of the World" Eugene Loring introduces his ballet adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story concerning Paco, a young apprentice tailor, who desires to become a bullfighter. Music by George Anthell. Roy Fitzell in the lead. 2) The second segment "Capital of the World" is a dramatic interpretation of Hemingway's short story, directed by Yul Brynner featuring Sal Mineo and Anne Bancroft. The story is of a brave young boy who dreams of becoming a bullfighter. 3) The third segment "Christmas Window at Lord and Taylors" Alistair Cooke tours behind the scenes as Lord and Taylors, Fifth Avenue, New York prepares its Christmas window display. A special presentation by their toy symphony concludes the program. 4) The fourth segment "Laughing Gas" Italian slapstick comedy is exhibited through a sequence from the film "Curiosity" in which a bank installs laughing gas as a protection from burglars. However, complications arise when the system is put to the test.moreless
  • The Horn Blows at Midnight
    1) The first segment "The Horn Blows at Midnight" is an adaptation of the 1945 film version also starring Jack Benny. It's the story of an angel who is instructed to come down to Earth, blow his horn at midnight and destroy this wicked world. But upon arriving on Earth, angel Jack finds it isn't such a bad place after all and is loath to carry out his orders. 2) The second segment "Introduction to William Shakespeare" Dr. Frank Baxter whose telecourse on Shakespeare widened his fame, provides an excellent brief lecture on the Shakespearean theater with a model of the Globe Playhouse and verbal exchanges with host Alistair Cooke. 3) The third segment "The California Condor" Excerpts from a United Artists film, "Song of the Land" shot in California by Edward Harrison over a period of four summers show the California Condor, one of the most primitive birds known. Less than 40 existed in 1953.moreless
  • Toine
    Episode 8
    1) The first segment "Toine" by deMaupassant stars Walter Slezak and Elsa Lancaster staged by Burgess Meredith. It takes place in a small fishing village in the late 19th century, about a fun-loving barkeep whose wife as he puts it, "was born on a cloudy day". 2) The second segment is a concert by London's St. Paul Cathedral Choir who perform "Jesu, Most Kind" by Bach; a Basque carol, "The Infant King" and Sir Hubert Perry's "Coronation Anthem" with films of Queen Elizabeth II's crowning. Alistair Cooke interviews members of the Choir. 3) The third segment is an interview with Arctic explorer Peter Freuchen, by Alistair Cooke and talks about his life with the Eskimos in Thule. A film illustrates how an Eskimo builds an igloo. 4) The fourth segment is a demonstration of modern X-ray motion picture technique by Dr. Raymond Gramiak of the University of Rochester make up this Omnibus program. 5) The fifth segment "Place Names in the United States" Alistair Cooke traces the westward movement of settlers in mid-ninteenth century America, and explains how various towns received their names.moreless
  • The Raspberry Queen
    1) The first segment "The Raspberry Queen" written by Martin Quigley it is the story of a press agent's efforts to make a 16-year-old drum majorette "The Raspberry Queen" of Wyandotte Valley. Starring Conrad Janis and Claudia Hall. 2) The second segment "The Moor's Pavane" a modern Renaissance dance ballet based on Othello with Jose Limon and Company set to music by Henry Purcell. 3) The third segment is a documentary study of the life cycle of "The Sea Horse". The male sea horse is the only male of any species which bears and gives birth to its young. The film documents the fertilization, gestation, birth and life cycle of the sea horse. Produced and directed by Jean Painleve. 4) The fourth segment "Dylan Thomas Memorial" In memory of Dylan Thomas after his death the previous week at the age of 39, Alistair Cooke comments upon his life. A recording of the author's magnificent voice follows in which he reads his poem, "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" dedicated to his father's all too easy passage to death.moreless
  • A Jury of Her Peers
    1) The first segment "A Jury of Her Peers" is a play by Susan Glaspell with songs by Susan Reed and directed by Yul Brynner. It is the story of a woman on a farm in Maine who is accused of murder and must face a jury of her peers. 2) The second segment "Billy the Kid" is the Ballet Theatre Company presentation of Eugene Loring's ballet based upon the legend of America's most famous badman, starring John Kriza. Music by Aaron Copeland. 3) The third segment is a documentary on the X-ray machine with an interview of a specialist from the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 4) The fourth segment "Romance of Transportation" is an animated film produced by the National Film Board of Canada and explores most humorously the history and development of transportation.moreless
  • The Man of Destiny
    The Man of Destiny
    Episode 5
    1) The first segment "The Man of Destiny" is based on George Bernard Shaw's play about a beautiful spy sent to bewitch and destroy Napoleon. Starring Alan Badel and Joan Tetzel. 2) The second segment "Football" Lou Little, head coach of Columbia University with the assistance of his team, explains the protective equipment required and various tactics employed; T-formation, flankers, spread ends, man-in-motion, line-backers in an end run and forward pass play. 3) The third segment "A Korean Prisoner of War" Lt. Paul Kniss and a lawyer, Mr. Fowler Hamilton discuss the circumstances and Communist treatment that led to the Lt's written confession admitting U.S. germ warfare during the Korean conflict. A communist film documents his actual testimony.moreless
  • The Gold Dress
    The Gold Dress
    Episode 4
    1) The first segment "The Gold Dress" based on a play by Stephen Vincent Benet deals with a small proper New England town has a rebel ghost, Louella, who decides to return for her one prized possession. 2) The second segment "Frank Lloyd Wright" A model of the new H.C. Price Company Tower is illustrated as Alistair Cooke introduces its architect who comments upon the features of the building and of architecture in general - particurly in relation to democracy, human comfort and economy. 3) The third segment "Les Paul and Mary Ford" Alistair Cooke interviews two very popular musicians and is treated to a "rehearsel" utilizing bogus and actual recording equipment which provides a multi-track playback.moreless
  • King Lear
    King Lear
    Episode 3
    Live presentation of Shakespeare's "King Lear" about a beleaguered king who is betrayed by the greed of his daughters.
  • The Battler
    The Battler
    Episode 2
    1) The first segment "The Battler" is Ernest Hemingway's story about a once successful boxer who has become a lonely has-been drunk. Starring Chester Morris, Dick York and John Marriott. 2) The second segment "Lola Flores and Her Flamenco Dancers" has Lola Flores, a renowned Spanish dancer and vocalist, along with her dancing company and Paco Aguilera, flamenco guitarist, present a special program of dance and music. 3) The third segment "Operation Hurricane" Host Alistair Cooke reads a letter written in 1939 by Alfred Einstein to President Roosevelt concerning the potential nuclear power threat, in which he warns him to prepare the nation. A film documents the research, preparation and explosion of the first British atomic bomb at Monte Bello Island in the Pacific in 1951. 4) The fourth segment "Preview of King Lear" Host Alistair Cooke attends a rehearsal of the Shakespearean play scheduled for the following. He chats with Producer Peter Brook concerning the sets and with composer Virgil Thompson concerning the original music score.moreless
  • Glory in the Flower
    Host Alistair Cooke begins the second season of Omnibus. 1) The first segment of the program is a dramatization of the William Inge play "Glory in the Flower". The story takes place at a roadhouse in a small town and stars, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, Ed Binns, James Dean, Frank McHugh and Mark Rydell. 2) The second segment is the James Thurber story "The Little Kitty Stayed Cool", starring Carol Channing and Elliott Reid. 3) The third segment is "The Little Fugitive". The storyof a red-headed, six-year-old boy from Brooklyn who has $5.00 to spend one afternoon in Coney Island. This prize-winning film by Ashley, Morris Engle and Ruth Orkin captures an entertaining, human experience. Alistair Cooke interviews the "star", Richard Androseo. 4) Excerpts from Oklahoma" Alistair Cooke visits Rodgers and Hammerstein's record-smashing musical. Selections include "Surrey with the Fringe on the Top" and "The Farmer and the Cowman".moreless