Playhouse 90 - Season 3

CBS (ended 1960)




Episode Guide

  • The Plot to Kill Stalin
    It is reported that in his last years Stalin grew more and more feverishly suspicious of the men around him. Tonight's play opens in the fall of 1952, six months before the Soviet premier's death. On the eve of the 19th Communist Party congress, Stalin confides to his personal secretary Poskrebyshev his plan to centralize power even more completely in his own hands. He will abolish the Politburo, and replace it with a Presidium. This will be of such cumbersome dimensions that it will be virtually ineffectual. Then Stalin takes a further step to insure his control, he secretly records the conversations of his lieutenants. Beria, who eventually was executed by Stalin's successors, receives the first hint of his fall from favor when his portrait at the party congress is moved further down from its original position. Before long, others begin to realize that they too are being watched.moreless
  • The Days of Wine and Roses
    Joe Clay, a once successful businessman, and his wife have become alcoholics. In an effort to get help and to save his marriage, Joe goes to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. Here he is asked to recount how he became an alcoholic. Ten years earlier, Joe recalls he met pretty Kirsten Arnesen at a party. Attracted to each other they left the party, taking a bottle of liquor with them.moreless
  • The Time of Your Life
    The scene is a San Francisco dive known as Nick's Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant, and Entertainment Palace. Strolling in and out, and revealing details of their lives and loves, is a motley collection of people. Some are nice, some are not; some are down on their luck, but not on their cheerfulness. At the center of the action that begins to evolve is a philosophical gent named Joe.moreless
  • The Long March
    The Long March
    Episode 4
    In the Marines, Culver is the capable assistant to his good friend, Capt. Al Mannix, a fellow reservist and the company commander. Mannix's commander -- and nemesis -- is Col. Rocky Templeton, who has ordered the Marine trainees on a rigorous battle exercise that's to be followed by a 36-mile march back to the base.moreless
  • Shadows Tremble
    Shadows Tremble
    Episode 5
    Oscar Bromek decides to buy the historic New England Tyburn home which he has been renting regularly every summer. Bromek, who came to this country as an immigrant, has built a successful toy-manufacturing firm and now, because of a heart condition, he plans to retire to this small Vermont town. But the tradition bound natives do not take kindly to Bromek and he finds himself virtually ignored by them.moreless
  • Words from a Sealed-Off Box
    In 1944 a courier for the Dutch underground is captured by the Germans and taken to Gestapo headquarters, where she desperately tries to concoct a story that will protect the agent she was to contact.
  • Heart of Darkness
    Heart of Darkness
    Episode 7
    A sailor searches for a man who befriended him when he was a young boy.
  • Old Man
    Old Man
    Episode 8
    To fight a Mississippi flood in 1927, a prison farm releases some convicts.
  • The Return of Ansel Gibbs
    Ansel Gibbs is asked to return to a high government service position after years of retirement.
  • Free Weekend
    Free Weekend
    Episode 10
    After placing their children in a summer camp, several sets of parents pressure their children to win the annual Best All-Around Camper cup.
  • Seven Against the Wall
    The story of the St. Valentine's Massacre when George "Bugs" Moran and his lieutenants are taken down a notch by one of Al Capone's hit squads.
  • The Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker
    Episode 12
    In Tchaikovsky's ballet as choreographed by George Balanchine, a little girl who has a nutcracker shaped like a little soldier fall asleep and dreams that she is a princess taken on a series of magical adventures by her little soldier prince.
  • Face of a Hero
    Face of a Hero
    Episode 13
    An attorney in a Southern town tells a jury to concentrate on the facts which lead to a girl drowning.
  • The Wings of the Dove
    The scene is London in the first decade of the century. Kate Croy moves into the London home of her wealthy Aunt Maude, but Maude makes two demands of Kate. She must renounce her ne'er-do-well father. Aunt Maude feels he never provided adequately for Kate's mother. And Kate is not to think of marrying Miles Denshaw, a young writer lacking both money and family connections. All the same, Kate schemes to marry Miles. The arrival of Milly Theale, a well-to-do young American, gives Kate the opportunity she seeks.moreless
  • The Blue Men
    The Blue Men
    Episode 15
    A veteran police detective is relegate to the rank of patrolman and put on trial after refusing to arrest a youth accused of theft.
  • The Velvet Alley
    The Velvet Alley
    Episode 16
    Ernie Pandish's literary efforts have carried him to middle age without ever giving him a decent living. He and his wife Pat live in a New York tenement while he still tries to sell his work. When the big break finally comes, it comes from "Playhouse 90." Ernie's agent brings him the good news. Heeding the producer's wishes, Ernie prepares to fly to Hollywood with Pat, and leave poverty behind them forever.moreless
  • A Quiet Game of Cards
    Five wealthy and powerful men play poker once a week for years and become bored with the game and devise a more exciting way to gamble, aiming for the highest stakes possible.
  • Child of our Time
    Child of our Time
    Episode 18
    War deprives Tanguy of his childhood. When his mother returns to Spain to oppose the Franco regime, he is left in Nazi-occupied Marseilles, France.
  • The Second Man
    The Second Man
    Episode 19
    A British law firm has the first female barrister and she wants to prove her ability by handling a difficult murder case.
  • The Raider
    The Raider
    Episode 20
    Bob Castillo is a member of the board of directors of the Harman Corp., a company that's the target of a corporate raider. He's one of the players in a high-stakes game between the raider, David Ringler and the chairman of the board, Arthur Hennicut. But Castillo is different from the other businessmen on the board, he is also a brilliant engineer from the research and development department. As the power struggle mounts, Castillo is pressured to rush an experimental engine through to production and a desperate move by Hennicut to shore up the board's stockholder support.moreless
  • The Dingaling Girl
    The Dingaling Girl
    Episode 21
    When a movie contract is offered to a woman with acting ability who prefers to stay home and take care of her children, her domineering husband sees a chance to further his ambitions by exploiting her talent and makes the family relocate to Hollywood, where his wife finds sudden stardom.
  • Made in Japan
    Made in Japan
    Episode 22
    A GI in postwar Japan is engaged to a girl back home, but begins to see a Japanese woman, who breaks her engagement to be with him, expects him to do the same.
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Part One)
    An American fighting on the Loyalist side in the Spanish Civil War is sent behind Fascist lines to blow up a strategic bridge. He makes contact with a guerrilla band led by an opportunistic braggart and his fiercely patriotic wife and falls in love with a young woman who was gang-raped by enemy soldiers.moreless
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (Part Two)
    A band of enemy soldiers approaches as Jordan and the guerrillas plan the destruction of the bridge.
  • A Trip to Paradise
    A Trip to Paradise
    Episode 25
    Teenager Raymond Austin, lonely and troubled since the death of his father, meets a pretty teenage girl named Ellie.
  • In Lonely Expectation
    A woman tries to help a schoolteacher's pregnant teenage daughter decide whether to keep her child or consent to its adopotion.
  • The Day Before Atlanta
    In Atlanta in 1864, a Union scouting party comes upon a plantation guarded only by a man and his teenage son. Both are shot and killed by the Union troops. Within the mansion the soldiers find a young girl hiding. One of the Northerners, sickened by the war, feels great compassion for this girl who is supposed to be his enemy.moreless
  • Judgment at Nuremberg
    During the war crimes trials in Nuremberg, Germany, after World War II, Judge Ben Heywood is selected to preside at the trial of four men. To Heywood the integrity of the judiciary is above reproach.
  • A Corner of the Garden
    A teenage girl moves to a small town after her mother's death and, while living in the home of her mother's domineering best friend, becomes attracted to her middle-aged husband.
  • Dark December
    Dark December
    Episode 30
    During the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 a military doctor with a handful of untrained men takes over an ancient Franciscan monastery and tries to turn it into a hospital.
  • Diary of a Nurse
    Diary of a Nurse
    Episode 31
    A student nurse at a large hospital tries to help a patient, scheduled to undergo cancer surgery, who refuses to cooperate with his doctors.
  • A Marriage of Strangers
    A shy and lonely man and woman get married soon after meeting and begin to feel apprehensive about their future together.
  • Out of Dust
    Out of Dust
    Episode 33
    A tyrannical cattle baron and his three sons, are jealous of each other and resentful toward their father.
  • The Rank and File
    The Rank and File
    Episode 34
    Testifying before a Senate committee, William Kilcoyne tells the story of his career. He began as a factory worker and his shrewdness and ambition carried him up through the ranks to his present position as head of a large union.
  • The Killers of Mussolini
    In April 1945, as American forces close in on Milan, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini tries to decide whether to surrender or flee.
  • Project Immortality
    Project Immortality
    Episode 36
    Dr. Lawrence Doner has been diagnosed as having a fatal form of leukemia. The Space agency people are concerned, and they dispatch Martin Schramm to Dr. Doner to convince him to submit to the process of answering questions designed to probe his thought processes for the remainder of his life. The object of this knowledge is to build a mechanical brain that thinks like Dr. Lawerence Doner. Doner is reluctant to do this, because he wants to be with his family. A compromise is reached when it is agreed that Schramm will live in the Doner household. There is an excellent scene for the punsters of the world when Schramm arrives with Doner to meet Mrs. Doner. Mrs. Doner points out a tear on Doner's coat. Mrs. Doner responds with, "Whatsoever shall ye rip, so shall I sew". Dr. Doner comes back with, "Man does not live by thread alone" . Now we know how much they care for each other. We feel better knowing also that they are well rounded thoughtful intelligent people. Schramm is totally dedicated to probing Doner's mind and learning all about his thought process. Doner grows weary especially after his son shows some need for fatherly attention. There is an exchange, and Schramm agrees to back off. Dr. Doner is called to Cape Canaveral by the scientists who have a problem with how to proceed. Doner and Schramm travel by train to the meeting. Along the way, Doner notes that the Platka cabbage farmer has never varied his crops on the land, and he wonders if the farmer knows something that he does not know about farming. They arrive and all of the scientists give their presentation to Doner one-by-one. You know that this has taken more than eight hours, because Doner looks tired. The leukemia is taking a toll. Doner goes to the board, writes an equation, and explains to the people there that they have to use this formula. It is impressive to see this kind of brain power at work. The rest of the show is spent in a time lapse kind of motion where family and Schramm are sharing a dying man's fleeting time. The last inevitable congress is convened in a hospital room where goodbyes are said. The final scene shows the Computer designed by Schramm being tested. The results are verified and the world has the use of Doner's virtual mind and all is right with the world.moreless
  • Dark as the Night
    Dark as the Night
    Episode 37
    An English lawyer running for Parliament learns that his American wife is about to leave him and that a London gossip columnist is threatening him with blackmail.
  • The Second Happiest Day
    On the eve of his marriage to a lovely young socialite, the editor of a fashion magazine recalls his law-school days and the meeting that changed his life.