|Robert Montgomery Presents
|Also known as
|Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater
|Vincent J. Donehue
Herbert B. Swope Jr.
|Country of origin
|No. of seasons
|No. of episodes
|January 30, 1950 –
June 24, 1957
Robert Montgomery Presents is an American dramatic television series which was produced by NBC from January 30, 1950, until June 24, 1957. The live show had several sponsors during its eight-year run, and the title was altered to feature the sponsor, usually Lucky Strike cigarettes, for example, Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater, ....The Johnson's Wax Program, and so on.
Initially offering hour-long dramas adapted from successful Hollywood films, the series was hosted and produced by Robert Montgomery. His presence lent a degree of respectability to the new medium of television, and he was able to persuade many of his Hollywood associates to appear. Montgomery introduced each episode and also acted in many episodes.
The program was noted for the high level of production values and the consistent attempt to present quality entertainment within the constraints of a live presentation. A drama built around the Hindenburg disaster, including interviews with survivors of the actual event, was one example of the ambitious nature of the program. In the 1950-1951 season, the series finished #11 in the Nielsen ratings, followed by finishing #26 in 1951-1952.
The debut episode was W. Somerset Maugham's The Letter, starring Madeleine Carroll in her television debut. The broadcast raised concern with regard to how television rights to a story related to film rights to the same story. Warner Bros. produced the film The Letter (1940), and after the TV broadcast studio executives considered suing NBC and others connected with the program for copyright infringement.
During its first season, the movie adaptations included Rebecca, The Egg and I, Dark Victory and Montgomery's Ride the Pink Horse. Over the following seasons it adapted highly respected works but also showcased new writers and original dramas written expressly for the series. On Christmas Eve 1956, in a departure from its usual non-musical format, the series telecast Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, which had already become an annual television event.
From 1952, a repertory cast appeared on the show along with guest artists (and featured during the series' Summer Theater seasons as well). Montgomery's daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery, made her acting debut as a repertory player in 1951 and remained with the show until 1956. Cliff Robertson also made his acting debut as part of the same group in 1954.
The announcer was Nelson Case.
On November 20, 1950, the program presented "The Canterville Ghost", starring Cecil Parker and Margaret O'Brien.
Notable guest stars included:
|Best Dramatic Show
|Best Dramatic Program
|Best Dramatic Show