The 20th Century Fox Hour
Ed Wynn and Kathleen Crowley in "The Great American Hoax"
Presented byJoseph Cotten (1955-56)
Robert Sterling (1956-57)[citation needed]
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes37
Running time48–50 minutes
Production companyTCF Television Productions
Original networkCBS
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 5, 1955 (1955-10-05) –
June 12, 1957 (1957-06-12)

The 20th Century Fox Hour is an American drama anthology series televised in the United States on CBS from 1955 to 1957. Some of the shows in this series were restored, remastered and shown on the Fox Movie Channel in 2002 under the title Hour of Stars (its title when the series was originally syndicated after 1957). The season one episode Overnight Haul, starring Richard Conte and Lizabeth Scott, was released in Australia as a feature film.

Characters and stories

Presenting both originals and remakes, The 20th Century Fox Hour was telecast on Wednesday nights at 10pm, alternating each week with The U.S. Steel Hour. Many of the programs were shortened versions of classic 20th Century Fox films, remade with a far lower budget than the originals. Films receiving this treatment included The Ox-Bow Incident, The Late George Apley and Miracle on 34th Street. Some were retitled; Man on the Ledge was a remake of Fourteen Hours (1951).

Guest stars

Guest stars on the series included Bette Davis, Joan Fontaine, Gary Merrill, Thomas Mitchell and Teresa Wright. Steve McQueen made an appearance before he became a major star. Child actor Johnny Washbrook appeared three times on the series while he was also in the lead role of the Western series, My Friend Flicka. Judson Pratt appeared as MacIntyre in the 1956 episode, "The Moneymaker". Child actress Beverly Washburn appeared as Ruthie in "The Hefferan Family" (1956) and as the character Kate as a girl in "Men in Her Life" (1957).

Following his Philco Television Playhouse years, Paddy Chayefsky's The Great American Hoax, starring Ed Wynn, was seen May 15, 1957 during the second season. This script was actually a rewrite of his earlier Fox film, As Young as You Feel (1951) with Monty Woolley and Marilyn Monroe. Lizabeth Scott appeared in the season one episode Overnight Haul. The episode was later released in Australia as a feature film, after her final starring role in 1957's Loving You and many of the films in the series were released in the UK as supporting films in the late 1950s.


Season 1

Episode # Title Original Airdate Guest Star
1 "Cavalcade" October 5, 1955 Michael Wilding, Merle Oberon, Carolyn Jones[1]
2 "Laura" October 19, 1955 Dana Wynter, George Sanders, Robert Stack
3 "The Ox-Bow Incident" November 2, 1955 Robert Wagner, Raymond Burr
4 "The Late George Apley" November 16, 1955 Raymond Massey, Joanne Woodward
5 "Christopher Bean" November 30, 1955 Mildred Natwick, Allyn Joslyn
6 "The Miracle on 34th Street"[2] December 14, 1955 Thomas Mitchell, Teresa Wright, Sandy Descher
7 "Man on the Ledge" December 28, 1955 Cameron Mitchell, Richard Collier, Joey Ray
8 "Yacht on the High Sea" January 11, 1956 Gary Merrill, Nina Foch
9 "One Life" January 25, 1956 Dane Clark, Audrey Totter
10 "Crack-Up" February 8, 1956 Bette Davis, Gary Merrill, Virginia Grey, John M. Pickard
11 "In Times Like These" February 22, 1956 Macdonald Carey, Fay Wray
12 "Deception" March 7, 1956 Linda Darnell, Alan Napier
13 "Gun in His Hand" April 4, 1956 Debra Paget, Robert Wagner
14 "Mr. Belvedere" April 18, 1956 Reginald Gardiner, Eddie Bracken, Zasu Pitts
15 "Broken Arrow" May 2, 1956 John Lupton, Roy Roberts
16 "Overnight Haul" May 16, 1956 Lizabeth Scott, Robert Foulk, Forrest Lewis
17 "The Empty Room" May 30, 1956 Alan Napier, Victoria Ward
18 "The Hefferan Family" June 6, 1956 Carolyn Jones, Mark Damon

Season 2

Episode # Title Original Airdate Notable Guest Stars
1 "Child of the Regiment" October 3, 1956 Louise Arthur, Paul Birch
2 "Stranger in the Night" October 17, 1956 Joan Fontaine, Tom Conway
3 "The Moneymaker" October 31, 1956 James Burke, Judson Pratt, Spring Byington
4 "Smoke Jumpers" November 14, 1956 Robert Armstrong, Robert Bray
5 "The Last Patriarch" November 28, 1956 John Cassavetes, Virginia Leith
6 "Men Against Speed " December 12, 1956 Mona Freeman, Farley Granger
7 "Operation Cicero" December 26, 1956 Ricardo Montalban, Leon Askin, Romney Brent
8 "End of a Gun" January 9, 1957 John Drew Barrymore, Lyle Bettger
9 "False Witness" January 23, 1957 Fred MacMurray, Claude Akins, Morris Ankrum
10 "Springfield Incident" February 6, 1957 Walter Coy as Stephen A. Douglas, Tom Tryon, Lloyd Corrigan, Alan Hale, Jr.
11 "Man of the Law" February 20, 1957 Denver Pyle, Marsha Hunt
12 "City in Flames" March 6, 1957 Jack Albertson, Anne Jeffreys, Kevin McCarthy
13 "Deadline Decision" March 20, 1957 Charles Bickford, Whit Bissell
14 "The Still Trumpet" April 3, 1957 Douglas Dick, James Griffith
15 "Men in Her Life" April 17, 1957 Parley Baer, Sheila Bromley
16 "Deep Water" May 1, 1957 Richard Arlen, Steve McQueen
17 "The Great American Hoax" May 15, 1957 Ed Wynn, Jerry Paris
18 "Threat to a Happy Ending" May 29, 1957 Mabel Albertson, William Bendix, Jean Byron
19 "The Marriage Broker" (Series Finale) June 12, 1957 Ellen Corby, Parley Baer, Kipp Hamilton