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Four Star Playhouse (1952)

Four Star Playhouse is an American television anthology series that ran from 1952 to 1956, sponsored in its first bi-weekly season by The Singer Company; Bristol-Myers became an alternate sponsor when it became a weekly series in the fall of 1953. The original premise was that Charles Boyer, Ida Lupino, David Niven, and Dick Powell would take turns starring in episodes. However, several other performers took the lead from time to time, including Ronald Colman and Joan Fontaine. Blake Edwards was among the writers and directors who contributed to the series. Edwards created the recurring character of illegal gambling house operator Willie Dante for Dick Powell to play on this series. The character was later revamped and spun off in his own series starring Howard Duff, then-husband of Lupino. The pilot for Meet McGraw, starring Frank Lovejoy, aired here, as did another episode in which Lovejoy recreated his role of Chicago newspaper reporter Randy Stone, from the radio drama Nightbeat.

Release Date: Thu, Sep 25, 1952

Country: US
Language: En
Runtime: 30

Season 4:

The Firing Squad
Episode 1: The Firing Squad (Oct 06, 1955)
A WWII captain must oversee an execution he doesn't want to happen.
The Face of Danger
Episode 2: The Face of Danger (Oct 13, 1955)
A 100-year-old woman who recalls her romance with a desperado during the days of the old West.
Let the Chips Fall
Episode 3: Let the Chips Fall (Oct 20, 1955)
A reformed card sharp is recruited to unmask a suspected poker cheat among a group of wealthy gamblers. He finds it difficult to be impartial when the suspect enthusiastically befriends him.
Full Circle
Episode 4: Full Circle (Oct 27, 1955)
A particularly bad review causes a Broadway actress to scheme to humiliate the drama critic.
A Spray of Bullets
Episode 5: A Spray of Bullets (Nov 03, 1955)
A former sheriff, Will Sonnett, known for his fast draw shows up in Mesa to see an optometrist; he's become nearsighted and badly needs glasses. Also in town is a punk gunfighter who wants to make a name for himself. Knowing Sonnett has vision problems, he challenges the lawman to a duel.
The Devil to Pay
Episode 6: The Devil to Pay (Nov 10, 1955)
In Hell, the administrating office is hopelessly out of date and incompetent, so Satan enlists the help of an exceptionally aggressive and heartless businessman to modernize the place. He installs an IBM system and soon it's the picture of efficiency, much, it turns out, to the businessman's regret.
Here Comes the Suit
Episode 7: Here Comes the Suit (Nov 17, 1955)
A milquetoast employee at a novelty company is overlooked by everyone from his boss to the woman he crushes on. But after being suckered by a shady tailor into getting a shockingly garish suit, he's whistled at by woman and mistaken for a gangster. His newly found self-confidence fits him well.
Looking Glass House
Episode 8: Looking Glass House (Nov 24, 1955)
A woman is surprised when her fiancé turns out to have been married before.
Something Very Special
Episode 9: Something Very Special (Dec 01, 1955)
Alan moves to America when his wife dies, leaving his young daughter with her grandmother in Paris. When he returns after five years, his daughter has difficulty believing that he loves her.
A Place Full of Strangers
Episode 10: A Place Full of Strangers (Dec 08, 1955)
Industrialist Fleet Mason, a workaholic who doesn't realize how many lives he effects with his stressed-out working habits. When he thinks his loving wife has hung up on him in disgust, he re-evaluates his life by taking an imaginary bus trip to Meadville"". The trip is to nowhere and is full of psychological imagery. In a smoke shrouded bus terminal he meets all the people in his life as total strangers. When he meets his wife and realizes she doesn't recognize him, he becomes despondent. Only when his father appears and guides him to the exit does he realize how he must alter his life.
One Way Out
Episode 11: One Way Out (Dec 15, 1955)
A wealthy woman separates from her fortune-hunting husband. She rents a swanky New York penthouse in a building so new that she is the only one living there. When she awakens from a nap, she finds herself trapped in the apartment. Her estranged husband and his girlfriend are after her money and are hoping this will drive her crazy.
Dark Meeting
Episode 12: Dark Meeting (Jan 05, 1956)
When her long-time pin-boy retires, bowling proprietress hires the one guy who answers her want-ad right away. He turns out to be an escaped committed psychotic who, lonely and always lacking in the social skills, never received the nurturing of a friend [you think]. We know it but it takes some time before she becomes aware. While waiting for the police to come to apprehend him, she lets him walk her home through the park while lending him her sympathetic ear. Dealing with a psychotic might take some finesse. How will HE take it? And how will he take IT?
Magic Night
Episode 13: Magic Night (Jan 12, 1956)
Upset that his 25 years of service for the company are unappreciated, Henri treats himself to an expensive night on the town, on the company's dime. He then comes to his senses, distraught that his embezzlement will be discovered.
Tunnel of Fear
Episode 14: Tunnel of Fear (Jan 19, 1956)
While traveling alone in a train compartment, an elderly, wealthy, wheelchair-bound man (Cedric Hardwicke) is confronted by a younger man (David Niven), whom he had double-crossed over twenty years ago. The younger man, now bent on revenge, tells the elderly man that he intends to kill him when the train passes through an upcoming tunnel. A battle of wits ensues.
High Stakes
Episode 15: High Stakes (Jan 26, 1956)
An employee catches attractive Mrs. Raymond making a pass at Willie, then Mr. Raymond comes to the club with a gun to get even. Willie shoots him in self defense, but Willie is framed when Mr. Raymond's gun disappears.
The Listener
Episode 16: The Listener (Feb 02, 1956)
Sheila and her brother engineer a gas leak to kill her husband so they can split the insurance money. Overhearing the plot is the husband's invalid father, but it's no concern because he can't speak or write. Sheila doesn't realize he is able to communicate with his nurse through his eyes.
Safe Keeping
Episode 17: Safe Keeping (Feb 09, 1956)
The chancellor of a foreign university gives newspaperman Frank Carstairs a document to smuggle out of the country. He anticipates being charged with treason by the totalitarian government and he wants the free world to know he did not willingly join their side. Meanwhile, Frank carries on an affair with a sexy foreign spy who seems to be playing both sides of the fence.
No Limit
Episode 18: No Limit (Feb 16, 1956)
Suave restaurateur-gambler Willie Dante rebuffs the attempt of racketeers to cash in on his gambling activities. He appears to change his mind, however, due to the influence of a beautiful woman.
Episode 19: Command (Feb 23, 1956)
The first mate on a merchant ship has been waiting for years to take command of the ship. When the elderly captain makes a mistake at a time when the ship is in danger the first mate sees his chance.
Once to Every Woman
Episode 20: Once to Every Woman (Mar 01, 1956)
At a particularly vulnerable time in her life, Carol is wooed by charming David. They fall in love, but Carol then learns that David is married. He says that he will get divorced for her, but Carol is visited by David's wife.
Red Wine
Episode 21: Red Wine (Mar 08, 1956)
A police detective travels to Borneo looking for an American who murdered his wife for a huge insurance payoff. There are only three Americans there, all on a rubber plantation, but none fits the physical description. Once his cover is blown, the detective comes clean and tells the men he thinks none of them are his man. But he knows the killer is a wine connoisseur and he uses that to set a trap.
To Die at Midnight
Episode 22: To Die at Midnight (Mar 15, 1956)
The conflict of a prison warden who discovers exculpatory evidence on the eve of an execution.
Desert Encounter
Episode 23: Desert Encounter (Mar 22, 1956)
A famous author gets embroiled in an unusual situation when he offers to drive a young Mexican girl to her ranch.
The Case of Emily Cameron
Episode 24: The Case of Emily Cameron (Mar 29, 1956)
Emily is an invalid who needs a caretaker. Her husband leaves her home alone one day, and she begins to stew over the low regard that he has for her. He, on the other hand, resents the opportunities that he's missed because of Emily.
The Rites of Spring
Episode 25: The Rites of Spring (Apr 05, 1956)
An older husband tests the marital fidelity of his amorous young wife by anonymously sending her flowers from "a secret admirer".
Autumn Carousel
Episode 26: Autumn Carousel (Apr 12, 1956)
A TV writer finds inspiration from a little girl travelling to Los Angeles.
Wall of Bamboo
Episode 27: Wall of Bamboo (Apr 19, 1956)
An undercover agent is dispatched to the anti-communist underground to search for an important contact. But when he's caught by the red Chinese, he's tortured in various ways for important information by a mysterious renegade white man who leads them known by the nom de guerre "Sampan Joe".
Touch and Go
Episode 28: Touch and Go (Apr 26, 1956)
Ted attacks old enemy Walter in a fit of rage. Stunned at the realization that Walter is dead, he hears a woman on the phone who overheard their conversation. Ted needs to find this woman and keep her from telling the police anything.
A Long Way From Texas
Episode 29: A Long Way From Texas (May 03, 1956)
Two con men target a naive young oilman from Texas. They visit Willie's gambling hall, and the con men threaten Willie. He decides to get revenge, and teach a lesson to the oilman.
That Woman
Episode 30: That Woman (May 10, 1956)
A young widow, who is in denial that her husband has died, moves in with her brother-in-law's family down on the farm. Her city ways and manners clash with the simple, pious life of the farmers.
The Other Room
Episode 31: The Other Room (May 17, 1956)
A teacher wanting to leave his unfulfilling job needs money to write the book he's dreamed of. A stranger enters and makes an unusual offer: $10,000 to take a physical for a dying man so he can get life insurance to take care of his widow when he passes on.
One Forty-Two
Episode 32: One Forty-Two (May 24, 1956)
Ruthless dictator Mendoza summons a priest when 300,000 people in his country announce that they will pray for him to die at 1:42 that day.
Beneath the Surface
Episode 33: Beneath the Surface (May 31, 1956)
In an effort to escape her past, a woman takes a job in a plant.
Watch the Sunset
Episode 34: Watch the Sunset (Jun 07, 1956)
Philip Benton is entertaining thoughts of moving on from his wife, who has been in a sanitarium for five years. Just as he is starting a new relationship with his secretary, he receives news that his wife is better and will be released.
Second Chance
Episode 35: Second Chance (Jun 14, 1956)
An experienced writer is in the middle of a professional slump when he is inspired by the story of an old long lost friend. While his career is reviving, he seems to be hindering the acting prospects of his novice young girlfriend.
Woman Afraid
Episode 36: Woman Afraid (Jun 21, 1956)
While her husband is laid up in a farm house with a broken leg, Nina sees a prowling burglar. She calls for help, but the hired hand that she calls for is the burglar - and he's also a murderer.
The Stacked Deck
Episode 37: The Stacked Deck (Jun 28, 1956)
Fresh out of prison, blackmailer Gus Anderson intends to use Willie's casino to launder his victims' money. To insure his cooperation, Gus' thugs are holding one of Willie's waiters hostage. Glamorous singer Betty Maxwell shows up at Dante's, as scheduled, to lose at blackjack and avoid having a risqué photo of her mailed to the tabloids. Knowing that Lt. Waldo will but his casino yet again, Willie invites to cop over to watch Gus violate his parole.
Distinguished Service
Episode 38: Distinguished Service (Jul 05, 1956)
More interested in his career than in his duty as a physician, a noted doctor intentionally misdiagnoses a patient in an Asian city so he could get back to the U.S. and accept a major award. When his wife realizes that he abandoned a town needing his help to fight a Plague outbreak, she demands a divorce.
Episode 39: Yellowbelly (Jul 12, 1956)
A military hero becomes circumspect as his wife expects their first child. In battle, he jumps into a protective hole instead of forging to the front of the line. His company nicknames him Yellowbelly, and he loses the respect of his men.
The Stand-In
Episode 40: The Stand-In (Jul 19, 1956)
An aspiring actress has spent 20 years in Hollywood, not gaining fame as she had hoped, but as a stand-in for a well-known actress. Her ambition turns to despair, and her affection to bitterness.
Success Story
Episode 41: Success Story (Jul 26, 1956)
A man is assigned to force a small-town newspaper out of existence.

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