Public Domain Catalog

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Four Star Playhouse

This dramatic anthology series ran on CBS from 1952 to 1956. Four stars alternated weeks starring: Dick Powell, Ida Lupino, Charles Boyer and David Niven. Other movie stars were featured: Ronald Colman, Merle Oberon, Joan Fontaine, Teresa Wright and Frank Lovejoy.

A few episodes are from the similar anthology series Stage 7 (1954-'55). Both Four Star Playhouse and Stage 7 were syndicated together under the title Star Performance. Available as Mpeg2 or Mpeg4 Digital files.


Dick Powell

Starring Dick Powell

The House Always Wins Over the four season run of Four Star Playhouse, Dick Powell made eight episodes as Willie Dante, owner of a swank restaurant with illegal gambling in the back room. April 28, 1955. One evening, Willie sees an old flame with a man and another couple, The woman, still caring for Willie, tells him that the people she's with are planning to rob his casino.
Stacked Deck June 28, 1956. With Dick Powell. Willie Dante, owner of a gaming house, is threatened by blackmailers. They want to use his place for a payoff.
High Stakes Jan. 26, 1956. Dick Powell as Willie Dante, wily gambler-restaurateur, becomes a target for murder because of his latest romantic interest.
The Hard Way 11/19/1953 Dick Powell. Another adventure of Dante written by Blake Edwards and directed by Robert Aldrich.
The Squeeze Oct. 1, 1953. Dick Powell as Willie DAnte. Stan, the son of the DA, is a secret gambler. He loses big in Willie's joint and pays by check. Stan's pretty sister shows up to ask Willie's help. Deras, a gangster up before the Grand Jury, wants to get hold of Stan's check to blackmail the DA.

The Contest Nov. 4, 1954. With Dick Powell. A detective gets involved in a case of murder where his brother and his brother's wife are the chief suspects.
Detective’s Holiday March 4, 1954 With Dick Powell, Dick Foran. Directed by Blake Edwards. A detective must decide whether to arrest a young woman wanted for questioning   by the police or to forget he ever saw her.
A Fair Trial 4/29/1954. Dick Powell. A TV Newsman goes to a small town to cover a lynching. He has anything but an open mind about the details of the story until he meets a girl who tries to explain things to him.
The Girl on The Bridge March 31, 1955. With Dick Powell, Coleen Gray. An artist searches for the beautiful girl that he once sketched.
The Gun 2/11/1954 Dick Powell. After his gun is stolen from his home, an off-duty police detective desperately tries to prevent a tragedy
One Forty-Two 5/24/1956 Dick Powell. A priest is called in to stand by a tyrant dictator threatened with assassination. The entire population of his small country, through mass “thought transmission,” wills his death.
The Room 12/10/1953. Dick Powell. A doctor visits a primitive Cuban village and discovers that for hundreds of years the people have lived in dread of a voodoo king.
A Spray of Bullets 11/3/1955 With Dick Powell. A sheriff tries to keep his failing eyesight a secret, but a vicious outlaw learns the truth and challenges the lawman to a gun battle.
A Study in Panic April 8, 1954. With Dick Powell. After a newspaper columnist is threatened he investigates further to get the real story.
Watch the Sunset June 7, 1956 With Dick Powell, Joanne Woodward. After five years in a mental institution, a man’s wife returns home to resume a normal life. His problem is complicated by the fact that  he has fallen in love with his secretary.
The Witness Oct. 22, 1953. Dick Powell, Charles Bronson. A defense attorney idles in a swank restaurant while his client's on trial for murder. The attorney's PIs search for a female witness who can get the defendant off, so the attorney avoids court to keep delaying the trial.

Starring Charles Boyer

The Devil to Pay 11/10/1955. Charles Boyer. A successful businessman accepts a deal with the devil to modernize the administration of hell. Methods prove too efficient for his own good.
Doctor and the Countess 4/29/1954. Charles Boyer. A famous plastic surgeon meets a beautiful countess on an Atlantic liner. She pretends she loves him to get him to perform a strange operation.
The Executioner 6/9/1955 Charles Boyer. An army major in the service of a totalitarian government is ordered to assassinate an American physician.
The Gift Dec. 24, 1953. With Charles Boyer, Ann Doran. A businessman becomes moody and antagonistic each year at Christmas because it reminds him of his estranged son, who chose to become a geologist instead of following in his father's footsteps.
The Last Voyage 4/23/1953. Charles Boyer. A sea captain en route to the Orient discovers that a time bomb has been planted on his ship.
Madeira, Madeira April 14, 1955. With Charles Boyer, Angela Lansbury. Jacques Goudet visits the Portuguese island of Madeira seeking the widow of his closest friend. He has reason to believe she is involved in her husband's mysterious death.
Man in the Cellar 9/30/1954 Charles Boyer. A psychiatrist commits a man to an asylum on grounds he has homicidal tendencies.
Nightmare at Lark Cottage March 24, 1955. Charles Boyer, Beverly Garland. A mysterious stranger comes to the home of a young woman whose husband has just escaped from prison.
The Officer and the Lady 12/18/1952. Charles Boyer. An incurably ill child's desire to see his father brings about a great transformation in the character of a knavish pickpocket.
A Place of His Own Oct. 8, 1953. With Charles Boyer. The Commander, a mildly brain injured war hero, lives with his greedy family. All he wants is his own house, while all they want is to preserve their failing wealth, at all costs.
Second Dawn 2/4/1954. Charles Boyer. A man born without sight is told that an operation may give him vision. He hesitates, fearing that the world he has created in his imagination may be false.
Something Very Special Dec. 1, 1955. Charles Boyer. A man, grieved at his wife's death, leaves his daughter with her grandmother in Paris. Five years later he returns for her, but the girl does not believe he really wants her.
Stuffed Shirt Jan. 13, 1955 With Charles Boyer. A botanist finds that his wife is just a beautiful adventuress interested in his money and other men.
The Wallet 4/23/1953. Charles Boyer. Andre, a headwaiter, finds a customer's wallet containing a large sum of money.
Wall of Bamboo 4/19/1956 Charles Boyer. An American intelligence officer falls into the brutal hands of a derelict white man now risen to power in Red China.
The Wild Bunch Feb. 17, 1955. With Charles Boyer, Natalie Wood. After a charmer sweeps a pretty widow off her feet and marries her in haste, she confesses that she has money and three children.

Starring David Niven

The Bomb Feb. 18, 1954. With David Niven, Margaret Sullivan. A man returns home to find that his neglected girlfriend is now engaged to someone else. In his effort to win back his girl, Richard conceives a plan which leads the three of them into danger.
The Book 4/29/1954. David Niven. An author whose curiosity about a piece of paper found in a library book leads him to a gang of spies.
Breakfast in Bed 1/20/1955 David Niven. A successful commercial artist is happy with his life until a beautiful model insists he should be painting “great works.”
Broken Journey Oct. 1, 1953. David Niven. A sharp-witted safecracker is placed in a small-town jail for temporary confinement. While his captors are absent, he devises a unique method of escape.
Collar 4/7/1955 David Niven. During the Indian wars of the 1870’s, a priest is captured by the Indians. After two years of torturous captivity, he is put to the test: can he forgive his tormentors?
Firing Squad 10/6/1955. David Niven. A WWII captain must oversee an execution he doesn’t want to happen.
For Art's Sake 11/26/1953 David Niven. A playboy decides that the way to get a pretty young painter to concentrate on him is to discourage her interest in art.
Henry and the Psychopathic Horse 4/23/1953. David Niven. While visiting a western ranch, a psychiatrist tries to use applied psychology to break a wild horse.
Here Comes the Suit 11/17/1956 David Niven. Because of his thrift, a very conservative and proper young man finds himself forced into wearing a rather garish suit. As a result, his personality undergoes a remarkable change.
The Island 12/4/1952 David Niven. A dramatic saga of a rebellious physician on an island in the South Pacific.
Man of the World 2/4/1954. David Niven. A bored husband looks for romance with a girl he meets on a train.
Matter of Advice 10/29/1953 David Niven. A pediatrician who advises mothers on raising their children finds himself in difficulties with his own brood.
Night Ride 5/7/1953. David Niven. Five people, one a murderer, are trapped on a subway.
No Identity 3/12/1953. David Niven. A young boy fights to win his foster mother’s love.
Operation in Money March 11, 1954. With David Niven. A bank teller has his application for a raise refused.    To press his point he robs the bank and arranges a parley.
Red Wine 3/8/1956 David Niven. On the trail of a murderer, a detective goes undercover to gain access to a remote island where he believes the killer has fled.
Safe Keeping 2/9/1956 David Niven. An American newspaperman is given an important letter to smuggle out of a foreign country. He then becomes involved romantically with a beautiful spy who also wants the letter
Second Chance 6/14/1956 David Niven, Beverly Garland. A Hollywood screenwriter, in love with an ambitious actress, finds she is using him to further her career.
Tunnel of Fear 1/19/1956. 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.
To Whom It May Concern 12/18/1952. David Niven. A timid and conscientious bank employee devotes his spare time to the study of stocks and bonds until the cruel hand of fate enters his life.
Touch and Go 4/26/1956. David Niven, Beverly Garland. A scuffle between two friends brings sudden and accidental death to one of them. The survivor, believing he will be accused of murder, has only four hours to find the only person who can testify that the death was accidental-the dead man’s fiancée.
Uncle Fred Flits By 5/5/1955 David Niven. An erratic practical joker pays a visit to his childhood home in London. He encounters a straitlaced family that is trying to put an end to the daughter’s engagement to a man they consider beneath their position.
Village in the City April 22, 1954. With David Niven. A beautiful model is murdered in an artist’s apartment. The mystery is complicated by the fact that several men were in love with the model, each with a motive for killing.
Vote of Confidence Nov. 11, 1954. With David Niven. A swindler sets up a fund for the underprivileged.

Starring Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino

The Adolescent Oct. 28, 1954. With Ida Lupino, Hugh Beaumont. A school teacher on the disciplinery board, finds herself investigating her nephew's misconduct.
Eddie's Place 3/10/1955 Ida Lupino stars as a parolee, Ellen, whose efforts to keep out of trouble only involve her in a murder.
Face of Danger 10/13/1955 Ida Lupino, Dick Foran. A 100-year-old woman recalls her romance with a desperado during the days of the old West.
A House for Sale Dec. 31, 1953. With Ida Lupino. A woman looks for a house for her returning war hero husband and encounters a dangerous criminal inhabiting the house.
The Listener 2/2/1956 Ida Lupino. A woman plots to murder her husband in order to collect his insurance. Her plans are overheard by her father-in-law.
Looking Glass House 11/24/1955 Ida Lupino. A woman is surprised when her fiancé turns out to have been married before.
Masquerade 4/15/1954 Ida Lupino. A costume ball during the New Orleans Mardi Gras turns sour when the family hosting the festivities discovers that their cousin has escaped from jail.
With All My Heart 4/21/1955 Ida Lupino. An overweight woman watches her doctor boyfriend marry someone else.

Other Stars

Young Girl in an Apple Tree 4/10/1955 Episode of “Stage 7" anthology series. Ann Harding, Regis Toomey. The owner of a small curio shop dreams of the idealistic young man who left his home town and her many years before.
Ladies On His Mind May 21, 1953. With Ronald Colman, Benita Hume. A psychiatrist has difficulty in remaining detached when treating beautiful women.
Note of Fear 5/15/1955 Jan Sterling ....... Marge A former girlfriend of a convict scheduled to be executed refuses to supply him with an alibi, he tells her that she too will die on his execution day. This is actually an episode of the similar omnibus series STAGE 7.
Search in the Night 11/5/1953. Frank Lovejoy. A reporter becomes very curious when a beautiful woman hires a diver to recover her purse from the bottom of the river.
Kiss for Mr. Lincoln 2/3/1955 Joanne Dru, Dick Foran. A young woman teaches her timid husband some things about love when he tries to show her the importance of supporting Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency.
Once to Every Woman 3/1/1956. Phyllis Coates, Teresa Wright. A lonely spinster falls in love for the first time in her life. But unknown to her, the man is married.
Lady of the Orchids 3/18/1954. Lili Palmer, John Howard. An architect's wife endangers his career when she is involved in a car accident by flirting with the driver.
Knockout Jan. 1, 1953. With Broderick Crawford. A young middleweight boxer finds at the height of his career that his championship fight has been fixed.
Meet McGraw Feb. 25, 1954. With Frank Lovejoy. A private detective is hired by a beautiful woman to act as her bodyguard when she claims that her gangster husband is jealous and planning to kill her.
The Long Count March 27, 1955. With Frank Lovejoy. A private detective (McGraw) with an eye for a fast buck finds himself in hot water when he investigates the murder of a boxer. This is actually an episode of the similar anthology series “Stage 7" that ran for one season in 1955.
Love At Sea Oct. 15, 1953. With Merle Oberon. A journalist's wife who, while alone on a sea voyage, becomes the center of male attention.
Sound Off My Love Feb. 12, 1953. With Merle Oberon. A woman buys a hearing aid, just in time to hear her husband plot her murder. The Good Sister 1/27/1955 Teresa Wright. An American nun in Germany plays Cupid for a Czech orphan girl and an American soldier.
Yellowbelly 12/18/1952. Frank Lovejoy. After serving and being wounded in World War 2, a captain is recalled to duty in Korea. Because of his resentment, he is branded a coward by his company and faces removal from his command.
Tiger at Noon 2/27/1955 Episode of "Stage 7." Stephen McNally. A police detective visits a fortune teller intending to cite her for fraud. Within twenty-four hours, her predictions not only come to pass, but will probably save his life!
The Frightened Woman June 23, 1955. A woman's loneliness leads her to re-experience her long repressed (20-year old) pain-associated memories (albeit benign themselves). The mystery: is she (Merle Oberon) insane?
Appointment in Highbridge 2/6/1955 Dan O'Herlihy and Phyllis Coates. A meeting 10 years later awakens the memory of a romance between a British Army captain and an American Army nurse. An episode of STAGE 7.
The Deceiving Eye 1/30/1955 Frank Lovejoy, Ann Robinson. College criminologist professor Fletcher is accused of murdering one of his students. An episode of STAGE 7.
The Legacy 2/13/1955 Vanessa Brown. A grandmother dies. Though Julia had spent three selfless years attending the sick woman, she must vie with her selfish cousin Julian for the inheritance. An episode of STAGE 7.
Press Conference 3/13/1955 Dennis Morgan. An incident from a lawyer's past jeopardizes his chances for the future. An episode of STAGE 7.
Greatest Man in the World 3/13/1955 Episode of "Stage 7." Pat O'Brien, Ann Doran. A mechanic invents a new carburettor, but his invention is rejected by management. Unable to face his failure, he plans to leave his family before they find out.

Star and the Story

39 episodes were produced 1955-56 by the successful Four Star Playhouse team. Each show features a different star or stars in this dramatic anthology series.

Act of Decision Frank Lovejoy. The star player on a small college football team has been misbehaving. The coach wants to kick him off the team. But with the big game against State coming up the coach is under tremendous pressure to let the player slide.
Arab Duel Sidney Blackmer, Hugh O'Brien. A producer thinks his wife is having an affair with one of his head writers.
Dark Stranger Edmond O'Brien, Joanne Woodward. A writer's fiction becomes terrifying reality, sucking him into his own novel being played out. Ray Ericson writes of a lovely woman who leaves her steady boyfriend for a man out to kill her. Suddenly he realizes life is imitating art: he is in the killer role! How can the novelist prevent destroying the woman he's come to love?
Desert Story Jan Sterling. A bored and frivolous heiress is out for a joy ride and kills a young mother of two. At her trial, the heiress receives a unique sentence.
Ferry to Fox Island Jan Sterling. On the eve of her wedding, a waitress gives her life savings to her fiance to invest for their future. Not surprisingly, he vanishes without a trace. Except for one clue -- a time table for the Fox Island Ferry.
Great Shinin' Saucer of Paddy Faneen Edmund Gwenn. Paddy Faneen is the town storyteller and McGinnis is his chief skeptic. Problem is, McGinnis' grandson Terry wants to marry Paddy's granddaughter Sheila and Paddy's latest yarn about a flying saucer is causing turmoil between the 2 clans.
Hand to Hand Henry Fonda, Zachary Scott. An aging matador and his little brother are to fight "Mano a Mano" in the bullring, the event having been organized by the brothers' two agents. Everyone is looking forward to the event except for the aging matador, for whom the event has triggered a mid-life crisis.
Her Crowning Glory Teresa Wright, John Litel. A young woman is trying to find a job in Chicago and is told she needs to learn short hand and wear a hat. She goes hat shopping but can't get excited about it because all she really wants is a husband.
Honolulu Frank Lovejoy. A ship's first mate is jealous of the captain because of his new bride. The 1st mate and captain's wife are native islanders who believe in voodoo. The bride is worried the 1st mate will harm her husband, but the captain is unconcerned.
Lady's Game Charles Coburn. A retired gentleman has been forbidden by his wife from going to the casino. He sneaks out anyway and wins 2 million francs. A young vixen observes his winnings and demands the 2 mil as blackmail.
The Lie Dan Duryea, Beverly Garland. As a young girl, Laura's lie put a man in prison for twenty years, and now, years later, she wants to make up for it with the man she lied about, but he wants revenge.
Man Who Was Dead Thomas Mitchell, Chuck Connors. A man returns from the dead to help the living.
Safe Journey Frank Lovejoy, Jack Kelly. A detective is escorting a convict on a train to testify in court. The two men are handcuffed to each other, the convict seems very calm, and the detective seems very nervous. Will this be a safe journey?
Thin Line Henry Fonda, David Niven. After losing the memory of a night that he tried to kill his wife, a man discovers the thin line between sane and insane when he finally goes home and remembers what really happened.

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