British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

ON STAGE

Series

Series Name
The March of Time 14th Year

Issue

Issue No.
5
Date Released
1949
Length of issue (in feet)
1644
Stories in this Issue:
  1. 1ON STAGE

Story

Story No. within this Issue
1 / 1
Summary
The March of Time synopsis: Through the medium of a young actress, Margaret Garland, her hopes, disappointments and achievements, the latest March of Time brings to the screen a survey of New York’s theatreland. By this means the film shows not only current successes but goes behind the scenes to reveal the work of the vast army of technicians, without whose contribution the play could not go on, and to whom a successful opening night means as much as it does to the actors.

Appearing in the film are many famous stars, authors and producers. Two great actors, each temporarily on leave from Hollywood to play the lead in his own New York stage production, are Rex Harrison and Charles Boyer. Appearing in "Red Gloves" (seen in London under the title of "Crime Passionel") Boyer is on the legitimate American stage for the first time. In twenty years, the film points out, the number of "live" theatres opening in New York has decreased from eighty-one to thirty-eight, and the number of shows produced has dwindled even more alarmingly, with the result that the question of employment has become of grave concern to every department. Taking steps to relieve this problem by stimulating new theatrical production, is the theatre’s fact-finding committee - an informally organised group representing every union in show business - which smooths the way for worthy enterprises short of financial backing.

The March of Time takes the audience to conferences of The Playwrights’ Company to introduce such famous dramatists as Robert Sherwood, Elmer Rice and Maxwell Anderson. Casting is bring done for Anderson’s "Anne of the Thousand Days" and we see Margaret Garland’s audition for a small part in the production. Though she speaks only one line, Margaret is happy to appear in a play by a famous dramatist, working with internationally known stars Rex Harrison and Joyce Redman and a cast that includes a number of British artists who have established themselves on the New York stage. The film follows the production through all the weeks of planning and rehearsing to the first night, when a laudatory press ensured the successful run which the play is now enjoying, Thus, concludes the film, as one more hit is born, the whole theatre finds renewal, and the fabulous invalid continues to delight thousands of playgoers for whom its enchantment never dies.
Researcher Comments
This story was included in Vol.15 No.1 of the US edition.
Keywords
Music and dance; Performing arts
Written sources
Fielding, Raymond. The March of Time 1935-1951 (New York, 1978)   p288.
The March of Time Promotional Material   Lobby Card, Used for Synopsis
Credits:
Production Co.
Time Inc.

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