1954 General Electric Theater Video"The Dark, Dark Hours" Emerges Showcasing Ronald Reagan and James Dean

by the Left Coast Rebel

This is really neat. John Meroney in the Atlantic writes:

But when "The Dark, Dark Hours" episode of General Electric Theater aired live from Hollywood on December 12, 1954, Ronald Reagan and James Dean were just two actors yet to find the roles that would define them.

No one has seen this episode in the decades since; the kinescope has been locked away, until now. My friend Wayne Federman, a writer for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, unearthed the broadcast, condensing it from its original 23 minutes (without commercials) into the six-minute version you see below. (Federman is planning a retrospective of Reagan's television career for next year's Reagan centennial.)

Here, Reagan is a physician, forced to defend his home and family from Dean, a teenage lawbreaker seeking medical treatment for an injured friend:

A little background on the video as well:
At the time of the broadcast, Reagan was 43. With the movie industry in recession, and his career waning, his agents had been bringing him offers to do TV shows. Like many movie actors at the time, Reagan was skittish about the small screen. But producers thought he was perfect for the anthology genre, which was still struggling to gain traction with audiences. He eventually signed on, helping produce the show, hosting it, and acting in a half-dozen dramas per season.
To think. Of these two men - one goes on to be the best President this nation has seen in 50 years and the other dies tragically in a car accident.

Nothing like a little Americana from 25 years before my birth to cheer me up and lift me from the doldrums of the daily assault against the Republic......

Via Memeorandum

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