Robert Montgomery Presents is a dramatic television series which was produced by NBC from January 30, 1950 until June 24, 1957. The live show had several sponsors during its seven-year run, and the title was altered to feature the sponsor, usually Lucky Strike cigarettes, for example, Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theater.
In 1949, to develop the series for NBC, Montgomery relocated his family from the West Coast to New York City. Robert Montgomery Presents originally was telecast on a semi-weekly basis, alternating with Musical Comedy Time and Somerset Maugham TV Theatre until December 1951 when it became a weekly series.
Initially offering hour-long dramas adapted from successful Hollywood films, the series was hosted and produced by Robert Montgomery. His presence lent a degree of respectability to the new medium of television, and he was able to persuade many of his Hollywood associates to appear. Montgomery introduced each episode and also acted in many episodes.
The program was noted for the high level of production values and the consistent attempt to present quality entertainment within the constraints of a live presentation. A drama built around the Hindenburg disaster, including interviews with survivors of the actual event, was one example of the ambitious nature of the program.
The debut episode was W. Somerset Maugham's The Letter. During its first season, the movie adaptations included Rebecca, The Egg and I, Dark Victory and Montgomery's Ride the Pink Horse. Over the following seasons it adapted highly respected works but also showcased new writers and original dramas written expressly for the series. On Christmas Eve 1956, in a departure from its usual non-musical format, the series telecast Gian-Carlo Menotti's opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, which had already become an annual television event.
From 1952, a repertory cast appeared on the show along with guest artists. Montgomery's daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery, made her acting debut as a repertory player in 1953 and remained with the show until 1956. Cliff Robertson also made his acting debut as part of the same group in 1964.
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