Kraft Suspense Theatre

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Kraft Suspense Theatre
Also known as Crisis
Suspense Theatre
Genre Anthology
Theme music composer John Williams
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 59 (1 unaired)
Production
Executive producer(s) Frank P. Rosenberg
Producer(s) Frank Telford
Robert Blees
Luther Davis
Joel Rogosin
Thomas Fitzroy
Leon Benson
Arthur H. Nadel
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 48 mins.
Production company(s) Roncom Films, Inc.
Universal Television
Distributor MCA Television
Release
Original network NBC
Audio format Monaural
Original release October 10, 1963 (1963-10-10) – July 1, 1965 (1965-07-01)

The Kraft Suspense Theatre is an American television anthology series that was produced and broadcast from 1963 to 1965 on NBC. Sponsored by Kraft Foods, it was seen three weeks out of every four and was pre-empted for Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall specials once monthly. Como's production company, Roncom Films, also produced Kraft Suspense Theatre. (The company name, "Roncom Films" stood for "RONnie COMo," Perry's son, who was in his early twenties when this series premiered). Writer, editor, critic and radio playwright Anthony Boucher served as consultant on the series.

Later syndicated under the title Crisis, it was one of the few suspense series then broadcast in color. While most of NBC's shows were in color then, all-color network line-ups did not become the norm until the 1966-67 season.

In Britain BBC2 screened episodes of this series and Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre under the banner of Impact.

Overview[edit]

Ben Cooper, Richard Crenna, John Forsythe, Ron Foster, Brad Johnson, Jack Kelly, Robert Loggia, Ida Lupino, Martin Milner, Leslie Nielsen, Larry Pennell, Mickey Rooney, James Whitmore, Jeffrey Hunter, Tippi Hedren, Telly Savalas, Robert Ryan and Michael Winkelman were among the actors cast on Kraft Suspense Theatre.

Directors included prominent names in television and later features, examples being Robert Altman, Richard L. Bare, Roy Huggins, Buzz Kulik, David Lowell Rich, Ida Lupino, Sydney Pollack, Elliot Silverstein, Jack Smight, Ralph Senensky, and Paul Wendkos.

Some episodes doubled as pilots for potential series. The episode "Rapture At Two-Forty," in particular, was the pilot for the series Run for Your Life, which premiered on NBC in the fall of 1965 and ran till 1968.

The 1968 theatrical film Sergeant Ryker, starring Lee Marvin, was a two-part made-for-television film that was first broadcast on Kraft Suspense Theatre under the title "The Case Against Paul Ryker." It also served as a pilot for the 1966 series Court Martial, which ABC-TV would broadcast. Other episodes that were later expanded into theatrical films (initially for European release) included "Once Upon a Savage Night," released as Nightmare In Chicago, and "In Darkness, Waiting," which was released as Strategy of Terror.

Episodes[edit]

Pilot: 1963[edit]

  • Shadow of a Man (1963-06-19)

Season 1: 1963–64[edit]

  1. The Case Against Paul Ryker: Part 1 (1963-10-10) (starring Lee Marvin; first half of pilot for Court Martial)
  2. The Case Against Paul Ryker: Part 2 (1963-10-17) (starring Lee Marvin; second half of pilot for Court Martial)
  3. The End of the World, Baby (1963-10-24)
  4. A Hero for Our Times (1963-10-31)
  5. Are There Any More Out There Like You? (1963-11-07)
  6. One Step Down (1963-11-14)
  7. The Machine That Played God (1963-12-05)
  8. The Long, Lost Life of Edward Smalley (1963-12-12)
  9. The Hunt (1963-12-19)
  10. The Name of the Game (1963-12-26)
  11. The Deep End (1964-01-02)
  12. A Truce to Terror (1964-01-09)
  13. Who Is Jennifer? (1964-01-16)
  14. Leviathan Five (1964-01-30)
  15. My Enemy, This Town (1964-02-06)
  16. The Action of the Tiger (1964-02-20)
  17. Doesn't Anyone Know Who I Am? (1964-02-27)
  18. The Threatening Eye (1964-03-12)
  19. A Cause of Anger (1964-03-19)
  20. Knight's Gambit (1964-03-26)
  21. Once Upon a Savage Night (1964-04-02)
  22. Portrait of an Unknown Man (1964-04-16)
  23. Their Own Executioners (1964-04-23)
  24. The Sweet Taste of Vengeance (1964-04-30)
  25. Charlie, He Couldn't Kill a Fly (1964-05-07)
  26. The Watchman (1964-05-14)
  27. The Robrioz Ring (1964-05-28)
  28. A Cruel and Unusual Night (1964-06-04) (Starring Ronald Reagan)

Season 2: 1964–65[edit]

John T. Williams's theme music was revised for this season.

  1. The World I Want (1964-10-01)
  2. Operation Greif (1964-10-08) (stars: Robert Goulet & Claude Akins)
  3. A Lion Amongst Men (1964-10-22)
  4. That He Should Weep for Her (1964-11-05)
  5. The Kamchatka Incident (1964-11-12)
  6. The Jack Is High (1964-11-19)
  7. Graffiti (1964-11-26)
  8. One Tiger to a Hill (1964-12-03)
  9. Threepersons (1964-12-10)
  10. The Gun (1964-12-24)
  11. The Wine-Dark Sea (1964-12-31)
  12. In Darkness, Waiting: Part 1 (1965-01-14)
  13. In Darkness, Waiting: Part 2 (1965-01-21)
  14. That Time in Havana (1965-02-11)
  15. Four into Zero (1965-02-18)
  16. Streetcar, Do You Read Me? (1965-02-25)
  17. The Last Clear Chance (1965-03-11)
  18. Won't It Ever Be Morning? (1965-03-18)
  19. Nobody Will Ever Know (1965-03-25)
  20. 'The Green Felt Jungle (1965-04-01)
  21. Rapture at Two-Forty (1965-04-15) (starring Ben Gazzara; pilot for Run for Your Life)
  22. Jungle of Fear (1965-04-22)
  23. Kill No More (1965-04-29)
  24. The Long Ravine (1965-05-06)
  25. The Easter Breach (1965-05-13)
  26. The Safe House (1965-05-20)
  27. Twixt the Cup and the Lip (1965-06-03) (stars: Ethel Merman & Larry Blyden)
  28. The Trains of Silence (1965-06-10)
  29. Kill Me on July 20th (1965-06-17)
  30. The Rise and Fall of Eddie Carew (1965-06-24)
  31. Connery's Hands (1965-07-01)

*pilot for unsold series

Syndication[edit]

Reruns of the series have been shown under the name Suspense Theatre, although many prints of episodes have had the syndicated rerun title Crisis.

External links[edit]