Four Star Playhouse
Anthology / Drama
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 appeared as well, like Ronald Colman, Merle Oberon, Dick Foran, Joan Fontaine, Joanne Woodward, Teresa Wright and Frank Lovejoy.
A String of Beads (1/21/1954)
With Angela Lansbury
The story is about the governess of a wealthy household who is invited to fill a place at the table at a dinner party when another guest cannot attend. Count Borselli, a guest at the party and a diamond expert, decides to see what will happen when he falsely praises the cheap pearl necklace being worn by the governess and leads everyone at the party to believe the necklace is worth $60,000
Detective’s Holiday (3/4/1954)
With Dick Powell and 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.
An Operation in Money (3/11/1954)
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.
Stuffed Shirt (1/13/1955)
With Charles Boyer
A botanist finds that his wife is just a beautiful adventuress interested in his money and other men.
Watch the Sunset (6/7/1956)
With Dick Powell and 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.
Vol. 1: 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 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 Adolescent Oct. 28, 1954. With Ida Lupino, Hugh Beaumont. A school teacher on the disciplinery board, finds herself investigating her nephew's misconduct.
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.
Vol. 2: Let the Chips Fall Oct. 20, 1955. With Charles Boyer. A shill is hired to find a card cheater in an exclusive country club.
Full Circle Oct. 27, 1955. With David Niven, Joanne Woodward. After receiving a terrible review, an actress heads to the critics home armed with a gun.
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.
The Girl on the Park Bench Dec. 3, 1953. Comedy with Joan Fontaine. A beautiful, intelligent, and politically savvy young woman takes up residency in the city park to protest the Mayor's decision to end rent control on apartments.
Vol. 3: A Championship Affair 12/16/1954 A renowned professional bridge champion (Boyer) returns to (openly) woo his long lost, but married, love (Miles). In circuitous fashion, his unselfish love leads him to (secretly) help her bridge-addicted husband (Ross Elliott) choose to finally gain success in 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?
A Study in Panic April 8, 1954. With Dick Powell. After a newspaper columnist is threatened he investigates further to get the real story.
Vote of Confidence Nov. 11, 1954. With David Niven. A swindler sets up a fund for the underprivileged.
Vol. 4: Tunnel of Fear 1/19/1956 A renowned professional bridge champion (Boyer) returns to (openly) woo his long lost, but married, love (Miles).
Interlude Oct. 14, 1954. With Dick Powell. A young woman from a wealthy family is graduating from an exclusive school with neither her parents nor close friends attending.
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.
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.
Vol. 5: 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vol. 6: 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 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.
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.
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.
Vol. 7: The Witness Oct. 26, 1953 With Dick Powell, Charles Bronson. A renowned professional bridge champion (Boyer) returns to (openly) woo his long lost, but married, love (Miles). In circuitous fashion, his unselfish love leads him to (secretly) help her bridge-addicted husband (Ross Elliott) choose to finally gain success in life.
Ladies On His Mind May 21, 1953. With Ronald Colman, Benita Hume. A psychiatrist has difficulty in remaining detached when treating beautiful women.
Award June 30, 1955. With Ida Lupino, Franchot Tone. A ruthless Hollywood actress flops miserably in the only stage play she ever attempted. She asks her director to teach her to become an actress.
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.
Vol. 8: Willie Dante 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. Here are four of them!
The House Always Wins 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. Willie Dante, wily gambler-restaurateur, becomes a target for murder because of his latest romantic interest.
The Squeeze Oct. 1, 1953. 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.
Vol. 9: 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.
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.
Vol. 10: 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.
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.
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.
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.