This is a special, Oscars presentation – twelve episodes of Academy Award Theater featuring some of the biggest, most popular stars of Hollywood’s golden age.
“The house of Squibb presents “Academy Award.” Every week Squibb brings you Hollywood’s finest. The great picture plays, the great actors and actresses, techniques and skills chosen from the honor roll of those who have won or have been nominated for the famous, golden Oscar of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.”
That was the opening for each week’s episode of Academy Award Theater, an old-time radio anthology series centered on the Academy Awards. Or rather, movies and actors that had won or had been nominated for the golden statuette. The show’s producers used a fairly lenient guideline as far as Oscar winners were concerned, however, and in truth any drama fit the bill as long as the cast included at least one Oscar-nominated performer. As it turned out only a handful of actors appeared on the show recreating their original film roles. Those included Henry Fonda in Young Mr. Lincoln, Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, Cary Grant in Suspicion and Ronald Colman in Lost Horizon, all of which are featured below. In cases where the original actors could not appear other popular stars would make the roles their own and the results are always entertaining.
Academy Award Theater lasted only one season probably due to many factors, including the looming medium of television and the fact that aside from paying the actors a good sum to appear on the weekly shows, the show’s sponsor, Squibb also had to pay the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a decent sum for the use of the title each week. In any case, we’re lucky to have the shows that were produced to enjoy.
Click on the poster to listen to each broadcast.