Climax!


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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From Wikipedia

Climax! (later known as Climax Mystery Theater) is a television show that ran on the American network CBS from 1954 to 1958. An hour-long anthology suspense/mystery drama, the series was hosted by William Lundigan and later co-hosted by Mary Costa (1956-1958). Many of the episodes were performed and broadcast live.

In 1954, an episode of Climax! featured Ian Fleming's secret agent James Bond in a television adaptation of Casino Royale. It starred American Barry Nelson as American secret agent 'Jimmy Bond' and Peter Lorre as the villain Le Chiffre. This was the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel, made before EON Productions acquired the Bond film rights - although EON would not, in fact, obtain the rights to Casino Royale until the late 1990s. This adaptation is available on DVD as a bonus feature on the MGM DVD release of the 1967 film adaptation of the novel, which is in every other respect a satire of the Bond genre.

The only other episode of Climax! available on DVD is a Gore Vidal penned adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, referred to on Climax! as simply "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde".[1] It stars Michael Rennie, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Lowell Gilmore; it is available in the DVD box set "Classic Sci-Fi TV - 150 Episodes" from Mill Creek Entertainment.[2]

In an earlier episode of Climax!, during an adaptation of Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye, actor Tristram Coffin, playing a dead body, arose in shot and walked off stage. The event was widely covered in the media of the day, later becoming an urban legend that was attributed to Peter Lorre and the previously mentioned adaptation of Casino Royale.

Highlights
John Frankenheimer on directing Climax!
16:35
Ricardo Montalban on his first live television appearance on Climax! in the teleplay "Island in the City"
01:21
Ricardo Montalban on training to fire a gun to synchronize with the shot in his live appearance on Climax! in the teleplay "The Mojave Kid"
04:15
Who talked about this show

Barbara Billingsley

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Barbara Billingsley on working on a Climax! teleplay "The Thirteenth Chair" with Ethel Barrymore
01:29

Robert Butler

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Robert Butler on working with composer Jerry Goldsmith and director Buzz Kulik on Climax!
00:55
Robert Butler on the concept of Climax!
00:34

John Conte

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John Conte on appearing on Climax! and in the feature "The Man with the Golden Arm" with Frank Sinatra
05:30

David Dortort

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David Dortort on adapting William Faulkner's "An Error in Chemistry" for Climax!, produced by Martin Manulis
07:45

John Frankenheimer

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John Frankenheimer on directing Climax!
16:35
John Frankenheimer on directing live television for Climax!
16:57
John Frankenheimer on directing Rod Serling's "Portrait in Celluloid" episode of Climax!
00:46
John Frankenheimer on directing specific episodes of Climax!
20:56
John Frankenheimer on directing "Deal a Blow" episode of Climax!
01:51
John Frankenheimer on directing "First and Last" episode of Climax!
15:22
John Frankenheimer on getting a phone call from David O. Selznick and going over to critique episodes of Climax! with him 
03:49
John Frankenheimer on how actress Mary Sinclair stayed so composed on live television
01:43

Jerry Goldsmith

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Jerry Goldsmith on transitioning into composing for CBS television with the series Climax!
05:40
Jerry Goldsmith on Climax! being in color and being the first dramatic show to be taped
02:37

Arthur Hiller

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Arthur Hiller on how he came to direct for Climax!
00:28
Arthur Hiller on the first episode of Climax! he directed and dealing with the writer of the episode
02:53
Arthur Hiller on directing actors on an episode of Climax! and forgetting an important detail because of his nerves
00:57
Arthur Hiller on directing Climax!
06:03

Lamont Johnson

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Lamont Johnson on acting opposite Ethel Barrymore on Climax! in "The Thirteenth Chair"
04:49

Martin Manulis

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Martin Manulis on moving to Los Angeles to produce Climax! at CBS Television City, and on a mishap during a live broadcast of the show
03:41
Martin Manulis on John Frankenheimer directing Climax, and on Frankenheimer's directing technique
03:19
Martin Manulis on hiring Sidney Lumet to direct Climax!
01:16
Martin Manulis on producing Climax! with Sidney Lumet directing, and on the show being filmed at CBS's Television City in Los Angeles
03:56

Paul Monash

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Paul Monash on writing "Bailout at 43,000 Feet" for Climax!
01:56

Ricardo Montalban

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Ricardo Montalban on his first live television appearance on Climax! in the teleplay "Island in the City"
01:21
Ricardo Montalban on training to fire a gun to synchronize with the shot in his live appearance on Climax! in the teleplay "The Mojave Kid"
04:15
Ricardo Montalban on one of his first television roles in the Climax teleplay "The Mojave Kid"
01:52

William Schallert

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William Schallert on working on Climax!
01:40

Ben Starr

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Ben Starr on how he came up with the idea for a Climax! episode "Thin Air"
02:39

Ben Wolf

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Ben Wolf on shooting Climax!
04:18
Ben Wolf on the shooting schedule for shows such as Climax!
04:29

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