Kraft Mystery Theatre & Kraft Suspense Theatre

Television Anthology Series

Originally called Kraft Television Theatre (which had started way back in 1947), in April 1958 it was revamped as KRAFT MYSTERY THEATRE, when the focus shifted to crime.  Alex March, one of the most acclaimed anthology directors, produced the series. It featured original dramas, for the most part, with many episodes doubling as pilots for potential series. It was hosted by Frank Gallop.

In 1963, it morphed into Kraft Suspense Theatre, and lasted another couple of seasons, focussing more on original dramas.

    Aka “Kraft Theatre”
    (1958-63, NBC)
    Host: Frank Gallop
    Writers: Larry Cohen, Henry Kane, Charlotte Armstrong
    Directors: Paul Bogart
    Guest stars: George C. Scott, William Shatner, Jack Kelly, Broderick Crawford

    • “Killer’s Choice” (June 11, 1958)
      Based on the novel by Ed McBain
      Adapted by Alvin Boretz
      Directed by Paul Bogart
      Starring Michael Higgins as Carella
      Martin Rudy as Meyer Meyer
      and Joan Copeland as Louise (Teddy in the books)
      Also starring Staats Cotsworth, Michael Higgins, Joanne Linville
    • “The 87th Precinct” (June 25,  1958)
      Based on characters created by Ed McBain
      Adapted by Larry Cohen
      Directed by Paul Bogart
      Starring Robert Bray as Carella
      Martin Rudy as Meyer Meyer
      and Joan Copeland as Louise (Teddy in the books)
      Also starring Pat Henning, Salome Jens, Joseph Sullivan
    • “Shadow of a Man” (June 19, 1963)
      Story by James Patrick
      Teleplay by Frank Fenton
      Directed by David Lowell Rich
      Starring Jack Kelly as Walter Neff
      and Broderick Crawford as KEYES
      Also starring Ed Begley, Beverly Owen
      Essentially a pilot for a series based on chaarcters from James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, although Cain is never mentioned in the credits.
    • “Change of Heart” (September 12, 1962)
      60 minutes
      Pilot for undeveloped series
      Based on characters created by Baynard Kendrick
      Teleplay by David Z. Goodman
      Directed by Richard Kinon
      Starring Starring Robert Middleton as DUNCAN MACLAIN
      This episode originally ran on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse in 1960, and ran as a rerun on Kraft Mystery Theatre.
    (1963-65, NBC)

    • “The Deep End” (January 2, 1964)
      Based on the novel The Drowner by John D. MacDonald
      Adapted by Jonathan Hughes
      Starring Clu Gulager as DAN WALSH (Paul Stanial in the book)
      Also starring Ellen Burstyn (billed as Ellen McRae), Aldo Ray, Tina Louise
    • “The Sweet Smell of Vengeance” (April 30, 1964)
      Starring John Forsythe, Diana Hyland
      A man hires a private eye to track down his ex-wife, who fled to Brazil with two million dollars of his money. And just to keep Forsythe honest, a second private eye is engaged to bring him back.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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