» » Studio One Summer Pavilion (1948–1958)

Short summary

In an old Louisiana plantation, the the furnishings and the once great family are fading fast.The matriarch desperately tries to hold on the a gazebo that's slated for destruction as part of a building project, as well as holding her daughter to an unwanted marriage, though she loves the builder.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Narim
    From the early days of television comes this Gore Vidal penned tale of familial conflict and dying traditions. As the matriarch of a family tries to cling to the past her daughter fights to pull away from her suffocating influence.

    One of the wonderful things about these old teleplays is the chance to see the convergence of new and old talent side by side. In this case we have the queen of the scene stealers, Miriam Hopkins, doing her level best to consume every piece of scenery in sight and Elizabeth Montgomery working her way up towards stardom that was still several years in the future. They make an interesting contrast, Miriam although playing in her customary big style still grounds her character with a believable fear of changing times that she doesn't understand. Elizabeth much more grounded and wise already to the fact that TV requires more subdued playing is all cool observation.

    They are more of less the whole show although Ruth White has some nice moments as Aunt Belle, weak but wise in her way. For the curious this also provides a glimpse of Wyatt Cooper, future husband of Gloria Vanderbilt and with her the father of newsman Anderson Cooper.
  • comment
    • Author: Goltizuru
    This is one of over 400 episodes of "Studio One in Hollywood"--a live anthology series that was on TV from the late 1940s through the 1950s. Most of the shows, as far as I know, are no longer in existence, though some of the shows (including a few famous ones) have been released on DVD. Interestingly, Betty Furness' commercials for Westinghouse appliances are included on the DVDs--making the Kinescope recordings play like you were watching them back in the good old days.

    "Summer Pavilion" is an hour-long teleplay starring Miriam Hopkins, Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Drake. Hopkins plays an overbearing matriarch of a faded upper-class Louisiana family. Despite the family's financial straits, she is adamant in her refusal to let go of her social class and its antiquated ways. When the show begins, she is beside herself at the imminent destruction of a rotten old gazebo that did belong to the family but is now on a plot of land they have sold. Despite no longer owning the property, Hopkins is insistent that they leave the gazebo intact. And, because of this, she hates the agent (Drake) who is working on the project.

    As for Drake, he is quite taken by Hopkins' daughter (a young Elizabeth Montgomery) and asks her out on a date. However, she is engaged to an upper-crust guy who her mother adores (mostly because of his standing--as he is a bit of a dullard). When they do sneak off, Hopkins is vexed but soon realizes she can't do much about it. What will happen next? Well, see this charming live-action show to find out if you are so inclined.

    As for the acting, it's quite good, though I thought Hopkins' performance was a bit broad. Whether this was her fault or that of the writer (Gore Vidal) is beyond me--but her character seemed a tad like a caricature of the Old South at times instead of a real person. But, as the rest of the show was very good, I have no major complaint. The plot, though simple, was lovely and exudes quality throughout and I strongly recommend it. It's a real shame that they don't do live TV like this any more.
  • Episode credited cast:
    Miriam Hopkins Miriam Hopkins - Theresa Durand
    Charles Drake Charles Drake - Ned Welch
    Elizabeth Montgomery Elizabeth Montgomery - Helen Durand
    Ruth White Ruth White - Belle Travers
    Joseph Sweeney Joseph Sweeney - Father Durand
    Wyatt Cooper Wyatt Cooper - Winter Duval
    Carol Veazie Carol Veazie - Mrs. Duval
    William A. Forester William A. Forester - The Waiter
    Dario Barri Dario Barri - The Assistant
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Paul Brinson Paul Brinson - Announcer
    Betty Furness Betty Furness - Herself - Commercial Spokeswoman
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