Executive Donald Hall on some Hallmark productions – TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews

well teacher teacher was a super show
and it it was one of the early social issue shows at a time when we took up a
topic that was that was good we had a we had a good cast but the star of the show
was a little a little guy named shul Berg who was who was who had a metal
deficiency and teacher teacher was about his teachers he was a he was tutored by
him by McCullum and he played the part beautifully but it was a it was just a
joy to watch this young man who had this difficulty act his part as beautifully
as he did it was a it was a marvelous show it was a risk your side as far as
making sure that that he would be able to act that it would work it certainly
was but he was just great marvelous young man so what ultimately solidified
that decision was it sitting down with them and talking well we didn’t but of
course the people that had to direct him did and they’re just it was a little
risky but it was a great opportunity to properly present the young man’s
difficulties and and what indeed society can do with people like this how do we
handle this what can you hope for his results
that’s a continue to talk about some of these better obviously we can’t talk
about all the shows 1971 the price George Scott well it was a marvelous
show and of course he’s a marvelous actor and it was it included Colleen
Dewhurst I think then wife at least and they they did a marvelous job of acting
with the story that is perhaps not that moving but a chance
to bring out some wonderful strong characters and George C Scott and
calling do house I think Ralph Bellamy was in that show great acting the
promise 1986 why do you think it was so long see again good acting and a social
topic schizophrenias hadn’t really been presented but it was well done and James
Wood and James Garner both did an excellent job with the show and it
became almost a textbook and teaching about schizophrenia around the country
in shows like that we’ve always made an effort to make them authentic so we’ve
gotten all the experts you know that we could and this one particularly clicked
in terms of being represented representing a problem that is not
curable it’s you can only hope to keep it in control and marvelous reaction to
all those people who are trying to work with the problem we’re pleased with that
another significant one my bill my name is Bill W all another social problem and
it was well handled of course he’s he’s the person Bill W is the one that should
be represented representing that problem and again the same actors James Wood
James Garner did a fine job and so I think that does good to present that in
an appropriate constructive way and and so I’m always pleased when we can do
that and help along a social issue of some sort with an entertaining show good
acting good draw what was that about bill dubby yeah it was about alcoholism
and Bill W started the the a a movement and he’s still a big
name among anyone connected with that problem as we continue here Sarah Plain
and Tall talk about that well to talk about that it’s to talk about Glenn
Close which is always a pleasure lovely woman lovely actress and she did a
fabulous job we received a giant audience I think our
largest of that time and I understand it was the largest audience of a television
movie for the decade did it start out as a trilogy no it did
not start as a trilogy it was a success and became a trilogy so we we and she
and we were looking for another opportunity what the death what the deaf
man heard well that was a show I think extremely well done an intriguing story
and and I think it was just very well acted and directed and became a another
great audience gather it was another show that was I think second place in
the in that decade as to audience a storm in the summer 1970 talking about
that person well that was one of my favorites as Peter Ustinov is one of the
finest actors ever but it was a really intriguing story and I know it’s been
done on television other times but I particularly love this performance of
Peter Easton often this wonderful young black boy but they this Ustinov had this
young boy under his care for a summer and although they had a very difficult
time getting together by the end of the summer and the end of the show they were
so close so it was very or sentimental beautiful show what was
the story about what just about his caring for him and their disagreements
on things basically when they started out and their rejection of the older man
by this young black boy but through Ustinov scaring ways or his characters
caring ways for this boy over the summer they learned from each other and they
were very very close extremely close love is never silent
1985 well that was a that was a fine show also and one that was meaningful it
was about a daughter of two parents who were deaf and she kept trying to work
with them and it was very difficult because although she could sign it was
very difficult for her to help them through the years but we we had deaf
actors do these parts and they were marvelous actors and actresses her
parents were both deaf and and it was a it was a marvelous performance and I
think helped a lot in people understanding deafness and the
difficulties of being deaf and living with deaf people but very construct even
a beautiful show the piano lesson 1985 anything jump out well it was the first
television at first broadcast of a black author Wilson very talented man
intriguing story again some excellent acting and one that I think was
construct even our world certainly to bring to the fore a wonderful writer who
had not had the attention he should have had in the past I see he’s getting more
attention these days in fact I don’t know if we help in that
or not but I hope so are there are any other programs that we haven’t talked
about that your favorites well I think you talked about some of my favorites
certainly a storm and summer and teacher teacher two of my all-time favorites but
I I have there are many that I’ve I’ve absolutely loved to dance with the white
dog was a great show in my opinion it had it it gave us a chance to work with
two very great stars and who we’ve worked with on more than one occasion
but it also had a good audience but it’s just an intriguing and delightful story
and I’ve I’ve enjoyed my contact with some of these stars
we did all Quiet on the Western Front for example had a good on this board
nine and and Richard Thomas were stars of that show I developed a very close
friendship with Richard Thomas since then and his wife and when we see fairly
often and it’s unfortunate people still think in heaven as tomboy or john-boy
only but he’s a very very fine actor so but I’ve enjoyed those contacts we’ve
kept up with thermos Borna and his wife and and other stars which is kind of fun
we fought internally among our executive groups as to which which one of us Glenn
Close is truly in love with and it I guess we’ve known of us one

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