Hollywood dramatic anthology also under the titles:
The NBC Theater, Screen Director's Guild Asignment, and finally as Screen Director's Playhouse (1949-1951)
There was an unconfirmed story going around Long Island when Screen Director's Playhouse was on the air; a young boy rushes into the living room, exclaiming "Mother, the neighbors have the funniest new television, no pictures, you just see the voices on the movie!"
In the late 1940s many in radio tried to Hollywood to America's living room. The glamorous variety shows didn't achieve the effect they were after, what was needed was a more personal and up close view of the movies. Screen Director's Playhouse (originally Screen Director's Guild Assignment) presented the stories from popular films, with commentary from the director and the original stars in the lead roles. The adaptation from the screen to a half hour radio shows (a full hour after Nov 9, 1950) could never equal the experience of the movie house (or even a DVD for today's audience.) But that is before you consider the commentary from the directors and their lead actors. According to creator Don Sharpe, "writing is the most important single factor in a radio package," and that was perfectly demonstrated in the show.
Some of the films that were adapted for the series are "Stagecoach," "The Best Years of Our Lives," "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," "Music for Millions," "A Foreign Affair," "The Magnificent Obsession," "The Human Comedy," and "It's a Wonderful Life."
First-rate film and radio stars who made appearances included Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball,Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Boyer, Jeff Chandler, Hans Conried, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, William Conrad, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Paul Frees, Joan Fontaine, Virginia Gregg, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, Betty Grable, William Holden, Bob Hope, Burt Lancaster, Frank Lovejoy, James Mason, Fred McMurray, Gerald Mohr, Gregory Peck, William Powell,Mickey Rooney, Edward G. Robinson, Ginger Rogers, Norma Shearer, Barbara Stanwyck, James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Jane Wyman, John Wayne, Loretta Young, and many more.
Screen Director's Playhouse shouldn't be confused with the earlier program, Screen Guild Theater which was a variety revue. The earlier program was a charity with the actors donating their wages to the Motion Picture Country House.
See also: Your Movietown Radio Theater and Skippy Hollywood Theater.