A LONG TIME TILL DAWN (TV EPISODE) (director: Richard Dunlap; screenwriter: Rod Serling; cinematographer: ; editor: ; music:  ; cast: James Dean (Joe Harris), Robert Cass (Sully), Pud Flanagan (Paul), Naomi Riordan (Barbi Harris), Ted Osborn (Fred Harris), Robert Simon (Lt. Case), Rudolph Weiss (Poppa Golden), O. Tolbert-Hewitt  (Dave Gilchrist), Ed Herlihy (Announcer); Runtime: 53; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Richard Dunlap; TCM; 1953)

"The acting is theatrical."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An NBC TV episode on Kraft Television Theater, shown Nov. 11, 1953. The b/w slice-of-life drama is directed by Richard Dunlap and written by Rod Serling. It was saved by the UCLA Archive.

Joe Harris (James Dean) returns from prison to try and reconcile with his wife Barbi (Naomi Riordan) and distraught suburban NJ father Fred (Ted Osborn). When Joe learns his wife fled to NYC, he asks the friendly deli owner (Rudolph Weiss) where she is. When the owner remains silent Joe goes off on him and puts him in a coma. Returning to his father's house, he finds his wife and he goes for a walk with her. Joe is decribed as a poet and a gangster. With his wife, he shows his soft side and tells her he plans to open a gas station. Upon returning home, the police officer who arrested him, Lt. Case (Robert Simon), is waiting to interview him on the severe beating of the deli owner.

The acting is theatrical, the story is slight and the histrionics by Dean as the confused youth with a hairpin temper are scene stealers.

This was Dean's first starring role on television.

REVIEWED ON 9/26/2015       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"