Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Irregularly scheduled on NBC from 1954 through 1957, Producers' Showcase was a series of lavish, full-color 90 minute specials, bringing the best of Broadway to the 21 inch screen. The series' April 2, 1956 presentation was Guthrie McClintic's adaptation of Rudolf Besier's 1931 Broadway hit The Barretts of Wimpole Street. Repeating her celebrated stage role as the fragile, invalided poetess Elizabeth Barrett was McClintic's wife, Katherine Cornell, in her first television appearance. Set in London in 1845, the play recounts the familiar story of the romance between Elizabeth and the dashing, much-younger poet Robert Browning (Anthony Quayle), who is determined to rescue Elizabeth from the autocratic grip of her domineering father, Edward Moulton-Barrett (Henry Daniell), who holds the rest of the grown Barrett children in tyrannical thrall in their home at 50 Wimpole Street. Previously filmed by Hollywood in 1934 with Norma Shearer, Fredric March and Charles Laughton, The Barretts of Wimpole Street would again go before the cameras one year after this well-mounted Producers' Showcase production, this time with Jennifer Jones, Bill Travers and John Gielgud.