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Hallmark Hall of Fame

"Hamlet" (1970)

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Since the earliest days of television Hallmark Cards, Inc. has championed the production of quality television through its sponsorship of programs under the “Hallmark Hall of Fame” banner. “Hallmark Hall of Fame” premiered on Christmas Eve of 1951 with a live presentation of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Between January 1952 and June 1955 the “Hall of Fame” aired as a weekly series focusing predominately on biographies and historical recreations.

Additional “special presentations” offered adaptations of classics from literature and the theatre which featured prominent actors, often in the roles that made them famous. Eventually these special telecasts replaced the weekly series and became Hallmark’s signature programming.

“Hallmark Hall of Fame” has consistently been the object of both popular and critical acclaim. The series has received more awards for excellence than any other television program. Through the years its producers have remained responsive to contemporary programming trends and the possibilities provided by technological innovation.

In 1960, “Hallmark Hall of Fame” emerged from the confines of the television studio to film its version of “Macbeth” on location in Scotland. While the series has maintained its interest in the classics, it has also expanded its repertoire to include socially relevant stories written specifically for television. These intimate portraits include “Teacher, Teacher” the story of a mentally retarded youth, “Promise” which examined how the relationship of two brothers is affected by one’s schizophrenia, and “My Name is Bill W.” which tells the story of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.

To arrange onsite research viewing access, please contact the Archive Research and Study Center (ARSC).

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