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Friday, March 30, 2007

Operation B-52

Operation B-52 clip
Click on the image to see the clip (Quicktime Required).

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Above, from left, Richard Anderson as cynical reporter Ben Radin, Dean Fredericks as Col. Steve Canyon, and John Compton as copilot Capt. Woody Buckler. This is an original 8x10 publicity photo from the series (which most likely has never before been published).

This is a minute and 10 seconds long Quicktime mp4 movie clip from the 13th episode, OPERATION B-52, which aired originally on Saturday November 15th 1958 at 9pm on NBC. It was repeated once by NBC on Tuesday June 30th 1959 at 8pm. When ABC aired summer reruns of Steve Canyon in 1960, for some reason this one (and 13 others) never got shown. What you are about to see is the first time in 48 years that any part of this episode has been seen in the United States. The shows were run on Armed Forces television overseas in 1963 and 1965, and dubbed in Japanese and broadcast by Nagoya TV in Japan in 1963, but otherwise (as far as we can ascertain) they were never aired anywhere else in the world. If you remember seeing STEVE CANYON broadcast at any other time or place since, we'd love to hear from you.

This particular episode is an interesting one, as it was written by famed Twilight Zone scribe Charles Beaumont, and was directed by the man himself, Arthur Hiller. Richard Anderson, Sylvia Lewis and Roxanne Berard all appeared. and to our knowledge was the first time a civilian crew was allowed to film aboard an actual Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (which was considered top-secret back during the Cold War). The film was shot at Universal Studios (and probably at Boeing) on October 3rd, 6th and 7th 1958 and concerns an around the world flight that is interrupted by a problem that threatens to destroy the $8 Million dollar plane. The film is dedicated to the Strategic Air Command 92nd Bomb Wing, Castle Air Force Base, California. Enjoy this restored clip, the entire program (along with at least the 33 other broadcast episodes, lovingly restored from the original 35mm network masters) will be available in the anniversary collection box set later this year. These shows never looked or sounded this good!

This restored STEVE CANYON clip is Trademarked and the property of The Estate of Milton Caniff, and all rights are reserved. Any other use is strictly prohibited.

1 comment:

theo j. w. said...

Having not seen this film clip since I was a small boy, I'm impressed at how credible Dean Fredericks is as a command pilot. Doubtless he had technical advisers just off camera, but his performance was the key to selling the story line---and he makes it look effortless. He deserved so much good work besides STEVE CANYON...