Monday, January 7, 2008
More Hans, More Hallmark
Back when I posted about Walt Disney’s Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates—and for that matter when I posted about Hallmark of Hall of Fame’s prestigious history—I forgot Hallmark of Hall of Fame presented its own musical adaptation of the famous story by Mary Mapes Dodge. Directed by Sidney Lumet (fresh from directing the feature-film version of 12 Angry Men), written by Sally Benson (the author of the original stories on which Meet Me in St. Louis was based) with songs by Hugh Martin (who co-wrote the Meet Me in St. Louis songs with Ralph Blaine), the Hall of Fame's musical version of Hans Brinker starred Basil Rathbone, Olympic ice-skating champion Dick Button, and renowned Czech soprano Jarmila Novotna. Tab Hunter, who could carry a tune and was an accomplished ice skater, played the title role. Presented on NBC (in living color, of course) on February 9, 1958, Hans Brinker was the highest-rated Hall of Fame episode, a record the production would hold for the next 14 years. So here’s just the thing for a wintry January day—the TV Guide cover featuring Tab Hunter and Peggy King from Hallmark Hall of Fame’s presentation of Hans Brinker.