One of the top big-budget “live” anthology series of “The Golden Age of Television,” Robert Montgomery Presents debuted on January 30, 1950 with an adaptation of “The Letter” starring screen star Madeleine Carroll. Although the kinescope copies of Robert Montgomery Presents are very little seen today (and seem relatively scarce), the series featured top established actors, such as James Cagney and Helen Hayes, and up-and-comers such as Elizabeth Montgomery (Robert’s daughter, of later Bewitched fame), Joanne Woodward, and James Dean. Robert Montgomery was also featured frequently himself.
The series ran from 1950-57, offering over 300 productions. Variety noted in it’s initial review that the series “lends stature to video’s conquest of the dramatic field.”
Series director from 1950-55, Norman Felton spoke of some ingenuity he used on “Kitty Foyle,” the series second production, in his Archive interview:
“On the second show that I did on Robert Montgomery, there was a scene up front in which the actress was in the living room of a house in the summer. In the next scene, she was supposed to be outside of the house in winter. Now it was always a problem to make costume changes, and we’d devise all sorts of ways of giving enough time for an actress to make a change, but this was a pretty tough one to do. But I solved it and the show went on, and after the show was over, I had a call from Fred Coe who was then the top producer in live television and he said, “Okay, how’d you do it?” I said: “Twins.” I got two girls who were twins and I dressed one in summer clothes and one in winter clothes and the winter one was outside the door of the house and the other one was in the living room and I went from the living room, dissolved, not cut, dissolved to the same girl over here. It was pretty neat.”