April 18, 2006

1955 Soap Opera "Valiant Lady"

An episode of one of the classic 1950s soap operas/serials, with original ads included:

"Here is a 1955 episode of the live daytime CBS soap opera Valiant Lady, organ music and all. Valiant Lady ran from 1953 thru 1957 at 12:00 noon eastern time. Helen Emerson was the star of the show, a forty-ish matron who was widowed in the serial's first year. Helen valiantly endured sudden financial hardship while alternately fretting over her children's sordid love lives. Son Mickey fell for a divorcee, daughter Diane ran off with a married man, and bratty baby Kim constantly implored Helen to teach her the latest dance step. Helen finally found peace and happiness with Governor Lawrence Walker, whom she married in the show's final year.
Like many of the early soaps operas this was broadcasted live! CBS was the first network to import these daytime soap operas from radio to television back in the late 1940's and early 1950's, the radio soaps were only 15 minutes long, so for many years CBS also kept the TV soaps at 15 minutes per episode. CBS played Search for Tomorrow, Guiding Light, Love of Life, the Secret Storm, As the World Turns, etc. NBC and ABC television had been playing their own soap operas such as General Hospital for years as well, but the CBS soaps were always were the most popular, at least until the mid 60's when NBC premiered Days of Our Lives.
Since these soap operas were broadcasted live and video tape was not invented as of yet the only way the producers had to record these episodes was the use the Kinescope process. This was nothing more than placing a movie camera in front of a video monitor and speaker and filming the broadcast directly onto 16mm movie film. The quality is not great by doing this but at least there was some record of the broadcast. Unfortunately most of the television kinescope films have been long destroyed, but some do remain and turn up occasionally for us to take a historical peak back into time.
Here is a 49 year old episode of the Valiant Lady, it was originally 15 minutes, but I cut out a few minutes of the story where it was least interesting to shorten the clip down to just under 10 minutes so it would fit within You Tube's time and file size guidelines. It includes both the opening and closing credits as well as all the original commercials.
Please see my profile to links to other vintage tv show clips.
This clip is old enough now to be in the public domain so enjoy..."

Posted at April 18, 2006 1:25 PM | TrackBack

I really enjoyed the video of Search for Life. Do you have any of Love of Life, Edge of Night, Secret Storm or As the World turns? I found a site where I ordered some of the old Soaps. I purchased what I could, but this only wetted my appetite, I want more! (smile)

Posted by: LOLA at May 4, 2006 10:50 AM

I would love to find videos of The Edge Of Night predating Feb. 1961.The early years were my favoriteand i have found one dated aug. 1960 Ihave gotten several soap opera video from a video store in california. So keep them comming i want more.

Posted by: kathy at June 27, 2006 10:46 PM