KCET is airing a special broadcast of Les Guthman’s must-see 1996 feature docu, Corwin on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m., followed by a show about the 1938 radio drama The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, in tribute to the late great radio pioneer Norman Corwin, who passed away last week at 101. Corwin left radio in 1955 during the McCarthy era and wrote Hollywood screenplays, including Lust for Life, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Thanks to documentary filmmaker Jeff Kaufman, I got to meet Corwin, who was still dazzling as he neared his centennial.
Here’s the NYT obit:
Mr. Corwin was a prolific writer and producer for CBS in the 1930s and ’40s, best known for his dramatizations of American history, vivid human-interest reports from abroad during World War II, adaptations of American literary works and dozens of radio plays.
One of his most celebrated broadcasts came eight days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, when four American radio networks simultaneously carried “We Hold These Truths,” a kind of docudrama produced for the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, with performances by Orson Welles, James Stewart, Edward G. Robinson, Lionel Barrymore and Walter Huston.
The program, broadcast live from Hollywood, ended with a live speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House and a performance from New York of the national anthem by Leopold Stokowski and the NBC Symphony Orchestra.