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Bert45 | 14:42 Sun 21st Mar 2021 | Media & TV
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Many years ago, late 1950s or early 60s, there was a programme about the golden years of Hollywood. It was hosted/introduced by Dick Powell. The theme tune was Chopin's Étude Opus 10, no 3 (So Deep is the Night). I don't think the programme was "The Golden Years of Comedy", although that programme had the Chopin theme, because the series covered all type of film. I haven't found what I'm looking for searching Dick Powell, Chopin, or Hollywood, so, if you know what I'm talking about, please put me out of my misery!

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The only thing I could find was a series called The Golden Age of Hollywood, which was a compilation of old Hal Roach silent comedies. It used Chopin's Étude Opus 10, no 3 as it's theme, but from what I can see, had nothing to do with Dick Powell
Question Author
I got the title of the programme that I thought was not the one I am looking for wrong. "The Golden Age of Comedy" was a compilation of silent films and, as you said, had no connection with Dick Powell. Also it was one film, not a TV series. I guess it's not on the internet, and I'll need somebody aged about 70 to remember it better than I do.
If you have Amazon Prime you can view it.

Amazon.com User Recommendation
So you're looking for a one off film about the golden years of Hollywood?

I can only think of That's Entertainment [1974] but no Chopin
Check the reviews on the Amazon link, some people feel short changed by this.
Question Author
No, Chinajan. It was a TV series. It was on every week, probably on BBC, for as long as the series lasted. The Chopin theme gave it a feeling of great sadness. The theme of the series was that 'They don't make films like that any more.' And as most of the stars had died, 'We'll not see their like again' The programmes consisted of clips from several films, but there was a theme running through each programme. One of them was almost certainly comedy, but not silent films.
It isn't 'Golden years' or 'Golden Age' then?

I obviously misunderstood your second response.
Understand now Bert thanks. I'll have a think.
Was it 'The Dick Powell Theatre', which I recall being on in the early 1960's?
Question Author
I wondered if it could have been that too, when it came up in my searches, but that series consisted of films made for the series, many starring Dick Powell. It wasn't a series of programmes consisting of clips from movies of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Thanks for trying, all of you, but I think I may have to conclude it was all a dream.
The only series I can remember that vaguely matches the description is Barry Norman's Hollywood Greats. However that featured a particular star in each episode rather than clips of movies on a theme.

Or was it anything similar to Denis Norden's 'Looks Familiar' [which was mainly about old British stars of stage and screen?]?
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The Dick Powell Show was the title for series before he died. After he died it was called The Dick Powell Theater. There is a possibility that my memory cells have been scrambled, but I don't think either title is what I'm looking for. If one of you could find some way of listening to the introduction, if it's Chopin's Op10 No3, then cigars all round. On the other hand, it seems highly unlikely that there were two programmes on TV hosted by Dick Powell at roughly the same time. I have just found that one episode of The Dick Powell Show was on BBC on 4 December 1962 [genome.ch.bbc.co.uk] An episode of The Dick Powell Theater was shown on 25 February 1964. Other episodes can be found.
There are some clips of the Dick Powell Show on youtube. Here's one with the opening titles.



According to imdb, the theme music was by Herschel Burke Gilbert.
wikipedia has a list of TV shows and movies that used the Chopin piece; one of them is 'The Golden Age of Comedy'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%89tude_Op._10,_No._3_(Chopin)#Film_and_television
Question Author
Thanks, Chinajan, but you will note that the theme tune of "The Golden Age of Comedy" was arranged for banjo (!) The way my terrible memory tells me it was was a luscious Mantovani-type string arrangement. And "The Golden Age of Comedy" was a film, not a TV series. I think we can put that one to bed. Unless Chopin changed his name to Herschel Burke Gilbert, the theme tune of The Dick Powell Show/Theater was not written by Chopin and it is nothing like Op10 No3. I must have got something wrong. The way that Dick Powell introduced the episode on Youtube reminded me very much of the face I saw and the voice I heard in my head. I need to find a group of 70+-year-olds who watched a lot of TV in their youth.

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