Ray Bradbury on Television

Saturday, August 28, 2010
1:00 pm PT
Los Angeles

The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles joins in the citywide celebration of Ray Bradbury’s ninetieth birthday with a trio of screenings selected by the author himself. One of America’s most celebrated writers, Bradbury specializes in speculative fiction, having penned such visionary works as The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Farenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. An uncompromising social commentator, he has tackled such themes as the friction between technology and humanity, the dangers of zealotry, and man’s relationship to outer space. As an indication of his timelessness, his work has been adapted for radio, film, and television for almost seventy years.

Mr. Bradbury's Selections from Our Collection

Saturday August 28, 2010

Ray Bradbury Theater: Banshee
1:00 pm
Adapted by Bradbury from his own short story, this yarn tells of a young screenwriter’s visit to his director friend’s Irish manor, and their haunting encounter with the mythological banshee. Charles Martin Smith and Peter O’Toole star as the central characters, modeled after Bradbury himself and John Huston, with whom he collaborated on the 1956 film Moby Dick. This installment of Ray Bradbury Theater, which ran first on HBO and then on USA Network, is preceded by a clip from a 1996 Paley Center event with Bradbury, in which he discusses how he came to be hired by Huston. (1986; 30 minutes)

American Playhouse: Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine
2:00 pm
Adapted for television by Mary Trimble, Bradbury’s “Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine” is the story of a young boy’s wondrous summer in a small Midwestern town thanks to the arrival of a mysterious writer claiming to be Charles Dickens (Fred Gwynne). The two become attached at the hip, working nonstop on Dickens’s “newest” masterpiece, A Tale of Two Cities. Narrated by Bradbury. (1982; 60 minutes) 

The Electric Grandmother
3:00 pm
Coadapted by Bradbury from his own short story “I Sing the Body Electric,” The Electric Grandmother is an amalgam of sci-fi and classic family tale. Starring Maureen Stapleton, this made-for-TV movie is the story of a widowed father (Edward Hermann) and his three children, whose lives are altered by the arrival of a robotic grandmother designed to give love to those who need it most, a task that proves harder than imagined. Twenty years earlier, Bradbury had adapted the short story for the one-hundredth episode of The Twilight Zone. (1982; 60 minutes)