BBC Play of the Month

by alisazarkova | created - 05 Jan 2014 | updated - 05 Jan 2014 | Public
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1. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Luther (1965)


During the early 16th Century idealistic German monk Martin Luther, disgusted by the materialism in the church, begins the dialogue that will lead to the Protestant Reformation.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Alec McCowen, Patrick Magee, Geoffrey Bayldon, Charles Carson

John Osborne

2. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Passage to India (1965)

110 min | Drama

Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator.

Director: Waris Hussein | Stars: Sybil Thorndike, Virginia McKenna, Cyril Cusack, Zia Mohyeddin

Votes: 15

E.M. Forster

4. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Gordon of Khartoum (1966)


The story of General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, a brilliant but eccentric military commander, and his death defending Khartoum in 1885.

Director: Rudolph Cartier | Stars: Alan Badel, Charles Carson, Peter Ashmore, Faith Hines

5. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1966)

120 min | Drama

After a rich Edwardian widow impulsively marries a handsome but poor Tuscan dentist and dies in childbirth, her English in-laws try to gain custody of the baby.

Director: Naomi Capon | Stars: Anna Massey, Wendy Hiller, Alec McCowen, Nora Swinburne

E.M. Forster

6. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Lee Oswald: Assassin (1966)

90 min | Drama

The story of the man accused of killing President Kennedy.

Director: Rudolph Cartier | Stars: Tony Bill, Dora Reisser, Robert Ayres, John Alderson

Votes: 6

7. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Make Me an Offer (1966)

120 min | Drama

Antique dealer Charlie yearns to own a beautiful Portland vase.

Director: Bill Hays | Stars: Diana Coupland, Peter Gilmore, Judith Bruce, Meier Tzelniker

8. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Death of a Salesman (1966)


Willy Loman is an over-the-hill salesman who faces a personal turning point when he loses his job and attempts to make peace with his family: Willy's long-suffering wife Linda, and Biff and Happy, his troubled sons and his life.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Rod Steiger, Betsy Blair, Joss Ackland, Tony Bill

Votes: 11

Arthur Miller

9. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Devil's Eggshell (1966)

90 min | Drama

The discovery of mysterious egg-shaped objects at the sites of a series of disasters lead people to believe that we are being attacked by alien beings, but it is revealed to be a conspiracy... See full summary »

Director: Gareth Davies | Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Keith Barron, David Langton, John Phillips

Votes: 5

11. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Days to Come (1966)

95 min | Drama

Set in the future where people live in peace in a sealed bubble, they are divided into four levels - Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and deviants who cannot conform to the society. Elizabeth is from a ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Bridges | Stars: Judi Dench, Dinsdale Landen, Bernard Archard, Michael Gough

Votes: 9

16. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Moon and Sixpence (1967)


Loosely inspired from Gauguin's life, the story of Charles Strickland, a middle-aged stockbroker who abandons his middle-classed life, his family, his duties to start painting, what he has ... See full summary »

Director: Donald McWhinnie | Stars: Charles Gray, Ronald Hines, Barry Justice, Sylvia Kay

W. Somerset Maugham

17. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Romeo and Juliet (1967)


In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Kika Markham, Hywel Bennett, John Gielgud, Thora Hird

William Shakespeare

18. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Parachute (1968)

77 min | Drama

As the Nazis grow ever more powerful in Germany, Werner grows up in an aristocratic household, hating his domineering father and making enemies in high places.

Director: Anthony Page | Stars: Alan Badel, Jill Bennett, John Osborne, Isabel Dean

Votes: 8

19. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Cyrano de Bergerac (1968)


Long-nosed Cyrano de Bergerac helps an army officer woo Roxanne, the woman he loves.

Director: James MacTaggart | Stars: Eric Porter, Peter Jeffrey, Suzanne Neve, Simon Brent

Edmond Rostand

20. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Ghosts (1968)


A young student idealizes the lives of the inhabitants of a stylish apartment building in Stockholm only to find that it is a nest of betrayal and sickness.

Director: Michael Elliott | Stars: Celia Johnson, Tom Courtenay, Donald Wolfit, Fulton Mackay

Henrik Ibsen

21. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Corn Is Green (1968)

120 min | Drama

A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.

Director: Philip Dudley | Stars: Wendy Hiller, Ronald Fraser, Stephanie Bidmead, Glyn Houston

Emlyn Williams

22. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Tempest (1968)


The magician Prospero, once Duke of Milan, now rules a small, enchanted island - but a storm brings visitors from the past.

Director: Basil Coleman | Stars: Michael Redgrave, Keith Michell, Jonathan Dennis, Ronald Pickup

Votes: 7

William Shakespeare

24. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Man and Superman (1968)


John Tanner is determined not to lose his independence - which comes under threat when he falls in love with an ardent feminist.

Director: James MacTaggart | Stars: Eric Porter, Maggie Smith, Adrienne Corri, Rachel Kempson

Votes: 5

George Bernard Shaw

25. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Hay Fever (1968)

90 min | Drama

Weekend guests of the Bliss family finds their hosts distinctly eccentric.

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Celia Johnson, Jane Merrow, Richard Briers, Dennis Price

Votes: 12

26. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: St. Joan (1968)


In fifteenth-century France, a teenage peasant girl leads the army to victories against the English after claiming she has heard the voices of saints.

Director: Waris Hussein | Stars: Janet Suzman, John Gielgud, Keith Baxter, Geoffrey Bayldon

George Bernard Shaw

27. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Male Animal (1968)


The trustees of Midwestern University have forced three teachers out of their jobs for being suspected communists. Trustee Ed Keller has also threatened mild mannered English Professor ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Bridges | Stars: Lee Montague, Anthony Perkins, Toby Robins, Alan Gifford

James Thurber

28. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Seagull (1968)


An aging actress Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Sorin and son Konstantin on a country estate. On one occasion she brings with her Trigorin, a successful novelist. Nina, a free ... See full summary »

Star: Robert Stephens

Votes: 6

Anton Chekhov

29. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Waters of the Moon (1968)

90 min | Drama

Lonely people in a quiet hotel find their lives shaken up by the arrival of the glamorous, assertive Helen Lancaster.

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Margaret Leighton, Athene Seyler, Vivien Merchant, Kathleen Harrison

N.C. Hunter

30. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Mary Queen of Scots (1969)


Mary Stuart, who was named Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, is the last Roman Catholic ruler of Scotland. She is imprisoned at he age of 23 by her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Coleman | Stars: Richard Atherton, Edward Atienza, Emile Belcourt, Pamela Brown

Friedrich Schiller

32. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Relatively Speaking (1969)


Ginny plots to keep her affair with the much older (and married) Philip from her regular boyfriend Greg.

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Judy Cornwell, Celia Johnson, Donald Sinden, John Stride

33. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Julius Caesar (1969)


Highly-placed Romans plot the murder of Julius Caesar.

Director: Alan Bridges | Stars: Robert Stephens, Frank Finlay, Maurice Denham, Edward Woodward

Votes: 10

34. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: An Ideal Husband (1969)

82 min | Drama

Sir Robert Chiltern is a successful Government minister, well-off and with a loving wife. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley appears in London with damning evidence of a past misdeed.... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Cartier | Stars: Margaret Leighton, Keith Michell, Jeremy Brett, Dinah Sheridan

Votes: 137

35. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Heiress (1969)


A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: Terence Dudley | Stars: Vincent Price, Eileen Atkins, John Stride, Lally Bowers

36. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Charley's Aunt (1969)


Charley Wyckham and Jack Chesney pressure fellow student Fancourt Babberly to pose as Charley's Brazilian Aunt Donna Lucia. Their purpose is to have a chaperone for their amorous visits ... See full summary »

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Danny La Rue, Ronnie Barker, Coral Browne, Dinsdale Landen

38. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: The Three Sisters (1970)


In a small Russian town at the turn of the century, three sisters (Olga, Irina, and Masha) and their brother Andrei live but dream daily of their return to their former home in Moscow, ... See full summary »

Director: Cedric Messina | Stars: Janet Suzman, Eileen Atkins, Michele Dotrice, Michael Bryant

Votes: 39

40. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Separate Tables (1970)


The stories of several people are told as they stay at a seaside hotel in Bournemouth which features dining at "Separate Tables."

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Geraldine McEwan, Eric Porter, Annette Crosbie, Robert Harris

Votes: 23

41. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Howards End (1970)


A businessman thwarts his wife's bequest of an estate to another woman.

Director: Donald McWhinnie | Stars: Leo Genn, Rachel Kempson, Glenda Jackson, Sarah-Jane Gwillim

Votes: 10

43. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Macbeth (1970)


The Thane of Cawdor plots to become King of Scotland.

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Eric Porter, Janet Suzman, John Thaw, John Woodvine

Votes: 7

44. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Ross (1970)


Ross, it seems, is just an ordinary airman in the RAF, albeit more private, more of a loner, than most. But why is he so alarmingly scarred, and who is he, really?

Director: Cedric Messina | Stars: Ian McKellen, Charles Gray, Barrie Ingham, John Bennett

Votes: 12

45. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Uncle Vanya (1970)


A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still ... See full summary »

Director: Christopher Morahan | Stars: Freddie Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Ann Bell, Roland Culver

Votes: 55

46. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Five Finger Exercise (1970)

120 min | Drama

A long-married couple are at war with each other and with their teenage son and daughter. The presence of a handsome young tutor complicates and sensitizes the savage domestic tensions ... See full summary »

Director: John Gorrie | Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Paul Rogers, Timothy Dalton, Gary Bond

Votes: 5

47. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Act of Betrayal (1971)

85 min | Drama

Dramatisation of the events leading up to the arrest of the Portland spies.

Director: William Slater | Stars: Zena Walker, Mary Wimbush, Michael Gwynn, Stanley Meadows

Votes: 6

48. BBC Play of the Month (1965–1983)
Episode: Candida (1971)


The idealist Reverend Morell tries to unite Socialism and Christianity.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: George Baker, Jeremy Bulloch, Timothy Dalton, Geraldine McEwan