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The Power and the Glory (1961 film)

The Power and the Glory is a 1961 American TV film based on the novel The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. It was produced by David Susskind for Talent Associates-Paramount. The production was shot for American TV but also distributed theatrically overseas.[1]




It was Olivier's second performance for American television following an acclaimed production of The Moon and Sixpence which won him an Emmy.

Playwright Dale Wassterman wrote the script in seven days.[2]

David Susskind originally wanted Richard Burton to co star with Olivier.[3] The project was announced in April 1961 and the cast finalised in May. It was going to be CBS's "major dramatic production" for the year.[4] The budget was a reported $500,000.[5]

A Mexican township worth $125,000 was built for the production, which was shot at NBC studios, in two studios. (Although broadcast by CBS.) It was one of the most elaborate productions shot for TV at the time.[6]

Taping started 30 May 1961 over a four-week period between the end of Olivier's run in Becket and his return to England.[7] The budget eventually blew out to $746,000 and the running time was 132 minutes.[8]


The New York Times called it "a proverbial milestone and a major disappointment."[9] The Los Angeles Times said it was "less than it could be".[10]


  1. ^ POWER AND THE GLORY, The Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 29, Iss. 336, (Jan 1, 1962): 109.
  2. ^ THE TV SCENE: 'Power and Glory' Something Special Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 13 Oct 1961: A10.
  3. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Ina Balin to Co-Star with Wayne, Tryon Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 8 May 1961: a3.
  4. ^ N.B.C. TO TELEVISE CHILDREN'S NEWS: Show for 8 to 18 Age Group to Start on Sept. 30 By VAL ADAMS. New York Times 15 May 1961: 57.
  5. ^ OLIVIER WILL STAR IN A DRAMA ON TV: Susskind Producing Version of 'Power and Glory' By VAL ADAMS. New York Times 4 May 1961: 75.
  6. ^ NEWS OF TELEVISION AND RADIO -- BIG PROJECT: 'Power and Glory' to Have Elaborate Setting in Local Studio -- Items By VAL ADAMS. New York Times 21 May 1961: X15.
  7. ^ BY WAY OF REPORT: Anthony Quinn to Star, Produce -- Addenda By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 28 May 1961: X7.
  8. ^ GREENE NOVEL SET FOR TV ON NOV. 26: 'The Power and the Glory' Is Listed -- No Sponsor Yet By RICHARD F. SHEPARD. New York Times 4 July 1961: 37.
  9. ^ Sir Laurence Olivier Stars in Adaptation of the Novel by Graham Greene By JACK GOULD. New York Times 30 Oct 1961: 59.
  10. ^ THE TV SCENE---: 'Power and Glory' Achieved Neither Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 30 Oct 1961: A10.

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