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Lee Phillip Show: Nutcracker excerpts [December 25, 1966]

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Film Identifier: F.2011-05-0003
Run Time
0h 7m 50s
Date Produced
The Lee Phillip Show was a local talk show that aired on CBS's WBBM-TV in Chicago.  It ran from 1952-1986 and, beginning in the 1960s, was also shown in other cities by CBS affiliates.  

This film represents excerpts from a 28-minute ballet segment (presumably scenes from "The Nutcracker") staged specifically for The Lee Phillip Show.  This Christmas special was recorded on December 20, 1966 (in color) for airing on Christmas day; the orginal film's container notes suggest that it also aired on January 5, 1967.
The film opens with a shot of the clapperboard for "Take A" of the Christmas ballet episode of The Lee Phillip Show by WBBM Chicago.  It is followed by a blank screen with background beeps before cutting to two dancers costumed for the "Arabian" dance from The Nutcracker, posed and awaiting their music cue.  Eventually, they begin the pas de deux, clearly modified for the television studio (with neither sets nor their "attendants").  Toward the end of their dance, two Arabian coffee pots appear and the two mime pouring coffee for themselves before ending their dance in a bowed pose.  As at the beginning, they hold this pose for awhile before breaking character.

The film then cuts to a "Take B" clapperboard, labeled specifically for the "Doll Dance" (i.e. the dance by the life-size mechanical Christmas dolls that Dr. Drosselmeyer brings to the Stahlbaum party).  This is again followed by a blank screen and beeps before cutting to a MCU of the female doll, who poses in wait for the music.  Once it begins, the camera cuts from her to the male doll and then pulls back for a view of them both on a candy cane floorpiece.  The two dance their stiff pas de deux without traveling much; when they complete it, they march off-camera arm in arm.

Next, the film cuts to a shot of an angel ornament nestled amongst tinsel, as if on a Christmas tree, before blurring back to the 'stage' area, where the second group of dolls (a soldier and a cantinier) stands.  These two then dance their own stiff pas de deux, also staying within the bounds of the candy cane floorpiece.  They complete the dance by 'falling' into final poses on the ground.  The film ends there.
Main Credits
Erskine, Chris (is director)
Related Place
Chicago (production location of)