Case Closed : The elusive Blithe Spirit (1966)

I've been doing quite a bit of detective work recently, trying desperately to track down a copy of the 1966 TV Broadcast of Blithe Spirit. I e-mailed F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre, who wrote a review of the broadcast on imdb. He graciously e-mailed me back right away, letting me know that he had seen it at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.

If you aren't familiar with the name, The Paley Center is a media museum where you can view and listen to thousands of tv and radio broadcasts that aren't available anywhere else. For the cost of a ticket you are alotted one hour of viewing time -- it's up to you if you want to watch a one hour program or multiple short features. Members get longer viewing times and usually have a shorter waiting time before getting to see or hear their programs.

I've been to their New York City location about four or five times so far (I usually choose to view my favorite episode of Jack Benny with Barbara Stanwyck guest starring as part of my alottment, since it's not available anywhere else) and you better believe I'm planning another trip. Mr. MacIntyre saw the program 10 years ago, so just to be on the safe side I searched the Paley Center collection database to make sure Blithe Spirit was there. And it is! Here's the link to their listing.

I'm planning to go see it in March (I need to save up some money for train fare & tickets, not much since I only live about 1 hour away from the city, but still..) and I'll definitely post a review when I'm finished! Unfortunately, the Paley Center is a little like Las Vegas... what happens there, stays there. None of the programs are available for purchase, and you obviously can't take pictures either. It's a shame, since after hours of exhaustive research I couldn't even find one single screen shot of a scene from Blithe Spirit on the internet.

My hope is that with sites like Hulu becoming more popular, the Paley Center will someday decide to put their database online. Even if they offer their library like Netflix Instant Watch, where you need to pay a subscription fee to see or hear their programs, it would be so wonderful for people who don't live near LA or NYC.

So, the search is over... for now. Once I see it, I'm sure I'll be even more desperate for my own personal copy :)


Terence Towles Canote said...

I think it would be great if the Paley Centre put some of the rarer items they have in their collection online. I'd even be willing to pay a fee to some of it!

Tom said...

I would think the Paley would eventually make some available online; I'd be willing to pay a fee to watch online, too; there'd be so many I'd want to see and they have such a large collection.