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Three Steps to Heaven


danfling

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An episode of Irving Vendig's NBC series Three Steps to Heaven has been posted on YouTube by Rob Wargo.

 

I did not care for it very much.    The opening scene featured Lori March as Ginny.   She was joined later by Poco Thurmand and Bill Morgan.   The YouTube caption says that Kathleen Maguire was playing Poco, but I think that is a mistake.    I know how both Kathleen Maguire and Diana Douglas look, and it was neither one of them.  Phyllis Hill was the third actress to play Poco, so I suspect it was she who played Poco in this episode.

 

I did not like the script.   Lori March was dreadful, I thought.   I don't know if she had better scripts on The Secret Storm and other shows she appeared on afterwards or if her acting ability improved greatly.   I simply did not care for her scenes.

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I had long thought that Dark Shadows may have been the first soap opera to have used orchestral background music.    However, I am now seeing that both The Egg and I and Three Steps to Heaven used orchestral background music.  The IMDb lists Charles Paul of the organist/music supervisor for Three Steps to Heaven, but the episode that I saw did not use a keyboard instrument for its music.

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Aug 3 1953 - December 31 1954

11.30 - 11.45 NBC

Part of a morning soap hour 11.00 - 12.00

Hawkins Falls

The Bennetts

3 Steps

Follow Your Heart (debuted the same day)

Written by Irving Vendig, who was writing SFT and Perry Mason on radio at the same time.

Producer Adrian Samish Coproducer Bob Milford Director Warren Jacober

 

Cast (courtesy of Slick Jones)

 

Jennifer Alden  ... Lori March

Alan Anderson  ... Dort Clark

Vince Bannister ....   John Morley

Max Bremner  ...   Mercer McCloud

Dr. Campbell     ....Harry Holcombe

Jason Clive    ...   Lauren Gilbert     

Mrs. Clive   ....  Harriet MacGibbon   

Charlotte Doane   ...    Mona Bruns   

Mrs. Doane ...   Doris Rich   

Nurse Gaines ...   Natalie Schafer     

Cliff Jenkins     ...   ????

Walter Jones    ...   Earl George

Pigeon Mallory   ...  Eeta  Linden

Bill Morgan   ...   Mark Roberts   

                             ...Gene Blakely

                        ...   Walter Brooke    

  "Poco" Mary Claire  Thurmond Morgan ....  Kathleen Maguire  

                                ... Diana Douglas 2/54   

                                ....Phyllis Hill        

Chip Morrison ...   Robert Webber   

Barry Thurmond   ...   Roger Sullivan

Alice Trent   ...   Laurie Vendig 

Beth Waring   ... Madeline Belgarde 

Nan Waring    ...   Beth Douglas

 

 

 

Angela ...  Ginger McManus    1953   
"Uncle"   Frank  ...   Frank Tweddell         

Laura  ....    Inge Adams

Mike ....   Joe Brown, Jr.      

Susan      Susan Oliver    

 

Psychiatrist     Jay Barney     9/1954      2 weeks

 

 

Announcer      Don Pardo

 

 

?????????

 

Donald Buka              AMC, TD

Sam Gilman        4/54

Henry Lascoe     4/54

Kay Medford       4/54

John Pavelko     1954

Jane Seymour      4/54

Howard Smith

Ralph Stantley

Donald Symington     4/54

Irving Taylor

 

Edited by Paul Raven
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The 3 steps of the title had a double meaning, referring to Poco's Uncle Franks belief that the three steps to a happy and useful life were courage, love and faith.

There were also 3 steps at Poco's brownstone that lead to a gallery where she could look up to the sky above and leave her problems behind.

Mary Jane (Poco) left her rural environs where she had been raised by her Uncle frank to become a model in NY. She lived in a brownstone flat and was attracted to fellow tenant Bill, a  kindly WW2 veteran and writer. Poco and Bill eventually wed.

 

Vince Bannister was an underworld figure who tried to lure Poco's brother Barry into organized crime.

 

Mike ran a hamburger joint that the characters frequented and was comic relief.

 

Irving Thaylor played a cop in at least the first episode as Lori March's character took refuge at Mike's place from Mercer McLoud's character.

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Final episode summary

 

Poco speaks with Alice about Bill's job prospects, while Jennifer Alden brings him to a job interview. Bill gets the job, but unbeknownst to him, his accomplishment is not based on his talents: Jennifer has ulterior motives, and she had already made a deal with the employer to give him the job. As the program concludes, Lauren Gilbert kindly describes Bill and Poco's future to the viewers, since this is the final episode of the series

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Episode summaries sometime in 1954

 

 Poco waits at the hospital for news about the condition of her brother and husband, who were brought into the emergency room after a horrible fire. A hospital nurse tries to give Poco a sedative to calm her nerves, but she refuses to take it. Then an Italian man drops by and gives a token gift to the nurse, who had been of great help to his wife during labor. He goes on and on about his newborn child without realizing that Poco is anguished. Poco daydreams about having a child of her own and imagines how Bill would behave in such a scenario. She then speaks with Jason about the medical status of Bill and her brother and then asks that she be told the truth about the situation.

 

A friend of Poco's named Jason Cleve pesters the medical staff, who is trying to aid Poco's brother and her husband, Bill Morgan. Both men were severely injured in a horrible fire, and Cleve wants to learn about their condition so he can give Poco some news. Frustrated upon learning that he will have to wait for answers, Cleve begins to think that doctors and nurses are only machines. However, he soon learns that he is wrong in his beliefs.

Edited by Paul Raven
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