This film is part of Free

On Stage

Drama on-stage and behind the scenes, from auditions to first night reviews, as The March of Time raises the curtain on the 1948 Broadway production of ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’.

Documentary 1949 18 mins


This refreshingly realistic look at the New York theatre world in 1948 captures the excitement of Broadway without understating the less glamorous side of a life on the stage. This March of Time film follows the progress of young actress Margaret Garland, from her cold-water tenement in the East 70s, through auditions and rehearsals, to the pinnacle of her first night performance alongside Rex Harrison and Joyce Redman in Maxwell Anderson’s ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’.

This film reflects March of Time producer Richard de Rochement’s interest in the arts and entertainment. De Rochement, who took over production duties from his brother Louis in August 1943, took credit for broadening the base of the series’ point of view: ‘softening things a little’, as he put it. Yet despite its ‘softer’ subject matter, this film preserves the spirit of the series original investigative ethos, delving beneath the surface glamour of Broadway, to portray not only the off-stage world of unions, technicians, writers and impressarios, but also emphasising the difficulties facing young actors in a world where the impact of mass media was beginning to have an effect on the popularity of theatre.