Screen Directors’ Playhouse – Jackpot

One of Jimmy Stewart’s six appearances on the NBC program, Screen Directors’ Playhouse, came on April 26, 1951, when he starred with Margaret Truman in Jackpot. Miss Truman had the role of Amy Lawrence, the part which had been played by Barbara Hale in the film. One of the other very recognizable voices in the play is that of Jim Backus, who has the role of Leslie of Harrington Interiors.

With the President’s daughter on the show, some precautions had to be taken to keep from embarrassing Harry Truman or his administration. Margaret was quick to suggest some changes as shown in the following article from the Medford Mail Tribune, Medford, OR:

Medford (OR) Mail Tribune 4-26-51

Most of the previews of the program made good use of the fact that Miss Truman was to be Stewart’s co-star. She was usually the first one mentioned and, if there was a photo, she was sure to be in it. Here are three newspaper clippings from the day of the broadcast which help make this point. The first is from the Tucson Daily Citizen, Tucson, AZ:

Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen 4-26-51

An even larger article on Miss Truman and her radio debut appeared in the Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, TX:

Corsicana (TX) Daily Sun 4-26-51

The next appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI:



Finally, this one featuring a photo of Stewart and Truman during a rehearsal, is from the Newport Daily News, Newport, RI:

Newport (RI) Daily News 4-26-51

Here are the original segments of the one-hour program:

The following review of the program appeared in the May 7, 1951, edition of Broadcasting magazine:

Broadcasting 5-7-51

Here’s an enlargement of the box in the lower left hand corner of the article:

Margaret Trumen INFO

All of the show’s credits, including all of the actors taking part, are listed. Their names were not given during the broadcast.

When Jimmy Stewart on the Air was published, we also mentioned that this show was broadcast in the early 1980’s as a part of the syndicated program, Golden Age Radio Theatre. Since then, we have come in to possession of this disc. Golden Age Radio Theatre, Inc., of Fountain Hills, AZ, issued these shows to radio stations on 12-inch, 33 1/3 RPM records.


There was no set broadcast dates for the show, each of which was hosted by Victor Ives. Jackpot was issued as Show #204. Below are scans of both sides of the cue sheet which accompanied the disc. Please notice that the elaborate instructions about turning the record over. Apparently, the syndicator didn’t have much faith in the local radio personnel.



The show, in slightly edited form, was broadcast in six segments. The most notable edits are that Stewart’s introduction to the play has been cut and the interview with Jimmy, Miss Truman and the film’s director, Walter Lang, at the end of the show is missing and, of course, the original commercials have also been removed. There is, however, a short segment about Jimmy’s radio series, The Six Shooter, inserted at the end of this program.

Because the audio is a little cleaner, we’ll also include all six segments of this broadcast.