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Original These Four Men header art

The These Four Men Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> These Four Men





Background

From the September 7th, 1941 edition of the Kingsport Times:

41-09-07 Kingsport TImes head

     Living biographies of the four most important men in the world today--President Franklin Delano Rooseveltl, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler--will be presented by the National Broadcasting Company's Red Network, including WKPT, on Sundays, September 7, 14, 21, 28, from 6 to 6:30 p.m., and re-broadcast to the entire world over NBC's international shortwave stations WRCA and WNBI.

     The series will be written, produced and presented through the program department of the National Broadcasting Company.
     Entitled "These Four Men," the series will be designed to deal objectively with the human elements in the lives of the characters.  Their backgrounds, their parentage, their development through the years and the world forces which made them what they are will be described in fascinating detail.
     Each biography has been written by an expert in the field and will be enacted by an outstanding star of stage, screen and radio.  All programs are to be presented under the personal supervision of Clarence L. Menser, national production manager for NBC.

          Written By Experts

     Prime Minister Churchill's biography, to be presented this evening, has been written by Phyllis Moir, author of the current best seller, "I Was Winston Churchill's Secretary," in collaboration with Frank Wilson, top-ranking radio dramatist.
     The title role is to be played by Sir Cedrich Hardwicke, one of England's foremost actors, producers and authors, and a member of the BEF in France during the last World War, who was knighted in 1934 for his outstanding service to the crown.  Sir Cedric is now in Hollywood starring in motion pictures.  Menser is flying to the film capital in order to direct this production.  An unusual musical background will be supplied by a large orchestra under the baton of Charles Dant, outstanding West Coast radio and concert conductor.
     Complete details for the other programs in the series will be announced later, but Premier Stalin's biography has been chosen Sept. 14, Hitler's for Sept. 21, and President Roosevelt's for the 28th.  Equally outstanding authors and stars have been engaged for these broadcasts, which will originate in Hollywood or New York, depending on availability of the principal players.
     "These Four Men" will be broadcast direct to England and also will be reproduced in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish for the benefit of listeners around the World.

From the September 9th, 1941 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:

     The first of the "living Biographies" of the four most important men in the world today--President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Premier Stalin and Reishschancellor Hitler--was heard over WEAF last Sunday.  Initial program was devoted to Churchill and was written by Phyllis Moir, author of "I Was Winston Churchill's Secretary," in collaboration with Frank Wilson.  Sir Cedric Hardwicke played the principal role.

     Premier Stalin's biography has been scheduled for Sept. 14, Hitler's for Sept. 21 and President Roosevelt's for the 28th.  Series is entitled "These Four Men" and is designed to deal objectively with the human elements in the lives of the characters.
     "We're trying to correct the rather widespread impression that President Roosevelt called his schoolmates 'My Friends,' that Hitler wrote the first chapters of 'Mein Kampf' in kindergarten, that Stalin quoted Karl Marx in his cradle and that Churchill was born with a black cigar in his mouth," said Clarence L. Menser, production manager for the series.
To Fill In the Gaps
     "It seems to us," said Menser, "that a revaluation of the careers of these world leaders, taking into account their parentage, childhood training, eccentricities and education would be much to explain why they grew into the men they are today.
     "In other words, we know much of the Roosevelt who has been in the White House for ten years, but most of us know very little of his early life, his career as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during the World War and as Governor of New York.
     "Stalin has been billed as the 'man of mystery' since he attained power in Russia, while Churchill's life as a soldier and author and Hitler's as a painter, soldier and organizer areonly a little better known.
     "These Four Men" will endeavor to fill in hte gaps, taking our basic facts from intimate stories by writers who know each of the characters well, we plan to present incidents which not only describe their early lives but highlight their present day characters and world-shaking activities.
     The series is being rebroadcast to England.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Patriotic Documentaries
Network(s): NBC-Red
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 41-09-07 01 Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 41-09-07 to 41-09-28; NBC-Red [WEAF]; Four, 30-minute programs;
Syndication: National Broadcasting Compeny
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Clarence L Menser
Phillips Carlin [Concept author]
Principal Actors: Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Morgan, Bill Adams,
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s):
Author(s): Ernest K. Lindley
Writer(s) Frank Wilson, Phyllis Moir, Welbourn Kelley, Jerry Holland
Music Direction: Charles Dant
Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s): Carleton Smith
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
4
Episodes in Circulation: 0
Total Episodes in Collection: 0
Provenances:
.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







These Four Men Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
41-08-31
--
--
41-08-31 Wisconsin State Journal
5:00 Reg'lar Fellers--WMAQ WLW

41-09-10 Variety Page 24
NBC will go in for more packaging of programs, with ample budgets to give them an attractive look, declared Menser, who passed a fortnight on the Coast shaping up the net's "These Four Men" series to fill the time vacated through the sudden cancellation of 'Reg'lar Fellers.'

41-09-10 Variety Page 20
Jerry Holland is doing two and Welbourn Kelley and Frank Wilson one each of the "These Four Men: series (about Churchill, Stalin, Hitler and Roosevelt), which is filling the 7 p.m. Sunday spot on NBC-Red until Jack Benney returns.

41-09-07
1
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
N
41-09-07 Wisconsin State Journal
5 p.m.--These Four Men (WENR): living biographies of President Roosevelt, Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Adolf Hitler. 5:00 These Four Men--WMAQ

41-09-14
2
Premier Josef Stalin
N
41-09-14 Kingsport Times - Iosiph Dzhugashvili, otherwise known as Joseph Stalin, premier of the Soviet Union, general secretary of the Russian Communist Party's Central Committee, and People's Commissar for National Affairs, will be the second world leader to have his life dramatized in the "These Four Men" series over the NBC Red Network and WKPT. His biography is to be presented tonight at 6:00 p.m. EST under the personal supervision of Clarence L. Menser, the National Broadcasting Company's national production manager. This group of unusual programs started September 7, when Prime Minister Churchill's life story, as written by Phyllis Moir and Frank Wilson, was broadcast. It will continue on September 21 with the story of Adolf Hitler, and is to be concluded the following week with a biography of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

41-09-14 Daily Illinois State Journal
Ralph Morgan to Play Stalin--Ralph Morgan, one of America's leading stage and screen stars, will play the part of Joseph Stalin, premier of the Soviet Union, during "Man of Steel," to be presented over WMAQ as second in the series of These Four Men, dealing with the lives of hte most talked of personalities in the world today. The program will be heard at 5 p.m. to day under the supervision of Clarence L. Menser, N.B.C. national production manager.

41-09-21
3
Reichschancellor Adolf Hitler
N
41-09-21 Wisconsin State Journal
5 p.m.--These Four Men (WMAQ): the story of Adolf Hitler.

41-09-21 Kingsport Times
NBC Tells Story Of Hitler's Rise From Laborer--The third program in the series "These Four Men" will be heard tonight at 6:00 p.m. (EST) and will air the biography of the Bavarian housepainter, Adolf Hitler, who rose from obscurity to command the world's greatest war machine. The story will be concerned chiefly with his earlier days, before his rise to power. The concluding program in the series will be heard one week from tonight. It will be the story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

41-09-21 Portland Oregonian - KEX--Nobody will play the role of Hitler. There will be only two scenes in which the dictator is heard. The first scene begins with the hysterical sobbing of a little boy who is being beaten by his father. The climax of the story comes when Hitler's voice, pitched in the same hysterical vein, is heard haranguing his cohorts after Hindenburg made him chancellor.

41-09-28
4
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
N
41-09-28 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p.m.--Four Men (WMAQ): the life story of President Roosevelt.

41-09-28 Dallas Morning News
Roosevelt's Life Story Air Feature--The life story of President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be dramatized over the NBC-Red network and WFAA-WBAP at 6 p.m. Sunday. This program serves as the climax and conclusion of an unusual series of living biographies entitled, These Four Men, and dealing with the most talked-of personalities in the world today. Bill Adams, distinguished American actor, is to play the role of the chief executive, and Carleton Smith, NBC presidential announcer, will act as narrator. The program was writtenby Welbourn Kelly, well-known radio script writer, around material supplied by Ernest K. Lindley, noted biographer of the President. It will be directed by Clarence L. Menser, NBC national program manager. The idea for These Four Men was conceived by Menser and Phillips Carlin, NBC-Red network program manager, for the purpose of acquainting the radio audience with little known but significant facts about the lives of men who are making history today. The series was inaugurated on Sept. 7 with the biography of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Biographies of Stalin and Hitler followed.

41-10-05
--
--
41-10-05 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Jack Benny WMAQ WTMJ WLW










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