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Treason (1959 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

GenreWW2, drama
Based onplay by Saunders Lewis
Directed byWilliam Sterling
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
Production companyABC
Original networkABC
Original release16 December 1959 (1959-12-16) (Melbourne, live)
13 January 1960 (1960-01-13) (Sydney, taped)

Treason is a 1959 Australian television live drama, which aired on ABC about the 20 July plot during World War Two. Originally broadcast 16 December 1959 in Melbourne, a kinescope ("telerecording") was made of the program and shown in Sydney on 13 January 1960. It was an adaptation of a stage play by Welsh writer Saunders Lewis, which had previously been adapted as an episode of BBC Sunday-Night Theatre.[1][2][3]


Set during World War II. A group of officers, believing Germany to be losing the war, plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler so they can negotiate peace with the Allies.[4]

Hofacker tells Albrecht he is worried Germany will lose the war; Albrecht thinks that will only happen through treachery. Hofacker ends a romantic relationship with Countess Else. Hofacker becomes involved in a plot to kill Hitler along with von Stulpnagel and von Kluge. However the plot is unsuccessful. Albrecht deduces Hofacker's involvement but tells Else if she sleeps with him Hofacker will be freed.



George F. Kerr wrote a radio play on this topic which was broadcast on the ABC in 1958.[5]

Saunders Lewis originally wrote the play in Welsh for performance in 1958. It was translated into English for the 1959 British TV version.[6]

The play was produced live in the Melbourne studios of the A.B.C. Director William Sterling called it "a study in mental conflict rather than a play of action and, therefore, particularly suited to TV close-up treatment."[7][8]

Authentic German decorations for the play, as well as the Graf Spee's flag[citation needed], were lent by the Military Collectors' Club, Melbourne.[9] Scenes which take place in a luxury French hotel were pre-filmed in a Melbourne hotel.[7]

It was Frank Thring's Australian television play debut.[10]


The Age called it "one of the very few top line dramas yet presented on Australian TV."[11]

The Sunday Sydney Morning Herald said Thring gives "an impressive performance" being "closely matched in honours by the sensitive work" of Howell.[10]

The daily Sydney Morning Herald said the production was "stylish and forceful" in which "the big four male roles offered fascinating contrast in temperament and motives."[12]

See also


  1. ^ "TV Guide". The Age. 10 December 1959. p. 18.
  2. ^ 1959 British TV version at IMDb
  3. ^ Vagg, Stephen (18 February 2019). "60 Australian TV Plays of the 1950s & '60s". Filmink.
  4. ^ "Treason Against Hitler". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 January 1960. p. 11.
  5. ^ "Radio Guide". The Age. 7 November 1958. p. 30.
  6. ^ 1959 British version of Treason at BFI
  7. ^ a b Marshall, Valda (10 January 1960). "Top Westerns Leave the Field". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 74.
  8. ^ "Out to Kill Hitler". TV Times. 14 January 1960. p. 13.
  9. ^ "Authentic Insignia in Treason Drama". The Age. 10 December 1959. p. 13.
  10. ^ a b Marshall, Valda (17 January 1960). "TV Merry Go Round". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 88.
  11. ^ Janus (24 December 1959). "Plot to Kill Hitler Topline TV". The Age. p. 10.
  12. ^ "Forceful Play on ABC". 14 January 1960. p. 8.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 April 2022, at 06:13
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