Free

Visions: "The War Widow"

Actions and Detail Panel

Free

Event Information

Share this event

Date and time

Location

Location

Online event

Event description
UCLA Film & Television Archive Virtual Screening Room

About this event

Register to receive a reminder email and video link on the day of the program (please check your email filters). The video link will also be posted here 30 minutes before the start time.

This is a one-time live screening.

-----------------

Made possible by the John H. Mitchell Television Programming Endowment

Visions: “The War Widow”

U.S., 10/28/1976

Broadcast at a time when LGBTQ+ people were frequently depicted negatively on television, playwright Harvey Perr’s acclaimed period drama “The War Widow” dared to sensitively portray the gentle unfolding of two women falling in love. Set during World War I, Perr’s teleplay concerns an introspective, unfulfilled married woman (Pamela Bellwood) who finds herself increasingly drawn to a vibrant, self-actualized photographer (Frances Lee McCain). Upending decades of televised stereotypes, Perr’s coming out tale centers its strong female characters (anchored by brilliant, understated performances from Bellwood and McCain) with courage and agency as they chart their own destinies in opposition to cruel restrictions imposed by society at large. Controversial when aired (the PBS program included a disclaimer noting that it was funded entirely by grants, not tax dollars), the resulting moving drama (produced by TV pioneer Barbara Schultz) represents a significant milestone in the realistic, positive depiction of lesbians on primetime television. In The Advocate, noted activist and film historian Vito Russo (The Celluloid Closet) wrote, “watching the final scenes of ‘The War Widow,’ a vision of lesbians as a people welled-up inside me and I saw, for the first time on television, the strength of will that has existed in my people throughout history, enabling us to decide to be different and carve a life out of our being.”

Screenwriter Harvey Perr and actress Frances Lee McCain will join LGBTQ historian Jenni Olson for a post-screening conversation. Introduction by Archive Director May Hong HaDuong.

Program note written by Mark Quigley, John H. Mitchell Television Curator.

Color, 78 min. KCET. Producer: Barbara Schultz. Director: Paul Bogart. Writer: Harvey Perr. With: Pamela Bellwood, Frances Lee McCain, Katharine Bard.

Use of Visions courtesy of KCETLink.

Total program runtime including discussion: approx. 120 min.

-----------------------------

Questions? Please see our FAQ or contact us at programming@cinema.ucla.edu

Share with friends

Date and time

Location

Online event

{ _('Organizer Image')}

Organizer UCLA Film & Television Archive

Organizer of Visions: "The War Widow"

Dedicated to preserving moving image history.

Save This Event

Event Saved