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The Immigrants

lavetta seldon alan television

(Syndicated, 11/20/1978 and 11/27/1978, 2 Parts, 120 mins each, 4 hours). Howard Fast’s number one bestseller the rags to riches saga of a young Italian immigrant who battles his way out of the San Francisco earthquake to become a shipping magnate, rise to the top of Nob Hill’s society through a loveless marriage to the daughter of the city’s wealthiest family, and find happiness with an Asian mistress despite the collapse of his fortune during the Wall Street crash. It made its spectacular way to television (as a two part, four hour movie) on the strength of sincere performances by a solid cast of actors who knew they would be upstaged by the legendary earthquake, re-created on the Universal backlot with new special effects intercut with footage from the studio’s earlier “Earthquake,” from MGM’s “San Francisco” (with individually colored frames for matching shots), and from existing newsreel footage of the actual event in 1906.

Production Company Universal Television. Director Alan J. Levi. Executive Producer Robert A. Cinader. Producers Gino Grimaldi, Hannah Louise Shearer. Teleplay Richard Collins. Based on the Novel by Howard Fast. Photography Frank Thackery. Music Gerald Fried. Editors Albert J.J. Zuniga, Edward W. Williams. Art Director George Renne. Costumes Burton Miller.

Cast Stephen Macht (Dan Lavetta), Sharon Gless (Jean Seldon Lavetta), Aimee Eccles (May Ling), Richard Anderson (Thomas Seldon), Ina Balin (Maria Cassala), Lloyd Bochner (Chris Noel), Kevin Dobson (Pete Lomas), Michael Durrell (Mark Levy), Roddy McDowall (Calvin Braderman), Kathleen Nolan (Mary Seldon), Pernell Roberts (Anthony Cassala), John Saxon (Alan Brocker), Yuki Shimoda (Feng Wo/narrator), Susan Strasberg (Sarah Levy), Barry Sullivan (Grant Whittier), Aharon Ipale (Joseph Lavetta), Michele Marsh (Anna Lavetta), Paul Sylvan (Tony), Joe Bennett (Gregory Pastore), Monika Lewis (Mrs. Whittier), Beulah Quo (So-Toy), Shane Sinutko (Joseph as a boy), Ari Macht (Dan Lavetta as a boy), Cynthia Eilbacher (Barbara), Don Keefer (Doctor), Regis J. Cordic (Somers), Harry Townes (Clancy), Walt Davis, Byron Morrow, Russ McGinn, June Barrett, Jordan Suffin, Lyndel Stuart.

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