Montage: A Filmed History of the 60s and 70s with a Cleveland Perspective

Local Focus — National Acclaim

Montage film crew
Montage crew at the Port of Cleveland, (l to r) Jon Boynton, Howard Schwartz, Dick Mrzena, Gary Robinson, Dennis Goulden.

Montage was a television documentary program that aired in Cleveland on WKYC-TV, NBC from September 1965 to December 1978. This dramatic and professional series focused on Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, emphasizing local history, personalities, and the contribution of Northeastern Ohio to the world. Episodes of Montage addressed serious issues of the 60s and 70s such as the Vietnam War, pollution, race, homosexuality, drugs and crime.

Among the personalities featured on Montage were Cleveland Orchestra director Lorin Maazel and Cleveland Browns coach Paul Brown.Guest hosts included comedian Bill Cosby and actor Robert Stack. Under the direction of Executive Producer/Director Dennis Goulden, Montage won more than 200 awards, including several Emmys. Today, as a collection, it stands as a unique visual record of two turbulent decades in Cleveland's history.

The Episodes

Of the more than 250 episodes of Montage produced, 53 programs have been digitized and made available here online through the efforts of the Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University.

Screenshot for Acupuncture: Medicine or Magic

Acupuncture: Medicine or Magic (1973) - Examines two theories on how acupuncture works and its uses. Includes comments from doctors at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Northville State Hospital in Michigan.
Narrator: Doug Adair; 24:30 minutes.

Screenshot for Akki: A Black Poet

Akki: A Black Poet (1972) - Examines the ideas and poetry of Akki Jomo Onyango, a young, black poet who expresses his feelings of frustration and aspiration through his work.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic; 25:23 minutes.

Screenshot for A Call to Conscience

A Call to Conscience (1972) - Details the effort made by the Pennsylvania Division of Mine Reclamation to mitigate ecological damage caused by strip mining. This report was done in light of Ohio's recent passage of strip mining regulations.
Narrator: Doug Adair; 25:16 minutes.

Screenshot for Canoeing the Trembling Earth

Canoeing the Trembling Earth (1975) - Accompanies a group of high school students and their advisors on a canoeing expedition through the Okefenokee Swamp. Illustrates the value of wilderness areas and shows wildlife of uncommon variety.
Narrator: Scott Osborne; 24:32 minutes.

Screenshot for Can We Afford To Get Well?

Can We Afford To Get Well? (1970) - Explores the rising costs of medical care and what can be done to control them. Discussessuch issues as the high medical insurance premiums, the uneveness of health care distribution and the A.M.A.'s stand on a national health insurance program.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic 53:12 minutes.

Screenshot for The Car Owner Advocates

The Car Owner Advocates (1971) - Tells the story of a group of Case-Western Reserve University students who have established consumer complaint handling centers for automobile buyers. These advocates, loosely associated with Ralph Nader's Center for Auto Safety, also compile information on manufacturing defects and warranty claims for use by the Washington center.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic; 25:22minutes.

Screenshot for Come and Take My Hand

Come and Take My Hand (1972) - Follows the treatment of terminal cancer patients by a Dominican nun at the Holy Family Cancer Home in Cleveland.
Narrator: Tom Haley; 23:00 minutes.

Screenshot for The Crooked River Dies: An Epilogue

The Crooked River Dies: An Epilogue (1971) - Reviews the Cuyahoga River's pollution and pollution abatement progress five years after the Montage series' program, The Crooked River Dies. Uses interviews with the Chief Engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District to present the river's current environmental status.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic; 24:35 minutes.

Screenshot for The Day Jack Pittman Died

The Day Jack Pittman Died (1969) - Explores the feelings of the residents of Beallsville, Ohio in the wake of five deaths of Vietnam War soldiers from the area. Documents the struggle of the townspeople to reconcile their loyalty to their country and their love for their young. Includes interviews with town officials, young people of Beallsville, and their parents.
Narrator: Leif Ancker; 26:11 minutes.

Screenshot for The Deepest Shadow

The Deepest Shadow (1967) - Probes the addiction to alcohol of Father Edward McGowan. Examines the mental anguish which it caused him over a period of 30 years and describes the work of Guest House Sanatorium where Father McGowan regained his health.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic; 52:59 minutes.

Screenshot for The Depression Years

The Depression Years (1974) - Discusses the history and causes of the Great Depression, the social and psychological climate of the 1930's, and the possibility of a recurrence in today's economy.
Narrator: Scott Osborne; 24:11 minutes.

Screenshot for Design for Living

Design for Living (1971) - Looks at five house designs and the relationship of each home to its inhabitants. Investigates housing costs and the practicality of mass produced residential units. Shows "Habitat", architect Moshe Safdie's mass produced, modular housing group at Expo 67 in Montreal.
Narrator: Virgil Dominic; 25:29 minutes.

Screenshot for The Drug Report

The Drug Report (1972) - Examines drug abuse and its ramifications, methods of treating heroin addicts, and efforts of police to curb drug traffic in the Cleveland metropolitan area.
Narrator: Doug Adair; 51:19 minutes.