Password 1972 Dark
Password All Stars Grand Masters Tournament
Password 75
ABC Daytime, April 5, 1971 – June 27, 1975
Run time
30 Minutes
Allen Ludden
John Harlan
ABC Television Center, Los Angeles, California
Vine Street Theatre, Los Angeles, California

This is chronicling the 1971-1975 version of Password. Also known as Password All-Stars and later as Password ('75).

PASSWORD 1971-1974 Game formatEdit

In the original from 1961 to 1974, two teams of two (consisting of one celebrity and one contestant) played Password for points. One player from each team (both celebrities or both contestants) was given the password while the home viewers saw the word on their screens (accompanied by the announcer saying, "The Password is..."). The first team got the option to pass or play. Then the clue givers gave a one-word clue to get their partners to say the password. Teams alternated turns until one guesser said the password which gave the team points according to how many clues given, starting at 10 and finishing at 5. Should the guesser on the team in control say a form of the password, the guesser got one last chance to say the exact word. Whenever an illegal clue is given, a buzzer sounded and the guesser lost a chance to guess the password and giving away the password by the clue givers ended the word. The decisions as to whether the clues were good and bad were made by the word authority. In the ABC version, the authorities were Dr. Robert Stockwell from UCLA and Dr. Carolyn Duncan. Partners on both teams alternated between giving and receiving, starting with the stars, then to the contestants; plus, the team that trailed or lost the last password in case of a tie started a new password. The first team to reach 25 points wins the game and goes on the play the Lightning Round.

Lightning RoundEdit

In the Lightning Round, the celebrity on the winning team had 60 seconds (one minute) to get his/her partner to say five more passwords. If the contestant can't guess the password, the celebrity can pass. Each password guessed was worth $50 meaning that the contestant can win up to $250. In the ABC version, after the main Lightning Round, the winning contestant can bet any or all of his/her winnings on one more password called the "betting word" in which the contestant now gives the clues to the celebrity partner for the next 15 seconds. Later in the ABC run, the value per word is upped to $100 for a possible total of $500.

Returning ChampionsEdit

Champions can stay until either defeated or winning 10 games. Later on, the limit was dropped.

Password All-Stars/Password 1975 Game FormatEdit

On November 18, 1974, the format changed to have celebrities play the game but without contestants. Six celebrities played for one whole week, all playing for charity. In this version, celebrities earned points scored by the winning team they were on. The top four celebrities returned to play Friday's game with the winning celebrity getting $5,000 plus a chance to play the Grandmaster Tournament for $25,000 more. This format is hated by fans of the show and so it's discontinued on February 21, 1975. Then the following Monday, the show reverted back to its original form, contestants and all, but the new format remained. The show was cancelled on June 27, 1975 to make room for a new charades game called Showoffs.

Main GameEdit

The main game began with an elimination round with four contestants/celebrities seated across from two celebrities. The celebrities took turns giving one word clues to the players, and the first player to buzz-in with the correct password scored one point. An incorrect answer from the buzz-in player caused that player to sit out the rest of the word, and questioning about the clue after buzzing in ended the word right away. The first 2 players to score 3 passwords (2 for the celebrities) win the right to play Classic Password.

Classic Password is played the same as before, except that the clue giver on the 1st team is also given the option to double in addition to the pass/play option. Going for the double meant that the word will be worth 20 points instead of 10; plus, both clue givers got one chance to get their partners to say the word. Not only that, the game's played to 50 points.

20/20 PasswordEdit

In the All-Stars version, both celebrities on the winning team got 20 seconds to convey two passwords (one for each celebrity) to each other and score 20 points. The winning team's score was given to both celebrities who then became clue givers for the next elimination round.

Big Money Lightning RoundEdit

When the show reverted back to having contestants, a new and richer Lightning Round was played. The Big Money Lightning Round was now a three-level game. On each level, the celebrity had 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say three passwords. On the first two levels, each password guessed was worth money, and getting all three won extra money for every second leftover. The contestant must guess at least one password to go to the next level, and not getting any passwords right ended the round automatically.

  • Level 1 - Each word was worth $25. Getting all three earned $75 plus an additional $5 per second leftover.
  • Level 2 - Each word was worth the total amount of money won on the first level. Getting all three earned an additional $10 per leftover second.
  • Level 3 - The celebrity had another 30 seconds to get his/her partner to say the final three passwords. If the contestant did get all three he/she won ten times the cash won from both levels, but not getting all three still kept the money won from both levels.

After the Big Money Lightning Round, the winning contestant along with the contestant he/she defeated in the main game played another elimination round with two new challengers.




Video Slot MachineEdit

A video slot machine based on the 1971-74 era was released by WMS Gaming in 2003. Featuring the narration of Allen Ludden and the witty banter of Rose Marie, Dawn Wells (a.k.a Mary Ann of Gilligan's Island fame), Adam West (of 60s TV Batman fame) and Marty Allen. In the game, players select envelopes in hopes of finding a Password card which advances them to the next level where each envelope revealed awards higher credit values, extra picks or another Password card. In the fantastic Free Spin bonus, each Free Spin symbol collected increases the multiplier or adds the number of free spins.

DVD GameEdit

Released by Endless Games in 2006, it featured a pair of password revealing glasses in the box.

Card GameEdit

A Lightning Round card game was released by Endless Games in 2011. As in Password, players use one-word clues to get their partner to guess the secret PASSWORD, but now you're "ON THE CLOCK!" as you race to get as many Password cards as you can in 60 seconds...then it's your opponents' turn. Highest score after three rounds wins.

Prior to this, it was also "packed-in" along with the 7th edition.

Target ExclusiveEdit

This was released by Cardinal in 2017.

Unreleased gamesEdit

A mobile phone version based on this era was going to be released by Telescope, Inc. in 2005. the logo based on the 1971-74 era was seen on its former website. However, plans for it were scrapped later on.

A handheld version based on this era was going to be released by Irwin Toys in 2008. (NOTE: Some internet sites (like this one) shows a prototype artwork of the "classic" version with host Allen Ludden pictured. In addition, another prototype pic without Ludden on the cover, were replaced with the words "Plays Just Like the TV Show" printed on the package. but when the game was released in store shelves as Million Dollar Password, neither of these prototypes were featured.)

Production SlateEdit




Episode StatusEdit

See Also: Password (1971)/Episode Guide


Password ABC Bumper Promo

Password ABC Bumper Promo

Password - December 7, 1971

Password - December 7, 1971

Password 1972

Password 1972

PW 1972

PW 1972

PASSWORD opening credits ABC game show

PASSWORD opening credits ABC game show

Password (February 21, 1975) - All-Stars Finale!

Password (February 21, 1975) - All-Stars Finale!

Password All-Stars (Finale)

Password All-Stars (Finale)

See AlsoEdit

Password Plus
Super Password
Password (1997 proposed revival)
Million Dollar Password
Subconscious Password


Password Slot Machine site website (featuring the "Password" Logo)
Instructions for the Password DVD game