Classic TV : OT: Before the TV years - the Radio Days

Re: The shortest radio plays (Ellery Queen)

I just listened to all of the EQ minute mysteries. If you go to archive.org and type in "Ellery Queen", you'll get a selection of all the radio plays. Just select the minute mysteries.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The shortest radio plays (Ellery Queen)

Thanks a lot - that's maybe even better than the movies or the TV series! (Except that there's no Jim Hutton there, of course...)


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: The shortest radio plays (Ellery Queen)

I don't know who did Ellery's voice in these radio plays, but he sure did a good job.

So Ellery Queen was played by a total of 4 actors on the big screen in the 30s and 40s. I'm not sure how many did his voice in radio. I heard one voice today. In the fifties, there were a couple of EQ TV series. Then there was a pilot TV series in the early seventies, and I think Jim was the last to play this character.

I thought I saw those 1950s episodes on archive.org when I went to look for the radio plays. I'll have a better look later this week, and maybe watch all of them.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The shortest radio plays

Wow! Thanks!

The Emperor of Television? That's a nice username.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

Till Death Do Us Part (by John Dickson Carr), starring Peter Lorre.

I just heard this fantastic radio play (second time I've heard it). It's about an evil math professor (Peter Lorre) who thinks his wife is cheating on him and comes up with a plan to kill her.

Carr also wrote a novel titled Till Death Do Us Part, but from what I remember of the novel, it has nothing to do with this radio play. (I read the novel several years ago.)

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

Wow, that sounds great - Peter Lorre had such a PERFECTLY versatile voice for radio!!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

I know that he was in a couple of other Carr radio plays which I heard a few years ago, but unfortunately I have forgotten their titles. I wanted to hear those ones just now. There is one where he is suspected of being insane...

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

Ooooh, I can imagine that...!!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

I'd like to hear ALL the radio plays which Peter Lorre did. He had an incredible voice for radio.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

He CERTAINLY did! And that cute Austrian accent of his, I just love it...


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

Cute? It was creepy IMHO, which was perfect for the roles he played!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Till Death Do Us Part (John Dickson Carr)

Lorre starred in the radio series "Mystery in the Air" -which featured Harry Morgan as the announcer.

The A.B.C. Murders (Agatha Christie)

The A.B.C. Murders (by Agatha Christie), starring Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester.

--- also available on archive.org.

I'm about to start listening to it now.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The A.B.C. Murders (Agatha Christie)

Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester in "The ABC Murders"?! That must be MARVELOUS!!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: The A.B.C. Murders (Agatha Christie)

It was a good radio play, except that Poirot is missing from action here.

Obviously a lot is cut out from the novel (the radio play is only about 30 minutes long), but the radio play didn't feel "dumbed down" to me at all.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The A.B.C. Murders (Agatha Christie)

Ah, I see; yes, I can imagine it's a bit difficult to 'squeeze' an Agatha Christie novel into a 30 minute radio play - but it seems they managed it quite well!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Two more by John Dickson Carr...

Two more by John Dickson Carr. I've already heard both of these (a few years ago) and I've even read them. Some of his radio plays do appear in print.

The Bride Vanishes: a bride walks onto a balcony and vanishes. Carr wrote some novels & short stories with such a theme (someone goes somewhere (like into a house or room) and vanishes).

The Devil's Saint: Does a creepy uncle (Peter Lorre) stand in the way of marriage between his niece and her new lover?

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Two more by John Dickson Carr...

Sounds pretty good - especially the latter one with Peter Lorre!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: Two more by John Dickson Carr...

Oh yes, it's the better of the two radio plays.

Also the other one I reviewed here (Till Death Do Us Part) stars Lorre and it's fantastic!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Two more by John Dickson Carr...

I think I'll do some more radio play listening these days...!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: Two more by John Dickson Carr...

Enjoy! I think I'll start a new whodunnit thread on the film noir board and invite people to post comments about radio plays on it, if they wish.

A couple of years ago, someone ran a thread on radio plays on the classics board. The thread was very active.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: One more by John Dickson Carr...

One more by Carr: The Burning Court.

Here, a guy sees a picture of a poisoner who lived about 200 years earlier, and he's shocked to find that the woman looked exactly as his wife does now....

I think I've read the book, but I don't remember it. This radio play is based on the novel.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

a Boston Blackie radio play

Right now, I'm listening to a Boston Blackie radio play. Interesting...

Not quite my style, since I prefer the isolated house whodunnits, but this particular radio play is entertaining. I also like the fact that I haven't been able to figure out the ending yet.

I've been listening to a mixture of radio plays. I reviewed a couple of the John Dickson Carr ones earlier today. Now it's Boston Blackie.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Boston Blackie radio play

I think the 'Boston Blackie' radio plays with Chester Morris are great! In half an hour, of course, there's not so much time to develop a complicated plot - but there SURE is enough time for Blackie's wisecracks and for ridiculing the cops!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: a Boston Blackie radio play

Oh yes, I'm enjoying the wisecracks.

But for atmosphere, I still prefer the isolated homes, etc. like in those Carr radio plays which I mentioned here a few hours ago. I especially like the theme which he used at times about someone going somewhere and vanishing. For example, in that one radio play I briefly reviewed, the bride goes onto the balcony and vanishes. He also wrote stories about people walking into houses/rooms and vanishing. No supernatural forces were used, either. It's very far-fetched, but that's what makes them so great.

Recently, I heard two Carr radio plays which star Peter Lorre. I'd like to hear more radio plays which he did. He had such a good voice for radio! So creepy....

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Boston Blackie radio play

Yes, Peter Lorre was simply FANTASTIC, on screen as well as on radio!! And the atmosphere in the Carr radio plays seems to be REALLY creepy, I bet that makes your imagination work a lot - that's exactly what's missing when you're watching a movie...


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: a Boston Blackie radio play

Exactly!!!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

a Whistler radio play

I heard one of the Whistler radio plays last night, too. Very bizarre story. Very atmospheric. Definitely better than any of the movies. I think that this is one of those radio plays which didn't translate that well onto the big screen. The stories were written for a half an hour time slot, not for a full hour.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Whistler radio play

I've got a feeling you're right - while the 'Whistler' movies at times really almost get on your nerves, with all that endless talk about morality and so on, I think it might work pretty well on radio, being kept in an half hour frame! I'll try one soon!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: a Whistler radio play

I think that they were just trying to fill up the time in the movies, so they put in all that unnecessary chit-chat.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Whistler radio play

QUITE right! So obviously, radio seems to have been the ideal media for the 'Whistler'...


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: a Whistler radio play

Am I the only one here to remember Benny's take on this, "The Fiddler"?
Guess who provides(?) the music for that caper.

Re: a Whistler radio play

Honest, I have no idea!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

I have no idea, either!

I have no idea, either!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Whistler radio play

Although one of the Whistler radio plays I heard last night was extremely predictable. Good mood, good atmosphere, but the ending wasn't hard to figure out.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: a Whistler radio play

Well, many times the atmosphere counts more than the plot itself!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

The White Rose Murders

The White Rose Murders...starring Maureen O'Hara

written by Cornell Woolrich

-- a woman helps her detective boyfriend search for a serial killer.

This one's part of the Suspense series.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

I just finished listening to The Hitchhiker from the Suspense series.

This one stars Orson Welles.

What a terrific radio play! It's one of the best!

For those who haven't heard it, it's about a man who is making a long-distance trip in his car, and he keeps seeing the same hitchhiker over and over again on his journey. Highly recommended!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

Yeah, it's absolutely GREAT!!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

I guess the ending wasn't all that surprising, but that radio play sure was fun to listen to!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

And pretty creepy, too, ain't it?!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

Oh yes....

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

Rod Serling adapted the story for a Twilight Zone episode, wherein Inger Stevens played the motorist who keeps encountering the hitchhiker.

Re: The Hitchhiker (from the Suspense series)

Oh! Okay, thanks.

I've only seen a couple of the Twilight Zone episodes. Not that one.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

'Will You Make a Bet With Death?' by John Dickson Carr

Will you Make a Bet With Death? by John Dickson Carr

-I've read this one and heard it a couple of times.

A poor man makes a bet with his rich stepfather. His stepfather is sure that he can kill him within six months and get away with it. If he loses, then his stepson will get $25 000 from him. On the last evening, the stepson is losing his nerve. He goes to a carnival and tells a strange woman about this bet.

I love this radio play and the terrific ending!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: 'Will You Make a Bet With Death?' by John Dickson Carr

Wow, sounds pretty creepy!! Is it available on the Web somewhere?


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: 'Will You Make a Bet With Death?' by John Dickson Carr

All the Carr radio plays (or at least most of them) are on archive.org.

Go there and do a search for John Dickson Carr. You'll need to click on "suspense: individual episodes" and you'll get a list of several hundred. I'm not sure how many of those are Carr's. Not all of them, for sure. I've mentioned the titles of some of his radio plays here...probably best to just search for the titles which I listed on this thread. Otherwise, if you select a radio play at random, it might be his or it might not.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: 'Will You Make a Bet With Death?' by John Dickson Carr

Perfect, thanks a GREAT lot for all the information!!


Let's be realists, let's demand the impossible.

Re: 'Will You Make a Bet With Death?' by John Dickson Carr

I still recommend you hear the two Carr radio plays starring Peter Lorre...at least, the ones I have mentioned here. I can't think of their titles right now. I'll look them up later on this thread.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

'Nothing up my Sleeve' by Carr

Nothing up my Sleeve by John Dickson Carr:

A woman is convinced that some stolen cash is in the room where she and a man she knows have been talking. She calls the cops and they have to figure out where it is, exactly. Not many good hiding places in the room...

I think that this radio play might be loosely based on G.K.Chesterton's "The Invisible Man". Carr was influenced by Chesterton's work and this radio play certainly has some elements of that Chesterton short story.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen
Top