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

Re: The Ghost Breakers (movie + radio play)

Aaah, nice idea!


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

Re: The Ghost Breakers (movie + radio play)

Last night I rewatched Moonlight Murder and part of Murder at the Vanities (too tired to finish it). Moonlight Murder is really a sad story. A lot of it reminded me of Charlie Chan at the Opera, but the ending is quite different. It's also not that predictable. With this one, you really need to think outside the box. The motive is quite unusual. Even if somehow you're able to figure out who is the culprit, you'll have to think a bit to figure out WHY. It's not like in The Smiling Ghost where only one person had an obvious motive, and that person did it.

I still have no idea why I like Murder at the Vanities so much. It's mostly a musical, with a rather weak mystery behind it all, and yet I just had to watch it again. I saw about 45 minutes of it last night, and I'll see the other 45 minutes tonight. I'll probably give both The Black Camel and the Spanish Charlie Chan Carries On one last look for the season.

Oh, I did rewatch the 1929 version of Seven Keys to Baldpate yesterday, too. Thankfully some of these movies are extremely short, so I can cram in several in one evening. I got such a kick out of that version! Such a great mixture of mystery and comedy! There is even a very amusing reference to one Canadian city near the end of the film.

Looking forward to reading your reviews!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The Ghost Breakers (movie + radio play)

So sorry, as Charlie Chan would say, but no reviews on those - because I couldn't find ANY of them on the Web... I DID find, however, "Mystery Liner" - I'll write more about that LOVELY little gem on your whodunit thread!


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

Re: The Ghost Breakers (movie + radio play)

What about Before Dawn? Is it available?

If all else fails, there are always radio plays to enjoy!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: The Ghost Breakers (movie + radio play)

Nope, neither... But you're right, let's go back to the radio plays, just like in the 40s...!


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

Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

The Dead Sleep Lightly (John Dickson Carr): a man is being terrorized by what he believes to be the voice of his dead wife. At one point, he hears her voice from a phone in a house in which the phones have all been disconnected. Good radio play, but not one of Carr's best. Still, hearing his impossible crimes is always a treat.

Fear Paints a Picture (didn't catch the author's name): this is a story that has been done many times. A woman has to meet a certain requirement in order to inherit her dead father's money. She has to live in the home of her father's friends until her 23rd birthday, and be considered sane, or else the money goes to the friends. Not surprisingly, she starts to be terrorized at nights shortly before her 23rd birthday. Usually these stories end one way. This one has a twist to it, but I think that some of the clues weren't given to us in advance. This one is more about the atmosphere than anything.

The Moment of Darkness (John Dickson Carr): Another Carr adaptation starring Peter Lorre. Here, a woman senses that something sinister will happen when she visits a fortune teller (Lorre) who seems like a very suspicious character. Sure enough, during the seance, a man attending the seance is murdered. How could the fortune teller have committed the crime when he was holding the hands of the woman and her aunt during the entire seance?

The Diary of Sophoronia Winters (Lucille Fletcher): This one stars Agnes Moorehead. (She was the star of another radio play written by Fletcher: Sorry, Wrong Number.) Anyhow, this radio play isn't nearly as predictable as Sorry, Wrong Number. In this one, a woman marries a man and then finds out that he is planning on murdering her. His motive: she reminds him of his sister-in-law, who had murdered his brother 25 years earlier with an axe. Very suspenseful, and I admit that I was not able to predict the ending.

I hope that some of these are posted on youtube for your enjoyment! I heard them all on archive.org.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

They SURE sound great, every one of them!! The first one seems like a mixture of ghost and mystery story, the second one reminds us pretty much of "The Cat and the Canary" (but with a different twist, as you said); to the vital question of the third one (which SURE must be great, since it stars Peter Lorre) I think Charlie Chan could give us the answer (), and the fourth one, I can imagine, must be a REAL thriller...
Thanks a LOT for your reviews!!


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

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Stories by Carr weren't ghost stories. They might have seemed like it, but he always came up with some plausible explanation.

The second one is a bit like The Cat and the Canary, except that these kinds of stories are more effective when there are more characters. That's why the movie is great while this radio play seemed to be lacking something. If you choose to hear it, then hear it for the atmosphere more than anything. I don't know if this radio play was ever done as a movie. If it was, then they would have really had to elaborate with more characters and sub-plots.

That last one really floored me, I have to admit. That radio play was written by the author of Sorry, Wrong Number. Seems like Agnes Moorehead was great in these leading roles! It's almost like those radio plays were written just for her. No objections to Barbara Stanwyck in the movie adaptation of Sorry, Wrong Number.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Thanks a lot for your detailed explanations!


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

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Someone brought to my attention another Fletcher-Moorehead radio play: The Furnished Floor. I think I'll hear it tonight. So that's three of their radio plays I've heard of. I wonder if they did any more together?

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Maybe - they seemed to have had a lot of success together - and I'm sure every one of their works must have been great!


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

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Hopefully you can find those radio plays on youtube, if you're still having trouble with archive.org.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

I hope so - YouTube is just ALWAYS reliable!


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

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

At least those radio plays can be downloaded legally, so there shouldn't be issues with those radio plays vanishing off that site.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Four more today (two by Carr, one by Fletcher)

Right!!


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

regarding The Furnished Floor

Regarding The Furnished Floor: I just finished it now. It's about a lady who accepts a renter into her home, a man who had stayed with her in the past when his wife was still alive. The two of them occupied the attic, and he moves back in along with his new wife. The landlady starts to get suspicious when she has no chance to meet the new wife. In fact, she never even hears her coming and going.

I found this radio play to be good, but a tad predictable. Very well acted. One correction to what I wrote earlier: Agnes Moorehead isn't in this one. But yes, it was written by Lucille Fletcher. It's part of the Suspense series.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

Wow, sounds PRETTY suspenseful!!


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

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

Suspenseful, yes.

Also quite predictable, if you really think about it while listening to it.

It is a terrific story.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

Great!! I'll listen to it, as soon as I'll find time...


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

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

Enjoy!

Too many radio plays to choose from!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

That's true!


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

Re: regarding The Furnished Floor

On my new whodunnit thread, someone just posted yet another radio series! I'm beginning to think that there is an endless number of those...

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

...and from the Escape series...

From the Escape series, which someone recommended to me, I heard (or tried to hear) The Three Skeleton Key (the version starring Vincent Price). Several fellows on a ship, and the ship gets infested with rats. As the rats slowly started to move in on the humans, I called it quits. If the radio play had been about snakes, I wouldn't have made it past the first minute!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

Oh well, I'm neither afraid of rats nor of snakes (only of spiders...) - so I bet I'll enjoy this one!


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

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

I'm not afraid of spiders.

We don't have rats here, but still...the thought of hundreds of rats taking over a ship....ugh.

I have an extreme fear of snakes. Luckily we only have small garter snakes in this part of the world. Too cold for any other kinds.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

You're lucky about spiders; I just can't stand them... I'm not afraid of snakes, in fact I like all kinds of reptiles; and I don't mind rats, because there are so many alley cats here in Piraeus that you'll probably never come across one... But spiders, especially big ones - do you remember "Arachnophobia"? I've watched it three times (maybe to overcome my phobia...) - and every time I dreamt of whole armies of spiders afterwards...


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

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

Our province is rat-free. It's not that I'm scared of rats (I'm much bigger than they are), but I am scared of rabies shots, which I would need if a rat bit me. Ditto goes for mice.

I don't mind other reptiles such as lizards. I just have a great fear of snakes.

I saw Arachnophobia in the theaters when it came out. I was bored to tears.

I will never, ever see Snakes on a Plane....

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

"Snakes on a Plane"? Never heard of that one - sounds like good fun to me...!


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

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

It came out about 10 years ago. I passed on it right away. Not my style.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: ...and from the Escape series...

Well, I just MIGHT have a try to find it somewhere...!


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

Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

I'm still thinking about the radio play The Voice on the Wire (from the Inner Sanctum series). It's one of my favorites ever. Suspenseful, and I was completely floored by the ending. Perhaps I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. It's right up there with A Terrible Night from The Weird Circle series.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

LIGHTS OUT

Anyone remember the ep where some *thing turns people inside out?
Then of course there was the ep that terrified Bill Cosby; you know the large chicken heart... <thump thump...>
"Get out the jello!"

Re: LIGHTS OUT

I've never seen such an episode!

Is it called "Lights Out"? Was it part of the Inner Sanctum series?

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: LIGHTS OUT

Lights out was a famous horror radio show from the '30s. Arch Obler brought it back on the air in '42. Wyliss Cooper the original boss used amazing sound effects to heighten the fear factor.
Obler's first ep featured the burial of a live, paralyzed girl; NBC received 50,000 letters about this. Of course the public all tuned in the next week.
Some goodies are, CAT WIFE; REVOLT OF The WORMS, and the "Thump thump..." of the ever expanding CHICKEN HEART that Cosby so delightfully recalls.

"It...is...later...than...you...think. This is the witching hour! It is the hour when dogs howl, and evil is let loose on the sleeping world.
Want to hear about it? Then turn out your lights!"


You know the Phantom would love this...

Re: LIGHTS OUT

Wow! Sounds terrific! I'll try to get to those radio plays sometime this week. I adore mysteries from the thirties.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: LIGHTS OUT - are they all...

I'm listening to Cat Wife now.

Are all of the ones in this series supernatural stories? You said it's a horror show. I have to admit that I prefer the more realistic horror stories. This story is good, but the idea of a woman turning into a cat is too far-fetched to be scary.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: LIGHTS OUT - are they all...

In the pre BIG WAR days, people got over-excited easier than these over confident days; think the reaction to Welles' radio performance of the well known WAR OF The WORLDS.

p.s. Believe uncle Phantom, late at night (in the dark) and hearing a well done
radio thriller, your mind comes up with scarier scenes than *any tv show.
Especially if you're less than jr. high school age.

Pleasant dreams...

Re: LIGHTS OUT - are they all...

Usually I listen to radio plays after the sun has set. If it's a good radio play, I can certainly come up with scary scenes.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

Sounds REAL great! I'll see if I can find it somewhere...


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

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

Maybe give archive.org another chance and see if it works better this time. Go to Inner Sanctum and select that radio play. If that doesn't work, well...let's hope youtube has it! Good luck!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

Thanks!!


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

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

On a slightly different note, someone was just telling me about a horror film in which the house is a bit like a maze, with all the corridors and camera shots of those corridors. I wonder if any of the classic mysteries (besides the film he mentioned) are like that? Plenty of those films have secret passages, but I don't recall any in which there are corridors aplenty....

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

Well, some of the 'Charlie Chan' movies that were made in the 'old dark house' style have got whole labyrinths of corridors, too, as I remember!


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

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

I never did end up rewatching the entire series! I meant to, but then I found myself tracking down mysteries which I hadn't seen, etc.

Did you ever end up finding Charlie Chan in Rio?

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

No, unfortunately not; someone must have his grip on the film's rights 'like a Scotsman on a five pound note', as they say...


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

Re: OT: the Radio Days (Philo Vance)

Someone brought to my attention the Philo Vance radio plays, also available on archive.org. I'm listening to a couple of them now. They are very enjoyable!

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: OT: the Radio Days (Philo Vance)

Wow, that's great! Who's playing Philo, William Powell himself??


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

Re: OT: the Radio Days (Philo Vance)

Nope. It's....now I can't remember. I'll look it up later. I liked him as Vance in those radio plays.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: OT: Before the TV years - the Radio Days (revisited)

Interesting that I've had so much trouble listening to radio plays over the summer. Seems more like a winter activity to me. Maybe I'll try to listen to a few of my faves again sometime soon.

~~
JimHutton (1934-79) & ElleryQueen

Re: OT: Before the TV years - the Radio Days (revisited)

Good idea! I've also prepared my old "Suspense" cassettes already - but you're right, they DO seem to need some stormy fall atmosphere to really enjoy them...


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