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

"Life Ends at Midnight"

...and now I'm starting one called Life Ends at Midnight, starring Fay Baker, Ralph Morgan, and Dane Clark.

~~
💕 JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen 👍

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

.
Classic OTR was before my time, but I've very much enjoyed
some of the best old shows that I've heard.

FWIW, I listened to Himan Brown's "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" during its
original run (1974-82). I should have also been listening to NPR's "Earplay"
during those years, and its successor NPR Playhouse, but unfortunately
I neglected those series. (I also recall hearing a few episodes of "Unshackled",
although I was not a regular listener of that series.)

These days, I occasionally listen to some modern audio dramas
(with a current preference for well-produced non-commercial
amateur productions with fresh and original material).

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

Have you heard any of the Suspense radio plays?

~~
💕 JimHutton (1934-79) and ElleryQueen 👍

Lux Radio Theatre - Sorry Wrong Number (1950)

The radio play Sorry Wrong Number starring Agnes Moorehead (from Suspense) is a well-known radio play. There is another radio play Sorry Wrong Number which was recorded in 1950, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster. It's very closely based on the film. In fact, I think that they just condensed the movie's script down to under an hour and recorded it for radio. It was very well done.

The radio play Laura was kind of like that as well - the movie script was cut to about an hour's length and most of the actors from the film did the voices.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) and Ellery Queen =

Re: Lux Radio Theatre - Sorry Wrong Number (1950)

Ooh, I've got the radio play "Sorry Wrong Number" starring Agnes Moorehead on cassette (bought it in L.A. about 20 years ago); it's really grand!! But I didn't know there was a version with the movie's stars as well - that sounds VERY interesting, thanks a lot for the information!


Let us be realists, let us demand the impossible.

Re: Lux Radio Theatre - Sorry Wrong Number (1950)

I know! I found out about that other version from some folks on the boards. Both versions are great. The second one is really just a shortened version of the film, but it's interesting to hear it on radio, I think.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) and Ellery Queen =

Re: Lux Radio Theatre - Sorry Wrong Number (1950)

Three cheers for the "Theater of the Mind" duo!

Re: Lux Radio Theatre - Sorry Wrong Number (1950)



~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) and Ellery Queen =

Movies done as radio plays

Yesterday I was thinking about movies whose scripts were shortened and adapted for radio.

Some which I heard:

Laura

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

The Best Years of Our Lives

The Spiral Staircase

Sorry Wrong Number
- the movie is based on a radio play, but another radio play was recorded after the film was released. Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster star in this "remake" radio play.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Movies done as radio plays

I have bought a few of these like:

Waterloo Bridge
Bachelor Mother
Smilin' Through

Re: Movies done as radio plays

Quite a few radio plays are posted on archive.org.

I don't know if it's necessary to buy them anymore.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Suspense: "On a Country Road"

It's been a long time since I've heard a radio play. Tonight, I heard one called On a Country Road (from the Suspense series), starring Frank Lovejoy. Someone said that it stars Cary Grant. Maybe there is a Cary Grant version. Anyhow, this story is extremely suspenseful, atmospheric, and very scary. The ending isn't that surprising, but it doesn't matter for such a terrific story. Highly recommended.

It's a dark and stormy night. A couple is driving along a highway and they hear over the radio that a crazy lady has escaped from the insane asylum and that she's murdered a few people. Despite the warnings, the male driver decides to take a shortcut to the other highway. They run out of gas and a woman appears, begging to be let into their car...

Listen to this one at night when it's dark.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Suspense: "On a Country Road"

Wow, that sounds like a REALLY scary and atmospheric play; thanks a lot for your recommendation! Ooh, I can imagine that night time is the right time for a play like this... And it's intriguing, too: why does the driver take a shortcut through an area where there's a maniac killer around?? I hope I'll find the answer to that soon, if I'll be able to find the play somewhere on the Web...


Let us be realists, let us demand the impossible.

Re: Suspense: "On a Country Road"

I hear all radio plays on archive.org.

You might be able to find it on youtube, if you still can't access the archive.org files.

Enjoy!



~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Suspense: "On a Country Road"

Thanks a lot for the tip!


Let us be realists, let us demand the impossible.

Re: Suspense: "On a Country Road"

Some others on the boards have said that they listen to the radio plays on youtube.

Good luck finding this radio play there, and enjoy!



~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Suspense:

RADIO: Theater of the mind. TELEVISION: Theater of the mindless!

Re: Suspense:

Why can't a person enjoy both?

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen 🎇

Re: Suspense, etc.

Have you heard any radio plays recently? I'm going to try to listen to a few of them this weekend.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen

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

I'm a huge fan of OTR. Abbott & Costello, Burns & Allen, The Bickersons, Life of Riley, Suspense, Dimension X, Inner Sanctum, Johnny Dollar, The Whistler, etc., etc., etc. I've got a lot of CDs, many of them converted from cassette, of which I've got tons. There was this outfit, Radio Reruns, who offered some random OTR CDs in a catalog for $2 each--you didn't know what you were going to get till they arrived, like an OTR grab-bag. I bought ten. I got Phil Harris/Alice Faye, My Favorite Husband with Lucille Ball, My Friend Irma, Tarzan, Tales of the Texas Rangers, among others. It was great. I also like modern audio/radio dramas like Stephen King's "The Mist" done by ZBS Foundation, ZPPR Repertory Company, CBS Mystery Theater, The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas....but my favorite modern ones have to be the Star Wars Radio Dramas.

The Falcon flies

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

Huge thread started a while ago. Skimmed many of the posts but not nearly the whole thread so my remarks may be repetitive.

As a young teen in the late 1970s in Tokyo, I first got exposed to "old-time radio" on the Armed Forces Radio Network. As expats, we were starved for English-language programming of any kind, and I recall being intrigued by those bygone programs. Over the years, I've stumbled across OTR revivals in various places, and across recordings being offered by various companies; one company, Radio Spirits, is still in business although much of the programming from radio's golden era is now available online.

I have quite a few recordings collected from over the years on both cassette and CD: comedies, dramas, sci-fi, mystery, suspense, and so on. I'm a huge X Minus One fan, the NBC sci-fi program from the late 1950s, with Dimension X, from earlier in the decade, having aired a few stories re-made by X Minus One. Recently, I've taken a shine to Pat Novak for Hire, a Jack Webb crime drama set in San Francisco with Webb as the title character, who straddles that noir twilight of respectability and criminality. The dialog is a hoot, winking broadly at clipped cliche: "She was pretty but looked like someone had used her badly, like a dictionary in a stupid family." Priceless.

So, yes, Suspense, Dragnet, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Lux Radio Theatre, and so many others--Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Life of Riley. I'm a history student, and all these are great insights into American culture of the time, particularly during the wartime years.

I've always enjoyed radio/audio presentations because the pictures are better. Someone mentioned ZBS, which had done several long-form stories including the keynote Moon Over Morocco in the early 1970s, which mixed metaphysics with Casablanca and hippie attitudes. I'm also a huge Firesign Theatre fan. Rest in peace, Phil Austin and Peter Bergman. Shoes for industry.

I'm in the Los Angeles area, and radio station KPFK-FM has a weekly airing of the LA Theater Works, which hosts radio plays with many name actors from film and television, everything from the classics to contemporary. About a year ago, I found myself hooked on a production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Would love to see that on stage now.

------------------
"We hear very little, and we understand even less." -- refugee in "Casablanca"

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

I enjoy hearing radio plays on archive.org. I especially like the ones in the Suspense series which were written by John Dickson Carr. What a fantastic mystery writer he was! A lot of the early ones in that series are his.

Two of my faves were written by him, and they both star Peter Lorre, who had a perfect voice for radio. They are:

The Devil's Saint: a young man wants to marry a woman he's fallen for, but first he must convince her eccentric uncle (Peter Lorre) that he's sure that he wants to do this. The uncle comes up with a rather unusual way for this young man to prove his love and devotion.

Till Death Do Us Part: an evil math prof (Peter Lorre) has come up with a fool-proof way of killing his wife, which he outlines to her in detail.

I'll say this much about Carr: his endings were usually not all that predictable.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: OT: two more faves

Two more faves tonight from Suspense:

Will You Make a Bet With Death? by John Dickson Carr: a young man's stepfather makes a bet with the young man that he (the stepfather) be able to murder him (the young man) within six months and get away with it. As part of the bet, the young man has to be seen in public for an hour each day, spend time alone in his room each evening for an hour or so, etc. The radio play starts out with the young man going on a rather spooky ride at an amusement park, several hours before the six months are up.

The Diary of Sophoronia Winters by Lucille Fletcher, starring Agnes Moorehead (the same writer and star of the first Sorry Wrong Number radio play): a young bride begins to have suspicions about her husband....

Both are terrific radio plays. Highly recommended!

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: OT: two more faves

Thank you for the tip on archive.org. I'll have to check it out!

------------------
Trump is Putin's bitch.

Re: ...and two more faves...

Two more faves which I want to hear tonight:

From The Inner Sanctum: The Voice on the Wire

From The Weird Circle: A Terrible Night....this one takes place in the Canadian wilderness. I get such a kick out of this radio play.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: four from the Suspense series

Four from the Suspense series, three of which I've already heard...

The Doctor Prescribed Death:

-written by J. Donald Wilson
-starring Bela Lugosi

I've heard this radio play a few times. It's terrific. A professor of psychology (Lugosi) has a theory about murder/death and he decides to put theory into practice. He convinces a suicidal jilted woman he meets at random to murder a particular individual instead of murdering herself. After that, well...I'll let listeners find out for themselves what happens.

Bela Lugosi sure had a good voice for radio! He was perfect for the part - getting a woman to do what he wanted her to do. Lugosi sure had that power....

Statement of Employee Henry Wilson:

-written by John Shaw
-starring Gene Lockhart

This is an inverted murder mystery which I've heard before. A man kills his co-worker and he (like others) is questioned by the police. Eventually, things backfire on him...

Good story for those who like inverted murder mysteries.

The After-Dinner Story:

-written by Cornell Woolrich
-starring Otto Kruger

I have heard this one before. If memory serves me right (or maybe I should just look back on the thread), it's one of the few Cornell Woolrich stories which isn't predictable. An accident - or maybe it's murder - takes place in a broken-down elevator. Some time later, someone has reason to seek revenge....

Want Ad:

-starring Robert Cummings

This is the first time I've ever heard this delightful radio play. It's about a crook who has found an evil way of making money. Let's just say that he gets what's coming to him...in such a clever way! Of all the inverted mysteries I've come across, this one has probably one of the best endings. Highly recommended for the ending alone.

I don't recall the announcer telling us who wrote this gem....


~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: four from the Suspense series

Thanks a lot for those brilliant reviews! They must be great, all of them, and they're not really among those that are still famous today - that shows HOW many great mysteries that great "Suspense" series produced!

Being a huge fan of Bela's, I'd love to hear "The Doctor Prescribed Death"; it sounds like JUST the sort of thing for him... And "Wanted Ad", which I'd never heard of (well, few people remember "Saboteur" star Robert Cummings at all today), must have a really memorable ending - but no one knows who wrote it...


Let us be realists, let us demand the impossible.

Re: four from the Suspense series, plus films

Maybe they mentioned the author of Want Ad during the show, but I must have missed it.

Both of those radio plays (Want Ad, The Doctor Prescribed Death) are well worth hearing. I hope that you can find them somewhere outside of archive.org, if your government won't allow you on archive.org.

Speaking of Bela Lugosi, I recently saw a terrific film called The Human Monster (1939, starring Bela). He sure does a good job of playing an evil SOB in that movie! No spoilers there...it's obvious from the start that he isn't a nice person in this horror flick.

I was also quite touched by the 1930s whodunit (movie, not radio play) The Murder Man, starring Spencer Tracy, James Stewart, Robert Barrat, and Virginia Bruce. Great performances all-around, especially from Spencer Tracy in the last 15 minutes or so.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: "Want Ad"

I keep thinking about Want Ad, the radio play from the Suspense series which I loved so much. What a brilliant story! I really really recommend this to other folks.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

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

I sometimes listen to classic radio shows OTR on "Those Old Radio Shows" in Alberta. The show goes by another name in the States but the name escapes me at the moment. It runs most of the week from 11 PM to 1 AM.

I did a search for TORS on Google and found a site devoted to classic radio. They offer thousands of shows to listen to online, download or order on CD.

Old Time Radio Downloads has lots of titles under the following genres: Adventure, Comedy, Commercials, Crime, Drama, Gossip, Historical, Kids, Quiz, Sci Fi, Soap, Opera, Sports, Thriller, Variety, Western and WWII. It also includes some Radio Scripts, mostly for Dragnet. Right now, I'm listening to the Dan Garrett/Blue Beetle radio series.

http://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/

That site links to a download/ordering site that also plays a few old shows online and for free download per day: https://www.otrcat.com/

Their collection of old audio goes back to 1910.

There looks to be several other sites that might be worth checking.



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

You're from Alberta? Me too! I live in Edmonton, and I'm definitely a fan of mystery radio plays, mostly from the Suspense series. I've never heard of "Those Old Radio Shows". Thanks for the heads up!

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

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

You're welcome. I'm in Red Deer but grew up in Edmonton.

They're on 630 CHED most nights from 11 PM to 1 AM, unless the Oilers or Eskimos play late. Joined in progress in those cases if the post game shows end before 1. It's also on 770 CHQR in Calgary in those cases. It's also carried on other Corus Radio Network stations across Canada so you can listen online.

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

Thanks for the info! I wasn't sure which radio station you were talking about, so thanks for letting me know. I had absolutely no idea that our radio stations are capable of airing something other than sports news (Oilers, Eskies), the song "Drift Away" from the early seventies, country music (when they aren't playing "Drift Away"), and reports that there are car accidents on the Quesnell Bridge and the Yellowhead Trail. Good to know that they're mixing it up a bit!

A lot of radio plays are available on archive.org, too.

By the way, I've driven through Red Deer a number of times on my way to Calgary. We used to go a lot when I was a kid, to visit relatives. I'm amazed at how much Gasoline Alley has expanded! I remember the days (the eighties) when it consisted of something like two gas stations and three restaurants or whatever. Now it's practically a small town. I heard that they're doing a lot of construction there...

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

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

I moved here in 2011 after living in Grande Prairie for 10 years. I don't get into Edmonton too much these days but I keep track of the goings on up there. Hopefully, I can see how downtown is progressing.

I'm sorry that you didn't know about TORS. It's been on for at least 20 years. It came sometime after CHED switched from its short lived AM rock format (after its previous bubble gum pop era) to its current news/talk format, in 1993, and a bunch of the personalities from CJCA moved over as CJCA went off the air for a while.

I first heard an old radio show when I was on the bus late one night going into Vancouver in the late 80s. I'm pretty sure it was a Vancouver station and not a Washington State one. So, I'm not sure if the program actually started elsewhere before coming to Edmonton.

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

I remember when CHED had the "bubblegum pop" reputation. I was a kid then (in the eighties) and a lot of other kids really liked listening to CHED. I never liked 80s music, so I stayed away from it.

The only time I listened to the radio a lot was in the late 90s, when the CTV radio station played oldies all the time. Thanks to that radio station, I found out about Bobby Curtola, about The Beau-Marks, and I learned that singer Jack Scott released more than one song! Those singers are still favourites of mine to this very day.

Downtown Edmonton progressing? I really don't think of any part of Edmonton as progressing. Seems like any changes which are made to the city just make the traffic tie-ups worse and worse.

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

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

Here's the US version of the show: http://www.whenradiowas.com/

It's also a 2 hour block of shows played late at night. Different host than the Canadian version.

Re: Thanks again!

Thanks again for the links!

Here are the Suspense episodes on archive.org:

https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Suspense_Singles

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =

Re: a recommendation

By the way, here's a radio play you might enjoy. It's from The Weird Circle, # 22 on the list (A Terrible Night). It's about two fellows who get lost in the Canadian wilderness, and....well, see for yourself.

https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Weird_Circle_Singles

~~~~~
Jim Hutton (1934-79) & Ellery Queen =
Top