Old time radio blog.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Playlist 4/4/09

Lux Theater - The Velvet Touch 1/10/49
Rosalind Russell recreates her film role as a popular stage actress who accidentally kills her abusive producer/ex-lover as he's throttling her for disobeying his orders. [One wishes this had been the outcome of a certain r'n'b diva's recent encounter with her bf.] Roz suffers a bit too dramatically (as compared to her more subtle film performance) as she tries to cover up this crime of passion. Sidney Greenstreet is her police-detective nemesis, an adoring fan who knows in his heart that she'll eventually give up the goods. The copy of this show on Archive is edited down to about 45 minutes; on one hand it's good not to hear the usual unctuous shilling for Lux soap, on the other there's no after-show interview with the star, a Lux trademark.

The Black Museum - A Doctor's Prescription (1950)
Orson Welles hosted this series of shows based on artifacts found in London's Scotland Yard repository of true crime memorabilia. This dramatization involved a seemingly loving nurse who cared for elderly patients in her home. Straightforward production with predictable outcome is still worth listening to for the historical aspect, especially if you're a fan of CSI and other police procedurals.

Tales of Tomorrow - Betelgeuse Bridge (1/15/53)
Kind of silly tale about a race of snail-like creatures who come to Earth and become media darlings by way of a savvy public relations agent hired for the purpose. Does have an interesting denoument though...

Bob & Ray - Library Reel 04 (undated, late 50's - early 60's)
Collection of hit and miss episodes from the wry comic duo's heyday includes interviews with obnoxious audience members; clueless newsman Wally Ballou talking to toothpick maker and to a guy with an interesting new car in his garage; the world's biggest loser, and so on. Not sure if Ray Goulding's monotonous female voice was deliberate or not. As usual, their humor is so dry it's kind of dull -- until the zinger hits and you're laughing out loud.

Judy Canova Show - Eddie Cantor, guest star (1/17/48)
Bob Hope Show - Anne Baxter, guest star (10/16/53)
Judy was funny-looking but not terribly funny; this episode is more memorable for showcasing early 20th Century star Cantor in a medley of his greatest song hits, like If You Knew Susie. Bob was funny-looking but was a genius comic; having sexy Baxter to bounce off of (he wished literally) only improves the show. Episode is set on the Queen Mary ocean liner and features Hope ticking off the captain in classic style.

The Navy Lark - Fairground Lights (4/19/59)
Britcom set on a Royal Navy ship apparently most familiar with dry dock plays like future Yank TV hit McHale's Navy. It's funny but not in a classic way.

The Great Gildersleeve - Aunt Octavia Visits (12/7/41)
More like Octavia's niece visits; seemingly sweet child turns bad seed in Gildy's household. Episode is actually more memorable because of its occasional live reports re that day's attack on Pearl Harbor. Surprising how they didn't just turn the slot over to the news division the way they would nowadays.

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