Old time radio blog.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Recent Listens

Lux Theater - Mary of Scotland
Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Judith Evans
Crawford acquits herself pretty well in such high-toned company, as the lead (played by Kate Hepburn in the film), ill-fated queen.

Great Gildersleeve - Marjorie's Girlfriend Visits
Early episode (9/21/41) features saucy southern belle trying to seduce every man in sight, including Marjorie's boyfriend.

Cavalcade of America - Mr Peale and the Dinosaur
3/7/50 episode features Agnes Moorehead as the catty wife of title Natural History Museum founder Peale.

Fibber McGee and Molly - McGees Throw a Dinner Party & Quaratined for Measles
Pretty funny two-parter from March 1941 as Fibber & Molly endure party from ...heck.

Line Up - Politician's Home Bombed
6/28/51 episode of this effective early police procedural could have been plucked from yesterday's headlines.

Suspense - Dime A Dance
1/13/44 episode features Lucille Ball in change-of-pace role as a sharp-tongued taxi dancer being stalked by a serial killer with a thing for redheads.

X Minus One - Hostess
12/12/56 Isaac Asimov tale about a lady scientist who tries to be kind to a visiting alien despite her ignorant cop husband's running negativity.

Hall of Fantasy - The Man From Second Earth
8/10/53 episode about another alien home-visit (or is that invasion) that goes predictably awry.

Modern OTR

If you crave more modern takes on the classic old time radio style, try Nightfall and CBS Mystery Workshop. The former is a Canadian anthology series from the early 1980's. A lot of the focus was on science fiction and a fair amount of horror. One notable effort was dramatizing British sf writer John Wyndham's dystopian future tale, The Chrysalids, in a three-episode arc; the result was pretty good although I'd rather it be made into a film. CMW ran from 1974 to 1982 and featured various stars -- many from Broadway -- of the day: E.G. Marshall, Agnes Moorehead, Tony Roberts, Tammy Grimes, Mason Adams, Ruby Dee, and others. Similar to Suspense, the hour-long (or 42 minutes minus the commercials) episodes were based on macabre stories from Poe and the like, or were written on commission with varying success.