Suspense – The Night Reveals

In “The Night Reveals,” an insurance investigator suspects that his wife is a dangerous pyromaniac.

Suspense’s radioplay was based on the 1936 short story by Cornell Woolrich (William Irish), but it doesn’t capture the intensity. Suspense changed the ending and gave the married couple at the center of the story a chance for future happiness. In Woolrich’s version, the husband and wife do not live happily ever after.

Francis M. Nevins, Jr., in his biography of Cornell Woolrich, First You Dream, Then You Die (1988), states:

“”The Night Reveals” (Story, April 1936) is the earliest example of that uniquely Woolrichian type of tale, the oscillation thriller, in which the protagonist is being eaten alive by the possibility, then the mild likelihood, then the probability, then the near certainty, then the total certainty that the person closest in the world to the protagonist–husband, wife, roommate, best friend, lover–has done or is doing or is about to do something unspeakable.” (p.148)

In 1943, “The Night Reveals” became the first Woolrich story to be adapted by Suspense. According to Nevins, it was the first time Woolrich’s work was presented to a national radio audience.

Suspense presented “The Night Reveals” four times between 1943 and 1949. Unfortunately, a recording of the first presentation, which starred Frederic March on March 2, 1943, is not available.

The fourth, and the best of the surviving versions, starred Frederic March and Jeanette Nolan and aired on May 26, 1949.

Suspense_1949.05.26_The Night Reveals.mp3

The third presentation with Keenan Wynn and Cathy Lewis aired on April 18, 1946.


The second presentation, with Robert Young and Margo, aired on December 9, 1943.

Suspense_1943.12.09_ TheNightReveals.MP3