480715 Summer Night

“Summer Night” is based on a story by Ray Bradbury and stars Ida Lupino in a creepy episode about a serial killer.

As the episode opens, Anna is trying to phone her friend Helen, but she can’t get through. The operator is having trouble connecting the call because everyone in town is in a panic about two murders that have recently taken place. The “Lipstick Killer” has struck twice, and the town is terrified he will strike again.

Anna wants Helen to come and stay with her because she doesn’t feel safe alone in her home. Helen finds the request odd because the two of them haven’t spoken for four years, but she eventually agrees to come over. Helen knows that her old friend Anna is a bit strange, but she soon realizes how much stranger Anna has become since she last saw her.

“Summer Night” was adapted by Robert L. Richards from an original story by Ray Bradbury. Anton M. Leader produced and directed. Ida Lupino starred as Anna. This episode aired on July 15, 1948.

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“Summer Night” was also presented on the Suspense television show on February 19, 1952, but that episode is not known to be available at this time.


Suspense – Deadline at Dawn

“Deadline at Dawn”, the last of the 19 episodes of Suspense made in 1948 for an hour-long format, was based on the 1944 novel by William Irish (aka Cornell Woolrich). There is also a 1946 film noir of the same name, but the radio version and the movie differ. Francis M. Nevins, in his 1988 book Cornell Woolrich: First You Dream, Then You Die, described Suspense’s adaptation of Woolrich’s story this way: “Deadline at Dawn, as adapted by Irving Ravetch, stayed reasonably close to Woolrich’s 1944 novel and avoided all resemblences to the eccentric 1946 movie version. …It was a workmanlike episode, emphasizing romance rather than the noir coloration of the novel, and doesn’t rank with the series finest Woolrich adaptations.”

“Deadline at Dawn” was one of four Woolrich stories that were expanded into hour-long episodes in 1948. It may or may not be one of Suspense’s finest, but once the story gets going it is worth the time.

This episode, Suspense’s last one-hour show, aired on May 15, 1948. It stars Helen Walker as Bricky and John Beal as Quinn. Also appearing are Lillian Buyeff, William Johnstone, Buddy Gray, Edith Tackner, and Rye Billsbury.


480508 Life Ends At Midnight

Suspense – Life Ends at Midnight

In “Life Ends at Midnight,” Dane Clark stars as a son who decides to murder his mother’s lodger for the insurance money.

As the episode opens, Walter arrives unexpectedly at the home of his devoted mother. She is happy to see him, but puzzled as to why he has come. It doesn’t take long for the real reason for his visit to become apparent.

Fay_Bainter_He needs money…again. If Walter doesn’t get it, he will end up in prison.

His mother explains that she gave up all her savings to help him the last time he was in trouble. Now, she has nothing.

Walter doesn’t like that answer, but then he realizes that she does have something valuable…a lodger with no family named Mr. Chalmers…

“Life Ends at Midnight” was written by Robert Tallman and produced/directed by William Spier. Dane Clark and Fay Bainter starred. Also appearing were Hans Conried, William Johnstone, and Ralph Morgan. This episode aired on February 17, 1944.

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Suspense presented this episode a second time, with a downer of an introduction by Robert Montgomery, on May 8, 1948. Fay Bainter starred with Tony Barrett and Norman Field. Anton M. Leader produced and directed.


Suspense – Suspicion

Suspense’s “Suspicion” was adapted from the 1940 short story by Dororthy L. Sayers, which is available in the book Dorothy L. Sayers: The Complete Short Stories, as well as in other anthology books.

As the episode opens, Mr. Mummery is not feeling well. His business partner, Mr. Brookes notices and they discuss his health, the health of his wife, and their new cook. Mr. Brookes then asks Mr. Mummery if he can recommend any other cooks because he knows a family that needs one. Recommendations are important because there is a poisoner on the loose named Mrs. Andrews, who seeks out positions as cook. The police think she is still in their neighborhood.

It doesn’t take long for Mr. Mummery to start to think about his stomach problems, his new cook, and the the danger that they might be in. So, he begins to investigate his suspicions…

“Suspicion” was was adapted for Suspense by Peter Barry and presented on August 12, 1942 but there are no known recordings of that broadcast. Pedro de Cordoba and Helen Lewis starred.

Suspense presented this story a second time on February 10, 1944 using the same script. William Spier produced and directed. Charles Ruggles starred. Also appearing were Hans Conried, William Johnstone, John McIntire, and Joseph Kearns.


Suspense presented this story a third time on April 3, 1948, but this time it was adapted by Irving Ravetch for an hour-long presentation. Sam Jaffe starred. Also appearing were Lurene Tuttle and Alan Reed.


The Suspense television show also presented an adapation of “Suspicion” on March 15, 1949. That episode survives, and can be found on disc one of Suspense: The Lost Episodes Collection Two.

“Suspicion” was also adapted for television by The Actors Studio (“Mr. Mummery’s Suspicion”) in 1950, Studio One (“Mr. Mummery’s Suspicion”) in 1951 and Alfred Hitchock Presents (“Our Cook’s a Treasure”)in 1955.

Studio One’s 1951 broadcast can be found online at the Internet Archive.


480327 Night Must Fall (1 hour)

“Night Must Fall” was one of a number of hour-long episodes that Suspense presented in 1948. Their radio play was adapted from the 1935 play by Emlyn Williams and performed by actors from both the original London stage production and the 1937 film Night Must Fall.

The episode opens in a cottage in rural England, the home of Mrs. Bramson. The disappearance of a local woman has recently brought Scotland Yard investigators into the town and into her home. At the same time, she also receives a visitor named Danny. He and Dora, the maid, are involved and Mrs. Bramson expects him to marry Dora. Mrs. Bramson is a difficult old bitty confined to a wheelchair, but she takes a liking to Danny and offers him a job in her home.

Danny accepts the job and moves in, but Mrs. Bramson’s niece, Olivia, has her suspicions about him.

“Night Must Fall” was adapted for Suspense by Robert L. Richards and directed by Anton M. Leader. Robert Montgomery produced, hosted and starred as Danny. Ten years earlier, he had been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in the film Night Must Fall. Dame May Whitty and Matthew Boulton had both appeared in the original London stage play, but Whitty also appeared in the film version and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Also appearing in this broadcast were Heather Angel as Olivia and Richard Ney as Hubert. This episode aired on March 27, 1948.