I’m so disappointed with yesterday’s show, here’s a bonus


Suspense – Self Defense

In “Self Defense,” Marsha Hunt (Who is still alive at 101 years old) stars as a woman who marries for money but then decides she wants love.

As the episode opens, Barbara Newell runs into Fred Dexter, an old boyfriend that she hasn’t seen in six years. Their relationship ended when Barbara dumped him to marry someone with money. Now, she isn’t happy in her marriage, but she is happy to see Fred.

That night, Barbara’s husband announces that he has to take an extended business trip. Barbara is glad to hear it! She spends the next few weeks with Fred, even though she knows that is wrong. Then, at a party, she meets Alex Maynard. Suddenly, she is love! Will Barbara ever decide what she wants, or will fate decide for her?

“Self Defense” was written by Arthur Julian and Howard Leeds. William Spier produced and directed. Marsha Hunt starred. Also appearing were Wally Maher and Joseph Kearns. This episode aired on October 16, 1947.



Escape – The Man Who Liked Dickens

“The Man Who Liked Dickens” is a classic tale of jungle terror that was written by Evelyn Waugh and first published as a chapter in the novel A Handful of Dust (1934). The story was adapted for radio by Suspense and then later by Escape. Of the two, Escape’s version is better because it stayed true to the original work.

Tony Last was on an expedition in Brazil, but after it ran into difficulties, he ended up alone and sick in the jungle. While in a fever-ridden stupor, Tony was found by Mr. Todd and taken to his home in a remote jungle village.

When Tony recovered from his illness, he was grateful to Mr. Todd for his help. He was also happy to comply with Mr. Todd’s request to read aloud to him for a couple of hours each day. However, as the days went by, Tony realized that Mr. Todd had no intention of allowing him to leave…ever.

“The Man Who Liked Dickens” was adapted for Escape by John Meston and directed by Norman MacDonnell . Terry Kilburn, who played Tiny Tim in the 1938 MGM film A Christmas Carol, starred as Tony. Joseph Kearns played Mr. Todd, a role he had played previously on Suspense. Also appearing were Ramsay Hill and Joe Cranston . This episode aired on December 21, 1952.

Suspense had presented their version of this story five years earlier. Although dangerous jungle adventure wasn’t what they were best at, Suspense’s adaptation seems to be just as good as Escape’s…until you get to the happy ending.

“The Man Who Liked Dickens” was adapted for Suspense by Academy Award winning screenwriter Richard Breen and produced/directed by William Spier. Richard Ney played Tony and Joseph Kearns played Mr. Todd. This episode aired on October 9, 1947.


Wow did I screw up! Posted the same show twice. It was good, but not that good.  Leeched from

420624_episode #002_Wet Saturday

Suspense – Wet Saturday

Suspense’s “Wet Saturday” is based on the short story of the same name by John Collier, which was first published in The New Yorker in 1938. The story can also be found in the book, Fancies and Goodnights, a collection of Collier’s short stories that also includes “Back for Christmas” and “Evening Primrose,” which were adapted for radio by Escape.

Fancies and Goodnights Suspense first presented “Wet Saturday” in 1942 as episode #2 of the series. They ultimately presented this story three times using the same radio play, which has a modified ending from the original story.

“Wet Saturday” was also adapted for television by Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956) and the British television series Tales of the Unexpected (1984).

As the episode opens, the members of the Princey family explain what they might have been doing on this particular Saturday…if the curate had not stopped at their home. But he did stop there, and now he lies dead on their sun porch.

Millicent Princey killed the curate because he wasn’t interested in marrying her. Frederick Princey, her father, doesn’t want any of the other bother this murder could cause.

So, the way around that is to get rid of the body…and put the blame on someone else.

“Wet Saturday” was adapted for radio by Harold Medford. Charles Vanda produced and directed. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Clarence Derwent starred.

Suspense presented this story a second time on December 16, 1943. William Spier produced and directed. Charles Laughton starred. Also appearing wer Hans Conried and Dennis Hoey.

On March 20, 1948, this story was presented as a combined weather-related episode with “August Heat” during an hour-long broadcast. Robert Montgomery produced and Anton M. Leader directed. Dennis Hoey starred.


420617_001 The Burning Court (77 years ago today)

Suspense – The Burning Court

Suspense’s “The Burning Court” was the second episode of the series. It aired on June 17, 1942, two years after the pilot episode of the series began with “The Lodger.”

Burning Court”The Burning Court” was adapted from the controversial 1937 novel of the same name by John Dickson Carr, master of the “locked room mystery.” What made the book controversial was the inclusion of supernatural elements.

By picking this particular story and author, the producers of Suspense set the tone for the series. In the introduction to this episode, the announcer, Berry Kroeger, gives an overview of what could be expected from Suspense in the coming weeks. (Little did they know the show would go on for another twenty years.)

Their radio adaptation does not follow the book exactly, but it left in the supernatural element at the end.

As the episode opens, the writer, Gaudan Cross, is a guest in the home of Mr. Despas. He finishes a glass of sherry and addresses the people assembled there. He claims that he knows who murdered the uncle of Mr. Despas!

What is he saying? How does he know? Mr. Cross tells them that it all began after he finished his book about famous poisoners. The manuscript was then given to Mr. Ted Stevens, who works for his publisher. Mr. Stevens began reading the manuscript and opened to the section about a 17th poisoner named Marie D’Aubray, and there he saw a picture…of his wife!

How could that be? Mr. Cross will explain…

“The Burning Court” was adapted for radio Harold Medford and produced directed by Charles Vanda. Charles Ruggles and Julie Haydon.


Suspense presented this story a second time on June 14, 1945, but with a number of changes to the details and story. The two versions are quite different. William Spier produced and directed. Clifton Webb starred.


Saturday Special!

Suspense – The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story “The Pit and the Pendulum” (1842) was adapted for Suspense by John Dickson Carr. Poe’s story wasn’t long enough to fill a half-hour show, so it was expanded with the addition of a court scene and a running dialogue that takes place in the mind of the prisoner. The result was an unusual combination of Poe, Carr, and Suspense that was presented four times between 1943 and 1959. John Dickson Carr was considered a master of the “locked room mystery,” and he wrote many of Suspense’s early episodes.

Suspense first presented this story with Henry Hull in the role of the prisoner. William Spier produced, John Dietz directed, and Bernard Herrmann composed/conducted the music. This episode aired on January 12, 1943.

Suspense presented this story a second time on November 28, 1947. Jose Ferrer starred. William Spier produced and directed.

The third production starred Vincent Price in the role of the prisoner. William N. Robson produced and directed. This episode aired on November 10, 1957.

The fourth presentation starred Raymond Burr in the role of the prisoner. William N. Robson produced and directed. This episode aired on June 7, 1959.


Suspense – The Story of Markham’s Death

In “The Story of Markham’s Death,” Kirk Douglas stars as a washed-up writer, who tries to pass off Edgar Allan Poe’s work as his own.

As the episode opens, Phil Martin is the subject of gossip. Once a prolific mystery writer, he has lost his talent and can’t write a word.

So, Phil decides that he needs to get away for a while. His clingy and overly-sympathetic girlfriend, Ann Fleming, is concerned, but he promises that he will be back.

Phil travels to London, and while visiting bombed-out houses leftover from the war, he finds something special. One of the houses, was once the home of Edgar Allan Poe, and one of the neighbors mentions that her son just dug up a box of old junk from the ruins…

While examining the contents, Phil finds something Poe left behind many years before. Will it be the answer to his problems?

“The Story of Markham’s Death” was written by Robert Platt and produced/directed by William Spier. Kirk Douglas starred. Also appearing were Cathy Lewis, Jerry Hausner, Raymond Lawrence, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on October 2, 1947.


Suspense – The Blue Hour

Claire Trevor, the Academy Award winning actress and “Queen of Film Noir,” made one of her five appearances on Suspense in the drama “The Blue Hour.” Here she plays Lois LaPaul, a Chicago dancer who becomes a media darling when her wealthy paramour is murdered. Instantly in demand, she accepts an offer to perform at an “extremely chic” nightclub called the The Blue Hour in New York City. At the airport she meets Alec Mahoney, a reporter with whom she shares some saucy banter.

When she arrives at the sparkling blue nightclub she soon discovers that the owner, Anthony LaCada, has no real interest in her dancing talents. His icy interest is in her murdered boyfriend, Jason White.

Not knowing what to do, she turns to Mahoney for help. Together they discover the blue diamond worth half a million dollars that Jason White was hiding.

“The Blue Hour Diamond” at the center of this story was probably based on the Hope Diamond, pictured to the right. This episode was written by Marty Schwartz and includes a number of moments of entertaining dialogue.

“The Blue Hour” was produced edited and directed by William Spier. The music, more prominent and detailed than usual in this episode, was composed by Lucien Moraweck and conducted by Lud Gluskin. At the time Claire Trevor appeared on this episode she was promoting the movie The Velvet Touch. Also featured were Hans Conried, Wally Maher and Sydney Miller. This broadcast aired on September 25, 1947.

Claire Trevor publicity photo for murder-my-sweet


Extra bonus Sunday!

Suspense – The Visitor

In “The Visitor,” a young man reappears three years after he was believed to have been murdered by his friend. But is it really him?

This episode was adapted from the 1944 novel The Visitor by American playwright and journalist Carl Randau and his wife, Leanne Zugsmith, a journalist, writer, and activist. Suspense made a few changes, but for the most part, the story presented is the same as the book.

The episode opens at a lunch counter outside of Baltimore, where a man named Burrell has come to talk to the teenager behind the counter. He was given an anonymous tip that the young man was really Bud Owen, and now Burrell discovers that this is true. Bud disappeared three years earlier, and almost everyone in their small hometown of Edgerton believed that he had been murdered. On that fateful day, Bud had gone to Ocean Isle with his friend Joe, but after a quarrel, only Joe had returned. Although no one could prove a crime had been committed, everyone believed Joe was guilty.

Now, Burrell is bringing Bud back home to Edgerton, but will everyone be happy to see him?

“The Visitor” was produced, directed and adapted for radio by William Spier. Eddie Bracken starred as Bud Owen. Also appearing were Kenneth Christy, Hans Conried, Jeannette Nolan, and John McIntire. This episode aired on May 11, 1944.

Suspense presented this story a second time on September 18, 1947 with Donald O’Connor in the role of Bud Owen. Also appearing were Verna Felton and Wally Maher.


s470911 The Twist

Suspense – The Twist

In “The Twist,” a radio comedy writer murders to keep his writing partner from leaving the business.

Michael-oshea As the episode opens, Gus Green explains that twelve years earlier, he drove a cab for a living and spent his time day-dreaming. Then, he met radio gag writer Van Hauser. The tow of them hated each other right away, but Gus convinced Van to give him a chance as a “situation” writer. The two of them were a hit together but separately they bombed.

Gus was determined to stick with Van no matter what. Then, a problem developed. Van announced that he was going to marry a dancer named Julie Phelps. Gus knew that meant Van would leave the business…and then leave him with nothing! So, he came up with a situation that would rid them of Julie…

How did that work out for him? Not well.

“The Twist” was written by Faith Blau and produced/directed by William Spier. Sidney Miller and Michael O’Shea starred. This episode aired on September 11, 1947.