Suspense

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.

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480221_Beyond_Reason

Suspense – Beyond Reason

In “Beyond Reason,” Ruth Warrick stars as a woman who marries her father’s business partner…despite the terrible things that have happened to her family since his arrival.

As the episode opens, Pinkton Carr steps off a street corner in San Francisco…and is killed by a hit and run driver.

Ruth Warrick_Vangie Carr, his oldest daughter, can’t come to terms with her father’s sudden death. She also wonders about Harry Newton, the man who claims to be her father’s business partner. To her knowledge, her father never had a partner!

Who is he? When Vangie makes inquiries, she finds out that he is something of a promoter and a drifter. In fact, the day her father died was the day they became business partners. Their plan was to sell Carr’s undeveloped real estate.

Vangie doesn’t trust Harry Newton, but soon she finds him…irresistable! But so does her trampy, younger sister, Susie.

Two weeks later, Vangie and Harry are married in Vegas. When they return, Susie is upset. But the next day, Susie is dead!

Again, Vangie wonders how it could happen… Did Harry have anything to do with it?

Soon, her sister Grace arrives, and she too finds Harry a hunk of a man.

Does Vangie have any reason to worry?

“Beyond Reason” is an hour-long episode written by Devery Freeman, a television screenwriter who also helped establish the Screen Writer’s Guild. Anton M. Leader directed and Robert Montgomery was the producer. Ruth Warrick and Robert Ryan starred. Also appearing were William Johnstone, Howard McNear, Joan Banks, and Berry Kroeger. This episode aired on February 21, 1948.

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Suspense – Donovan’s Brain

“Donovan’s Brain” was based on the classic 1943 novel by Curt Siodmak and starred Orson Welles in multiple roles. It was the first two-part episode of Suspense and their first venture into science fiction.

The story is set in Phoenix, Arizona where a doctor named Patrick Cory is working on an experiment to keep a brain alive. His project isn’t going well, but things perk up when a plane accident happens near his laboratory. A famous Wall Street millionaire named William Horace Donovan is brought to him for an emergency operation, but Cory refuses to do it. Instead, he removes Donovan’s brain and attaches it to an apparatus that will keep it alive and allow it to communicate.

Dr. Cory is determined to make his experiment work. So determined, that he doesn’t notice when his wife, Janice, disappears. Is that because he is consumed by his work, or because the brain of Donovan is controlling his thoughts?

“Donovon’s Brain” was produced and directed by William Spier. Featured in the cast were, Hans Conried, Jerry Hausner, John McIntire, and Jeannette Nolan. Part 1 aired on May 18, 1944, and Part 2 aired on May 25, 1944.

Suspense_1944.05.18_DonovansBrainPart1.mp3

Suspense_1944.05.25_DonovansBrainPart2.mp3

In 1981, a release of this episode on LP won a Grammy for best Best Spoken Word, Drama, or Documentary.

On February 7, 1948, Suspense aired “Donovan’s Brain” again as one hour long episode. John McIntire starred as Dr. Cory. Also appearing were William Johnstone, Wally Maher, and Jeannette Nolan.

suspense_1948.02.07_DonovansBrain(1hour).mp3

There have been numerous other adaptations of this story for film and television. The image above is from the 1953 film Donovan’s Brain.

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480110 The Kandy Tooth

Suspense – The Kandy Tooth

In “The Kandy Tooth,” detective Sam Spade is reunited with his old rivals, Joe Cairo and Kaspar Gutman, on a hunt for a missing religious relic. The plot is similar in design to The Maltese Falcon, but the entertaining writing, ridiculous plot, and good acting overcome the similarity.

As the episode opens, Sam Spade receives a telegram from Kaspar Gutman warning him about the unscrupulous duo of Lawrence LaVerne D.D.S. and his sister, Hope LaVerne. He tells Spade to “beware the hidden tooth” if either of them approach him. Gutman warns Spade not to believe anything those two may say.

Shortly afterwards, they do both approach him. Lawrence LaVerne is a dentist who is upset with a man named Herman Julius for not paying him for the bridgework he did. His sister, Hope, arrives later, and says that her brother often impersonates a dentist and that she doesn’t know where he is.

When Spade gets the truth out of Lawrence LaVerne, he tells him that Gutman paid him to put an old tooth into the mouth of Herman Julius, one that was stolen from a corpse. Why would he do that? Does Herman Julius really have something valuable hidden in his mouth?

“The Kandy Tooth” was written by Jason James and Robert Tallman. This story first presented as two 30 minute episodes of The Adventures of Sam Spade on November 24, 1946, and December 01, 1946. William Spier, who was also the producer of The Adventures of Sam Spade, produced/directed this hour-long episode and makes an appearance at the end of the broadcast.

Howard Duff starred as Sam Spade and Lurene Tuttle played Effie. Wally Maher played Lawrence LaVerne and Cathy Lewis played Miss LaVerne. Joseph Kearns played Kaspar Gutman. Also appearing were Hans Conried, Jay Novello, William Johnstone, Jeannette Nolan, Jack Edwards, Jr., and Sydney Miller. This episode aired on January 10, 1948.

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