461212 They Call Me Patrice

Suspense – They Call Me Patrice

Suspense’s “They Call Me Patrice” was adapted from the novellette by Cornell Woolrich eight months after it was first published in Today’s Woman magazine (April 1946). Woolrich later reworked this same story into his classic novel, I Married a Dead Man, which was published in 1948 under his pen name, William Irish.

William Spiers adapted the original novellette for Suspense and made two important changes: the main character, Helen/Patrice is not pregnant, and the happy ending was changed to one that isn’t.

As the episode opens, Helen Georgesson is on a train back to San Francisco after divorcing her no-good husband in New York. She meets Patrice and Hugh Hazzard, and she is attracted to their bubbly newlywed happiness.

Helen accompanies Patrice to the ladies room, and while they are chatting about Patrice’s fears of meeting her new inlaws—the train suddenly goes off the rails and crashes!

Later, Helen awakens in a hospital room, only to realize that she has been mistakenly identified as Patrice Hazzard. In desperation for a new and better life, she doesn’t tell them the truth.

Will Helen find peace in her new life? Or, will someone from her past discover her secret…

“They Call Me Patrice” was adapted for Suspense, produced and directed by William Spier. Susan Peters starred. (This radio appearance occurred during the time in her career when she was wheelchair-bound.) Also appearing were William Johnstone, Wally Maher, and Jeannette Nolan. This episode aired on December 12, 1946.


461205 (222) The House in Cypress Canyon

Suspense – The House in Cypress Canyon

“The House in Cypress Canyon” has a reputation as one the superior horror episodes produced during the “Golden Age of Radio.” What makes this story about werewolves interesting is that it was not a Halloween episode–it was Suspense’s idea of a Christmas story. As such, it has to be one the most chilling Christmas tales ever told.

The story begins in the office of a Hollywood real estate agent named Jerry. He is about to put up a sign advertising a new home in Cypress Canyon, but he is having doubts about doing so. This property has one peculiarity that he can’t explain. A shoebox containing a manuscript was found by construction workers inside the unfinished house. The mysterious manuscript detailed a disturbing story about what would happen to the future occupants. Not sure what to do, Jerry asks his friend Sam, a detective, for advice.

“The House in Cypress Canyon” was written by Robert L. Richards and was produced/directed by William Spier. Robert Taylor starred as James A. Woods and Cathy Lewis played Ellen. Also appearing were Wally Maher, Paul Frees, Howard Duff, Jim Backus, and Hans Conried. This episode aired on December 5, 1946.


461128 Strange Death Of Gordon Fitzroy

In “The Strange Death of Gordon Fitzroy,” an ex-con is consumed with a desire for revenge.

Johnny Malone was sent to prison for attempted robbery, but soon, he will be released. He and his associate, Gordon Fitzroy, had planned the robbery together, but Johnny was the one who went to jail. It was Fitzroy’s own jewelry store that they had tried to rob in order to collect on the insurance, but their plan failed. The explosives they used to crack the safe were too powerful. When the police arrived on the scene, Fitzroy double-crossed Johnny and told them he had caught the burglar in the act.

Johnny’s face was horribly disfigured as a result of the blast, so badly that he can’t even look at himself. When Johnny gets out of prison, he has only one objective — to find Gordon Fitzroy.

“The Strange Death of Gordon Fitzroy” was written by Bruce Cassidy and Robert L. Richards. William Spier produced and directed. Chester Morris of Boston Blackie fame, starred. Also appearing were Wally Maher, Hans Conried, William Johnstone, Howard Duff, and Lurene Tuttle.


Suspense-Drive In

If you need a reminder as to why it is you should never accept a ride from a stranger – then “Drive-In” is for you! This episode belongs to a sub-genre of Suspense stories that are also cautionary tales. These dramas are still convincing because their warnings are still valid.

Judy Garland stars in this episode but do not expect to hear singing. Here she demonstrates that she was just as compelling a performer on radio as she was in movies. In 1946, the year this show aired, she also appeared in the films: The Harvey Girls, Ziegfield Follies, and Till the Clouds Roll By.

“Drive-In” was written for Suspense by Mel Dinelli and Muriel Ray Bolton. It was broadcast three times but Garland only appeared in the lead role once. Raymond Lewis stars as the driver. This version was heard on November 21, 1946.