Suspense – Always Room at the Top

Suspense’s “Always Room at the Top” was only broadcast once, which is a shame. This bizarre episode should have been given at least a second chance.

There is a lot to like in a story that begins with a job applicant named Helen being kicked out of an interview, then continues with the interviewer, Ms.Thornton, falling out of her office window and landing on the pavement in front of Helen. Not wasting the opportunity, Helen then barges her way back into the office and talks the boss into hiring her for Ms. Thornton’s job!

After that, the story just gets better. In fact, so much happens so quickly in this episode that it borders on being surreal, or perhaps just silly. When it comes to stories about catty and ruthless female executives, this one takes the cake and runs away with the spoon!

“Always Room at the Top” stars Anne Baxter in the role of Helen Brandt. A few years later, in 1951 she appeared in the film classic about an ambitious female, All About Eve. At the time she appeared in this episode of Suspense in 1947, she was promoting the movie The Razor’s Edge for which she would receive an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

Also appearing in this episode are Wally Maher and Jack Webb. Cathy Lewis played Marie Harris. The name of the actress playing JeanThornton is not given.

The radio-play was written by Eleanor Beeson.

“Always Room at the Top” aired on February 20, 1947.


Suspense – End of the Road

Suspense’s “End of the Road” stars Glenn Ford in a radio noir about a car salesman who gets involved with a troubled woman.

Ford plays Speed Evans, a man for whom women have been an “expensive” habit. He wants to turn over a new leaf, but when he meets a captivating woman in his showroom, he quickly finds himself back to his old ways. Her name is Sylvia, and she is there with her wealthy husband, Mr. Ganlon, to buy a new car. Speed takes her on a flirtatious test drive and convinces Syvlia that she must have the car–and the salesman.

Sylvia and Speed have an affair, but she is unable to leave her older husband or her mysterious past behind. Speed drives Sylvia back to her hometown in Arizona to find the truth, but their trip leads them into danger.

“End of the Road” was written by Irving Moore and Robert L. Richards. At the time Glenn Ford appeared in this episode, he was promoting the 1947 noir film Framed. “End of the Road” was the first of Ford’s two appearances on Suspense. Cathy Lewis played Sylvia Ganlon. Also featured were Hans Conried, Joseph Kearns, William Johnstone, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on February 6, 1947.


Suspense – Three Blind Mice

Suspense’s “Three Blind Mice” stars Van Heflin in a radio noir about a publishing firm and its three partners. One is dead, the other is on Death Row, and the third has taken over the firm from the other two.

The episode opens inside the office of Lockwood, Bentley and Walsh Publishing. Mr. Arthur Lockwood knows that his partners are out to get him, and it appears that everyone in the company knows as well. By all appearances, he is on the way down.

Mr. Lockwood refuses to accept that. He wants his corporation back from his partners. He also wants Helen Conover, the head of the firm’s promotion department, but she is involved with his partner, Mr. Walsh.

None of this worries Mr. Lockwood. He seems confident that there will be a day when he is back on top. When Mr. Lockwood finds one of his partners dead at the office, it appears that his problems may be resolved sooner than he thought.

“Three Blind Mice” was written by Kenneth Pettis and Robert L. Richards. Van Heflin starred as Arthur Lockwood. Also appearing were Cathy Lewis, William Johnstone, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on January 30, 1947.




Suspense – One Way Street

In “One Way Street” Roddy McDowall plays a young man who struggles against his uncle’s bad influence.

Roddy McDowellAs the episode opens, Georgie Williams is returning to his old neighborhood after serving time. He is going to his Uncle Burt’s place, but only because he has nowhere else to go. His own parents were killed in the war, and his crooked Uncle Burt is his only family.

But, when he arrives, Georgie gets a surprise–a new aunt. His uncle has recently married, and he even seems happy to see Georgie, too.

Although he likes his new Aunt Edna, Georgie knows that his uncle has an angle. He wouldn’t marry for love–only for her money.

As it turns out, his new aunt has a heart condition, and his uncle keeps her medicine in the kitchen cupboard..right next to the rat poison.

Will Georgie cash in with his uncle’s latest plan, or will he break away from what he knows is wrong?

“One Way Street” was written by Robert L. Richards and Stan Schlessinger. William Spier produced and directed. Roddy McDowell starred. Also appearing were Raymond Lawrence, Jeannette Nolan, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on January 23, 1947.



Suspense – Overture in Two Keys

In “Overture in Two Keys,” Joan Bennett stars as a wife who becomes involved with one of her husband’s students.

As the episode opens, Mrs. Franzie Allen is in a hospital bed. She tells the nurse that she can’t sleep despite the medicine she is being given. The nurse tells her that the problem is all in her mind.

Franzie ponders the irony. She is in a hosptial bed now because that was the very problem with her second husband, Mark. His troubles were all in his mind…troubles that began after he killed her first husband!

Everything had started innocently enough the day that Mark Allen arrived in California to study…

“Overture in Two Keys” was written by Marvin Wald and Pamela Wilcox. William Spier produced and directed. Joan Bennett starred. Also appearing were Howard Duff, Hans Conried and William Johnstone. This episode aired on January 16, 1947.



Suspense – Will to Power
In “Will to Power,” Dan Duryea stars in a drama about a secretary who takes the life, the wife, and the estate of his boss without any trouble…until a blackmailer arrives.

Charles is the private secretary to Mr. Donovan. He is love with Roseann, Mr. Donovan’s wife, but the only way they can be together is if the old man is out of the way. So, they decide to get the old man out of the way.

Charles murders his boss by poisoning him and then pushing him out the window. Then, he marries the young widow right after the funeral. Then, Charles sends his new wife to prison for her late husband’s murder. Fortunately, a blackmailer turns up to slow things down a bit. Can Charles get rid of his blackmailer too?

“Will to Power” was written by Frank Talbuss and produced/directed by William Spier. Dan Duryea starred. Also appearing were Howard Duff, Cathy Lewis, Joseph Kearns, and Wally Maher. This episode aired on January 9, 1947.



Suspense – Philomel Cottage

431007 e061 Philomel Cottage

In “Philomel Cottage,” a woman marries quickly and then discovers that her idyllic life is not what she believed.

This episode was based on the short story of the same name by Agatha Christie, which was first published in the United Kingdom in her book The Listerdale Mystery (1934). Since then, “Philomel Cottage” has been adapted for the stage, film, radio, and television.

As the episode opens, newlyweds Gerald and Alix Martin are in the garden of their rustic new home. They met a month ago, married after one week, and have spent the last three weeks in their lovely and remote country cottage.

Before she had met Gerald, she intended to marry her long-time friend, Dick Windyford. However, when she inherited a little money, Dick’s pride kept him from proposing. When Gerald came along and swept Alix off her feet, Dick warned her that she was making a mistake.

Now, Alix is begining to understand that perhaps she married her husband too quickly. Perhaps…he hasn’t been entirely honest with her.

Her curiousity is peaked when she finds her husband’s pocket diary and discovers that Gerald has something in particular planned for them later that day…

Suspense first presented their adaptation on July 29, 1942, but that episode is considered lost. No known recordings of that broadcast are known to exist.

The story was presented a second time on October 7, 1943. “Philomel Cottage” was adapted for radio by screenwriter Harold Medford and produced/directed by William Spier. Orson Welles and Geraldine Fitzgerald starred. Joseph Kearns was the narrator.

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Suspense presented this story a third time on December 26, 1946. Elliot Lewis and Lilli Palmer starred.