Suspense was a radio series from 1942 to 1962, claiming to be "radio's outstanding theater of thrills." I have a fondness for "Old Time Radio" as we call it now, and Suspense is my favorite show. It sets up weird, dark, scary, or intriguing stories with a plot twist in the end, and all in half an hour. And many of them had very famous stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. I love the old-fashion story-telling and I thought it would be fun to give a short review of an episode every Sunday. I'll have some fun with it too, since the stories can be silly and over-the-top to modern audiences, but I hope you, dear Reader, will give it a listen sometime if the story seems interesting.
"The Strange Death of Charles Umberstein"
Air date: November 23, 1943
Starring Vincent Price
Nazi, but really spy, Charles Umberstein knows that he has been found out, but he just can't figure out how. Through his reminisces we hear how he came to that point, and who could possibly have given him away. Was it his landlady/part-time fling? (I mean, it's always a woman's fault AMIRITE? Sometimes the chauvinist attitudes in this series are too funny.) Or was it his contact in the spy ring? He did get caught so maybe he talked. Or was it the fact that Vincent Price was the only one not speaking in a German accent? (It isn't, but come on Vincent, step up your game!) In the end, the reason he was caught was so obvious, but somehow I didn't see it coming. And don't worry, he got away. (Hey, it's 1943, the Nazis couldn't win on radio!)
This episode was a little slow in the middle as they tried to build up the tension with suspicious "other" Nazis, but Vincent is always a delight to listen to - I love his voice! And since I didn't see the twist coming, I loved the ending!
I'll just spoil it for you and say why he was caught, but don't read further if you think you want to hear for yourself!
The fake identity he took of a Charles Umberstein who mysteriously disappeared was the name of one of the high-ranking Nazis who decided to go undercover!