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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Suspense Sundays (14)

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,


Suspense Sundays

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 Man Without a Body"
Air date: June 22, 1943
Starring 
>>Episodes here<<

The show host starts off by saying this story isn't related to the H.G. Wells novel The Invisible Man.  But it features an invisible man.  Actually it isn't like the Wells novel, but it did start off suspiciously similar which I thought was funny.  No wonder they had a disclaimer.

In a sleepy English village, people are talking about an invisible man a man without a body.  Though a couple of the more rational headed people in the village chalk the rumors up to imagination, on a walk they see through a window disembodied gloves crank up a phonograph and play music.  Yup.  There is a suspicious American doctor in town who everyone thinks must have created this monster, and when the bell in the bell tower starts to ring one night on its own, two men rush to investigate, determined to catch the man and stop the madness.  One man is pushed off the tower with nothing around him, and it is then that the American doctor decides to reveal who is really behind the strange man without a body.

First of all Nazis are involved.  Again.  Next few episodes, I'm going to try and steer away from these war propaganda episodes.  The resolution of the plot is a little silly and convoluted - it all was basically a trap - but the explanations of how the trick was done was the most interesting part.  I have always been interested in magic and illusion, but since it was explained in the episode, I'm going to ruin the illusion right now.  It's quite simple though- the disembodied gloves were done through mirrors and black curtain, and the ringing of the bell was compressed air released in bursts.  The man fell off the tower because the burst of air hit him.

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