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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Suspense Sundays (15)

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.







"Philomel Cottage"
Air date: October 7, 1943
Starring Geraldine Fitzgerald and Orson Welles
>>Episodes here<<

This is based on an Agatha Christie short story and is basically a retelling of Bluebeard.  Alix Martin has just married Gerald after only knowing him a week.  Although Alix had planned to marry her friend Dick Windyford, he had balked at proposing to her when she inherited some money.  So Gerald swept her off her feet and they buy a little cottage and move in.  While he is out, she finds Gerald's pocketbook and takes a look inside.  Gerald has a mania for promptness and keeping to a schedule.  She finds that he has marked 6 p.m. in the book for that day and nothing more.  And the gardener seems to think they will be traveling to London soon and she heard nothing of this.  Wondering what secrets her husband might be keeping, Alix goes through his desk and finds newspaper clippings about a man who killed his wife.  Several clippings and several wives.  The man looks like Gerald.  And then he comes home.

I love that this story doesn't have Alix being rescued by Dick (although she does call him with a coded message) but in the end she finds a way to save herself that is really very clever.  This is one of my favorite Agatha Christie short stories, and I love how they brought it to life in this episode of Suspense. Orson Welles has a great voice for menace!  Though there were a couple times where his reactions to things she said was surely very suspicious, even if she didn't have any suspicions at all!  This is a great episode!

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