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. I love the old-fashion story-telling and I thought it would be fun to give a short review of an episode every Sunday.
"After Dinner Story"
Air date: October 26, 1943
Starring Otto Kruger
>>Episodes here<<Rich Mr. Hardecker assembles the five men who were with his son when an elevator car crashed and at the rescue his son had been found dead. But he had been shot and was alive minutes before the men were to be rescued. He had been shot by his own gun, and no one had a motive to kill him so it was ruled a suicide. This dinner party takes place a year later, and Mr. Hardecker has spent that time investigating which of the five men wanted to kill his son. He now knows but has no proof. And he has just poisoned that person. In a few minutes the killer will die, but if he drinks the antidote in the middle of the table, he will live, but also convict himself.
This makes one a little uncomfortable going into elevators. They do a flashback to the day when the elevator crashed, and it is pretty disturbing imagining what that might be like - trapped and injured, especially worse if you have a panicky, fearful guy with you. Flash forward to the dinner party, and I was thinking if I was in the position of those men:
A) Don’t go to that party, I’m sure Mr. Hardecker has something not right up his sleeves! (He did lure them with money)
B) How about we all drink that antidote then and screw you Mr. Hardecker! (Um, but apparently only enough antidote for one)
C) What if you got the wrong guy, Mr. Hardecker?
But then there would be no story, and I have to say the twist in this story is one of the best I’ve come across! So clever! I guess I won’t reveal it, but I loved it!