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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Suspense Sundays (23)

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
"Now let's see... Suspect... Suspectant... Suspend... Ah here we are, Suspense.  The condition of mental uncertainty usually accompanied by apprehension or anxiety.  Fear of something that is about to occur, as 'Do not keep me any longer in SUSPENSE.'"

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.  




"The Lodger"
Air date: July 22, 1940
Starring Herbert Marshall
The Lodger in question is austere, religious fanatic Mr. Sleuth who takes a room with Mr. and Mrs. Bunting while a slew of murders are occurring throughout London. The murderer seems to kill women with loose morals (= taking a drink once in a while it seems) so the police think the killer is a religious maniac.... Mr. Sleuth seems very suspicious. When the Bunting’s daughter Daisy comes to stay after a time in boarding school, Mrs. Bunting especially gets very nervous.

This is the very first episode of Suspense - featured as a pilot and was not picked up for another two years. It’s directed by Alfred Hitchcock who shot a silent film of this story in 1927. There are two things that distinguish this story - it was recorded in front of a live audience, which was very cool because you can hear the audience’s collective gasp in the end, and the ending is kind of a disappointment/weird. It kind of just ends, and all the actors talk to each other as themselves discussing the ending of the story. They ask Hitchcock to reveal the solution but he doesn’t. It seems the story this is based on has an ambiguous ending. It’s too bad, the buildup and development of this story is so well done.

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