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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Suspense Sundays (32)

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.  



"Marry for Murder"
Air date: September 9, 1943
Starring Lillian Gish and Ray Collins
Philip, a lawyer, is our narrator as he speaks of a lady he met at a dinner party, Lettie, who is very beautiful and charming but a little too fluttery and nervy for his taste.  So the pressure is off him to become romantically involved when she marries a man named Mark.  Philip becomes concerned as suspicious things start happening.  First the couple write wills in each others favor, then Mark buys some rat poison and Lettie comes down with a little arsenic poisoning.  Almost too late does Philip figure out what is going on.

Every Suspense episode has a twist and this one I found easy to guess given that you don't have many options.  But it is still a well-told atmospheric episode (they love their sinister fog horns in this one) and Lillian Gish especially, as Lettie, is fantastic.  There is a monologue near the end that is absolutely typical of radio at the time and very entertaining because of it.  This is a fun one to listen to, and enjoy the slow building of ... suspense.

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