I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Suspense Sundays! (3)

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.

"In Fear and Trembling"
Air date: February 16, 1943
Starring Mary Astor

This was a fun one! And I'm going to get very spoilery. Mrs. Lucia Durant feels her husband, Gilbert is drawing away from her.  Her half-sister Beverly has come to stay and she gets along well with Gilbert.  And Lucia has been having horrible dreams that someone is creeping up to strangle her in bed.  And every night the person gets closer.  Her husband doesn't have much sympathy and would rather spend time with Beverly it seems.  He does get her a tonic though to make her feel better, so that's nice.  Oh.  It has strychnine.  A little dose is supposed to give you an appetite apparently. (For death.)  One night, he gets angry that she is such a hypochondriac and won't drink her tonic, so she does.  And then he waits by her bedside to make sure she sleeps well.  Oh wait, no.  That's what a good husband would do.  Instead he goes out for a late night drive with Beverly at the beach, after dismissing their housekeeper Mrs. Benson for two days because she has been overworked.  But Mrs. Benson is suspicious and comes back to check on Lucia at midnight.  She's gone!  And there's blood all over the sheets!  And Gilbert and Beverly are still out driving!

Enter: The Police. So the tonic was totally legit, except for the copious amounts of arsenic in it (*gasp*) and Gilbert and Beverly firmly deny they were out dumping the body or that they have tried to kill Lucia. I mean, it's not like everything they've done so far is suspicious or anything!  After a time, the two are let go however, because they can't find a body so they can't press charges.  Beverly and Gilbert feel horrible under all this suspicion and decide they should just get away.  Not together because that would confirm the rumors, but separately and then they can meet up later.  And then Lucia steps out from behind some curtains! With a gun!  She staged the whole thing, thinking to frame them for murder, but she didn't know about corpus delecti.  But now she's heard their conversation and they must be in love and she won't stand for it!! She'll shoot for it and give them both what they deserve.  And Gilbert and Beverly shake their heads and laugh because obviously they were never in love and only cared about Lucia, and how could Lucia construe their always spending time together and talking about how Lucia should be a better wife as them not liking her?  Apparently her husband always loved her, but now he couldn't possibly because of the new brand of crazy she's selling.  So Lucia kills herself.  And Gilbert comforts Beverly by saying it's for the best.

Wow. Unbelievably unfair. I can't blame Lucia for having suspicions against her husband and half-sister!  Mr. Durant was pretty unsympathetic with her and could have used some compassion if he 'loved' her so much.  I thought from the middle of the story though, that they probably weren't trying to kill her, since there was so much evidence for it, but with the way they were acting, they should have some blame! But this was fun as even though I didn't really suspect Mr. Durant, it was a twist how much Lucia's imagination was completely at fault.

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