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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Suspense Sundays (4)

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.

"Rave Notice"
Air date: October 12, 1950
Starring Vincent Price

Vincent Price plays an actor named Sam working in a play with an aggravating director, Norman, who according to Sam, is The Worst and when Norman tries to give his role to another actor, he gets really angry especially when Norman says he isn't a good actor.  Oooohh.  It's time for insults.  And Sam's go-to insult is "Fat! Fat belly! Fat face! Fat!" And then Sam threatens to kill him, which apparently he has done before, so no one takes him seriously.  But Sam goes out to buy a gun and when asked what kind of gun he wants, he says "One that will shoot through fat." Freaking. Hilarious.  And did Sam think of some clever plan to shoot the director?  Nope.  He goes to the theater, and just shoots him.  And of course he gets arrested.  Norman hasn't died yet, but Sam's lawyer warns him that if he does, Sam will be electrocuted for murder.  Unless.... it can be proven that Sam has been insane for awhile...  and Sam is an actor...

This is really a clever episode, one of the best I think.  Vincent Price adds that gravitas that comes easily to him in the role, so that you really believe in his petty, seemingly unhinged, self-aggrandizing actor without any conscience. The twists in the end, will probably be unexpected, and Sam acting insane is an interesting short study into how to delve into madness. He pretends to be a homicidal maniac (quite convincingly) but you will have to listen to the show to see if he is successful.  

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  1. Lovely. As one of the founding members of the William Shatner Over-The-Top Acting Academy, Price must have owned radio. It should be interesting to see how that era handled the insanity defense. People think that's an easy way to dodge your punishment, but nothing could be further from the truth. As the accused, you don't have to say a word. It's on the prosecutor to prove his whole case. But when you plead insanity, what you're saying is, "I did it," and then it's up to you to prove that you're insane. Not as easy as faking a seizure in the courtroom. Still, old Vince would have been the leading Napoleon at any nut house they put him in, no?

    1. Very true, I had not thought of it that way. I wonder how anyone can really be sure if you are really sane or not when you have so much at stake, and even how does one prove that they are alright again? It's a difficult way to avoid the murder charge. Better not do it in the first place! :) And definitely Vincent would have been the most compelling nut in the house! I mean who wouldn't have wanted to listen to his ravings in those dulcet tones! :) Thanks for commenting Jack!