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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Suspense Sundays! (8)

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.

"The ABC Murders"
Air date: May 18, 1943
Starring Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester

This is a radio adaptation of the well known Agatha Christie mystery and is hugely unsuccessful.  I'm a big Christie fan and this is one of her best mysteries, so I know it is hard to adapt this novel into half an hour, but I think it could have been done better.  Basically, a serial killer is loose in England who appears to be killing people according to the alphabet; killing a person with an A name in an A town, etc.  And it seems like we know who is doing the killing, because this story is from the point of view of a man who has black outs, is a traveling salesman, and who is always in town when the murderer strikes.

Agatha Christie, and this story is of course unpredictable as always, but the radio program had to change around much of the plot to fit such a short time.  For me, it doesn't really work, suspense-wise and character-wise, and the twist in the end is not nearly so shocking as reading the original novel.  And my biggest peeve is they cut Poirot.  You know, the detective who solves the whole thing! You are better off listening to an audiobook of the Christie novel, than listening to this.  Perhaps though, if I didn't know the twist in the end, I might have enjoyed this episode more.

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  1. I listened to an audiobook of that just recently! I will skip this one then! Too bad it's a great story!

    1. Oh good, audiobook is much better! I think Suspense did a couple more adaptations of Christie short stories, and I plan to check them out soon. I think they will be much better!

  2. AGATHA CHRISTIE!! I LOVE AGATHA CHRISTIE!! *o* This is so great, thanks for sharing this with us! <3

    1. Oh yay a Christie fan! I am glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for commenting!

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