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

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Suspense Sundays (38)

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 Hitchhiker"
Air date: June 2, 1946
Starring Orson Welles
A man driving cross country sees the same creepy hitchhiker turning up in unexpected places.  And gradually the man starts to lose his mind.

Orson Welles introduces this episode because it was first performed on his radio show "Mercury Theater" but the episode was so popular, they decided to perform it again for "Suspense".  Just think of that.  There were no re-runs in 1946, and if you missed something, you just missed it.  And what if you loved something and wanted to hear it again?  Nope.  You just have to relive it in memory.  What a scary world that was.

The thing about hitchhikers are they are pretty scary in and of themselves.  They are so good for stories, because they are an unknown danger a person willingly takes on.  And it can be so easy to subvert the expectations of the dangerous hitchhiker as well.  This Suspense episode does of course more than subvert expectations in a fantastic twist ending.  Orson Welles' confident acting carries this episode so well, and brings out the right touch of paranoia.  This is one of those must-listen episodes!

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