Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 265 – Suspense: The Night Reveals

Cornell Woolrich In 1934 at the height of the Great Depression, writer Cornell Woolrich decided to try to reinvent himself as a writer. He had spent most of the late twenties and early thirties attempting to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald and he was getting nowhere despite a number of novels and short stories behind him some of which had a modicum of success. All of these were stories of romance and adventure. But in 1934 with the rise of the pulps in detective fiction, the success of writers such as Dashiell Hammett, Woolrich decided to give crime fiction a try.

After writing crime fiction for the pulps – mostly Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly and Dime Detective, Woolrich wanted to try to return to the main stream. Story Magazine in 1936 was a prestigious publication of short fiction with writers such as Norman Mailer, JD Salinger, John Cheever, Tennesee Williams and others writing for them. Woolrich offered a story to them, which they ultimately published in 1936 called “The Night Reveals.”

As radio began to discover Cornell Woolrich mostly through early adoption by the CBS series Suspense, more and more of his stories were being adapted as radio plays. “The Night Reveals” was picked up because then producer William Spier was a fan of Woolrich’s fiction and felt his themes fit well into the structure of the series he was producing and directing.

Music under is “Blue in Green” performed by Miles Davis.

2 Responses to Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 265 – Suspense: The Night Reveals

  1. albie says:

    I’ve never been a fan of the Whistler,but I just got hold of a DVD The Return of the Whistler,and to my surprise it was written by Cornell Woolrich

  2. jwidner says:

    He didn’t actually have any involvement with the film. After Richard Dix, who starred in previous Whistler films, suffered several heart attacks and could no longer act in the films, Columbia Pictures wanted to continue the series, but chose to emphasize plot over actor and decided to buy the rights to a Woolrich story – in this case – “All at Once, No Alice” but the plot was pretty much obliterated for the film.

    A better Woolrich story adaptation for this series was “Mark of the Whistler” based on Woolrich’s story “Dormant Account.”

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