Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 182 – Ford Theater – Laura

Virginia Gilmore

Virginia Gilmore

The beginning of my “Laura-fest” starting with the Ford Theater production of the Vera Caspary adaptation of Laura. These are not the actors who appeared in the film and they will need to grow on you if, like me, you are a huge fan of the film. Some comparisons between film, Lux Radio Theatre version and this one.

Music under is Chet Baker version of Laura.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 181 – Appointment With Fear

Valentine Dyall, BBC ActorA revisit to the classic BBC radio series from the 1940s. The series was created partly by John Dickson Carr and modeled on his experience working as a scriptwriter for the American series Suspense. When you hear it, you think you are listening to a twist on that American series, but while there were crossover storylines, this series had its own unique stamp including the creepy sounding Man in Black portrayed by British actor Valentine Dyall (right).

This story called “The Speaking Clock” is an almost same script telling of the Suspense episode “Mr. Markham, Antique Dealer.” Under Dickson Carr’s deft writing ability, there is a wonderful twist in the plot.

Music under is Ray Noble & His Orchestra with Al Bowlly – Why Dream? and Where Am I?

Film Noir on Turner Classic Movies

Nicholas RayThis coming month – October – Turner Classic Movies is offering several film noir directed by Nicholas Ray from the late 1940s and early 1950s in honor of his 100th birthday anniversary. They include They Live By Night (1949) with Farley Granger and Cathy O’Donnell based on the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson; preceded by In A Lonely Place (1950) based on the wonderful novel by Dorothy B. Hughes and featured as a podcast from the radio play version and Born To Be Bad (1950) with Joan Fontaine and based on the novel by Anne Parrish.

All in all, some great film noir!

Raymond Chandler on BBC is Back!

Raymond Chandler on BBC Raymond Chandler is back with a new drama of The Long Goodbye which will be heard over BBC  Radio 4 beginning on Saturday, October 1st at 14:30 GMT or 19:30 EST. This is a new play, so be sure  not to miss it. It stars Toby Stephens in an excellent adaptation. You can find it HERE.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 180 – Broadway’s My Beat

Larry ThorI find myself regularly coming back to this early 1950s noirish detective series. There’s something about the complete production of this series including the writing, the acting, the producer/director and the sound effects that keep me coming back to listen.

A more in-depth look at a single episode and how it ties into the whole scope of this wonderful detective series.

Music under is Johnny Hodges playing the Ellington/Strayhorn tune “Come Sunday”

Lady Detectives on BBC Radio 4 Extra

BBC Radio 4 Extra is running a series of Lady Detective dramas that feature early female detectives. First up was Loveday Brooke, a Victorian detective created by Catherine Louisa Pirkis. The initial episode has played, but is being repeated today and should be on listen again for a week.  Also featured is Anna Katharine Green‘s 1915 detective Violet Strange and Wilkie Collin’s Valeria Woodville.

This is the second go-round for this series, and all can be heard now or soon on the BBC iPlayer if you can’t get to the site on the broadcast day.

The Lady Detectives

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 179 – The Crowd (Suspense)

Dana Andrews

Dana Andrews

This podcast takes a story from a well known Science Fiction writer – a fantasy horror story – which has been adapted by two veteran radio detective scriptwriters. The result is to take Ray Bradbury’s horror story and have Mort Fine and David Friedkin turn it into a detective thriller. Unusual perhaps, but it seems to hold up well.

The story and radio play heard on Suspense is called “The Crowd” and appeared originally in Weird Tales pulp magazine in 1943. It is well adapted though Andrews is a little weak in the role of the detective.

Music under are two songs written by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington. The first is called “Day Dream” and is performed by Sonny Criss. The second is “Solitude” and is performed by Stephane Grappelli. Both are from the Jazz Round Midnight compilation.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 178 – Frightened City (Suspense)

Frank Lovejoy

Frank Lovejoy

This podcast looks at a rare event in radio when a number of elements coalesce with a brilliant actor, producer, director, writer all creating an excellent production. This Suspense episode called “Frightened City” stars Frank Lovejoy, with his gritty cynical way of speaking and is written by the dual experience radio script writing team of Morton Fine & David Friedkin. Finally, topping it out is producer, director extraordinaire – Elliott Lewis.

“Frightened City” is a taut suspenseful ride that is full of exciting gripping scenes.

Music under is Poor Butterfly performed by Sonny Rollins.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 177 – John Lund

John Lund

John Lund

After doing a re-evaluation of my opinion of John Lund as Johnny Dollar, I have decided my original thinking was flawed. After listening to more of his portrayal as Johnny Dollar in the early fifties, have led me to raise the bar on his performance. Lund’s Dollar, while dark, is much warmer than Edmund O’Brien who preceded him and quite credible. It was a time when the Johnny Dollar franchise was in a much more realistic and more noirish phase than the Bob Bailey years under producer Jack Johnstone. Jaime de Valle’s productions are really quite good.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 176 – Challenge To the Listener

Hugh Pentecost

Hugh Pentecost

Hugh Pentecost was a pseudonym for Mystery writer Judson Phillips. He was one of the founders of the Mystery Writers of America. This podcast features a script he wrote called “Challenge to the Listener” and starred Richard Widmark and Everett Sloane – both intense actors and excellent in these roles.

The story appeared on the Molle Mystery Theater and begins with the murder of a woman who is in radio broadcasting. The last half of the script is just a two way dialogue between the Widmark and Sloane characters leaving us scratching our heads each time as to just who is the killer.

Music under was a jazz composition by an artist named Moss. The song is called Fall.

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