Though there are not always good examples, “Deadline at Dawn” as heard over Suspense in 1948 was a shining example of radio noir. Taking a story from the father of noir fiction, Cornell Woolrich (William Irish), and adaptation by one of the best noirish scriptwriters, Irving Ravetch, it was the perfect marriage of true audio noir. One must also not take anything away from director Anton Leader, whose Suspense credits always prove worthy.
The excellent, but sadly forgotten, Helen Walker, film noir actress extraordinare, stars in this along with John Beal. But Walker is the star and this appearance is after her early Hollywood career was tumbling, but seemingly in some recovery mode.
Ravetch’s writing is simply superb, tense, taut and some of his best radio scripting. He went on to screenwrite, “The Long, Hot Summer,” “Hud,” “Hombre,” and “Norma Rae” among others.
A look at how the production works as a fine example of radio noir.
Music under is “Almost Blue” by the great Chet Baker.