The SFFaudio Podcast #185 – Jesse, Tamahome, and Christine A. Miller (of Escape-Suspense.com) talk about the two CBS radio drama anthology series, Escape and Suspense. But first we play two shows: From the series Escape – Treasure, Inc., and from Suspense – Always Room At The Top.
Talked about on today’s show:
Escape-Suspense.com, adapted scripts vs. original scripts, Escape vs. Suspense, John and Gwen Bagney, layer upon layer of double-cross, the hopeless ending, what is Clive’s motivation?, a femme fatale, exotic locales, these shows still work 50+ years on, Christine is an episode historian (not a radio historian), Pursuit, Romance, are you looking for Three Skeleton Key?, the use of radio drama in middle schools, The Most Dangerous Game, Archive.org, Edgar Allan Poe, The Hitchhiker, Lucille Fletcher, the Mercury Theatre, Sorry, Wrong Number, running out of shows, San Francisco, the Field Trip app, a lonely workplace is great for radio drama, “don’t think about it at all, just do it”, bad episodes, the movie star connection, Vincent Price, Lux Radio Theater, anthology series, an anthology mystery vs. Law & Order, the format, killing characters, ripped from the headlines, Earth Abides (was done as a two part adaptation), George R. Stewart, The Scarlet Plague, Jack London, San Fransisco as a setting, Man Alive, the Ferry Building, is Always Room At The Top set in New York?, La Mirada, “it could only happen in the world of Suspense?”, Jack Webb, Wally Maher, Anne Baxter, pacing like The Front Page, “business workplace episodes”, mistreated employee episodes, reaching for the 47%, An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge (Ambrose Bierce), remakes remakes remakes, appointment radio, The Country Of The Blind (H.G. Wells), Favorite Story, Plunder Of The Sun (David F. Dodge), Hard Case Crime, Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, The Rim Of Terror, The Killer Mine (Hammond Innes), “Nancy Drew with adults”, those impossible to get books, The Quick And The Dead by Vincent Starrett (Arkham House), Cornell Woolrich.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Here’s another David Dodge radio drama, Plunder of the Sun, produced in the USA this time, and much older (having been produced the same year the novel came out). This time the setting is South America, rather than Cote D’Azur. Hard Case Crime has the reprint, but there’s currently no audiobook edition. Here’s the premise:
Al Colby, a “tough-guy adventurer” and private investigator, accepts a job from a South American antiques dealer. The dealer wants an ancient relic smuggled into Peru. Colby’s assignment is to carry the piece aboard an American ship sailing from the Chlean port of Valparaíso to Callao, in Peru. But the dealer has a serious heart condition and is soon found dead aboard the ship. What is the mysterious corded object that Colby carries? And how does it connect to the Incan empire? Who is the ruthless antagonist who wants it? A perilous journey across Lake Titicaca in Bolivia is all that stands between Colby and a lost Incan treasure of incalculable value!
Escape – Plunder Of The Sun
Based on the novel by David Dodge; Adapted by John Dunke; Performed by a full cast
1 |MP3|* Approx. 30 Minutes [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: CBS Radio
Broadcast: November 8, 1949
Based on the novel, first published in 1949.
*there’s a minute or so missing from the MP3 (it’s been accidently replaced with a minute or so from some other radio drama)
Produced and directed by William N. Robson
Paul Frees …. Al Colby
Gerald Mohr …. Jefferson
Lucille Meredith …. Ana Luz
The 1953 film version, starring Glenn Ford, moves the action from South America to Mexico, and turns Incan treasure into Aztec treasure.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Filed under: Audio Drama, Aural Noir, Online Audio
First published in the December 1951 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, To Catch A Thief is the romantic tale of an ex-American jewel thief living in retirement on the French Riviera.
Randal S. Brandt, who penned the introduction to the recently published Bruin Books paperbook edition, points out that the novel was inspired by real life events!
If any of this is ringing any bells it’s probably a recognize of To Catch A Thief‘s more famous incarnation, the 1955 film staring Carey Grant and Grace Kelly.
With the very first line of the novel our wily protagonist, John Robie, is on the run – the police think he’s returned to his old profession, cat burglary, and the maquisards (his old comrades in the French Resistance) are under suspicion too – Robie’s only option is to track down the real cat burglar before the police can catch up with him! This will of course mean a disguise, regular visits to the casinos of Monte Carlo and endless days spent in the company of gorgeous young women. C’est la vie.
This is all apropos of a terrific new radio dramatization of To Catch A Thief recently broadcast on BBC Radio 4. I cottoned on to it on a recent visit RadioArchive.cc (where you can get it too!).
To Catch A Thief
Based on the novel by David Dodge; Adapted by Jean Buchanan; Performed by a full cast
1 Broadcast – Approx. 1 Hour [RADIO DRAMA]
Broadcaster: BBC Radio 4 / Saturday Play
Broadcast: January 8, 2011
David Dodge’s novel is a fast-paced, entertaining page-turner that was subsequently turned into a memorable film by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Now, Jean Buchanan’s dramatisation brings it to radio. American John Robie is living quietly in the South of France, trying to put his career as a notorious jewel thief behind him. However, when a series of huge jewel thefts begins on the Riviera, targeting rich Americans, the police immediately suspect he’s returned to his old ways. To prove his innocence, and trap the real thief, Robie must resort to subterfuge. But his plans go awry when the daughter of one of the rich American tourists takes rather too close an interest in him – and his past.
John Robie……….Jeff Harding
Francie Stevens……Jennifer Lee Jellicorse
Mrs. Stevens………..Laura Brook
French Extras……….Martin Sorrell
Director: Sara Davies
And, if you’re up for more on David Dodge and To Catch A Thief, be sure to check out Randal S. Brandt’s wonderful tribute site!
Posted by Jesse Willis