This is an appropriate recording for New Year's Day 2015. Unless it really is the 32nd of December! To celebrate the new year, there is a great episode of Suspense that I would like to share. Suspense is one of the most famous radio series that ran from 1942 to 1962. It was one of the last regular series that was being broadcast in the early 1960s. In many ways, Suspense was the 'gold standard' of radio mysteries. It was self-described as "radio's outstanding theater of thrills, well calculated to keep you in SUSPENSE." I will be writing about this great series throughout the year.
Columbia Square (Hollywood, California)
The Home of CBS Radio in the Golden Age (taken in October 2013)
The episode I want to share is "The Thirty-Second Of December." This was broadcast on Sunday December 28, 1958. Interestingly, that was the same day that the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts played The 1958 National Football League Championship Game at Yankee Stadium. It is long considered the "Greatest Game Ever Played" as Baltimore defeated New York in overtime, 23-17. But we are not talking about football today.
Anyway, "The Thirty-Second Of December" is a great episode from Suspense, featuring Frank Lovejoy, Norman Alden, Joan Banks, Barney Phillips, with Morris Lee Green & William Walker (writers) and William N. Robson (producer, director). Frank Lovejoy has been in a large number of episodes, including Suspense, Escape, many Norman Corwin productions, and his own series, Nightbeat (that I showcased here).
Frank Lovejoy plays Joe, a man in a tough situation with one day left to pay off a $1000 gambling debt to the mob. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Inflation Calculator - $1000 in 1958 would be $8,171 today - no small amount!) But anyway...Joe takes his wife's ring to a pawn shop. While getting money for it, he was distracted by a special watch. This watch had special powers, the ability to bend time. If you controlled time, then all of your problems would go away. Or will they? This is the lesson that Joe learns about the hard way.
Thirty-Second of December (originally aired December 28, 1958)
Here are some links to programs relating to Suspense:
- Suspense radio program episodes via the Internet Archive
- Escape and Suspense (from a great tribute site)
- Suspense on Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Suspense episodes from the RadioGOLDINdex
- Episode information from Escape and Suspense
- Suspense entry in the Wikipedia
- Plot summaries for Suspense (from Plot Spot)
- Suspense scripts from Generic Radio Workshop
- Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82)
- Here are all of my Old Time Radio Blog Entries
- Here are my Old Time Radio Blog Entries for holidays other than Christmas