Divider
Go to Main Menu Go to Plot Archives
Divider

Suspense

, one of the longest running and most successful radio series ever produced, employed some of Hollywood's foremost actors to bring its riveting stories to life. Extremely well produced and directed, Suspense represents the pinnacle of the medium. Over 900 episodes were broadcast between 1942 and 1962. The majority were crime dramas, but the producers often ventured into the Science Fiction, Adventure, and Horror genres as well.

Currently this archive contains 215 of 945 plotlines

See the CD cover art for this series.

Divider

Webmaster Recommends:

Jeff Dickson Recommends:
Twenty-Four Sixty-Two | The Black Door | Door of Gold | The Hitch-Hiker | The House in Cypress Canyon | Return Trip | A Strange Day in May

ABC Murders, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Agatha Christie

Alexander Bonaparte Cust is a traveling salesman who is prone to blackouts due to a previous head injury. At first his headaches and lapses in memory were just a nuisance, but lately whenever Cust travels to a new town and experiences one of these blackouts, someone ends up dead! Could he be the infamous ABC murderer?

Reviews:
Does an admirable job condensing the novel into a scant thirty minutes, but purists will be upset that Hercule Poirot is nowhere to be found—removing the famed detective in favor of focusing on the character Cust. However, this works in the adaptation's favor as Cust is far more complex, changing the story into what would have been a rushed detective story into a gripping psychological thriller. The ending remains a jaw-dropping surprise. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Action

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles Edward Montague

Following a stroke, a wealthy financier decides to climb an unassailable glacier in the Swiss Alps.

Another version of this story appeared on Escape.

Actor's Blood

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ben Hecht

A veteran stage actor not only believes that his daughter's supposed suicide was actually murder but also believes that he knows who did it. He decides to host a fancy dinner—inviting all his daughter's friends and theatrical co-workers—where he will expose his daughter's killer.

Reviews:
Frederic March gives a wonderful and appropriately exaggerated performance as a rather hammy 'past-his-prime' actor. The theatrical trappings add a unique flavor to the proceedings, but the plot itself is underwhelming if only for an ending that—while unexpected—is unsatisfying and anti-climatic. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

After-Dinner Story

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

An elevator plummets to the ground, trapping five men in the ensuing rubble. When the men are finally rescued, one of them has been shot. The remaining four claim they saw nothing. The police think it's suicide. The victim's father thinks it's murder and sets out to prove it.

Reviews:
The radio adaptation changes the structure of the original story—for instance, now we know the result of the elevator crash before it even happens—thus diminishing it's impact. Nevertheless, the story itself is so well thought-out that it can't help but remain gripping with its truly fascinating premise that actually pays off in the end. Solid storytelling, despite the manhandling—Woolrich does it again! [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Allan in Wonderland

Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Kurt Singer

A recitation of Lewis Carroll leads a southern lawyer into a Balkan assassination plot.

Reviews:
Taut and suspenseful, the final action took me completely by surprise. --- Seth Gaines

Arctic Rescue

Year: 1952; 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Gus C. Bayz

Story of a doomed voyage to uncover the mystery of Franklin's famous lost expedition. The rescue ship becomes icebound, and the crew face the prospect of enduring the brutal Arctic winter.

See also 'The Captain of the Pole Star' (CBS Radio Mystery Theater) and 'Hell on Ice' (Mercury Theater on the Air, Miscellaneous Shows).

August Heat

Year: 1945; 1948
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Fryer Harvey

Suspense produced two versions of this story, one with Ronald Coleman [1945], and the other with Hans Conreid [1948]. Another version was produced for Sleep No More.

Reviews:
Great story. Definitely one of the top shows ever done for Suspense. The incidental music is fantastic, and makes the whole thing ten times as eerie. The Hans Conreid version was part of an hour show, and was apparently a lesser effort. --- Seth Gaines

Back for Christmas

Year: 1943; 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Collier

Herbert Carpenter is a professor of botany who is married to the very shrewd Hermione. His wife is meticulously planning a Christmas trip while Herbert is meticulously planning a botanical project in his cellar... one that has a hole big enough to bury a body.

Broadcast three times for Suspense and once for Escape.

Reviews:
The first broadcast has Peter Lorre in the central role—and he is terrific as always—but the story itself is fairly conventional, complete with an ironic twist ending that isn't all that surprising. Not bad—given the performances—but not particularly memorable—given the story. Broadcast so many times probably because it allows the actors to ham it up quite a bit—especially in the end when Herbert loses it. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Backseat Driver

Year: 1949; 1951; 1955
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sally Thorson

Driving home from the movies, a husband and wife are held hostage by a wanted killer who has been hiding in the backseat of their car.

Reviews:
Slightly hokey, slightly improbable crime thriller, made memorable by the presence of comedians Fibber McGee and Molly playing it straight in the leads. A shorter, no-frills 1955 version, without them, is okay, too. --- Anonymous

Banquo's Chair

Year: 1943; 1944; 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Rupert Croft-Cooke

A renowned prosecutor is determined to catch the only murderer who ever evaded his litigation, with the aid of an unusual ally—the shade of his target's victim.

Another version was produced for Sleep No More.

Reviews:
A very good episode, with a very slimy villain, and a great ending. --- Seth Gaines

An admittedly ridiculous premise—a detective tries to scare a criminal into confessing by having a 'ghost' visit him—is made deliciously entertaining due to the cat-and-mouse repartee between the retiring detective and the diabolically elusive villain, as well as a little twist ending to finish things off on a pleasant note. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Beast Must Die, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cecil Day-Lewis (as Nicholas Blake)

Told through a cryptic diary, a single father becomes obsessed with finding and murdering the hit-and-run driver who killed his only child.

Based on the novel by Nicholas Blake which was successfully adapted onto film as 'Que la bête meure' in 1969 by the French master of suspense Claude Chabrol.

Reviews:
This thirty minute adaptation does an admirable job condensing the novel, removing the amateur sleuth Nigel Strangeways entirely from the story to focus simply on the father Frank Cairnes and his mission to find and kill the hit-and-run driver—a decision that the French film adaptation made as well. As a result, the story surprisingly works better as we now focus on the people actually involved in the crime instead of following a detective not intimately connected to the other characters—consequently, the story becomes much more psychological and engaging. Admittedly, the ending is slightly convoluted with its presentation of four consecutive twists, but it's undeniably clever and unexpected. Interestingly, the French film does *not* possess the same denouement as the radio adaptation. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Beirut by Sunrise

Year: 1955
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard Chandlee

A teacher on a cruise receives a message from a dying sailor, and is menaced by those who wish to hear it.

Reviews:
Average spy thriller, but the final twist did surprise me. --- Seth Gaines

Bells

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Bundy

A couple rent a quaint country home, but very quickly find themselves beset by phone calls from a ghostly source demanding that they leave.

Betrayal in Vienna

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sylvia Richards

In 1913 Vienna, the Kaiser's counter-espionage unit closes in on a mole in their organization: the head of the Kaiser's counter-espionage unit.

Reviews:
Okay character study. The unit's tactics seem a little too well-honed for a pre-WWI outfit. --- Derek Upham

Black Curtain, The

Year: 1943; 1944; 1948
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 60 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

A man slips on the sidewalk and is knocked out. When he regains consciousness, he realizes that he has no recollection of the past three years of his life and discovers—to his utter surprise—that he has been living another life during that time... and that he may have just committed a murder!

The first episode sponsored by Roma Wines. Broadcast three times altogether, twice with Cary Grant and once with Robert Montgomery.

Reviews:
Woolrich always seems to be proficient at creating a world of confusion and uncertainty. This episode is a prime example of this world. Having the lead completely in the dark about his identity creates a gripping sense of desperation and helplessness—no familiarity means no sense of comfort. The only major debit is the resolution, which is somewhat disappointing as it never explains why he blacked-out for three years in the first place. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Black Death

Year: 1955; 1962
Duration: 25 min; 20 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lawrence Goldman

A couple stranded on the road in a storm seek shelter at a remote castle where a mad scientist waits for a human subject on whom to test the destructive potential of his death ray. Sheesh!

Another episode of Suspense with the same title is not the same story.

Black Door, The

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert A. Arthur

A legendary lost Mayan city of gold becomes a death trap for two men who discover its location—and a horror beyond description lurking in its depths.

Originally produced for Mysterious Traveler, but that episode seems to be lost.

Reviews:
Robert A. Arthur's eerie script, coupled with actor Robert Readick's off-kilter line readings, makes this the best horror story from the series' final years. It plays almost like a lost episode of Quiet, Please, minus Wyllis Cooper's quirks, with every plot twist taking you deeper into weirdness. --- Anonymous

Black Path of Fear, The

Year: 1944; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

A woman named Eve Spinelli tries to escape her gangster husband by running away to Cuba with her new love, Bill Scott. Before their first night in Havana is through, she is knifed in the back and her lover is framed for the murder.

Based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich, two versions were produced for Suspense—the first in 1944 with Brian Donlevy and the second in 1946 with Cary Grant. Also in 1946, the novel was very loosely adapted onto film as "The Chase" with Robert Cummings—a movie which is remarkably different from its source material.

Reviews:
Entertaining innocent-man-on-the-run thriller that starts off with a bang as our framed hero discovers his lover is dead, that he's been implicated, and that he must now escape from police custody and run through the streets of Cuba to search for both the real killer and a place to hide from the authorities. It begins to falter, however, when it introduces a second love interest—a prostitute named Midnight—whose relationship with Bill strains credibility. Also, despite the fact that Bill Scott appears to be in an entirely hopeless situation, everything is resolved faster than that which is plausible—a possible result of trying to adapt an entire novel into only thirty minutes. Great first half, muddled second half, but still worth a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Black Shawl, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard R. Lewis

Susan Applebie is enjoying herself at a fair where an elderly woman named Elizabeth Masters approaches her and offers her a job—she would like to hire Susan as a companion who will simply live at her house in order to give her company. Being that the money is so much for doing so little, Susan agrees and promptly moves in the next day. All is well until she begins to believe that there is someone else hidden in the house and that she seems unable to leave...

Reviews:
Very entertaining but wholly excessive and overblown. Starts off with a chilling impression of mystery—who is the stranger hiding in the house? why does she feel like she's being held captive? what happened to the other women who were the old woman's previous companions?—that hooks you and keeps you engaged, but the revelation near the end is utterly ridiculous and the resolution is overdone, overwrought, and over-the-top in all respects. You'll most likely chuckle at the absurdities, but these qualities undeniably provide delicious and guilt-ridden entertainment. A real guilty pleasure. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Blackbeard's Ace

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Buttram (Putrom??)

A woman has recently been cured of a delusion that ghosts speak to her in her dreams. As a change of pace, her husband suggests they take a trip to the North Carolina coast—to the cove where Blackbeard himself buried his treasure.

Reviews:
It's not clear whether the story wants to be supernatural horror or psychological horror. You could make a claim for either. The introduction of the planchette is rather creepy. --- Derek Upham

Bluebeard of Bellac, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sylvia Richards

A serial killer is at large in Nazi-occupied France. A woman begins to suspect her doctor husband may be the murderer in question.

Reviews:
Its setting of Nazi-occupied France provides the story with a unique atmosphere, but the final revelation, while certainly unexpected, is considerably underwhelming as well as wholly implausible—it's seemingly present only to fulfill a propagandizing agenda. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Body Snatchers, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Louis Stevenson
Adapted by: John Dickson Carr

A medical student studying anatomy gets entangled with murderers and psychos in order to attain the cadavers he needs to complete his studies.

Adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson story. Other versions were produced for Nightfall and CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Reviews:
This story has been adapted more times than I can count and this telling isn't particularly noteworthy in relation to the others. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Er... I would say this story was 'inspired' by the Robert Louis Stevenson tale, rather than an adaptation of it. The RLS story is a psychological tale which focuse on the medical student, his actions, and his remorse. This tale focuses on the snatchers, themselves. There is no medical student, but there is a doctor and a police officer. And the ending is quite different. It is not a bad story, but it does seem uninspired. It is noteworthy just because it is so different from any of the other 'adaptations' I have heard. Both the Nightfall and CBS Radio Mystery Theater adaptations are much better. [6/10] --- zM

Bride Vanishes, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A young bride vanished off a balcony three years ago without a trace and now another young bride may suffer the same unknown fate.

Reviews:
The "impossible crime" angle and the potent atmosphere of dread sustains interest throughout the story even when credibility strains and the climax fizzles. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Brighton Strangler, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Max Nosseck and Arnold Phillips

Reginald Parker is an actor who's growing weary playing the character Edward Grey, the titular lead role of "The Brighton Strangler". After his final performance, Reginald leaves the London theater only to get caught in a bombing blitz. Due to falling rubble, his head is injured and he becomes very disoriented... and starts to believe he's Edward Grey, the Brighton strangler!

The two lead actors—John Loder and June Duprez—reprise their roles of Reginald Parker and April Carson which they respectively played in the movie 'The Brighton Strangler" produced the same year (though not released until 1945).

Reviews:
The film which this radio adaptation is based upon seems to be part of what strangely must have been a popular trend at the time —to focus upon artists who blackout and assume their ulterior identities, such as in "A Double Life" (1947) and "Hangover Square" (1945). Neither the film nor the radio adaptation are as interesting as the previously mentioned titles, but they remain enjoyable enough and do possess a unique atmosphere—war-torn London during a snowy Christmas eve. Fairly routine but entertaining as well. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Burning Court, The

Year: 1942; 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

An editor reads a book about famous murderers and is horrified to see a picture of a murderess burned at the stake many years ago—a woman who looks exactly like his wife.

Later adapted as the feature film "La Chambre Ardente" in 1962.

Reviews:
Based upon John Dickson Carr's novel—arguably his best—the episode admittedly suffers from trying to fit too much plot in too short of time (condensing a novel in thirty minutes is no easy task), but regardless the story hooks you from the very beginning with its intriguing premise and has many twists and turns to keep you engaged throughout. Simply great storytelling. Just a note on the two versions—I slightly prefer the 1945 broadcast with Clifton Webb over the 1942 broadcast with Charlie Ruggles. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Cabin B-13

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

Newlyweds board an ocean liner and the groom promptly disappears without a trace. Is the bride crazy? Or is there a sinister conspiracy against her?

Reviews:
The most memorable and satisfying of John Dickson Carr's original scripts for this series, most of which are "impossible crime" mysteries that sometimes hint at the supernatural, but ultimately conclude with rational solutions. This one is just as contrived as the others, but works better dramatically, probably because the heroine's predicament is so gripping. --- Anonymous

Arguably John Dickson Carr's greatest contribution to Suspense. An engrossing mystery that truly keeps you guessing and a strong central performance by Margo as the woman-in-distress proves a recipe for success. Simply great storytelling. Only caveat is its complicated ending, but would we expect anything else from Carr? Resulted in being such a success that it spawned another entire radio series for Carr (also called CABIN B-13) and was later adapted for film as "Dangerous Crossing". [9/10] --- David Schwenker

First rate "impossible" mystery, written by John Dickson Carr, and superbly acted by all. Margo and Philip Dorn stand out as the damsel in distress whose husband has mysteriously disappeared (or has he?), and Mr. Dorn shines as the one man who saves the day. Excellent in every way. [10/10] --- Jerry Underwood

Case for Dr Singer, The

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: ??

A shooting victim in Sweden relates a warning about a spy within the American nuclear weapons program. Federal agents must rout him out before he gives everything away to the Russians. Based on a true story.

Reviews:
Despite a promising buildup and polished production values, this McCarthy-era tale disappoints, mainly due to the presence of tissue-thin characters. Some Cold-War sermonizing doesn't help. An astute listener will guess the M.O., anyway. Worth a listen—but just once. [5/10] --- Jerry Underwood

Case History on Edgar Loundes

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime/Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Tallman

A railroad magnate visits a psychiatrist with complaints of headaches and bad dreams...

Reviews:
Ho-hum story about a railroad bigwig with repressed memories of his past—including murder. It admittedly has solid performances from Thomas Mitchell and Donald Crisp as well as interesting atmospherics featuring rail yards, railroad crossings, and locomotive engines, but it nevertheless remains fairly dull. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Cat and Mouse

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Hugh Pentecost

John Guthry, an engineer, calls his friend Lockwood on the radio—a fellow engineer who is experimenting on a top secret project in a lab located in the snowy hills of Vermont. While talking with Lockwood, Guthry hears another man coughing in the background, followed by shots. What happened? Guthry travels to Vermont to find answers.

Reviews:
A lot of things work in this episode—the beginning certainly hooks you, the snow-bound setting of a ski lodge adds a nice flavor to the proceedings, and the mystery angle keeps you guessing as to the killer's identity with plenty of red herrings—but it does get quite silly at times, things often seem implausible, most characters are paper thin, and the performances are underwhelming. It's flawed but undeniably fun, like a good B-picture. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Cave of Ali Baba, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dorothy L. Sayers

Dorothy L. Sayers' amateur sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, infiltrates an elite group of criminals—all of whom wear masks and address each other by only a number.

Reviews:
The story begins rather slowly but once Wimsey's identity is exposed before the remaining 39 criminals it becomes a clever, suspense-filled game of cat and mouse as Wimsey must use his wits to talk himself out of what appears to be an inescapable situation. Some implausibilities, slight grandiose, but clever overall. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Classified Secret

Year: 1955
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

A spy traveling cross-country by bus exchanges military and government secrets with foreign agents.

A version of this story was produced for Escape.

Command

Year: 1958
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Warner Bellah

A look into the lives of US cavalry troopers on a search and rescue mission into hostile Sioux territory.

Another version of this story appeared on Escape. See also 'Massacre at Little Big Horn' (Suspense).

Country of the Blind, The

Year: 1957; 1959
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.G. Wells

An adventurer discovers a strange valley in remotest South America whose inhabitants have evolved without sight. When he falls in love with a local girl, the locals want to make him blind too.

Two versions were produced for Suspense, six for the BBC, and three for Escape ; other versions appeared on Favorite Story (as 'Strange Valley'), and on CBS Radio Mystery Theater (as 'Search for Eden').

Crisis of Dirk Diamond, The

Year: 1959
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sam Locke

Forced to revitalize his long-running comic strip, a writer introduces a new villain, based on the bogeyman that he obsessed over when he was a four-year-old.

Reviews:
Good episode overall, but the intro is a standout, particularly if they recorded it live. --- Derek Upham

Cross-Eyed Bear, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dorothy B. Hughes

A young woman answers an ad, only to discover that it's not quite what she expected—she has to locate and lure one of the surviving heirs to a wealthy eccentric. The danger is that the other heirs wish to kill each other... the catch is that none of them know what the other looks like.

Reviews:
Starts off conventionally but soon the masks start to fall off and the intrigue begins—who is really who? Becomes quite a fun guessing game. The inclusion of a nazi agenda seems rather forced and seemingly present only for propaganda purposes. Otherwise, a small, twisty tale that's worth a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Curse of Kamoshek, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jonathan Bundy

A miserly tycoon scoffs at his nephew's intention to squander family money on an archaeological expedition to Egypt, even going so far as to disinherit him. However, he learns the price of his narrow views when the young man sends him a mummy's bone in the mail, along with an ancient curse.

Customers Like Murder, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A crime-fiction writer gets mixed up with bona-fide criminals and must now use his inside knowledge of the detective biz to save his life... all the while bickering with his secretary.

Reviews:
The episode's self-aware, de-constructionist approach to telling its story could have been quite fascinating if it wasn't for the fact that the story it was telling was so utterly routine. As a result, all of its attempts at commentary are obvious rather than insightful. Still, it's an atypical approach for the show and its light-hearted tone makes it pleasant. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Dark Journey

Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

To force her man to marry her, a frustrated fiancée attempts to use sheer will power to kill off any obstacles to her happiness.

Reviews:
A two-hander for actresses Nancy Kelly and Cathy Lewis who somehow manage to hold your interest in Lucille Fletcher's curiously unsatisfying script which is slow-moving and very low on thrills. --- Anonymous

Dark Tower, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George S. Kaufman and Alexander Woollcott

Damon Wellington is a rather hammy actor who is romantically interested in an actress named Jessica. However, Jessica has been in a sanitarium for the past year, grieving over the supposed loss of her husband Stanley. Now a year after the fact, Jessica is trying to get back on stage with Damon in a play entitled "The Dark Tower". All is going well until Stanley returns, seemingly from beyond the grave.

Reviews:
Orson Welles relishes in his purposefully over-the-top and hammy performance and all his dialogue stings with irony and humor, but the plot itself is exceedingly melodramatic with all of its love-triangle dramatics, backstabbing, and bickering. However, since Welles is so entertaining, he almost makes you forget about the banality of the story... almost. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Dateline: Lisbon

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Harold Medford

A disillusioned correspondent photographs a man in a bar, and must discover why his subject reacts so violently.

Reviews:
Corny propaganda for the consumption of the victorious American public. --- Seth Gaines

Starts off intriguingly enough—why is the man so obsessed with getting the negative?—and the breezy coastal setting of Portugal adds a nice flavor to the proceedings, but it unfortunately devolves into just another routine piece of propaganda, complete with broad stereotypes and standard patriotic sermonizing. However, it's interesting to note that even though this episode aired in 1944, the story actually takes place after the end of the war, thus the narrative is imagining what the immediate post-war process would be like. A curious facet to the production, but the fact that it's coupled with a disappointing plot still prevents it from being anything but mediocre. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Dead of the Night, The

aka: "Dead of Night"
Year: 1944; 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mel Dinelli

Jimmy Barton's younger sister, Helen, is married to a violent man named Phil Armstrong. Helen wants to escape from her abusive husband so Jimmy helps her go into hiding. Unfortunately, Phil follows after them. One day, Jimmy returns to their hideout and finds Phil dead on the floor with Helen in a hysterical state. To protect his sister even more, he now must dispose of the body in such a manner that neither one of them can be blamed.

Reviews:
Tightly wound thriller whose yarn is wrapped around one of the more popular motifs of Suspense—body disposal. Though it may not offer anything new to its well-worn narrative device, its writing is razor sharp and quite resourceful in wringing out as much nail-biting tension as possible from its scenario, perhaps straining credibility in the process but also enabling it to maintain a constant fever pitch of tension. A highly entertaining thrill ride. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Dead Sleep Lightly, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A man accidentally makes a phone call to his dead wife... and she answers.

Reviews:
Carr is a master at devising ingenious premises, but the narratives don't always express the same ingenuity. Here, the premise is admittedly attention-grabbing, but the actual story is utterly silly and preposterous, lacking any plausibility or credibility. A missed opportunity. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Death Flies Blind

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

The flight crew discover a dead body on a plane, but that's just the beginning of their troubles as they also discover they're flying off course, the pilots have disappeared, and a Nazi spy is among the passengers.

Reviews:
The narrow scope of the story—the entire tale takes place on the airplane—generates a genuine sense of claustrophobia, and the plot revelations manage to add to that a palpable feeling of paranoia and desperation. However, given that this is primarily war time propaganda, there are some strained moments of overt patriotism and general stereotyping, but the strong storytelling overcomes these momentary lapses in exhortation and makes it a very entertaining ride. Certainly worth a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Death of Alexander Jordan, The

aka: "The Strange Burial of Alexander Jordan"
Year: 1962
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Hector Chevigny

Before dying, a father insists on a bell being installed in his tomb in the event he needs 'help'. His son-in-law sees it as evidence of the old man's senility—until the bell starts ringing...

Another version was produced for Creeps By Night, as "The Strange Burial of Alexander Jordan".

Reviews:
A version of this script aired on Creeps by Night in 1944, where it was a vehicle for actor Edmund Gwenn. By the time of this very late Suspense episode, it's been completely rewritten to add a touch of the supernatural (and to give the other actors more to do, I guess). Neither version quite rings the bell. --- Anonymous

Death Went Along for the Ride

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Henry Denker and Ralph Berkey

George Javeny is driving cross country from California to New York but begins to suspect that he is being followed by a one-armed man with malevolent intentions.

Two versions were produced for Suspense, the first—which is considered lost—starred Ralph Bellamy and the second starred Gene Kelly [1944].

Reviews:
A simple but intriguing premise that plays out very well. The setting features dark and lonely roads in the vast open space of deserted highways—all which add a palpable sense of isolation and helplessness. Gene Kelly is rather good as the bewildered George, who is constantly looking over his shoulder and only a few paces ahead of danger. It may be just a modest production—it doesn't have much of a story to tell—but the small story it does tell unfolds with rich atmosphere and tense suspense. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Defense Rests, The

Year: 1944; 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Rowland Brown

An ex-con named Robert Tasca gets a job working for law partners Max Krieger and Arthur Hines, the latter being the one who sent Tasca to prison in the first place. When Hines is murdered, Tasca falls under suspicion and must now clear his name before he is sentenced once again.

Broadcast twice, the first with Alan Ladd [1944] and the second with Van Johnson [1949].

Reviews:
A fine suspense yarn that offers some precarious situations, a few red herrings, and a fairly surprising culprit. Even though the method in which the culprit is actually captured may be a little too convenient, the proceedings are so light and breezy you probably won't have any qualms with it. A modest production that aims to provide moderate thrills and does exactly that—no more and no less. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Devil in the Summer House, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A lawyer receives a letter from a supposedly dead person concerning the solution to a twenty-year old unsolved murder.

Reviews:
Perhaps a little too complicated—as are many of Carr's stories—but despite its convoluted plotting this locked-room mystery surprises at every twist and turn... even if there may be one twist too many. This is clever gamesmanship at its most self-indulgent. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Devil's Saint, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

Everyone who sleeps in "The Tapestry Room" dies an inexplicable death, but, to win the woman he loves, a man agrees to spend the night there.

Reviews:
John Dickson Carr's scripts are typically literate, complex, highly unlikely, and full of clever misdirection. This is one of his better episodes, thanks in part to the sinister presence of actor Peter Lorre and an unexpected, more-satisfying-than-usual conclusion. --- Anonymous

The production is awash with a heavy atmosphere of dread, and Peter Lorre is at his creepy best. However, the story suffers from an ending that—while surprising—is rather ridiculous and strains credibility. Regardless, the build-up is strong enough to warrant a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Devilstone

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jonathan Bundy

When an Irishman has trouble renting out an inherited manor, he must contend with the ghost of an ancestor.

Reviews:
The last show of the series. It didn't go out with a bang, but a workmanlike effort. --- Seth Gaines

Diary of Captain Scott, The

Year: 1952; 1956
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Captain Robert Falcon Scott

Scott's expedition to the South Pole meets with disappointment when they find that Amundsen made it first. But that pales in comparison to the wretched time they have on the return trip.

Reviews:
A grimly realistic portrayal of men who know their time is running out. --- Seth Gaines

Diary of Sophronia Winters, The

Year: 1943; 1944; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Thriller / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

Sophronia Winters spent most of her life taking care of her ailing father, but now that he's gone she's ready to start living. Traveling to Florida hoping for sun, fun and maybe a little romance, she meets Hiram, the answer to all her prayers... or is he?

Reviews:
Starts off innocently enough in the sunny beaches of Florida, but steadily grows darker and more disturbing until we're terrorized in the shadowy forests of Maine. The surprising twist at the end may be confusing but it confuses in the most tantalizing way. Broadcast three times for a good reason. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Digger, The

Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles B. Smith

A washed up miner is called back to the scene of the disaster many blame him for, to mine a vein in defiance of a native taboo.

Reviews:
A good adventure story in the Conrad tradition; the ending is especially powerful. --- Seth Gaines

Dime a Dance

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

Ginger Allen is a taxi dancer at the Joyland Palace in New York City. One evening, she arrives at work and learns that her friend Julie, a fellow dancer, has been murdered by a serial killer targeting women. Now, the police ask Ginger to help bait the killer out into the open.

Reviews:
Very similar to Woolrich's other story "The White Rose Murders" but this one plays out much better due a central character that is convincingly placed at the center of danger and a mystery plot that actually keeps you guessing until the final revelation. Admittedly, the plot is very manipulative in that it frequently uses diversions to keep you second guessing, but it doesn't go so far as to cheat—it certainly is guess-able—but it doesn't necessarily play fair either. Despite the flagrant trickery of the plot, this is still crackerjack entertainment that deserves a listen! [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Doctor Prescribed Death, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: J. Donald Wilson

A doctor sets out to prove his theory that you can easily convince a suicidal person to commit murder... and decides he may as well prove it to his advantage.

Reviews:
The psycho-babble and medical-theorizing is all rather silly and clearly out-dated, but the actual crime narrative is engaging, albeit routine. Bela Lugosi's performance as the doctor is also a highlight. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Donovan's Brain

Year: 1945; 1948
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Curt Siodmak

A rare 2-part 1 hour episode. Following a fatal car accident, a vicious tycoon's brain is kept alive by an ambitious scientist, who is certain that his technique will save countless lives. Unfortunately, this brain does not have such philanthropic inclinations.

Reviews:
Creepy, creepy, creepy! Listening to the man mumble "Sure, sure, sure" sent chills down my spine. One of the top shows for this series, if not any series. --- Seth Gaines

Doom Machine, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Robots
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Edgar Marvin

A scientist working on harnessing solar power and irritated by emotional distractions, creates a robot to help him, with the usual unfortunate consequences.

See also 'Beware of Tomorrow' (The Mysterious Traveler). Originally written and performed for 2000 Plus.

Reviews:
Fun old sci-fi story with whizzing machinery, crackling electricity, etc. --- Seth Gaines

Door of Gold

Year: 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: E. Scott Fleur

A couple penetrate a deep Incan tomb, considered sacred by the locals, and soon find themselves betrayed by their guide and sealed in. To escape they must navigate their way through booby traps and deadly pitfalls to reach a distant exit.

Reviews:
An engaging episode, full of action a la Raiders of the Lost Ark; Scads o' fun. --- Jeff Dickson

Dunwich Horror, The

Year: 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft tale about a 'thing' conjured up by a deformed outcast which feeds only on massive amounts of blood.

Reviews:
A very disturbing tale, the monster effects are especially good for the time. --- Seth Gaines

Escape to Death

Year: 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: E. Scott Fleur

Hungarian NKVD agents force a renowned doctor to defect to the west, so he can assassinate a former patient who is already in Austria.

Reviews:
Some good high-tension moments during the escape across the border, but very cheap "twist" ending. --- Derek Upham

Eve

aka: "The Black Angel"
Year: 1944; 1948
Duration: 30 min; 60 min
Genre: Crime Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

Frank is in prison for a crime that he didn't commit and his wife Eve is determined to find the real culprit. Through her own investigation she finds a man named Jerry who may be the killer in question, but things get complicated when Eve begins to fall in love with him!

Produced twice for Suspense, the first in 1943 with Nancy Kelly and then, in 1948, expanded into an hour long version with June Havoc. Based on the Cornell Woolrich novel "The Black Angel".

Reviews:
Starts off seemingly as a routine murder mystery—a wife tries to clear her wrongfully convicted husband—but it surprisingly drops the typical crime plotting in favor of psychological interplay between the wife and the murderer, unexpectedly turning its crime melodrama into a credible romance that focuses on moral dilemmas and emotional complexities rather than action and suspense. As a result, it may not be 'thrilling' in any visceral sense, but the uncommon maturity and sensitivity that it brings to its characters makes the episode compelling all the same. The hour-long version with June Havoc may feature more fleshed out plot elements and character details, but the performance by Nancy Kelly in the half-hour version is easily superior and therefore the better rendition of the two. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Fear Paints a Picture

Year: 1943; 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sigmund Miller

A woman will inherit a fortune provided that she doesn't go insane by her 21st birthday. All is well until she notices a painting mysteriously changing as her birthday slowly draws near...

Reviews:
Any discerning listener could probably guess where the story is heading, but even if the destination is known the ride getting there is quite fun with a palpable atmosphere of dread and a clever red herring to at least offer you one surprise. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Finishing School

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ethel Lina White

A seance is held at a charm school which ends with a student dying from a heart attack—one caused by fright. Was it supernatural or was it planned by another student?

Reviews:
Interesting setting but uninspired storytelling. The identity of the culprit is obvious—so obvious, in fact, that the writer blatantly throws in a red herring at the end in a desperate ploy to make you second guess yourself and sound momentarily clever... too bad you won't believe it for a second. That being said, Elsa Lanchester is always a fun listen. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A man is stabbed under impossible circumstances during the production of 'Macbeth'.

Reviews:
The actual murder doesn't occur until the last ten minutes of the episode, as such the story drags without the driving force of a mystery up until that point. That being said, the mystery itself is engaging and the method of the murder gleefully grotesque, but it's quite clear the story is stretched out to fill the appropriate run time. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Five Canaries in the Room

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A bachelor party turns deadly when a dead body appears and an apartment with canaries seemingly disappears.

Reviews:
Once again, a great premise devised by Carr—a whole room vanishes—sadly doesn't live up to expectations. While the solution is indeed clever, everything else is routine. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Flight of the Bumblebee, The

Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure/War
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ross Murray

The experience of a flight crew on a bombing mission during the Korean War. Stars Fred McMurray.

Flood on the Goodwins

Year: 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre: War
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: David Divine

A salvage crew helping to rescue ships in the English Channel during the war inadvertently takes on a Nazi saboteur.

A version of this story was also produced for Escape.

Fountain Plays, The

Year: 1943; 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dorothy L. Sayers

A man murders a rather annoying associate by drowning him in his fountain, making it appear the man was drunk and simply fell into the water by accident. However, a detective visits the estate and begins to question this supposed "accidental" drowning.

Reviews:
Typical murder story—a man commits a crime and is now in danger of getting caught—that doesn't do anything different—even the ironic twist ending is derivative. Completely routine with the exception of the actual drowning, which is surprisingly vivid and consequently more disturbing than most murder scenes one hears on Suspense. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Formula for Death

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jonathan Bundy

An eccentric scientist's preoccupation with the paranormal may be a headache for government officials, but it comes in useful when he is kidnapped by an enemy agent.

Frankenstein

Year: 1952; 1955
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Horror / Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mary Shelley

Doctor Frankenstein creates life, but his friend, a cleric, insists that he destroy it.

Reviews:
Given that they couldn't possibly cover the entire story in 30 minutes, it manages to be interesting and coherent. --- Seth Gaines

Friend to Alexander, A

Year: 1943; 1944; 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Thurber

A man has vivid dreams of his friendship with Alexander Hamilton, and of his upcoming duel with Aaron Burr.

Another version was produced for Sleep No More.

Reviews:
It starts off rather funny, but gets pretty creepy as Aaron Burr harasses the man in his dreams, and he prepares for a duel to avenge his friend, Hamilton. --- Seth Gaines

The episode starts off with a strong sense of humor—this is expected from satirist James Thurber—but it slowly descends into some rather chilling territory by the end—which is not expected—as this seemingly innocent "joke" is taken to a terrifyingly obsessive degree. You pretty much know how it will end, but it's somehow all the more tragic because of that. A surprisingly creepy gem that was broadcast three times altogether. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Fugue in C Minor

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

Ida Lupino plays a debutante looking to marry a recently widowed socialite in early 20th century Philadelphia. She learns that his home has been built around a giant pipe organ that can be heard, and felt, throughout the house. Disturbing events begin to occur when his two children return from boarding school and speak of what might be hidden in those giant pipes... also stars Vincent Price.

Reviews:
(A+) for production. The sound effects convey the time period perfectly and the acting is first class. The story line is eerie and you're not sure if it's a ghost story or a crime drama until the last couple of minutes. Price is the perfect charming widower and reserved lunatic. --- Gary Zech

The story is good, but Vincent Price is fantastic and the sound effects are tremendous. Sometimes, the right actor can make all the difference and that's the case here. --- Clarence Grigsby

Lucille Fletcher is up to her usual bag of tricks in this Gothic melodrama that delivers all the goods one would expect from the overwrought sub-genre—gloomy mansion, foreboding mystery, brooding male figure, ghostly haunting—but it also doesn't do anything different—really, it's just another variation on the BLUEBEARD theme. Though that may prevent it from being anything exceptional, it does capture the grotesque excess of the genre perfectly—especially in Vincent Price's hammy performance—turning it into a listening pleasure despite the conventional plotting. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Furnished Floor, The

Year: 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A landlady rents out her top floor to a previous occupant, a widower who, for some reason, wants everything exactly the way it was when his wife was alive.

Reviews:
Like "Dark Journey," this is another not-entirely-satisfying two-hander in which author Lucille Fletcher toys with the ambiguity between the natural and the supernatural. Neither play was ever repeated, perhaps because they're more interesting than they are thrilling. --- Anonymous

Game Hunt

Year: 1956; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Gil Doud

In Kenya, a neophyte trophy hunter causes trouble for the native guide and the professional hunter he's hired when he merely wounds a lion. While attempting to finish it off, the professional feels fear for the first time on a hunt.

Ghost Hunt

Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Herbert Russell Wakefield

As a publicity stunt, a disc jockey teams up with a psychic investigator to stay the night in a haunted house where four suicides have been committed and wins up getting more than he bargained for.

Gold on the Adomar

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ross Murray

A shipwreck lying in a fragile undersea gully hoards a fortune in gold—for anyone fool enough to try and retrieve it. Based on a true story.

Green Idol, The

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jack Bundy

A couple touring in Mecca insist on purchasing a souvenir in the form of a small green idol, over the vehement objections of the vendor, who warns them the statuette carries with it the 'curse of Ramkar'.

Reviews:
A somewhat annoying episode for the racial stereotyping and lack of any knowledge of the locale displayed by the writer. Mecca is a Muslim-only city, forbidden to Western tourists and Hindu street vendors alike. The plot—such as it is—offers nothing a hundred other hackneyed stories about cursed idols do. --- Ed Corbeil

Green Lorelei, The

Year: 1960
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

A down-and-out pulp writer finds himself distracted from his work by the uncanny singing of the woman in the apartment above him. Intrigued, he ventures up to meet her, but her hostile hubby claims she has been dead for many years.

Reviews:
Deliciously cheesy pulp-horror shaggy dog story by George Bamber (responsible for some memorable "guilty pleasure" scripts in the series' final years) and with the typically fine Robert Readick in the lead. With a wild ending you'll either love or hate. --- Anonymous

Heads, You Lose

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert A. Arthur

A private detective is hired to find a very ill man who vanished years ago. He is surely dead, so how has he contacted his attorney?

Reviews:
A very good show, especially since it's one of the later episodes, which I usually find fairly weak. Good Sci-Fi suspense. --- Seth Gaines

Heavens to Betsy

Year: 1955
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

A suburban family finds life takes a strange turn when 'something' crash lands in their backyard.

Originally performed for the series On Stage.

Hitchhiker, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A fellow going on a cross country car trip keeps meeting up with the same pesky spectral hitchhiker that he has no intention of picking up. Starring Orson Welles.

Another version of this story was produced for Mercury Theater on the Air.

Reviews:
The show that got me into old radio. A real blood chiller, and a must-have for your collection. --- Seth Gaines

Sometimes, late at night, I take a drive through the country while I play my tape of this episode and I always have it in the car for long trips. A really good thriller. --- Clarence Grigsby

Admittedly the ending comes as no real surprise to modern listeners—it's a twist done hundreds of times since—but regardless the production is pitch-perfect with Orson Welles being outstanding—he single handedly creates an atmosphere of ominous dread with his narration. One of the iconic episodes of Suspense. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

House in Cypress Canyon, The

Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

A couple move into what seems an ideal house, except for one sealed closet from which strange animalistic sounds emanate, and blood runs out from under the door. Soon the closet begins to exert an uncanny influence on the wife. Stars Robert Taylor.

Reviews:
No Suspense collection is complete without this episode. One of the creepiest stories ever produced for radio. If this one doesn't keep you spellbound, nothing will. --- Jeff Dickson

The scariest radio episode ever—no contest, because I listened to this while driving during the daytime, and I was still scared stiff! --- David Hassell

Probably Suspense's greatest episode, 'The House In Cypress Canyon' is radio's all time scariest show (maybe next to Quiet, Please's 'The Thing On The Fourble Board'). If your looking for a chill, Hell, their ain't nothing scarier than 'The House In Cypress Canyon'. --- Luc L'Heureux

Wait for a dark, rainy night to turn out the lights and listen to this one! Absolutely frightening, the perfect scary radio show! --- Clarence Grigsby

I started to listen to this one several years ago but stopped because the sound quality was poor and the story, frankly, wasn't very scary. But I recently downloaded a different version—with excellent sound quality—and I have to say the sound quality makes a huge difference. The creaking doors... the unearthly howls... the exacting descriptions... are all much, much, scarier! Raised the hairs on my arms. (9/10) --- zM

In Fear and Trembling

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: J. Donald Wilson

Lucia Durant has been happily married to her husband, Gilbert, for four years. However, half-sister Beverly moves in with them and all of the sudden Lucia begins to feel ill. Soon, she begins to suspect her husband and half-sister are having an affair and that they are trying to kill her!

Reviews:
Silly, soapy melodrama where characters behave irrationally. The 'ironic' ending is obvious from the very beginning. A disappointment. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Invisible Ape, The

Year: 1958
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Michael Frost

A chimpanzee subject to experiments into invisibility escapes from the lab. One of the lab workers, a self-seeking ne'er-do-well, decides to go after it by making himself invisible as well. And while he's at it, why not grab a chance for a little petty larceny....?

I Won't Take a Minute

aka: "Finger of Doom"
Year: 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

When a young man's fiancee disappears while dropping off a parcel for her boss, he can't convince anyone that she even exists, let alone help him find out what has happened to her.

A version of this story appeared on Escape as "Finger of Doom".

Reviews:
A good adaptation of a great story. Modifications to the resolution of the story to make it relevant to the post-war world weakened the story. The Escape version is superior, but this is good. --- Geoff Loker

It's All in your Mind

Year: 1958
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Morris Lee Green and William Walker

A man plans to murder his best friend, to be with the murdered man's wife. But just as he is about to shoot, an experimental drug kicks in, allowing him to hear the thoughts of others.

Reviews:
Poor plotting. There are two story lines with almost nothing to connect them. --- Derek Upham

Juvenile Rebellion, The

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Cenadella

Ever suspect your kids are hiding something? Well, perhaps they are—like maybe a plot to take over the world...

Kaleidoscope

Year: 1955
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

When a meteor destroys a spaceship, its crew is hurled outward into space in a dozen directions. Their suit radios will keep them in contact range for only so long. What do men talk about when death seems imminent?

Versions of this story also appeared on Bradbury 13, Dimension X, Mindwebs, Suspense, and The Shape of Things to Come (BBC).

See also 'Program Completed' (Miscellaneous Shows)

Kettler Method, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Peter Barry

A doctor visits an insane asylum but grows suspicious of its staff...

Reviews:
The plot is very obvious and the production makes no effort to do anything different. That being said, any story taking place in an insane asylum generates some interest if only for atmosphere alone. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

King's Birthday, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Louis Pelletier

During World War II in Denmark, ominous notes are being sent to a Count who is aiding the Nazis—notes that predict he will commit suicide on the night of the King's birthday.

Reviews:
Dull and uninteresting. Not much to comment—it wasn't bad enough to provoke a response, nor was it good enough to warrant any remarks. Completely banal. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Korean Christmas Carol, A

Year: 1959
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

On Christmas Eve during the Korean War, a soldier hitches a ride on a truck driven by a mysterious soldier with a special delivery to make.

Reviews:
An enjoyable episode, it's almost a reverse of the old 'hitch-hiking prom queen' story. --- Seth Gaines

Last Letter of Doctor Bronson, The

Year: 1943; 1946; 1954
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard Kreyke

Doctor Bronson believes there a five basic checks that prevent a person from murdering another. Obsessed with proving his theory, he finds five different people and tries to convince them to commit murder—confident that one of the five checks will prevent his subject from doing so. Unfortunately, his theory is not proven as planned.

Three versions were produced for Suspense and one version for Audion Theatre (as "The Last of Dr Bronson").

Reviews:
Similar in theme to "The Doctor Prescribed Death"—this one works slightly better as the characters are more fleshed out and the theorizing isn't as wonky. While certainly interesting, it feels a bit too repetitive and episodic—he is basically going down a check list after all—and the ending is foreseeable from the very beginning—though perhaps that works in its favor as it makes the proceedings more despairing. I found the version with Laird Cregar the most compelling if only because of his performance. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Last Night

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

A woman must figure out if her husband murdered a prospective investor in order to get money to keep their dude ranch operating.

Another version appeared on Molle Mystery Theater.

Reviews:
A good adaptation of the original story. The ending was changed from the original, but Woolrich liked it well enough to rewrite the original story with the new ending. --- Geoff Loker

Woolrich is a master at weaving clever suspense yarns that undermine your expectations, often due to his stories being told from the perspective of a character with the most limited knowledge of what's happening—that way, we don't know anything more than they do. "Last Night" is a prime example of Woolrich's talents at work. Margo is terrific in the central performance as the wife attempting to piece together what exactly happened last night—we are just as perplexed by the puzzle being assembled as she is and just as surprised when our guesses are proven wrong. This is cracker-jack storytelling at its most entertaining. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Lazarus Walks

Year: 1943; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: J.M. Speed

A man whose near-death experience has left him with omniscience and a compulsion to speak out when he hears a lie, takes up residence with a doctor and his wife.

Reviews:
One of the typical mediocre early efforts. This has to be at least the tenth neurotic wife I've had to listen to. They really grate on my nerves. --- Seth Gaines

Despite the presence of Orson Welles, the episode isn't all that interesting due to a muddled script that lacks focus. The supernatural angle—the 'dead' man's uncontrollable power to speak when someone is lying—really is more like window-dressing for a conventional crime story, thus is more distracting than anything. Broadcast twice. [ 5/10 ] --- David Schwenker

Leiningen Versus the Ants

Year: 1957; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Carl Stephenson

An iron-willed South American plantation owner is determined to prevent a plague of army ants from overrunning his land.

Versions of this story appeared on Escape, Mystery in the Air; also as 'The Naked Jungle' (based on the movie of the same name) on Lux Radio Theater.

Life Ends at Midnight

Year: 1944; 1948; 1955
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Tallman

Mrs. Bates' son Walter returns home and tells his mom he needs fifteen hundred dollars by midnight or he's a dead man. Unfortunately, she lost all the money she had, so now Walter has to resort to other means to procure the funding.

Reviews:
Typical crime story featuring a criminal in desperate need of money and the planing of a murder to retrieve it—a plot outline that's overly familiar. It does contain a few ironic twists, but that seems to be a prerequisite for these sort of narratives—in fact, it's abnormal to not have an ironic twist. All in all, pretty routine. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Like Man, Somebody Dig Me

Year: 1958; 1959
Duration: 25 min; 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

A beatnik named "The Tennis Shoe" is falsely accused of murder. Script by George Bamber.

Two versions were produced.

Reviews:
If you dig the comic stereotype of the jive-talking beatnik (which the real Beats rightly disavowed and which had as much to do with them as Ma & Pa Kettle had to do with real mountain folk), you might chuckle (as I did) at this slightly mean-spirited caricature. As an example of the Establishment media co-opting and distorting a potentially threatening counterculture, this episode is hard to... beat. --- Anonymous

Listen Young Lovers

Year: 1954; 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: David Chamelon ??

A young couple living in communist Czechoslovakia are inspired by western radio broadcasts to attempt a desperate escape through the Iron Curtain.

Locked Room, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A man has been murdered, presumably over a diamond, but it's not just a question of who did it, but how—the man was alone in the room, the windows were locked from the inside, the door was locked as well, and two people stood outside the door who swear no one went in.

Reviews:
Classic locked room mystery that's only interesting if you haven't heard or read many of them, but if you have—like me—then you would realize that this is one of the lesser inspired examples that the sub-genre has to offer. Yes, the solution is clever, but the same "trick" has been done many times before in many other—and better—stories. With that proviso, there are some nice red herrings to spice things up and if you are totally unfamiliar with the sub-genre then it's probably worth a listen. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Lodger, The

Year: 1940; 1944; 1948
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 60 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Marie Belloc Lowndes

A classic horror tale about a town plagued by a phantom serial killer of women, and a boarding house madam who takes in a suspicious boarder.

A version of this story was produced as an 'audition' episode of Suspense [1940]—an episode which was directed by the 'master of suspense' himself, Alfred Hitchcock. It was produced twice more for Suspense.

Reviews:
A solid, entertaining episode—we wouldn't expect less from the master of suspense—but due to the fact that the story has been done many times before and since, the episode does convey a sense of conventionality (we all know what's going to happen). Regardless of its straight-forward plotting, it is well-acted, well-crafted, and was fortunately thrilling enough to convince CBS to produce the whole series. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Log of the Marne, The

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: War / Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lawrence Earl

A true story about a British gunboat pinned down by Communist forces on the Yangtze river during the struggle between Mao and China's Nationalists. Stars Ray Milland.

Lord of the Witch Doctors, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

The British consulate on Zanzibar is threatened by a German agent stirring up the natives of the mainland by posing as a powerful witch doctor.

Reviews:
The cartoonishly bad Germans had me rooting for them by the end of this propaganda piece. Sounds like it was made for broadcast in WWI, given the plot. --- Seth Gaines

Admittedly silly with its broad strokes of melodrama and caricatures with twists that strain credibility. All that being said, it's rather fun because of those factors. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Lost Ship, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Irwin Lewis

An embezzler and his wife, on the run from the law, encounter an old man living on the edge of the desert who tells them a tale of a nearby treasure-filled Spanish galleon.

Reviews:
A tired, tedious turkey from the final weeks of the series. The climax, if you can call it that, is a rambling monologue by the greedy embezzler who, alone on the desert, meets an unexciting, all-too-predictable fate. --- Anonymous

Lost Special, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

How can an entire train disappear on an open track between two stations eight miles apart? Stars Orson Welles.

Also broadcast on ESCAPE.

Reviews:
Drastically changes the structure of the original story, though the core of the narrative remains the same. Ironically, my complaint is not with the changes but with Doyle's original story which doesn't play fair—the crime seems impossible only because he conveniently leaves out an important detail, even lying about its existence to blatantly misdirect us. As a result, the solution is anti-climatic as we could not have figured it out otherwise. The ESCAPE version is more accurate and certainly better, though considering it's based on the same story, still flawed. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Love's Lovely Counterfeit

Year: 1945; 1948
Duration: 30 min; 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James M. Cain

Organization man Ben Grace plots with political reformer June Lyons to unseat his boss, gangster Sol Caspar.

With Humphrey Bogart [1945]; James Cagney [1948].

Reviews:
Odd, unsatisfying adaptation of the James M. Cain story. The telescoped half hour version with Humphrey Bogart feels too short; the padded hour version with James Cagney too long. But it's essentially a star vehicle, so which is better probably depends on the leading man you prefer. The surprise ending is okay, but could have been better had it been more carefully prepared for (i.e., without a deeper evocation of the relationship between Ben and June, it's just a little too abrupt). Cathy Lewis seems to play all the female characters in the Cagney version, which is kind of distracting. --- Anonymous

Man Alive

Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: William Spier

A San Francisco newspaper columnist stumbles into a spy ring when a friend-of-a-friend gets hit over the head on the Berkeley ferry.

Reviews:
Average episode. Once the backstory is explained, it's easy to predict the resolution. --- Derek Upham

Man from Tomorrow, The

Year: 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Irving Reis

An ex-pilot answers an ad for volunteers to take part in sensory deprivation experiments to enhance ESP.

A version of this story appeared on Escape.

Man Trap

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: John Roeburt

Man Who Couldn't Lose, The

Year: 1944; 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Emile C. Tepperman

Leonard Snell is an insurance agent who has gambled all his money away and has some rather large debts to pay. He confronts his wife, demanding the money that she has kept away in a safe-deposit box. She refuses, so he kills her, but now has another problem—how can he get away with the murder? Amazingly, Leonard seems to hit an unending streak of luck as ironic twists and turns always seem to fall in his favor and he begins to think he won't get caught for a single thing... but will his luck end?

Two versions were produced for Suspense, the first in 1944 with Gene Kelly and the second in 1947 with Dan Duryea.

Reviews:
This one took me completely by surprise. It begins as a fairly conventional crime story—marital spat leads to murder—but the story refuses to follow through with that conventionality as it constantly undermines our expectations at every bitterly ironic turn of the plot. Also, who knew Gene Kelly could give such a coldly bitter performance? A wonderfully unpredictable and unexpected gem. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Man Who Cried Wolf, The

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Morton Fine and David Friedkin

A member of the Soviet embassy in Mexico is told he is to be sent back because he is now considered a security risk. Since this almost certainly means a one-way ticket to a prison camp in Siberia, he plans to make an escape for freedom. Based on a true story. Starring William Powell.

Man Who Knew How, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dorothy L. Sayers

Mr. Pender is on a passenger train and strikes up a conversation with a stranger. He offers the man a mystery novel to read, but the stranger promptly turns him down, stating that mysteries aren't accurate to life as the murderers get caught. He instead is only interested in murderers who don't get caught and proceeds to describe ways a person can die and have it appear to be from natural causes. After this meeting, Mr. Pender begins to hear about a string of deaths that have occurred in the exact same fashion as the stranger described! Furthermore, when Mr. Pender begins to investigate, he starts seeing the stranger in places where these deaths have just happened! Is he behind these deaths?

Reviews:
Diabolically clever thriller from Dorothy L. Sayers that plays cat-and-mouse not only with the overly imaginative Mister Pender and a possible ingenious psychopath but also with the expectations of the audience as well—is Pender correct? mistaken? insane? the deaths accidental? murderous? some but not others? the mysterious man a killer? a police officer? is he even real? We are constantly guessing as each revelation seems to give us one definite answer, only to have the next turn of the plot to give us another. A wonderfully unpredictable gem that possesses a pleasant air of sophistication and grace. Highly recommended. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Man Who Stole the Bible, The

Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John and Gwen Bagni

A New Orleans hotel guest snatches a bible from his room and finds himself the target of some very desperate and dangerous people.

Two versions of this story were also produced for Escape.

Reviews:
A mildly intriguing story with good acting that doesn't quite live up to the promise of the title. The script for all three episodes is nearly identical. Rick Valent stars in Episode 109 and has the edge over Sam Pierce (Escape, episdode 151) and John Lund (Suspense, 675). (6/10) --- zM

Man Who Went Back to Save Lincoln, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Robert A. Arthur

Man Who Would Be King, The

Year: 1959
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Rudyard Kipling

Hungry for adventure, two soldiers venture beyond British India's North West Frontier in the hopes of founding their own private kingdom.

Another version of this story appeared on Escape.

Man without a Body, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A village is terrorized by a figure who is supposedly invisible.

Reviews:
How can a man actually be invisible? John Dickson Carr will answer that question in the most convoluted set-up imaginable. In the end, you felt you heard the technical description of a magic act rather than a story. I did enjoy it's 'self-awareness' as it constantly referenced H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man and used it to guide the investigation. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Marry for Murder

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Walker T. Field

An attorney believes that his client may be marrying a murderer who plans on poisoning his new bride to take over her estate.

Reviews:
A "murderous spouse/lover" is a very common motif for SUSPENSE—unfortunately, it's often difficult to distinguish between all the episodes that utilize this motif as most play it out in a rather conventional manner. Alas, this particular episode continues that unfortunate trend with it's typical BLUEBEARD plotting, but at least it tells its story well with a lively performance from Lilian Gish and a twist in the end that is fairly unpredictable. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Marvelous Barastro, The

aka: "The Shadow"
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ben Hecht

Orson Welles stars as "The Marvelous Barastro"—a Russian magician traveling across Europe. He meets a blind woman named Anna who asks for her palm to be read. Barastro foresees only pain and torment within her future, but overtaken so much by her beauty he disregards the omen and marries her. It is a beautiful marriage and a wonderful affair, until one fateful day when another magician visits Barastro...

Another version was produced for Mystery in the Air, starring Peter Lorre.

Reviews:
The episode begins almost like a beautiful folk fable, but it soon evolves into dark, surrealistic horror. Indeed, the events that unfold once the "other" magician enters the life of Barastro are disturbing—it even surprisingly flirts with some rather taboo material, adding to the discomfort. Orson Welles is brilliant, of course, but his performance is more outstanding than usual given that he plays a dual role. Its only discredit is the strange narrative framework they use to bookend the story, which features Barastro going to the office of SUSPENSE director/producer William Spier to record his story. It's a rather hokey technique that hems the quality of the episode back from perfection, which it otherwise would have obtained. Regardless, this is a genuinely creepy gem you should seek out! [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Massacre at Little Big Horn    *LOST*

Year:
Duration:
Genre: Adventure / Historical
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: ??

Memory of a Murder

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Supernatural
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Roeburt

A daydreamer in the park imagines a murder. He is then hired to help out at the murderer's vaudeville act. He becomes convinced that the man is now planning to murder his assistant.

Reviews:
A pretty decent episode, but the plot is a bit confusing. --- Seth Gaines

Menace in Wax, The

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A spooky museum is being used by spies to send coded messages.

Reviews:
A terrific espionage tale. Quick, suspenseful, and surprises without the overly complicated storytelling that Carr often infuses into his narratives. Blessedly straight-forward, crescendoing to a rip-roaring finale. Propaganda at its most entertaining. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Merry Widower, The

aka: "The Rubber Trumpet"
Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Roy Vickers

George Muncey has an argument with his wife and storms out of the house. He decides to go to an operetta called 'The Merry Widower' where he starts to believe that the main character—Prince Danilo—is himself, and then begins to believe that only a woman who frequents the operetta named Miss Callemere sees that in him. Obsessed with the idea of being with this new woman, he decides to murder his wife to free himself.

Reviews:
Average crime drama that's fairly dull—the tension never rises above a simmer—and the story doesn't offer up any twists other than just one ironic turning of the plot near the end. Purely routine. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

Message to Garcia, A

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Elbert Hubbard

In the days leading up to the Spanish/American war, a US Infantry lieutenant sneaks into Cuba to meet with the revolutionary General Garcia.

Reviews:
Very perfunctory episode. Only notable for it's portrayal of Jamaica as a place of intrigue between the local powers. --- Derek Upham

Misfire

Year: 1957; 1958
Duration: 25 min; 20 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Tom Hanley

An accident at a military nuclear test site threatens to detonate the bomb prematurely. Can the workers fix the problem before the countdown reaches zero?

Mission of the Betta, The    *LOST*

Year:
Duration:
Genre: Adventure / War
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: ??

Moment of Darkness, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

During a train ride from Paris to the French Riviera, a niece tries to protect her wealthy aunt from a medium, who she believes is a fake.

Reviews:
The story is rather plodding and not all that interesting, but Peter Lorre livens up the proceedings a bit and the ending does serve up a surprising twist—even if it does seem somewhat disconnected. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Most Dangerous Game, The

Year: 1943; 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard Connell

Classic tale of a world-renowned hunter who gets shipwrecked on an island owned by a madman who shares his passion for the hunt, except that he hunts only the most dangerous of game—human beings. Two versions were made, one with Orson Welles, the other with Joseph Cotten.

Versions of this story also appeared on Escape, The Chase, Hollywood Star Time, and Arch Oboler's Plays.

Reviews:
The classic short story is given a superb—and shockingly faithful—radio adaptation with much of the dialogue and action taken verbatim from the source, changing only the opening to simply fit the thirty minute runtime. The sound and music are of much higher quality than usual, resulting in a truly immersive experience—one truly feels that they're in the jungle with Rainsford as he is savagely hunted. Welles relishes in the role of Zaroff, giving him such incredible presence and weight. One of the few episodes where I can find no fault. The second version with Joseph Cotton is excellent as well but slightly pails in comparison to the first—if only because Welles is so pitch-perfect. [10/10] --- David Schwenker

Mountain, The

Year: 1953; 1955
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

An expedition to climb one of the tallest peaks in the world goes horribly wrong when one of the party is found murdered.

Mr Markham, Antique Dealer

aka: "The Dealings of Mr Markham"
Year: 1943; 1945; 1958
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A blackmailer warns his victim that if he's murdered, he'll be back to haunt her in one-half hour.

Three versions of "Mr. Markham, Antique Dealer" were done for Suspense; the two later versions of the script were aired as "The Dealings of Mr. Markham."

Reviews:
Another overly convoluted John Dickson Carr script, but the title role is a great showcase for an actor and it's interesting to hear Paul Lukas, Henry Daniell and James Mason each take a whack at it. No matter how improbable his plots, Carr at least makes a serious effort at good characterization. --- Anonymous

A fascinating premise and a strong central performance keep you invested even when the proceedings become more and more convoluted and begin to lack any credibility. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Murder Goes for a Swim

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Louis Joseph Vance ??

The Lone Wolf receives a letter from a woman stating she suspects someone is trying to murder her during a beauty pageant. When the Lone Wolf investigates, he finds the woman floating in a swimming pool dead. Who done it?

Reviews:
Interesting if only from a historical perspective. The episode starred Warren William and Eric Blore, who played Lone Wolf and Jamison respectively in a series of feature films. Here, they reprise their roles for another Lone Wolf mystery, but this time on radio for SUSPENSE—a series that rarely features recognizable detectives. The mystery itself is diverting, but also fairly routine. The chemistry between the Lone Wolf and his man Jamison is pleasant and does a lot to keep our interest. Decent, but nothing remarkable. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Murderous Revision, A

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: S. Lee Pogostin

An insane radio writer plots to kill his boss—and record the murder for broadcast.

Reviews:
Forget the contrived script, the highlight here is Richard Widmark's well-modulated performance as the unhinged but calculating protagonist. The remake, entitled "Murder on Mike" and with an unsubtle Raymond Burr in the lead, is not half as good. --- Anonymous

Music Lovers, The

Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

In Post-War London, Geoffrey Spencer—an engineer working on the top-secret Superhawk—is found dying in the back of a car. Whodunit? An old gumshoe picks up the scent.

Reviews:
Excellent sense of atmosphere depicting a wet, foggy London. Otherwise completely forgettable, marred by a plodding plot, uneven performances, and an unsatisfying ending. 6/10 for the atmosphere, otherwise, don't bother. --- Jerry Underwood

My Dear Niece

Year: 1946; 1958
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Elliott Lewis ?? and Richard Hull ??

Elderly Mrs. Rogers grows suspicious when she takes a vaguely-defined part-time job for a mysterious publishing firm.

Reviews:
A dreary, illogical thriller (by Elliott Lewis, who should have known better) that somehow got produced twice (but not by Elliott Lewis, who, as the series' producer in the early '50s, apparently did know better). The earlier version with Dame May Whitty is the better all-around production, but that's not saying much. The second half of the story, with the heroine at gunpoint and forced to drive a murderer around town, has some things in common with the later, livelier episode "Backseat Driver." --- Anonymous

Narrative about Clarence

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult / Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Tallman

A family's life is forever changed by the return of the wife's mysterious brother—a doctor who claims that he has studied the occult in India. He now plans to set up an asylum to practice these terrifying powers on his patients.

Reviews:
The premise sounds absurd—and it certainly is—but the narrative is told in such a grim tone, the family's plight so utterly dire, and the brother so viciously malevolent that the story is not laughable but instead genuinely terrifying. Indeed, the absurdity doesn't detract but rather add to the unspeakable horror as the proceedings appear to be so unreal that you feel the family must be trapped in some sort of nightmare. Laird Cregar relishes his role as the diabolical mystic and Hans Conreid excels as the father who loses his grip on reality. The ending is ambiguous in the most tantalizing manner. One of the best episodes SUSPENSE has to offer if you can accept its eccentricities—I sure did. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Needle in the Haystack

aka: "Battle Report: Korea"
Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure / War
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Captain Walter Karig

Adapted by E. Jack Neuman from Captain Walter Karig's "Battle Report: Korea"

Night Ferry to Paris

Year: 1960
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: William N. Robson

Night Man, The

aka: "Night Man"
Year: 1944; 1959; 1960
Duration: 30 min; 25 min; 20 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

Miss Rhodes has been in constant fear for her life for the past ten years. Why? Ten years ago, she gave an incriminating testimony that put away a criminal named Tom Nixon... and Nixon has sworn murderous revenge. It's been ten years and Nixon is supposedly still in prison, but now Miss Rhodes is convinced that a new elevator operator in her building is none other than Tom Nixon himself! Is he really out to get her or is she simply paranoid?

Reviews:
It's written by the wonderful Lucille Fletcher so you'll know the story will have at the very least a palpable atmosphere of dread and moments of genuine suspense—which this episode certainly has. However, the plot itself is surprisingly straightforward and uncomplicated, which on one hand is good—it's focuses purely on the thrills—but on the other hand is disappointing—it offers up no surprises and feels slightly routine because of its predictability. As a result, it falls somewhere in the middle—definitely worth a listen but not exceedingly remarkable. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Night Must Fall

Year: 1948
Duration: 60 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Emlyn Williams

Wealthy old Mrs. Bramson hires charming young Danny as a companion, but her niece suspects him of being a murderer. Based on the play by Emlyn Williams.

Other versions aired on Screen Guild Theatre, Mollé Mystery Theatre and Best Plays.

Reviews:
The main reason to hear this is Robert Montgomery who recreates his outstanding film performance. Other aspects of the play have been cut down to make this more of a star vehicle. The Best Plays version is a better balanced production and the Screen Guild Theatre take is the zippiest, but none of them rank with the excellent 1937 film version. --- Anonymous

Night Reveals, The

Year: 1943; 1946; 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

An insurance investigator suspects that his wife may be responsible for the string of arsons that have been plaguing the city recently.

4 separate versions of this story were produced for Suspense; other versions appeared on Tonight's Best Story and Presenting Boris Karloff.

Reviews:
Good story, reasonably well done, but weakened by a change to the ending of the original story, which gave the story a new twist ending that unfortunately somewhat contradicts the rest of the story. --- Geoff Loker

I can not praise Woolrich highly enough—he has a knack for creating a world where normalcy slowly slips into terrifying nightmare. Here, a man begins to suspect that his wife—whom he loves and whom is closest to him above all others—may be doing unspeakable horrors. Thus, a loving marriage degrades into the frightening unknown. I do admit that the episode lacks the gut-punch grim ending of the original story—and is weakened because of it—but the change is not disastrous and more than acceptable. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Nineteen Deacon Street

Year: 1945; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert M. Light and Larry Marcus

An actor takes a room in a boarding house and soon begins to have visions in his dreams about the room's former inhabitant, who cries out for his help in solving her disappearance.

Nothing up My Sleeve

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A woman must figure out how a crook is able to hide a fortune of money in plain sight.

Reviews:
A pleasantly small-scaled effort—taking place at a single location—that's interesting given its premise but never becomes all that enthralling. However, the climax where billiard balls are used as projectile weapons is an absurd highlight that somehow works. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, An

Year: 1956; 1957; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 25 min; 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ambrose Bierce

A Confederate saboteur hanged from a bridge by Union troops gets a reprieve when the rope snaps; can he evade the enemy's pursuit and reach home?

Four versions were made for Suspense; Versions of this story also appeared on Escape and CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Reviews:
As usual, the Escape version trumps the later Suspense episodes, all of which use truncated, simplified versions of the outstanding 1947 script by William N. Robson. Still, you might enjoy hearing Victor Jory, Joseph Cotten and Vincent Price try to play the protagonist with varying degrees of success. --- Anonymous

Of Maestro and Man

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jo Eisinger

A boxing manager accumulates so many gambling debts that he is forced to sign over his star boxer to his debt collector. Unfortunately, the manager learns that his boxer plans to get married and leave the country—something the manager can't allow, because if the deal falls through with the debt collector he's a dead man!

Reviews:
Unfortunately, not even the presence of Peter Lorre can save this utterly mediocre and generic crime effort. The only thing interesting about the production is its title—a reference to John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' with whom it supposedly shares similarities. However, besides a mentally disabled character and a boxer, I don't see enough parallelism to warrant the title. Overall, very disappointing. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

On a Country Road

Year: 1950; 1954; 1954; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 25 min; 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Walter Bazzar

On a dark and stormy night, a couple are stranded in their car with an insane murderer on the loose in the nearby woods.

Four versions aired on Suspense.

Reviews:
The simplest possible premise with the freakiest possible results. It ought to be one big boring cliché, but somehow it works. The first broadcast, from 1950, is the best, but Jeanette Nolan repeats her role in later versions and seems to get creepier each time. --- Anonymous

One Hundred in the Dark

Year: 1942; 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Owen Johnson

A group of gentlemen at a fashionable club in New York discuss detective stories, a tale about a missing coin, and a re-telling of a crime where a sapphire ring was stolen.

Reviews:
A rather unconventional episode because its really just a table discussion about the art of storytelling instead of an actual story being told. As such it isn't all that 'thrilling' but it's still surprisingly interesting and engaging. Produced twice for Suspense. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

One-Way Ride to Nowhere

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Myster
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

A man gets on a roller coaster ride alive and ends up dead by strangulation. How can a man be murdered at such great speeds, especially when he was in the back seat alone?

Reviews:
The "impossible crime" motif is always a fascinating plot hook and SUSPENSE features many tales that have such a hook. When the motif is solved with clever ingenuity, the story is resoundingly satisfying, but when it is solved with formulaic laziness, the motif then becomes nothing more than a cheap way to grab our attention. This episode is an instance of the latter. The resolution to the mystery is entirely implausible and as such there is no satisfaction to the crux of the narrative. This is a shame, because Alan Ladd is gleefully hard-boiled, the dialogue chock full of pulp, and the tough no-nonsense investigation is actually quite engaging. If only they thought more about the narrative and less about the genre trappings. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Ordeal in Donner Pass

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Arthur Ross

After becoming lost, a party of settlers is snowed in for the winter in the Rocky Mountains. When their food runs out, things get very ugly very fast. Based on a true story.

Reviews:
A powerful episode. Even though it makes no mention of the Donner party's use of 'long pig', it is still an awful and grim tale. --- Seth Gaines

Outer Limit, The

Year: 1954; 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Space Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Graham Doar

A test pilot on an experimental high altitude aircraft with only ten minutes worth of fuel disappears from radar for ten hours, yet returns safely. Of course, it is impossible, as is his story of contact with aliens and the dire warning they've asked him to deliver to Mankind.

Two versions of this story were made for Suspense. Versions also appeared on Escape, X Minus One, Dimension X, and Beyond Tomorrow.

Palmer Method, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

A man who specializes in forging people's signatures joins the army to escape the law. Realizing that he will be sent to the battlefront, he sees an opportunity for further escape when he switches identities with a dead man.

Reviews:
Blends a war-time setting with an "identity theft" plot device—a plot element regularly featured on SUSPENSE. It may just recycle all the familiar trappings that go along with the device—such as, the identity you assume ends up being more troublesome than your own—but it does it well enough with an energetic story that hops from New York City to England and finally to Spain. Unfortunately, actor Ed Garner gives the central character a tough New Yorker attitude that is more caricature than human being and as such he ultimately becomes irritating rather than interesting. Consequently, we don't care too much for his plight, even when he faces eminent danger. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Peralta Map, The

Year: 1957
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles B. Smith

Two men go in search a fabled lost diamond mine despite the stories of the unknown fates of previous expeditions, which the locals attribute to the ghost of a dead cavalry officer who guards the place against all intruders.

Passage to Benares, A

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: T.S. Stribling

Professor Henry Poggioli, psychologist, investigates a murder in Trinidad.

Reviews:
Routine murder mystery with an exotic setting. Not bad per se but not particularly memorable either. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Stribling's complex original story is sort of the reverse of John Dickson Carr's method, with a seemingly rational murder mystery turning out to be drenched in the supernatural. But the already clumsily adapted script, which downplays the fantasy element, becomes nearly incoherent because some crucial plot points are mysteriously deleted, perhaps because of last-minute cuts to fit time constraints. The white men's condescension toward the "coolies" is in character and true to the period so I can sort of forgive it, but the non-Anglo roles are not at all acted convincingly, which is just plain bad drama, and less forgivable. --- Anonymous

Philomel Cottage

Year: 1943; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Agatha Christie

Alix has a whirlwind romance with Gerald Martin. Having not known him for even a week, they are engaged and soon married. All is wonderful, until her new husband begins to act strange.

Three versions were produced for SUSPENSE. The first version with Alice Frost is considered lost, the second stars Orson Welles, and the third stars Lili Palmer

Reviews:
Even though the story is basically just a variant of BLUEBEARD, it is nevertheless quite engaging thanks to a terrific performance from Orson Welles—who stars in the second version—and a creepy atmosphere filled with foreboding mystery. The ending is slightly confusing—you're not sure if what's being said is a lie or the truth—which may have been intentional given what happens afterwards or simply that the ending was rushed to fit the thirty minute quota and therefore lacked clarity. Whatever the case, this is better developed and more tightly plotted than most stories of its ilk. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Pit and the Pendulum, The

Year: 1943; 1947; 1957; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 25 min; 20 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Edgar Allan Poe

A classic tale about the grisly atrocities of the Spanish Inquisition.

Perhaps as many as 4 versions produced for Suspense; also a version for Appointment with Fear, and a modernized version was done for CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Reviews:
I just really couldn't get into this one for some reason. --- Clarence Grigsby

Atmospheric adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story that's not particularly faithful and suffers from not really having a story to tell (though in its defense, the original story didn't really have one either, it too favoring atmosphere over plotting). [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Plan X

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Humor / Aliens
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Richard M. Powell

Jack Benny guest stars in this sci-fi spoof about how the Martians deal with an impending invasion of pesky, primitive Earthmen.

Reviews:
I would disagree a bit with the above summary as it seems to me to be more of a tongue-in-cheek but otherwise serious Sci-Fi story rather than an outright spoof. I found the resolution to be a tad anti-climactic. --- Harry Leshko

Portrait without a Face

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Louis Pelletier

An artist witnesses a murder but can not remember the face of the woman who was there—she must be the supposed killer. He paints the portrait of her but leaves the face blank, hoping that it will help him to remember.

Reviews:
Interesting opening premise that unfortunately leads to a fairly basic murder investigation. The atmosphere is certainly tantalizing but it seems to be only for show as the decorative trappings have little to do with the plot itself. As such, it's underwhelming—one expects more complex plotting given the apparent attention to detail. That being said, it at least has a romantic subplot that actually works and thus we're somewhat invested in the plight of the characters. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Premonition

Year: 1954
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dunkel

An American writer and his wife have their idyllic vacation in the Austrian Alps ruined by his premonition of something terrible about to happen.

Reviews:
A decent show. Not gripping, but it was well done. --- Seth Gaines

Present Tense

Year: 1950
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: James Poe

A condemned murderer on his way to death row for killing his wife is granted a reprieve by fate when the train he is on derails and he escapes to find the man who framed him. Stars Vincent Price.

Another version of this story (also with Price) appeared on Escape. See also "An Occurrance at Owl Creek Bridge."

Queen's Ring, The

Year: 1953
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure / Historical
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Morton Fine and David Friedkin

A fiction based on the uprising lead by the Earl of Essex against Queen Elisabeth I, wherein they are tragic lovers whose affections are at odds with their pride and ambition. Stars James Mason.

Re-Entry

Year: 1959
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

The first astronaut to venture beyond the Earth's atmosphere is so overcome with awe and freefall euphoria that he refuses to return to the ground.

Report From a Dead Planet

Year: 1960
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Space Exploration
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

Space explorers happen across an alien world whose native civilization has been destroyed, leaving only the scarred ruins of dead cities.

Versions of this story also appeared on The Mysterious Traveler as 'The Planet Zevius', and on Theater 5 as 'In Absence of All Intelligent Life'.

Reviews:
I enjoy this sort of sci-fi, but I saw the 'twist' coming in the first few minutes.- Seth Gaines

Suspense was a top notch series overall, but I thought this one was not as well done as it could have been. The Theatre Five version was better. --- Jeff Dickson

Report on the X-915

Year: 1955
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: ??

America's top secret new nuclear submarine is hijacked by hostile forces and must be destroyed before it launches missiles to destroy New York.

Another version of this story was earlier produced for the series Action 80.

Reviews:
Not nearly as gripping today as it must have been in 1955. Somehow, I can always spot the episodes where everything will be okay in the end. --- Seth Gaines

Return to Dust

Year: 1959
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Super Science
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

A scientist conducting experiments in the shrinking of cancer cells unwisely makes himself a test subject, with tragic results.

Reviews:
George Bamber, who wrote several of the more interesting, if derivative, scripts from the series' final years, adroitly borrows from "The Incredible Shrinking Man" here -- a smart move since the premise is a lot more convincing on radio than on film with no cheesy visual effects to distract you. His script was good enough not only to be considered for use on TV's The Twilight Zone (I wonder what "Shrinking Man" author Richard Matheson thought of that), but also to be published -- the only late-era Suspense play I know of to end up in print; no small feat. --- Anonymous

Return Trip

Year: 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Maurice Zimm

Four people on a bus leaving a remote insane asylum in the mountains become trapped by an avalanche; but the nightmare is made even worse when they become convinced that one of them is an escaped homicidal psychopath.

Reviews:
A tale of Suspense that is well calculated to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Before the end of this little "Return Trip" I had declared each of the bus occupants as the killer. But there can be only one "Killer Greg". I must warn you that the plot thickens when the bus is covered by a snow avalanche and the suspense grows to overwhelming proportions. A show that is worth a listen but look out for the ending! Ha Ha! --- Don Walker

I thought I knew who the killer was after the first five minutes, but I changed my mind twice during the show. It turns out that I was right the first time! A mystery show that can keep me guessing is a treat. This one is not as good as "The Hitchhiker" or some of the other legendary episodes, but it's worth a listen. --- C. Grigsby

Revenge of Captain Bligh, The

Year: 1954
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure / Historical
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

The remarkable true story of how Bligh and his loyal sailors, set adrift from the Bounty, survived a 4000 mile voyage across the Pacific in a small rowboat to exact revenge on the mutineers. Stars Charles Laughton.

Riabouchinska

aka: "And So Died Riabouchinska"
Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

While investigating the murder of a man found in the cellar of the home of a ventriloquist, a police detective gets some unexpected help from the ventriloquist's dummy. Story by Ray Bradbury.

See also 'Dead of Night' (Escape). Another version of this story was made be the BBC.

Reviews:
Kind of silly in spots and can be very hard to follow. For a good living ventriloquist's dummy story, I would recommend the Escape audition episode 'Dead of Night' instead.--- Harry Leshko

Rogue Male

Year: 1951
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Geoffrey Household

An experienced game hunter undertakes a personal mission on behalf of humanity, to assassinate the maniacal fascist dictator of a certain central European country.

Later made into a film starring Peter O'Toole.

Russian New Year

Year: 1957
Duration: 27 min
Genre: Adventure / Historical
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: ??

Title unconfirmed.

Screaming Woman, The

Year: 1948; 1955
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

Children playing in a field claim to hear the sound of a woman screaming from under the ground. Children make up the craziest things...

Another version of this story appeared on Bradbury 13.

Reviews:

Search for Henri Lefevre, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

A composer finishes a brand new composition and learns that someone else has already composed the exact same musical piece! How is such a thing possible when the composer just made it up from his head?

Reviews:
Paul Muni—in my humble opinion—is one of the greatest actors ever to grace the silver screen. As such, it is surprising to hear the terrific method actor giving an incredibly hammy performance that, while entertaining to be sure, is incredibly melodramatic and over-the-top. Perhaps the typically serious actor was simply having fun with his role for a change? As for the plot, it certainly grabs you in the beginning with it's 'impossible' scenario, but the revelation in the end seems slightly obvious—after all, when you think about it, it's the only way this seemingly 'impossible' scenario could actually happen. I felt underwhelmed overall, especially given my high expectations. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Second Door, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Readick

Gordon Saunders rents an isolated house, but finds a woman in a red dress on his property, apparently using a rocking chair. When he approaches, she disappears—but the rocking continues.

Reviews:
At first, you think you're getting something like a standard ghost story, but the mystery only deepens as it crosses into another genre entirely. Actor Robert Readick stars in his own literate script—one that, while not perfect, seems a lot fresher than usual for this late in the series. --- Anonymous

Security Agent, The

Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

A middle-aged bachelor resolves to escape from Communist-controlled Poland by hijacking an airliner.

Shipment of Mute Fate, A

Year: 1957; 1960
Duration: 25 min; 20 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Martin Storm

A trapper connives the captain of a passenger ship into allowing the transport of a bushmaster—the world's deadliest snake—with predictable consequences. Based on a story by Martin Storm.

Two versions were produced for Suspense; four versions appeared on Escape.

Reviews:
Les Crutchfield's oft-repeated adaptation is always worth a listen. Thanks to a well-compiled musical score, I think the 1960 Suspense version beats the 1957 one, but the best all-around production is still the 1950 one from Escape, with a first-rate cast and all the minor kinks worked out of the script. --- Anonymous

Shot, The

aka: "The Pistol-Shot"
Year: 1953; 1954
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Adventure / Historical
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Alexander Pushkin

In a duel between two Confederate officers, the duelist entitled to the second shot decides after his opponent's shot missed to wait on it until he's good and ready. Starring Van Heflin.

Signal-Man, The

Year: 1953; 1956; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 20 min
Genre: Horror / Ghosts
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Charles Dickens

A railroad signalman is driven to the brink of madness by a spectral apparition at the mouth of a train tunnel, which seems to be trying to warn him of... what?

3 separate versions of this story were produced for Suspense. Other versions appeared on Lights Out, Nightfall, and Columbia Workshop; Also on Weird Circle as 'The Thing in the Tunnel' and as 'Hello Below There' on Beyond Midnight, a horror series from South Africa.

Silver Shoe, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert Readick

A sailor meets a dance hall girl who looks exactly like his long-dead lover—and she finds him strangely familiar, too.

Reviews:
This is it, folks. Broadcast just weeks before Suspense was canceled, the episode is not exactly brilliant, but it is the series' last reasonably effective "old school" nightmare, with the sailor's fevered narration enlivening a dreamlike Twilight Zone-ish situation. No masterpiece, but another perfectly respectable script from actor Robert Readick. --- Anonymous 

Sin Eater, The

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Occult
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Bob Corcoran

A couple travelling in the remote Appalachians come across a hillbilly family which forces the visitors to 'eat' the sins of a recently deceased family member (a 'sin-eater' for most of his life), so that the dead man's soul won't be damned.

Singing Walls, The

Year: 1943; 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

A young man comes out of a drug stupor to discover that he may have killed another man. He has only a few hours to try to find out what happened.

Two separate versions were produced for Suspense.

Reviews:
A decent adaptation. The original story was somewhat flawed, and neither adaptation really does anything to fix the flaws. --- Geoff Loker

Woolrich's stories were a pre-cursor to modern literature's obsession with mind-bending narratives. Such recent psychological thrillers as MEMENTO, THE MACHINIST, and UNKNOWN—to list some of the more popular examples—owe much to Woolrich. This episode is an example of that sort of influence. An amnesia storyline where a character must piece together fragments of a fractured memory—with his own guilt constantly in question—may be commonplace now, but only because Woolrich inspired a legion of imitators. The story holds up very well today even if it no longer surprises with the same vigor as it first did—given today's overly convoluted narratives, that is saying something. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Sisters, The

Year: 1944; 1948; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 20 min
Genre: Occult / Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Wells

Lydia Haskell goes to a funeral parlor to purchase a coffin. When the mortician asks who it is for, she tells him that it is intended for herself—she had a premonition that she will be dying shortly! Worried that she may be planning to commit suicide, the mortician calls the police after she leaves. A detective then visits Lydia's house where he finds the woman in question living with her mentally unbalanced sister.

Three versions were produced for Suspense—the first with Ida Lupino and Agnes Moorehead, the second with Rosalind Russell and Lurene Tuttle, and the third with Francis Farmer and Cathy Lewis.

Reviews:
For being one of the more popular episodes of Suspense—it was broadcast three times—it is surprisingly dull. The opening scene certainly grabs your attention but it unfortunately doesn't go anywhere of interest as the plot chooses to focus on two thoroughly unappealing women who spend most of their time squabbling. As a result, the supernatural element of a premonition seems to be quite out of place as it suggests that there should be a more haunting narrative forthcoming rather than the simple domestic disturbance that arrives. As for all those broadcasts, the first is easily the best because Ida Lupino and Agnes Moorehead give truly great performances—something that the script doesn't deserve. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Sleeping Draught, A

aka: "A Sleeping Draft"
Year: 1956
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Weston Martyr, 1929

A 19th century prison hulk delivering convicts to the penal colony of Australia is endangered when the desperate prisoners decide to stage a revolt.

Another version of this story also appeared on Escape.

Sneak Preview

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

A movie director meets a detective who quibbles over the realism of the filmmaker's crime films. To give him a greater sense of reality, the detective brings the director to the morgue where they recently found the body of a world-renowned assassin. Fascinated by this hired killer, the director begins to investigate the assassin's life to use him as a subject for his next picture.

Reviews:
A terrific thriller in the vein of such classic Film Noir movies as "The Mask of Dimitrios" and "Mr. Arkadin"—both of which feature thrilling investigations into the lives of famous criminals. This episode may not be doing anything different than those efforts, but it's told in a very effective manner with a potent atmosphere of mystery and tension that is thankfully maintained throughout the entirety of the story—there's always the sense that something is not quite right—and it all pays off wonderfully with some clever twists in the end. It may rush over some details given that the plot is fairly expansive and would have benefitted from a longer running time, but it still remains a tightly plotted slice of entertainment! [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Somebody Help Me

Year: 1954
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Morton Fine and David Friedkin

A divorced salesman with a violent streak kills the woman he picks up for the evening.

Reviews:
Suspense's early '50s crime dramas—the ones with a "based on fact," Dragnet-inspired, pseudo-documentary approach—tend to leave me a little cold. In this script, Act I's ugly, but well-acted, "slice of life" scenes give way to Act II's dry police procedural. The main interest is Cornel Wilde's persuasive performance as the whiny murderer. --- Anonymous

Sorry, Wrong Number

Year: 1943; 1943; 1944; 1945; 1948; 1957; 1960
Duration: 30 min; 30 min; 30 min; 30 min; 30 min; 25 min; 25 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Lucille Fletcher

Mrs. Stevenson is a bedridden woman whose only access to the outside world is her telephone. One day, while listening to what seems to be a crossed phone connection, she overhears two men planning a murder. With the police unhelpful, can she piece together their plans and stop the impending killing?

Eight versions of this story were broadcast Suspense, all of which starred Agnes Moorehead. Lux Radio Theater produced an hour-long version with Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster, the stars of the 1948 film adaptation.

Reviews:
Arguably the most iconic episode of Suspense—having been broadcast more than any other story as well as adapted into an oscar-nominated film—and given this fanfare one would expect the episode to be a work of art... not quite. The script is admittedly clever—mustering a compelling story and suspenseful situations with just a single character is no easy task—but it suffers from a main character that's more irritating than sympathetic, thus her plight is not as gripping as it should be. Yet I can't deny that the writing is technically great—it's more of an issue of Agnes Moorehead's interpretation of the character. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Torn between sympathy for the helpless invalid who heroically tries to stop a murder and antipathy for her being so damned obnoxious about it, you want the heroine to be vindicated, but you also think, "Somebody should stick a knife in this woman." And when somebody does, you're supposed to be left with an uneasy, conflicted double satisfaction. Perhaps that's why most imitations of this play feel relatively empty; they aren't even trying to match its attempt at a twisted catharsis. --- Anonymous

Stand-In

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Pamela Wilcox and Robert L. Richards

An obnoxious movie star is targeted for murder by her cheating husband and her disgruntled stand-in.

Reviews:
There are all kinds of logic problems with the noir-ish script: the overly risky, improbable murder plot is too complicated and the story's abrupt resolution is too easy. June Havoc, playing the femme fatale, tries too hard to sound like a tough gal, but Elliott Lewis is just right, giving his usual smart performance as the not-too-smart husband. --- Anonymous

Statement of Employee Henry Wilson, The

Year: 1943; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Shaw

An employee named Henry Wilson plans to kill his employer—a condescending upstart named Charles Dodd—while maintaining an ironclad alibi. The plan goes off without a hitch and even gets Henry promoted, but unfortunately Henry's own mental state proves to be his undoing...

Reviews:
These "perfect murder" and "perfect alibi" stories are a dime a dozen on SUSPENSE and this one doesn't particularly stand out from the crowd. Despite the routine plotting, an oppressive work environment is certainly a relatable setting for most listeners and the central character Henry Wilson is quite fascinating—especially as his grip on reality slowly dwindles and he devolves into a raging paranoiac. Interesting, but too typical to be that memorable. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

Stool Pigeon, The

Year: 1955
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Ellis, Antony

Strange Day in May, A

Year: 1962
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Michael Healey

An astronaut returns from space to find the world has somehow changed in his absence.

Reviews:
The series' final science fiction episode is a dull mystery with a not-too-imaginative solution. The premise is similar to a not-much-better Rod Serling script, "The Parallel," which aired the following year on TV's Twilight Zone.

Strange Death of Charles Umberstein, A

Year: 1943; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: E. Jack Neuman

Vincent Price as a spy in Nazi Germany desperately trying to avoid the Gestapo, whom he is convinced is on to him.

Reviews:
These war-time narratives are frequently abrasive with their propaganda, often painting their tales in broad strokes in an effort to make political statements at the expense of nuanced storytelling. Fortunately, this tale of espionage is an exception. The central character is fleshed out—given even more weight by Vincent Price's terrific performance—and his situation feels genuinely dire—the claustrophobia and paranoia is quite palpable. The story itself of an undercover spy trying to flee the country is one that has been done many times before, but it's compelling all the same. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Stranger with My Face

Year: 1961
Duration: 25 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Allan Sloane

Study in Wax, A

Year: 1955
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Antony Ellis

Two men trapped for the winter at a remote research station in the Arctic Circle must contend against each other as well as the elements.

Another version of this story also appeared on Escape. See also 'Weather Station Four' (Nightfall).

Subway

Year: 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Eileen Douglas Walzer and Mel Dinelli

A desperate actress plots the murder of her rival during a chance encounter in the New York City subway.

Reviews:
Most of the "action" in this two-hander for scenery-chewers June Havoc and Lurene Tuttle takes place in the protagonist's fevered mind as she constantly weighs her options. The claustrophobic subway setting is well-conveyed by the music and sound effects, but the twisty plot forces the main character to be a little too unbelievable for the climactic payoff to entirely work. Still, a pretty interesting ride. --- Anonymous

Suspicion

Year: 1944; 1948
Duration: 30 min; 60 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dorothy L. Sayers

Mr. Mummery is feeling well. His business partner, Mr. Brookes, notices his uneasiness and they strike up a conversation about health, Mr. Mummery's wife, and their new cook. Mr. Brookes is looking for a cook, but he must be careful—he hears that there is a poisoner on the loose who takes cook positions at people's home. Mr. Mummery begins to wonder—is his illness linked to his cook's food?

Three versions were produced for Suspense, the first with Pedro de Cordoba (now considered lost), the second with Charles Ruggles, and the third with Sam Jaffe.

Reviews:
A fine mystery yarn that is pleasantly narrow in focus—it mainly centers on the husband, his wife, and his cook—and as such the narrative seems more tightly plotted than most. The plot itself may be fairly simple and straightforward—is the cook a poisoner or is she not—but it does have a clever twist at the end that is wholly unexpected. Unfortunately, the second broadcast with Charles Ruggles presents the twist in a very confusing manner as it is inexplicably rushed and ill-explained, as if they had to quickly wrap up the narrative to fit it within the alloted time. The third broadcast with Sam Jaffe addresses this issue with its extended hour-long adaptation, but it also unnecessarily pads the proceedings to fill its new runtime. Putting aside my minor gripes, it certainly is a worthwhile listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Tarawa Was Tough

Year: 1957
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Adventure / War
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: William N. Robson

Ten Grand, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage / Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Virginia Radcliffe

A woman named Gigi Lewis has her purse stolen in a crowded subway station. After she cries for help, a stranger manages to retrieve the stolen purse and return it to her. She thanks him and gets on the train, at which time she notices that ten thousand dollars of someone else's money somehow ended up in her purse!

Reviews:
Fine suspense tale that starts off very strong with many intriguing questions being raised—who gave her the money and why? Is she an unknowing carrier of stolen goods? Is she being followed? What does the cryptic note attached to the ten grand mean?—but the great buildup fizzles as our inquiries are answered with a rather generic crime story involving some war-time propaganda. Lackluster ending aside, it's still worth a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Thieves Fall Out

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

Art Kramer is a black market dealer in desperate need of money. He decides to murder an associate for the money and put the blame on someone else. Of course, nothing goes as planned.

Reviews:
It's wonderful to hear Gene Kelly in an unconventionally dark role—if only for the novelty of it all. Its routine story is freshened up a bit by an twist ending that, while a bit too coincidental, is savagely ironic and gleefully unexpected. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Thing of Beauty, A

Year: 1944; 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime Drama
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Elizabeth Hiestand

Madeleine Tremaine was a famous London stage actress who now lives as a recluse. She allows only the local vicar, Father Benson, to visit but since he is retiring the vicar brings along with him Mr. Sedley, the new curate, in hopes that he will continue to counsel her. After they arrive, Madeleine begins to tell both men her life story in the theater as well as how she would upstage the lead, Nell Garrett, in her early performances. One day, Nell smacked Madeleine in the face for upstaging her. Later, Nell was found with a knife in her back. Did Madeleine do it?

Two versions were produced for Suspense, the first in 1944 with June Deprez and the second in 1947 with Angela Lansbury.

Reviews:
Melodramatic tale that's told in flashback with all the trappings one would expect in a melodrama—love triangles, sour marriages, false promises, backstabbing, rise to fame, fall from grace, etc. As such, the story is fairly routine and predictable, but you'll remain somewhat invested in seeing it through if only because its frame story proposes so many interesting questions—why does Madeleine let no one into her home? why are the lights never on except when the vicar is in the room? why are the mirrors covered? As a result, you'll feel compelled to listen to the end just to get some answers. Unfortunately, it all becomes painfully obvious well before the climactic revelation, cheapening your investment. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Thirty-Second of December, The

Year: 1958
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Morris Lee Green and William Walker

A nogoodnik hocks his wife's jewelry in return for a watch with the uncanny ability to reset time to its own reckoning. Perhaps he has finally found a way to make crime pay. What could possibly go wrong when you control time itself? Lots...

Reviews:
A fun cautionary tale. Reminded me of the poor man in the old Twilight Zone episode who had 'all the time in the world'. --- Seth Gaines

Thirty-Nine Steps, The

Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Buchan

Three O'Clock

Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

A man decides to kill his wife by planting a bomb in their basement. When he surprises a couple of thieves, he is tied in the basement within sight of the bomb so that they can make their getaway. The bomb is set to go off at three o'clock, unless he can find some way to get help... Stars Van Heflin.

Other versions appeared on Presenting Boris Karloff and Sleep No More.

Reviews:
An excellent presentation of a very strong story. Very much a character driven story, as we sit with the husband, trying to figure a way out, and trying to deal with his impending doom. Van Heflin does an excellent job as the husband—a poorly cast actor here would have killed the whole production. --- Geoff Loker

Three Skeleton Key

Year: 1956; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 20 min
Genre: Adventure
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George G. Toudouze

On a lighthouse completely surrounded by water, a derelict ship wrecks on the reefs, and lets loose millions of giant rats. The rats are hungry and take over the lighthouse... floor by floor, window by window, and finally... the windows begin to give...

Two versions of this story were produced for Suspense, both with Vincent Price. Other versions of this story were produced for Escape and Sleep No More. Also, a version was created for an independently produced series called The Grip of Terror.

Reviews:
A masterpiece. It's hard to find even one thing bad to say about this episode. The hair on my arms stood up on end. Will the protagonists get eaten? I'm not tellin'. Listen for yourself. [10/10] --- Jerry Underwood

Till Death Do Us Part

Year: 1942; 1961
Duration: 30 min; 20 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A husband implements a plot to get revenge on both his wife and her lover.

Reviews:
The plot is refreshingly small-scaled (only three characters in one room) but it all seems rather typical with a twist in the end that's all too convenient, but Peter Lorre is terrific as always and makes it worth a listen. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Time on My Hands

Year: 1960
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Time Travel
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Walter Black

Two men use a time machine to return to 1908 attempt to dispose of Adolph Hitler before he can give rise to the Nazis.

An earlier version was produced for The Mysterious Traveler, but I believe that show has been lost.

Reviews:
Set in 1939, a rich, bored financier, beset with pre-War angst, decides to travel back in time to 1908, so he can kill Hitler and alter history. His doting, nurturing wife accompanies him. Well acted, except for an implausible characterization of Hitler. The ending surprises not because it's the least likely scenario, but because it's the most likely scenario. Good sound quality. Effective pre-War mise en scene." --- Jerry Underwood

To Find Help

Year: 1945; 1949
Duration: 25 min; 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Mel Dinelli

An old woman hires a seemingly meek young man to clean her house.

Reviews:
Nothing supernatural here; just a gripping, straightforward thriller. Apart from the final scenes, this is very closely based on a short story, "The Man," by Mel Dinelli. The well-directed, evenly-paced 1949 version with Ethel Barrymore and Gene Kelly easily surpasses the sloppy, rushed 1945 one with Agnes Moorehead and Frank Sinatra—mainly because the actors give better, more believable performances under Anton M. Leader, possibly the series' best director. --- Anonymous

Too Perfect Alibi, The

Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Murder
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Martin Stern

A love-triangle-leads-to-murder story. Sam and Jack are close friends... they might be best friends, except they are both in love with the same woman, Katherine. So, when Jack and Katherine announce their upcoming marriage and ask Sam to be Best Man, Sam decides it is time to kill his rival instead... but planning the perfect alibi is not as easy as it sounds.

With Danny Kaye as Sam.

Reviews:
Superb plot and wonderful acting with a nice twist at the end that I didn't see coming at all! Not the role I would have expected for Danny Kaye, but Suspense seemed to have great success in casting performers in roles outside their comfort zone. The first person narrative allows us to glimpse what the would-be murderer is thinking as he plots his strategy. Very well done. [8/10] --- zM

Tonight at 5:55

Year: 1960
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

The top brass of the military and government in Washington get a cablegram from the "enemy" (Soviets?) demanding immediate surrender, or else face a barrage of nuclear warheads that very evening.

Track of the Cat, The

Year: 1952
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: N
Story by: Walter Van Tilburg Clark

Trap, The

Year: 1949
Duration: 30 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Virginia Meyer

A old woman is terrorized in her own house by a presence that keeps whistling 'Farewell to Thee'. Stars Agnes Moorehead.

Twenty-Four Sixty-Two

Year: 1962
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Sci-Fi / Future Earth
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: George Bamber

In an overpopulated dystopian future, a poet is sentenced to death for the unspeakable crime of being superfluous and obsolete.

See also '1984' (Theater Guild on the Air)

Reviews:
Surprisingly good for a late episode. The atmosphere is flawless. --- Seth Gaines

Enjoyed this episode very much—perhaps because it was very similar to one of my favorite Twilight Zone shows, where Burgess Meredith is sentenced to die for the crime of being an obsolete librarian in a future that has burned all its books. Who knows, perhaps that show may have inspired this one. --- Ed Corbeil

Two Sharp Knives

Year: 1942; 1945
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Crime / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Dashiell Hammett

A small-town police chief captures a man wanted for murder in Philadelphia. But something stinks about the murder rap, the wanted poster, and everything else.

Reviews:
Routine murder mystery freshened up a bit with its backdrop of a corrupt police force. In the end, it's still not that memorable. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

This too-faithful adaptation of the Hammett short story makes for painfully dry and sometimes confusing storytelling. The 1945 remake tinkers with the script to improve the clarity and raises the energy level a notch. But it's still one dull knife. --- Anonymous

Uncle Henry's Rosebush

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Larry Roman

Uncle Henry has disappeared. The aunt is keeping quiet. There's a syringe hidden in the drawer, a pile of freshly dug ground in the garden, and noises of people moving around at night. The niece and her husband try to figure out what this all means.

Reviews:
A palpable atmosphere of unease, a tremendous sense of mystery, and one cleverly devised twist keeps you engrossed even though the story itself is fairly routine—you could probably piece together the clues yourself before the the characters do. Regardless, a very fun ride. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Visitor, The

Year: 1944; 1947
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Carl Randau and Leanne Zugsmith

A young man is believed to have been murdered by his friend. Three years later, he reappears. Is he an imposter simply trying to claim the inheritance?

[1944] With Eddie Bracken (Bud), Kenneth Christy (Joe), and Jeanette Nolan (Ellen). [1947] With Donald O'Connor (Bud), Wally Maher (Joe), and Verna Felton (Ellen).

Reviews:
Surprisingly, this is a completely coherent and cohesive adaptation of a novel condensed into a scant thirty minutes—even the pacing seems un-rushed. As for the plot, it is delightfully clever—you think you know exactly where it's going but in a delicious surprise ending our expectations are subverted with a twist that actually plays fair yet still manages to be entirely unexpected. This is great storytelling, pure and simple. Highly recommended. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Great story... but the acting is what makes this work. Is the boy who returns home the real Bud Owen or an impostor? Poor acting would give the ending away early on, but Eddie Bracken, in the 1944 version, keeps us guessing right up to the very end. [8/10] --- zM

Voice of Company A, The

Year: 1958
Duration: 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Michael Frost

With the world on the brink of World War Three, the military plans to launch a satellite capable of jamming all ground communications, but one scientist on the project is pressured by the ghost of a former army comrade to sabotage it.

Voyage through Darkness

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Joel Malone

Judith Webster is a traveling companion to an elderly, wealthy woman. However, her companion has passed away and Judith must now escort the body back to America for burial. It's a somber duty and she looks forward to the voyage home as a chance to recuperate. Unfortunately, when she hears that the 'blackout killer' may be aboard the ship, she starts seeing a suspicious figure lurking near the lifeboats!

Reviews:
The narrative is confined within what ought to be a claustrophobic setting—a young woman is trapped on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean with a killer on the loose—but the writing never seems to evoke that precious feeling of claustrophobia the listener yearns to experience. Indeed, the story appears to be more concerned with the romance between Olivia de Havilland and Reginald Gardner's characters rather than the suspense that's inherent within the plot. Of course, favoring romance over thrills isn't necessarily bad—'Casablanca' certainly cares more about its love triangle rather than war time violence and is better for it—but when the relationship is hollow and the story's potential for thrills so apparent, one can not help but feel slightly cheated. A disappointment that had much potential. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

Wait, The

Year: 1958
Duration: 20 min
Genre: Future Earth?
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Herbert Hosey ??

In a nameless place and time, a squad of secret police close in on the last stronghold of a cell of insurgent freedom fighters.

Walls Came Tumbling Down, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery / Humour
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Jo Eisinger

A priest visits a journalist named Darcy—a former pupil of his—who informs him that a stranger threatened him three days ago, demanding that the clergyman give him two Bibles marked with the initials E.B. and that he help him find the "walls of Jericho." The priest has no Bibles with such an inscription nor any knowledge of what these "walls of Jericho" could be. Can Darcy help solve this mystery?

Reviews:
An entertaining mystery told in the classic private eye tradition ala Chandler or Hammett but with a light and breezy tone thanks to the wise-cracking Darcy—who is played with great humor by Keenan Wynn—and its sunny California locale. That being said, there certainly is danger to be had and it's by no means a comedy, but the proceedings are just so relaxed that it's all very pleasant—though as such it never becomes too thrilling either. Still, it's very charming in its small, genial way. [7/10] --- David Schwenker

Waxwork, The

Year: 1956; 1959
Duration: 30 min; 25 min
Genre: Horror
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: A.M. Burrage

A reporter in Victorian London volunteers to spend a night in the Hall of Murderers of the famous Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Bad idea.

Versions were produced for Beyond Midnight, The Price of Fear, Sleep No More and Suspense (x3). A teleplay was also produced for Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1959).

Week Ago Wednesday, A

Year: 1945; 1958
Duration: 30 min; 20 min
Genre:
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Winifred Wolfe

After a quarrel with her husband, a woman seemingly travels one week into the future and finds him gone, with new tenants living in their apartment.

Reviews:
A wildly convoluted example of one of Suspense's favorite plot devices, the neurotic wife who thinks her husband is trying to kill her. Actress Nancy Kelly does her damnedest to keep the endless dreamlike first person narration believable and coherent, but it all gets pretty annoying by the end. Still, this is much better than the remake with Hillary Brooke from years later. --- Anonymous

Wet Saturday

Year: 1942; 1943; 1948
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Humour / Suspense
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Collier

Mr. Princey's daughter has just murdered the schoolmaster. A murderess in the family? That won't do. It's up to Mr. Princey to frame someone else for her crime.

Reviews:
A tongue-in-cheek suspense tale that garners its humor from the father's droll, matter-of-fact approach to such extremities as murder and blackmail, treating them as if they were nothing more than mundane nuisances in his day-to-day life. Along with the humorous characterizations, there are plenty of ironic twists and turns to keep you engaged and guessing who's finally going to get the blame. A classic episode, broadcast four times for good reason. I enjoyed the 1943 broadcast with Laughton the most. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

White Rose Murders, The

Year: 1943
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller / Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

Ginny Trowbridge is a well-to-do debutante whose boyfriend Terry—a homicide detective—is in search of the "White Rose Murderer." To help her boyfriend aquire a much needed promotion, Ginny takes it upon herself to lure the killer out in the open, thus putting her own life in danger.

Reviews:
Woolrich spins an entertaining suspense yarn that is quite gripping thanks in large part to the central performance of Maureen O'Hara—she single handedly transforms a character who would have been otherwise foolish and unbelievable into someone mature and sympathetic. As a result, the moments where she is stalked by the killer are genuinely suspenseful. The revelation of the said killer is indeed a complete surprise but is also arguably unguessable, therefore slightly anti-climatic—however, this episode clearly totes itself as a "thriller" rather than a "whodunit" and as such the cheat is not too problematic. In the end, it may lack the bite of other Woolrich tales, but it's very entertaining all the same. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Will You Make a Bet with Death?

Year: 1942
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: John Dickson Carr

A man makes an unfortunate bet with his step-father: that his step-father can kill him within six months and not get caught... and he will never know where, when, or how.

Reviews:
Genuinely suspenseful with a palpable atmosphere of dread. Danger seems to be lurking around every corner. This one is a bona fide thriller in the truest sense of the word. Marred only by an overly complicated ending. [8/10] --- David Schwenker

Woman in Red, The

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Anthony Gilbert

A young woman with no family connections answers an ad that gets her mixed up in the plot of a pair of Nazi spies.

Reviews:
Based on Anthony Gilbert's novel of the same name, this story was later adapted twice onto film—first as "My Name is Julia" and later as "Dead of Winter"—both of which are significantly different from the radio adaptation but also significantly better—despite the fact that this episode is fairly faithful to the source novel while both the films change most of the story. The core of the narrative is undeniably gripping—a woman trapped against her will is slowly being driven insane—but the inclusion of generic wartime espionage plotting and secret spy ring shenanigans diminish the psychological intensity of the central character's captivity, replacing what should be a personal battle of minds between the imprisoned and her captors with abstract nationalism. Not a bad episode per se but I would recommend the films instead. [6/10] --- David Schwenker

World of Darkness, A

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

Police arrive at a theatrical rooming house and find a woman named Nancy Collins dead. The detective gathers all the suspects together, at which time a blind man named Anton Rejak announces that he knows exactly what happened to her—he heard every sound—and proceeds to recount the events of the evening...

Reviews:
Traditional murder mystery that has some novelty value due to the fact that it's told from a blind man's perspective, but the mystery itself seems rather basic and not that interested in doing anything different. There's a twist at the end—as there always is—but it also seems typical for this sort of story. [5/10] --- David Schwenker

You Died Last Night

Year: 1962
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert A. Arthur

An Earthling encounters a flying saucer whose occupant has come to judge and possibly destroy the planet.

Note from anonymous: [I have a strong hunch this didn't air on The Mysterious Traveler. There's a reference in the script to the Berlin Wall which didn't exist when that series was on the air. There was an episode of the Traveler with a similar title ("I Died Last Night"), but it's a completely different script.]

Reviews:
Another excellent Robert A. Arthur script from late in the series that might have been at home on Quiet, Please (it's heavy on the first person narration and ends with an overt moral appeal). Like his "The Black Door," this is a two-hander for actors Robert Readick and Santos Ortega who carry it nicely. Touring the globe in an alien spacecraft and then wiping out billions of people in a matter of seconds are the kind of situations best handled on the radio. --- Anonymous.

You Were Wonderful

Year: 1944
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Espionage
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Robert L. Richards

A nightclub singer in Brazil begins to think her employers are working for the Nazis.

Reviews:
One of the more dull pieces of propaganda that Suspense had produced during the war years. Besides the generic American inculcation, it is also quite obvious that the narrative was tailored-made specifically for its star Lena Horne as it gives her many—perhaps too many—opportunities to show off her vocal talents. She's a gifted singer—unquestionably—but the episode is unfortunately more concerned with being a star vehicle rather than an actual story. Disappointing as a result. [4/10] --- David Schwenker

You'll Never See Me Again

Year: 1944; 1946
Duration: 30 min
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Cornell Woolrich

Ed Bliss gets in a heated argument with his wife Janet—their first marital spat after only three months of marriage. She stomps out of the house, threatening that Ed will never see her again. Ed isn't too worried at first—figuring he will give her a few days to cool off—but when he calls his mother-in-law to finally speak with Janet, her mother says she never came to their house! Where could she be?

Two versions were produced for Suspense, the first in 1944 with Joseph Cotton and the second in 1946 with Robert Young.

Reviews:
Based on a novella by Cornell Woolrich, this radio adaptation is fairly faithful to its source material with its only major change being an altered ending—which, of course, isn't as razor sharp as the original. Regardless, this remains a cracker-jack thriller that provides some of the most startling surprises that Suspense has to offer—indeed, perhaps the most numerous amount of surprises as well since there seems to be a plot twist every other minute. Unpredictable and deceptive—sometimes ingeniously so—though admittedly the final revelation, while certainly being completely unexpected and shocking, strains credibility tremendously. A minor quibble, I suppose, considering the sheer pleasure one receives when listening to this roller-coaster ride. [9/10] --- David Schwenker

Zero Hour

Year: 1955; 1958; 1960
Duration: 25 min
Genre: Sci-Fi
Available for Listening Booth: Y
Story by: Ray Bradbury

A very popular story with radio producers. Neighborhood children invent a new game called 'Invasion'—or is it just a game?

3 versions of this story were produced for Suspense. Versions also appeared on Future Tense, Adventure Theater, Dimension X, The Mysterious Traveler, X Minus One (2 versions), and Escape.

Reviews:
This is a great episode of a great series. Everything seems sweet and innocent at first, with an imaginary friend named Trill and an innocent kid's game, but it builds to a terrifying climax. --- C. Grigsby


Divider