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The Old Ones Are Hard to Kill


An old lady rents a room to a sick boarder. She runs into problems with his strange deathbed confession.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 6, 1974
  • Repeat - March 1, 1974
  • Repeat - December 2, 1978






133 Responses to Episode 0001

Agnes Moorehead is best known for portraying the disapproving mother-in-law Endora on "Bewitched." Crime drama, no supernatural element.


Love Agnes Moorehead. Really good episode.


I listened to these in 1980 or so when I was 15 or 16 on KNX1070 Los Angles in Mission Viejo, Califonia 30 plus years ago...


Not a bad story, but the coughing/hacking got irritating after a while.


You be the same way when you get their age


The First Lady of Suspense. I wish she had lived, because she would have surely participated in at least a couple hundred episodes of CBSRMT over the course of its run.


CBS-RMT's premiere episode starred Agnes Moorehead as a 77-year-old woman whose border, while dying of pneumonia, confesses to her that he killed a man rather than another one who was found guilty and imprisoned. She doesn't want to hear what he's saying and doesn't call the police because she doesn't want to get involved, but of course she tries to be a detective herself and gets wound up with all sorts of nefarious characters. Moorehead's character might be as annoying as the one she portrayed in "Sorry, Wrong Number," but I give her credit. She was only a month or so from dying herself when she did the role. An added bonus was a WDAF (Kansas City) newscast before the show in which there was some Watergate stuff and a sports report about the upcoming Super Bowl between the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings. And man, was it cold in KC that night - below zero!


Probably not one of my favorite episodes. Agree that the coughing, while central to the story, was kind of hard to get through. The WDAF stuff was a nice bonus, as was the Himan Brown spot identifying this as the CBSRMT debut. I discovered these shows near the end of the run, so it's great to hear the early ones.


The coughing didn't bother me. I thought it was central to the storyline to show how sick her border was.


Yes of course! I love the Radio Mystery Theater Pleasant Dreams Everyone Ann

Ann Marshall

Just a good episode, but that is because I listened to so many of them before I heard the maiden episode "The Old Ones are Hard to Kill." This was a solidly acted story. It amazes me that this was the first of 1,399 episodes.

Davy Joe

I agree with Davy Joe - well-put. This was a great debut episode and Agnes Moorehead was her usual superb self!


My favorite Agnes Moorehead was still the Twilight Zone she did in '61. It was called "the invaders" and she played an older, "farm wife" type that had a little problem with aliens on the roof. To pull off an entire half hour without any dialog and still keep people GLUED to the screen is one hell of an accomplishment.

Big Dave

I think it was a HALF hour, not a full hour. But that episode scared the BEEP out of me!


Agnes Moorehead was a true gem of a person I hear. My husband and I are going back and watching all the Bewitched episodes on DVD. We are on the 4th season. I have never seen them all in order. I remember as a kid watching them as reruns on TV and thought how nasty Endora was. Now as an adult watching them, I have totally fallen in love with her. She was an amazing actress and I see her personality shine in these episodes. Wished she would have lived longer so we could have had more great stuff from her.


This takes me back to staying up late listening to the radio to fall asleep. Now if I could find those old dr. Demento shows from California.


The Dr. Demento shows are out there too. J also missed Dr. D on 94.7, little bit a heaven, KMET, twittle D.... The good ole days.


Well acted although the solution to the mystery can be seen coming pretty early on. All in all a solid episode.

John Curran

Mrs. Camby has a tenant that admits to murder on his deathbed. Another tenant rents out the room and mysteriously dies of the same ailment. Not exactly the story line but can't give away the story.


And so we come to the very first episode of the series. The tale is rather simple -- an old woman who lives by herself discovers a secret from a man who lived in her house before he died in his bed. At a loss of what to do, she keeps the secret she holds to herself -- until she discovers a new tenant in her house isn't what he seems. ___ The pilot program for the series starts out with a resounding bang. Very suspenseful even thou it had an obvious twist to it.


Agnes Moorehead is the lead in this, the inaugural play of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater. An old woman rents a room to a man who confesses to murder on his deathbed. She does some minor detective work and talks about her ideas to her next tenant. The man, Stewart Windfield, may not be completely innocent and doesn't seem to have the woman's best interest in mind.


Charming as a first episode, but with the sinister quality that denotes the series. So-so recording.


This was a great episode to kick off the series! (Unfortunately the news of the day in the ABC broadcast included a plane crash in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.) CBSRMT "feels" like a Sunday evening show so it was appropriate that the series would start on a Sunday night. This episode was easy to listen to, very believable and has you wondering how you would react if you found yourself witness to a strange deathbed confession. No moral to the story, other than in E.G.'s epilog that mentions "there is no wisdom and strength like old wisdom and strength." Great acting by Agnes Moorehead.


Elderly Aida Canby gets more than she bargained for when she decides to take on a boader! Shortly after coming to stay, the boarder comes down with a serious illness and in the last moments of life, confesses to a murder. Aida cannot leave well enough alone and decides to investigate the murder further, unaware that she is putting herself in grave danger. The episode boasts a wonderful performance by Agnes Moorehead which lifts this story out of the ordinary. Genre: Suspense


An old woman takes on a border who is ill. As he dies, he makes a strange deathbed confession that gets her into trouble.

Bridgette Jonesboro

I'm not going to offer a critique of the episode here, but I just wanted to express my appreciation to the folks who run this site. This was my introduction to Radio Theater and I have enjoyed not only the CBSRMT but other features from the Golden Age for the last 35 years. I listened to these stories almost every night with my father from about 1977 to his death in 1980. He was a disabled WWII vet and when he found these on KCBS @9:00 p.m. nightly it brought great joy to him to relive the 'good 'ol days' and to pass on the 'theater of the mind' to his son. I encourage everyone who visits this site to appreciate what went into the daily production of an hour-long radio episode for 1399 times and for just basic pay for the actors. I can't think of any television program that can top that! Oh, don't forget to donate to the site. Making these episodes available to us to listen to and to download for the future for free is a real labor of love and should be rewarded. Happy Holidays!

Milt Fisher

Mr Fisher, that is fine comment and sentiment. I am glad you posted it.


An old woman takes on a border who is ill. As he dies, he makes a strange deathbed confession that gets her into trouble. It was the first show, and they were tinkering with EG's role in the show, but all the elements are there.

Jermane Vasquez

Well, if I'm going to get into this, might as well start at the beginning. First episode seeme to me to typify all those that came after it. It could just have well as been written and broadcast long after the show had guaranteed its place in radio history. What happenes when you cross Robert Columbo and Angela Landsbury? You get this episode's main character. A elderly little thing who is a little naive, a little stubborn, and very persistent. Mix in an unfortunate bird-loving lodger who makes a deathbed confession to his landlady. He is replaced by a gentleman with less honorable intentions, sent to 'keep the old lady quiet'. A fun little twist at the end explains the mystery illness.


I'm so glad that I found this site. I have vague, but precious memories of listening to RMT in my childhood. On family road trips we often tuned in. What a great flash back. It's nice to dim the lights, listen to the programme and conjure up my own images of the story line.


For me, Agnes Morehead was first famous for playing Margot Lane, girlfriend of Lamont Cranston, "wealthy man about town". Anyone my age or older will know who Lamont Cranston was famous for being.....

Larry Howell

I used to have a lot of these old radio shows on records, cassettes, and C.D.s, and some of them were episodes of "The Shadow" with Agnes Moorehead. I also used to have a tape of her in the classic story "Sorry, Wrong Number." I noticed the date of this episode was early 1974, which was a few months before Miss Moorehead passed away. This was a about a year after she did the voice of the stuttering female goose in the animated movie "Charlotte's Web," an adaptation of E.B. White's famous children's book of the same name, which also featured the late Debbie Reynolds as the voice of the title character, Charlotte the spider, Henry Gibson as her friend, Wilbur the pig (whom Charlotte saves from being slaughtered for bacon and ham), and comic Paul Lynde as Templeton the selfish rat.

Michael Palmieri

Wished all these episodes will find a new generation of listeners.

Greg Doran

One of my favorite episodes. Big fan of Agnes Morehead. Trivia question: How many episodes of CBS Radio Mystery Theater did Miss Morehead perform in?


Only 2 episodes. Ep.0001-The Old Ones Are Hard To Kill & Ep.0021-The Ring Of Truth Now if you were talking about Suspense, that would be a different kettle of fish. The Suspense radio play that she is well known for is, "Sorry, Wrong Number."


Listening to this episode and Stewart's reaction to Mrs. Camby's cooking, I'm curious about her chicken and dumpling recipe.


Enjoyed this episode. Agnes Moorehead one of my favorites also. I like the way it was done at the end you didnt know if Stewart or Mrs Camby went down the stairs. Agnes Moorehead did a superb job and its an amusing mystery story. However, Leon Janney's character; Stuart Winfield; coughed too much in ACT 3. Other than that, it was a splendid Pilot episode for CBSRMT. Check this episode out, everyone! Very Suspenseful.


I've heard other people complain about the coughing, but I marveled over the fact that he (Janney)could actually make himself sound so sick.


What a great way to premiere a mystery show on CBS Radio, with the First Lady of "Suspense" herself. And she did a great job.


Enjoyed this episode for the mystery! I must say I will be on the lookout for those symptoms around birds


Love Agnes Moorehead. I actually was watching her and Vincent Price in The Bat this morning.


Stuart sounded like the father from the Patty Duke show. (William Schallert) There were a few actors that had his sound. I do remember the excessive coughing too.. I really enjoyed it though.


One of my Favs! I suppose it is to some degree because it was number 1. Can you imagine hearing this the first time it aired? I would have been hooked right then! :) I rate this episode 4 out of 5 Birds! Thanks for choosing this one and everyone should listen!


Thanks for doing this! This was a big thing i looked forward to when I was growing up in the mid to late seventies!


This is a fine episode and with such a great actress as Agnes Morehead. The CBS Radio Mystery Theater was terrific and thank you for putting them on this site. The old time radio shows are great and make you use your imagination.


"The Old Ones Are Hard to Kill" was a great inaugural episode! Though her character is a tired old woman, Moorehead is sincere and charming in the role. Her narration through speaking to herself really works well. I disagree with complaints that Janney's coughing is overboard and annoying. It's actually masterful and contributes to the need for the listener to believe how weak the boarder has become, which is important in the last act. The woman's condemnation of a man because "he took the Lord's name in vain" is delightful, and harkens me back to an era of values that has been lost today. Writer Henry Slesar's story fills the hour well and never drags. Slesar's ability to define characters well through dialogue is evident in "Old Ones" and becomes a hallmark of his masterful writing in subsequent stories. You can listen to a great example of this character development in one of my top three favorite episodes of all time, "Murder Preferred" (#1103). Throughout the CBSRMT series, my greatest enjoyment comes when the writing is such that we clearly understand the motives of a character and what makes them tick. Even more masterful is when a writer (and of course the actor) accomplishes this while at the same time making the listener genuinely care about the character. This is one of the keys to great writing, great acting, and a great radio drama. I give the CBSRMT premier 4 stars out of 5. JUROR #4


I had downloaded all the episodes years ago and listened to most of them on my drive to/from work as it was 30-40 minutes each way for quite a while. I remember listening to some of them when I was young and we were driving somewhere at night and would listen on my clock radio as well when I remembered to listen. Still fun to listen to and this is one that I remember clearly, although not all episodes are memorable. In general a good episode I think.


While I've been an avid listener over the years if I heard this episode I forgot. It was nice to hear Agnes Moorehead again. I remember her from "The Shadow" with Orson Welles, "Rebecca" as Mrs. Danvers, and "Dark Passage" with Bogart and Bacall. This was a good episode for her and fit her very nicely.

thomas kiefner

Today is the 40th anniversary of this first episode which was January 6, 1974. I listened to CBS RMT on 580 A.M. WIBW radio in Topeka, Kansas. These episodes came on from 10 to 11 most evenings. I was 14 when these episodes started. Ironically, the temperature that night of the first episode was around 0 degrees outside just like tonight will be. What is strange is my son and only child was born 20 years later on January 6, 1994. He is 20 today. I am 54 and still enjoy listening to these episodes.

Don Heiland,Jr

Mr. Heiland....How neat of you to post about today being the 40th Anniv of the CBSRMT, and that you listened on WIBW 580. I remembered today was the 40th Anniv myself, so I checked for something online commemorating it. Way cool about your son's B-day on Jan 6!! I also listened on 580 WIBW (lived near Emporia, KS), and remembered it starting at about 10:30 p.m., my bedtime. I loved the CBSRMT, the creepy sounds and stories could make a young 11 year old boy squirm Sometimes I heard it on other A.M. stations at different times. My very favorite was Dracula, 1st broadcast on May 2, 1974. I just posted on that episode. That wonderful spring night became quite Long live the memories of the CBSRMT and congratulations for it being remembered 40 years later. My 70's radio memories are highlighted by the great work of the CBSRMT. Here's to the next 40 years.......pleasant dreams???


Mr. Heiland's post brought back memories for me as well. I wouldn't have noticed that it was the 40th anniversary if I hadn't seen it. I remember listening to that broadcast, as well. I was 10 years old. I took my dad's radio from the kitchen and stayed up past my 9 o'clock bedtime without my parents' permission just to hear the new radio show that I had heard advertised on the local CBS affiliate in my hometown of Eugene, OR. I eventually used my allowance to buy my own radio and I remained a loyal listener until the local affiliate stopped carrying the show in 1976. I forgot about the show until the Summer 1982 when I happened to come across it while driving home to Eugene from a summer job in Pullman, WA. It sure brought back great memories. I'm so glad that this web site is here. I play episodes in my office at work and it makes the day go much faster. I get to hear replays of some of my old favorites as well as hear some great episodes for the first time. As Bill said, "[H]ere's to the next 40 years....


Agnes Moorehead always does great terror and suspense. Her characters are such adorable and intelligent old ladies that I can't help feeling distressed when they are threatened such as in 'The Old Ones Are Hard to Kill' or 'Sorry, Wrong Number'. I always wish I could be there to rescue them. I have been a fan of these shows since childhood and they kept me awake many nights. I would always make sure to be in bed by the time E.G. Marshall came on to introduce the episode.

James Matthews

The very first CBS Radio Mystery Theater drama starred the great Agnes Moorehead,who,of course,was a veteran of the Golden Age of radio,often on "Suspense",and one of the most famous shows,"Sorry,Wrong Number"(Written by Lucille Fletcher). "The Old Ones are Hard to Kill" was written by Henry Slesar.According to the book 'Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers',edited by Lesley Henderson,the original short story was first published in 'Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine' in January,1965.

Robert Kent

A great introduction to CBS Radio Mystery Theater. I love Agnes Morehead


I have to comment. My goodness, what an incredible talent Agnes Moorehead was. She does not get enough credit, honestly. I've listened to hundreds of RMTs, and this is my absolute favorite solely because of how vividly Agnes Moorehead brought the character of Mrs. Canby to life. Actually, all of the characters here are just so incredibly alive in this production. If I were to try and turn anyone on to old time radio drama, this would be the thing to have them listen to. The visualizations here are remarkable. The struggle towards the stairs is truly disturbing, as the listener really can't be certain that Mrs. Canby won't be killed. Such a likeable protagonist -- you just can't bear the thought of such a horrible end for her. Bravo to this episode and Agnes Moorehead.

Dan Williams

We used to listen to these programs on the radio while driving home from my grandparents house think on Sunday evenings in Metro Detroit. I don't recall which radio station we heard them on. We always enjoyed the shows though. How great to run across them online so I can listen to them again. I am definitely checking out more episodes.


Agnes Moorehead was also the first Margot Lane, to Orson Welles' Lamont Cranston/The Shadow.


Ramifam: that would be "WWJ news radio 95". And yes it was on sunday night. Same station I listened to, from up north( dirt bikin) all the way home (Flushing). I just listened to all 1399 episodes again for the 2nd time. Well the ones you can hear. I love this site and will go through all 1399 again, sometime, soon.

Randy McLeod

Excellent episode! I almost didn't listen to it because of the 3-star rating, and so many episodes have mediocre ratings. Who rated these?? Most of the comments, here, say great things about this episode! I'm not paying any attention to the ratings, anymore. Thank goodness I gave this one a try because it starred Agnes Moorehead. Now, I know the star ratings are ridiculous and should be ignored. Going by them gives the impression CBSRMT wasn't a very good show! Any chance of getting rid of them???

Ronald Gary

Agnes Morehead has the most amazing voice. Thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

Gina Schackel

Use to have a clock radio that was on a stained wood barrel that served as a night stand in my room as a kid. Use to listen to the rock stations around Los Angeles most of the time. Would listen to KNXT in Los Angeles later in the night to listen to CBS RMT. It was some great stuff. Brings back memories. Some buried treasure here. The squeaky door and "This is EG Marshall" and that sound of dread. Great stuff. Feels like tuning into a time machine. For me it's the late 70's(that's when I started listening to RMT) and early 80's again with these commercials.


lol The room is $35 a week :) Loved listening to this under the blankets as a child on an old AM radio. You had to really use your imagination. tim


I was in 8th grade in January, 1974. Fairly warm winter, not much snow. Imagine taking on a boarder and this is your first experience. Good accent by Agnes Moorehead. At times you have to listen close to realize it's really her.

Tim Lingenfelter

CBSMT plays best at night as everyone knows and the miles just evaporate. We get a kick out of hearing episodes where actors play multiple characters which Leon Janney marvelously performed in this one. The coughing did not bother us as we realized they were setting up the story. Nice twist on the end as so many of these productions had. Like the Twilight Zone, part of the fun was figuring out the twist and resolution to a story. A very big part of the success of the CBSMT was the usage of sound effects and musical cues which were just superb, exceptionally masterful.


mark well I remember listing to these stories when I was 7 yrs old on a small am trasirer radio and a ear phone in my ear and my mom getting mad at me about claiming she could hear the radio when the ear I had the earphone in was buried in the pillow and she was waiting up for my dad to get home and 5 days a week at 11 pm at night on a Detroit radio station WWJ 950 am when I was supposed to be sleeping one of my favorite story was a about a man and his trench coat that he was desperate to get back


This are complete works of art! Now...turn on todays programing on television. You may need a bag before attempting this.

Dan the Man

I discovered this program during the 70's while living in husband worked at Ford Motor Company and he and the kids went to bed by 8:30 or so. I finished laundry, cleaning and stuff from the time they went to sleep until about 11:00. (I thought I discovered a gem. I was right!) Every night at 11:07, e.g. marshell would come on and my pulse would quicken..and there I would be..listening in the dark..just sure no one else knew about this treasure. LOL..(I was willing to give up precious sleep time for this program!!) Since I have rediscovered this program online, I will admit that I still turn it on at 11:07..and sure enough..the years fall away..and it's 1977 again. and I fall asleep..happy..(I no longer have the same chores any more, but I am still awake at 11:00!!) Thank you!

Peggy-mom of 9!

I'm revisiting the series for the umpteenth time! Dear Agnes...


i love the radio programs when i was young i use to listen to them when i laid down to bed i would grab my radio and then listen to the great stories


Not a late night went by without me listening to the Radio Mystery Theater Broadcast with my flashlight and bedcovers to protect me while completing homework. I'm 13 years old all over again, listening to this episode. That's about 41 years ago! The episodes are still spooky!

Still Spooked!

I loved Agnes Moorehead..and the twilight zone episode of her vs. alien was FANTASTIC. Not one word was uttered, but she nailed it. This one "The old ones are hard to kill" is one of my "Top 10" that I go to just when I want company.

Peggy Converse

I was 9 when this episode aired in Dayton Ohio I see most of the rest of the country was listening too. An earlier post said the CBRMT came on at 11:07 it was same time it aired in Dayton also. I love these shows raised my three daughters listening to these when we went camping in Oregon and they are letting their children listen to them also. It was a great time to be a kid. My old AM clock radio has since been replacec with technology but these shows are great no matter what era it is!


So great to find these again. I used to listen to them every night in 1976. I had to get up for school the next morning so I forced myself to stay awake as not to miss the episode. Another friend at school also listened to them and we would talk about them the next day. Radio is amazing.Unlike TV you have to use your imagination.

anne marie

I was nine years old growing up in the Albany NY area when CBSRMT started and I accidentally found it while tuning my old am radio and locking onto a station in NYC, which only came through late at nights. It wasn't aired locally and the signal would drift in and out during the show but I was completely addicted. Lucky my parents didn't know that I was staying up that late or there would have been trouble.


I was 9 years old and tucked a battery powered AM radio under my pillow and listened to the Mystery Theater for years while living on West Wood St in Decatur, Illinois. What a treasure to find this site 40+years later. I can't wait to listen to every single one of them. What a treasure !


Hello fellow CBS Mystery Theater listeners! Wow! I thought this was lost forever! Back in '74,I also listened to this radio show with a transistor radio tucked under my pillow at nights so my parents couldn't hear. I was looking for this for years on the net,but I forgot it was E.G.Marshall who narrated the show. I had been looking it up under Orsen Welles name,because I remember hearing his name as a kid. Today I totally found this accidentally by looking up what was popular back in 1974,for nostalgia purposes. The Game of Life,Stratego and this came up! Yeah! Wish Millenials could get turned on to the mystery of storytelling fused with your own imagination.Incredbible!

David Kersul

I love the shows. Father used to tell me to keep it down. The radio was up and I enjoyed every single episodes


AWESOME! I remember the mystery theatre from when I was a teenager! I love it so much I just can't express it! I'm so glad you keep this going! Just don't get great acting like this anymore! Thank you from Logansport, IN.

Jim bowman

Like many of you I can remember crawling into bed on Sunday nights in the mid seventies and listening to CBSRMT before going to sleep. I have to thank my dad for turning me on to such a great show! I have no clue why a random Google search brought me here...but I'm glad it did.


As an avid reader of suspense and thriller fiction, I love listening to these stories when my eyes are not up to the task. Thank you CBS!

Frank Reid

The CBS RMT is one of the most treasured memories of my adolescence. Every night at 11:07 on good ole' WGL in Fort Wayne, IN. The greatest Christmas present of all time was an AM/FM/Cassette combo that allowed me to record the episodes without using a radio and microphone set-up. Tell you kids (or grand kids)about this site and share the joy!


Think of the irony here regarding the incredible Agnes Moorehead. Several people have commented on the classic Twilight Zone story, "The Invaders" in which she was the only actor and had no lines of dialogue, yet here she is in a radio drama in which there is nothing but dialogue! And is absolutely terrific in both. That takes a special kind of talent and she had it. Considering some of the roles she had, she must have considered playing Endorra on "Bewitched" as an absolute lark. I know she and Dick York, the original Darren, struck up a great friendship and she was extremely upset when he had to leave because of his problems with his back.


My first cbsrmt in the 70s comes with a story. My parents bought an ancient radio that hardly worked, it was more a centerpiece for the living room. I would turn the dial millimeters at a time, hoping to lock in a frequency. Eventually, I did! It was a supernatural mystery reminiscent of programs of a bygone era and I was certain our old radio had pulled up an old mystery show. For a teen with an active imagination, this was straight out of Twilight Zone. Eventually I learned the truth, but I'll never forget the magic of that night, listening rapt to every word and not wanting it to end. Now in my 50s, my wife and I are avid online gamers, occasionally glancing at the TV. Having re-found this show, we both prefer it over network/cable/***flix programming while we play.


Great episode, reminds me of my childhood back before the war.


My childhood would not have been the same without Radio Mystery Theater. I'll never forget sitting in my room at mom and dads listening to the episodes all them late nights ago.


Wow, I'm so happy I found all these and your site. Very good episode. I also listened as a youngster in Los Angeles.... Two episodes that always stood out for me was the "Village of Fools" (#863), and another episode I cannot quite remember the name, but I always remember a lady screaming "It's in my hair" and my cousin and me to this day, some 40 years later still say "It's in my hair" and laugh a bit, albeit we were scared then.....


Great to see this site. As a kid, I stayed up late every night to listen to RMT on a tiny transistor radio with an earplug. I was fascinated. There was nothing on the radio like this by the 1970s. Of course, older folks told me that radio dramas, mysteries, comedies, etc... were once quite common. This show piqued my interest in Old Time Radio and once the Internet got rolling, I started amassing a huge collection (via Usenet). Of course RMT was my first target and I managed to collect all episodes by the late 90s, one episode at a time (at dial up speeds). Nice to have this site available for it's episode guides. I've also sent my nieces, nephews and other younger folks here to experience some great entertainment that doesn't require looking at a screen of some kind.

John G.

CBS RMT was a monumental benchmark for radio drama - even in the decades of technological change! As a student in Denver in the 70's I enjoyed the live broadcasts; and today I enjoying them once again! An epic collection literary artistry!! So glad they're all archived!!!

RJ Crossfield

CBS RMT was a monumental benchmark for radio drama - even in the decades of technological and communications change. As a student in Denver in the 1970's, I enjoyed the broadcasts on WKOA-AM; and today I am enjoying them once again. An epic collection of literary artistry. So glad they are all archived!

RJ Crossfield

Ada Canby has reached her golden years with her sense of independence intact, with a spryness in her limbs, and with very good vision and excellent hearing. But Ada soon learns that there are times when good hearing is not a blessing, proving once and for all that when it comes to murder, there’s no fool like an old fool.


I remember the ads announcing that this was going to start, (way back when). I was hooked from the beginning.


This show premiered when I was 9 years old, and remember our elementary school teacher recording it on his reel to reel tape recorder at home. He`d bring it to school, and have us listen to some of the episodes in class.

Robert R

sheesh...this agnes moorehead should be thrown in jail for practically murdering this poor hacking fellow...she's a cold-hearted attempted killer herself! Brutally neglectful. Cold-hearted killer pretending to care by making him soup...not to mention the constant interruption about some murder while he's trying to rest and keeping that murder weapon of a parrot. Chilling.


Thank you. I love CBS Mystery Theater.

Jamie Lavigne

I Have found memories of listening to CBS mystery theater back in 1970s.


I grew up listening to Radio Mystery Theater and remember listening to it under my covers with a transistor radio. I am so happy I found this site. I listened to all 1,399 episodes and thought I would listen to them all again and give my opinions. For what they are worth. The first episode is a good one, with Agness Moorehead taking the lead role. It follows the form of the rest of the episodes except E.G. Marshall does not really do an introduction. This is not really a mystery, but rather a story. I liked it. It was engaging both times I listened to it.


I'm so glad a friend told me about this program! I'm thoroughly enjoying this! I loved this first episode the sweet innocent old lady, full of care and concern. Trying to keep to herself and not get involved but ends up very involved. I wished Ii had heard these originally, what was I doing? Mostly homework and reading! lol Great program!


All episodes? Fantastic ! The creaking door at the beginning is cut off ? What a shame !


Who else but Agnes Moorehead could star in the kick-off episode number 1 and make it work. No one.


Having Agnes Moorehead kick-off episode 1 is great. Listening to this episode is timeless.


I listened to all these episodes on wcau 1210 am in philadelphia. I would run to my bedroom at 9:00. I would have to wait through 7 minutes of news at the top of the hour then it would start at 9:07. I had actually recorded about 200 episodes on cassette tapes back in the day. Unfortunately they did not survive the heat of the attic. I look forward to purchasing all the episodes in the near future.

Dan Gysi

I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)


I love these... I like listening to them around Halloween, they have a Halloween feel to them.


Her thoughtful, often psychological themes can be profoundly moving for me.(I recognize that she is not everyone’s “cup of tea”. I have heard other listeners complain that it is not the standard fare of radio mystery theater. So be it..) “The Train Stops” is an exemplar. It explores the difficulty of a single father, a physician, raising a daughter who’s mother died in childbirth. It weaves into the story an empathetic station master, and the 5:16 train. (It doesn’t hurt that I have a deep nostalgia for when the USA had decent passenger service.) It is a poignant, if frustrating love story of the daughter. I often imagine that Elspeth Eric, one of my favorite authors of radio dramas, is often revealing some of her inner personal thoughts and struggles. My heart is still struggling with the themes presented.


I agree.. Her episodes remind me of some of the best Twilight Zones, very intelligent and thought provoking..


With appearances in over 70 films and television programs, Felicia Farr became well known as a staple of westerns, including the movies, Jubal, the Last Wagon and 3:10 to Yuma, and the television shows, Wagon Train and Bonanza. Incidentally, she was married to the well known actor Jack Lemmon from 1962 until his death in 2001.


Lon Clark appeared in two Broadway productions and a small handful of films and television programs but it was radio that constituted the majority of his acting career. He appeared on dozens of different radio programs over a 30 year period included Lights Out and the Mysterious Traveler but he is best remembered for his portrayal of Nick Carter, Master Detective on the Mutual Network from 1943 through 1955.


Len Cariou has appeared in 19 Broadway productions and is best remembered for his performances in Sweeney Todd. He has appeared in over 100 films and television shows and is currently seen in Blue Bloods, in which he has appeared in over 200 episodes.


Just about to turn the age of 65. Seems like just yesterday that I was in my 20's and started my collection of the series on cassettes from our local radio station. It was new at the time. I listened to the show for hours. I then uploaded the whole series onto my laptop and now they are on my phone and tablet for portability. I especially listen to them in the evening. I can't get over how the series stands up to the test of time. I can listen to each show repeatedly. I also enjoy old radio shows that my parents used to listen to


This show, more than any other, had a lot of shows about the occult and ESP. But, remembering the 70s, those were big themes. Those shows feel dated to me, but I still enjoy them all


Joe Silver was best known for his deep, rich baritone voice, which was highly sought after for narration, voice over and radio work. He had a 40+ year career on radio, stage and screen with regular performances in numerous Broadway productions and appearances in over 80 films and television shows, including his work on the daytime soap operas, The Edge of Night and Ryan's Hope.


James McCallion had a 40+ year career as an actor in radio. He had a number of appearances on Broadway and had over 100 appearances in film and television. In radio, he appeared in dozens of radio shows including the Cavalcade of America, the Mysterious Traveler, Broadway is My Beat and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. His television appearances include Alfred Hitchcock presents, the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, the Invaders and Night Gallery. His film appearances include PT 109, Coogan's Bluff and the Alfred Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest.


Tonight’s episode was “Ninety Lives” starring Fred Gwynne. He plays a short order cook in a greasy Spoon diner and ironically, his character’s name is...Muldoon. I didn’t notice any character in it named Tooty.


I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s


I think Fred Gwynne was in 82 episodes. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)


Richard Mulligan had a 40+ year acting career, appearing in a number of Broadway productions and over 100 appearances in film and television. He is best remembered for his work in the TV sitcoms, Soap and Empty Nest. He also did voice acting work in a number of animated films and TV shows including Hey Arnold! and the Angry Beavers. His awards include 2 Emmys and a Golden Globe.


I always liked him. I had no idea he was in some episodes!


One funny dude. I so loved him on SOAP when he would snap his fingers and wave his arms and pretend like he was invisible. My mom loved him too. She damn near peed her pants every time he did that.


Todd Davis had a 30+ year acting career and is best remembered for his work on the daytime soap operas, One Life to Live and General Hospital.


Mary Orr wrote a number of published stories and plays, including the short story, The Wisdom of Eve which was the basis for the Academy Award winning film All About Eve. She acted in a dozen Broadway productions and produced plays with her husband, director-playwright Reginald Denham. She is remembered for her television appearances in Lights Out, Suspense and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Another strange, yet fascinating tale by Ian Martin. In 1972, he wrote episode #0022-TIME AND AGAIN that involved a clock that needed blood. In this story, it’s a plant that needs blood. This was entertaining, but it felt like it was cut short because it all had to be wrapped up in a 1-hour episode. It would’ve been nice if there was a 4th Act so we get to know more about the vampire plant or hear the women in this story do their narrations on how they felt about their situations. This story would be great for a low-budget horror movie. The title is an eye-catcher. Another way to title this would be “Blood Red Blossoms” or “Night Of The Blood Seeker.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with the classic expression of the Worm that turned. Meaning, this is a story about a meek character that gets pushed too far and eventually retaliates. In ACT-1, meet our main character Hubbart “Hubby” Quint: A Mama’s Boy. In ACT-2, his mother is out of the picture and he is free to be with the woman he loves, but he’s puzzled if his girlfriend’s mysterious plant was involved. Also, what do we know about his lover and was this part of her plan? In ACT-3, E.G. Marshall’s train of thought on plants that are named differently. In the end, where everything goes “up in smoke,” our Host knows that we think this story’s unbelievable. In his Epilogue, a satisfying Resolution, followed by the Latin phrase: “De mortise nil nice bonum” (Of the dead, say nothing but good). The sound effects of body tuckered in bed, typewriter, phone ringing, lamp switch, piano music in the background, ferry whistle, slow ballroom music, doorbell, coffee pouring, car engine, cups clinking, footsteps, tires screech, keys, doors, and massive explosion were supportive. Great selection of dramatic tunes, but too much of it being played in the final Act. More importantly, our cast: Robert Dryden (as Hubbart Quint), Joan Shay (as Birdie Quint and Ms. Bradley), Teri Keane (as Dolores Masterson), and Ian Martin (as Dr. Ezekiel Harwich and Mr. Bell). These 4 worked tremendously. I adored Teri Keane’s performance because she sounded kind-hearted and then sly to those that her character loved, whether human or plant. And Robert Dryden was excellent in his leading role. Anyone that’s interested in vampire tales, even if the vampires have no speaking roles, you should check this episode out and of course #0022-TIME AND AGAIN. Other vampire stories I recommend are #0301-NIGHTMARE’S NEST and #0081-SUNSET TO SUNRISE. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


LOVED this progam, and yes, it did remind me of another Ian Martin joint, the excellent "Time and again", with John Beal in the role Robert Dryden does here. What made this episode was the music bed (if you can call it that) that I remember being used only in one other RMT episode: "The long, long sleep". I don't know how to rightfully describe this piece (used often when the plant is "doing its thing") except it seems like ghoulish little cries and echoes over a semi-percussive sound bed that evokes unseen tendrils reaching out and touching whatever they can find. When we had our gift store in Georgia (early 2000s) one work day in spring (after having discovered that episodes of the RMT were downloadable on platforms like Napster) I downloaded this show to one of our work computers and was playing it around 8:00 AM on a very sunny, pleasant morning. As of yet I was the only one in the office. When that music bed started my skin started crawling uncontrollably. I'll never forget that feeling.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Nancy Moore’s story was predictable, but still enjoyable. Predictable because the hand of a killer, transplanted to another person, was going to create havoc again. Enjoyable because it’s interesting to see where this story is going to go and figure out how to solve the problem of a cursed hand. The episode’s title is suitable, but a better way to title this would be “The Hand Of Murder” or a funny pun like, “You Are Under A Wrist.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall focused on tales beyond logic, especially the supernatural. In ACT-1, the story is set at a University Hospital where a madman has killed 5 blonde nurses and one of our main characters tells the story. After suspicions occur, our Host does question if the antagonist still exists in a hand? In ACT-2, the killer’s hate spreads through the doctor’s body and the victim of this story must take drastic actions. In ACT-3, questioning more on the supernatural. More importantly, in the end, it all worked out. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall’s optimism on microsurgery techniques that could lead to future miracles. Our Host did a wonderful job in his narrations. The sound effects of doors, siren alarm whistle, footsteps, key lock, gun shots, bandage snips, car engine running, tires screech, the slap on the face, boat horn, and delicate music playing in the background at the dining room scene were helpful in this story. As for the music, good choice selection of dramatic tunes and suspenseful tunes, however, there was too much of it in the 3rd Act. The romantic track in the final scene was a nice touch, though. And finally, our cast: Russell Horton (as Dr. Daniel Crane and Jed Grant), Diana Kirkwood (as Nurse Laurel Blair and Zarina), and Mandel Kramer (as Dr. Stewart Courtney and the Waiter). Each of them got to play 2 roles in this and they worked perfectly together. I would say that this is a decent episode to check out. Also, if anyone is looking for more mystery episodes involving Hands, I recommend Ep. #0080-THE HAND (based on the story by Guy de Maupassant). Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. What’s great about this story, written by Ralph Goodman, is that it keeps you guessing if it’s supernatural or not. Even the ending was a big surprise. This kind of mystery would’ve been perfect if it was shown on THE NIGHT GALLERY. The episode’s title fits for this story. Another way to title this would be “Entering The 3rd Floor” or “The Locket.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic focuses on psychiatrists and a brief history of it in 1793. In ACT-1, meet our main character at the main location: Briarwood Sanitarium. As the story progresses with a mysterious voice, our Host questions to see if it’s making nightly visits to one particular patient. In ACT-2, an important reference to “The Malleus Maleficarum” (a.k.a. “The Hammer Of Withes”) that described the extermination of witches and demons. After a few turn of events in the story, including the murder of a patient, the doctor is convinced that his patient is not a murderer. In ACT-3, comparing the madness in this story with the madness from “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. After the burning finale, our Host explained what happened from the Police Report. Truly, a surprising clue that no one saw coming. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off by questioning on Sanity and a quote by Carl Menger on his definition of “patient.” Excellent narrations from beginning to end. Sound effects of the thunderstorm, door latch, tableware clinking, tape recorder, door knocks, file folders, bell toll, footsteps, low howling wind, newspaper clippings, phone ringing, key lock, locket, car engine running, tires screech, police and fire sirens, and massive fire were helpful for this story. A lot of dramatic tunes were played in this tale and they worked well. Now onto our cast: Paul Hecht (as Doctor Paul Thurman), Marian Seldes (as Nurse Margaret Palmer), Joan Lovejoy (as Agatha Milford), and Ian Martin (as Detective Charles Connelly). Both of the actors were terrific. And both of the actresses were awesome! Joan Lovejoy, alone, was amazing in her role for playing a lonely patient and playing the mysterious voice that keeps that patient company. It’s one of Joan Lovejoy’s best performances on CBSRMT. Tune in to this if you enjoy mystery stories inside Sanitariums. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials/announcements of CBS Radio News, Greyhound services, Barbara Hale on the music from “The Bicentennial Album,” music from KIXI radio in Seattle, Budweiser, Wet Ones Hand Wipes, Mother Teresa on the Catholic Relief Services, Coffee Rich Creamer, US Dept. of Labor, Pat Summerall on True Value Hardware, the Mental Health Association, the 1976 Buick Century, the Leukemia Association, Aperitif Wine, Tunaverse, Howard Da Silva as Ben Franklin on Eyes, and Insurance Companies in phone books. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Sam Dann wrote an intriguing mystery involving revenge and superstition. However, it felt cliché: a main character ignores the rules from the natives and her comrades, so she ends up being cursed to eat raw meat. Cliché to be some kind of She-wolf in horror films. It would be awesome if the Beast Goddess came to life and came across the woman for wearing one of her possessions and have a terrific battle in the final act-Mortal Vs. Goddess. The title is catchy, but another way to title this tale would be “The Agitated Curse” or “Raw Meat.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall mentions the names of certain women that created catastrophic things, which leads to our main character: Milly. In ACT-1, question to see if there’s a difference between man and beast and does the beast still exist within us? In ACT-2, after many conflicts in the jungle, our Host points out that knowledge abdicates in the face of the unknown terror of the jungle. In ACT-3, comparing this situation with a line from William Shakespeare’s HAMLET (from Act 1, Scene 5). After the happy ending, our Host reminds us that it’s best to have another course of action in reserve. And was Milly cured by superstition or medicine? In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall states that the sign of the beast can happen at anytime and it appears much too often in today’s world. That maybe true, however, he forgot to mention a Resolution in this story. The happy ending was the Climax, but nothing to follow afterwards. Did Milly leave the jungle right away? Did her husband and her uncle continue to look for more artifacts? Did the natives continue to worship the Beast Goddess? A mystery we may never solve. Anyway, the cast in this was decent: Lois Smith (as Milly), Paul McGrath (as Larry and Dr. Bert Jorgenson), Tom Keene (as Kevin), and Dan Ocko (as Aymara). The actors played their parts well. Our leading actress was good, but I think she over did it when she hollered out her lines of raw meat. And if Lois Smith’s character was craving for meat, perhaps she could’ve growled and snarled to make it sound like she was becoming a beast. But Lois Smith did get better overtime in her roles in #0041-BLIZZARD OF TERROR and #0201-THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. But my favorite parts in this episode, were the sound effects and the music. Sounds of the helicopter hovering, jungle noises, footsteps on the ground, gun shots, silverware clinking, tribal music, archaeological tools scraping, sizzling meat, and jungle leaves ruffling were super helpful and supportive. And the music had great suspenseful tracks that fit for a jungle story. Tune in to this one if you enjoy mysteries on jungles and curses. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials/announcements of CBS Radio News, Sine-Off tablets, the Heroin Addiction Hotline, letters to KIXI AM/FM in Seattle, Budweiser, Kellogg’s Special K cereal, the American Heart Association, and the song of “I’ll Be There.” Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. This is, hands down, one the greatest Revenge stories in the CBSRMT series! Percy Granger’s Western tale had pure drama, clever tactics of retaliation, and it keeps you guessing on who the 3rd and Final person is that wronged our main character. The discovery is an eye-opener, but very compelling to understand why. The episode’s 1-word title is satisfactory. Other ways to title this would be “Hardness Of The Heart” or “The 3rd Victim” or even “The Oriental Principle.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about secrets to be kept when it comes to money. In ACT-1, the story takes place in Denver in the 1880’s and we get to meet the 1st antagonist. Once he’s gone at the end of the Act, E.G. Marshall mentions a part in the Bible where it’s compared to this event. In ACT-2, questioning on crime and punishment as we meet our 2nd antagonist. More importantly, save the best for last on who is the 3rd person. In ACT-3, note that the the best laid plans of men can go astray. After the realization of who the 3rd person was, our Host reminds us that life’s most precious possessions aren't materialism. It was love, trust, and salvation. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall leaves with a pondering thought on why a man acts against his better judgment? The answer is a mystery. Great detailed narrations, such as these, shouldn’t be forgotten. Sound effects of background noise at the Saloon, doors, doorbell dings, footsteps, howling wind, dog barking, birds cawing, playing cards, patrons murmuring, paper receipt, animal howling, paper money, gun shots, drinking glasses, and body thuds were very supportive in this. As for the music, great list of dramatic tracks. Not too suspenseful, not too old western-like, just perfect tunes that were fitting for a tale on revenge. Now for the grand finale, our outstanding cast: Gordon Heath (as Ben Thompson), Robert Dryden (as Jade Wanamaker and Herbert Beall), Leon Janney (as The Sheriff and Maxie), Bryna Raeburn (as Cabin Mary and Esther Wanamaker), and Gilbert Mack (as Clem McFarland). Leon Janney, Bryan Raeburn, and Gilbert Mack were great in their supporting roles. But Robert Dryden, playing 2 villains, was fantastic. As for Gordon Heath, he stole the show! His performance in this was dynamic as his performance in #0921-THE GREY SLAPPER. I highly recommend this episode to all that enjoy tales about revenge, especially when it takes place in the Old West. SPECIAL NOTE: If you listen to the next episode’s preview, it’s a scene from #0676-BOOMERANG. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. The variety of characters that James Agate, Jr. created were unique and splendid. The story, however, was slow and it got more interesting in the second half. The plot itself was eye-catching, felt like it was going to be a “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” tale. And when the leading lady in this story got her revenge on her husband, there’s no shocking twist at the end. Nor a mind-blowing surprise where someone ends up dead. It would make more sense if the character, Henrietta, narrated the story on how she got her revenge, since the title is catchy. Another way to title this episode would be “Plot, Plan, And Punish.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about Revenge. In ACT-1, we’ll meet 2 of our main characters; one successful lady and the other is a man who's a born loser. In ACT-2, after noticing the dilemmas of love and money, the question remains: how far Henrietta will put up with her husband? In ACT-3, E.G. Marshall quotes a Shakespeare line from Silvius from AS YOU LIKE IT about stupidity within love. In the end, our antagonist gets caught. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with 2 quotes from William Congreve that relate to the heroine and the villain. His narrations were good. All that was missing was the Resolution. We know that the Climax is that our main antagonist will be punished, but what happens to our leading lady? Does she get an annulment? Does she get her money back? Do the other characters get married? Is there a promotion for them? Does our leading lady find someone knew to marry? So many questions and we may never know what the outcome will be for the remaining characters. Sound effects of the roulette table, casino players murmuring, doors, bouquet of flowers, telephones, typewriter, seagulls, ice cubes, fog horn, crystal glasses clinking and breaking, the slap (at the 30-minute 30-second mark), footsteps, and the background noise at the airport, were great. What’s even greater, was the variety of music. A variety of tunes that were sentimental, chilling, delicate, suspenseful, and even adding tracks from THE TWILIGHT ZONE series were terrific. And finally, our cast: Patricia Elliott (as Henrietta Tufts), Joyce Gordon (as Jill Kramer), Robert Kaliban (as Fritz and Tom Hayward), and Mandel Kramer (as Sergio Varese and Carl Eaton). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown was the voice of the Cruise Ship P.A. system and the voice of Captain Connolly. Both Mandel Kramer and Robert Kaliban did wonderful on their roles. As for Patricia Elliott and Joyce Gordon, these 2 were amazing for playing characters that were classy, sharp-witted, and proficient in their line of work. A decent Drama-Mystery. ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE: If you listen to the next episode’s preview, it’s a scene from #1245-THE JUDGE’S HOUSE. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. James Agate, Jr. wrote intriguing adaptions for CBSRMT, such as #0958-SHADOWS FROM THE GRAVE from Wilkie Collins and #1107-THE MYSTERIOUS HANGING OF SQUIRE HUGGINS from Nathaniel Hawthorne. But this story, from T.L. Neuger, is a mystery of its own. Hardly any information on who T.L. Neuger was or when this story was originally published. All that we know, is that “Romany” is the Gypsy language. As for the crime solver in this tale, Detective Dwight Mason was OK, but not as momentous like Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen, Hercule Poirot, or Sherlock Holmes. A suitable whodunnit story, but another way to title this would be “The Hunch” or even “Enmity Of The Gypsy.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about Gypsies and how they live by their own code. In ACT-1, enmity comes into play and people can solve crimes without being a professional detective. In ACT-2, quoting a Roman Dramatist on how a fortune can make men do evil acts. Later, questions come about on who’s the real culprit. In ACT-3, learn more about Gypsies on their ethical code. After the case has been solved, E.G. Marshall quotes the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes on Gypsies. In his Epilogue, it ends on the topic of Revenge. From Gypsies, to Enmity, to quotations, to revenge, our Host’s narrations were very informative. Sound effects of boat horns, howling wind, doors, doorbells, traffic city noise, car engines, telephones, elevator lift humming, body thud, beeps at the Hospital, background noise at the Airport, footsteps, pushing the skylight, and gypsy dance music were accommodating. Dramatic music tunes played in all 3 Acts were supportive to the story’s tone. Now for our wonderful cast: Court Benson (as Detective Dwight Mason), Earl Hammond (as William Harrow, Luis Ortega, and Jose Silva/Raoul), and Bryna Raeburn (as Madame Magda and Beatrice Harrow). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown played the role of Dr. Grace. Bryna Reburn, playing the talkative Gypsy, was splendid. Earl Hammond pulled it off with his multiple roles. And Court Benson played a decent detective. Great cast, terrific sounds, informative narrations, but the story needed a good punch; a bigger drive to captivate the CBSRMT listeners. Other than that, it’s a good Drama-Mystery. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. G. Frederick Lewis’ adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s 1883 short story of “A Piece Of String” was simple to follow. A Drama-Mystery where the main character was accused of a crime that he did not commit and died in the end with a damaged heart. However, this episode took place in the 20th Century. And Guy de Maupassant’s original story took place in the 19th Century of Goderville, France. But the ironic twist was in the story, though. Episode’s title is good, but another way to title it would be “Too Honest To Be A Criminal” or “The Art Of Retaliation.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts right off with mentioning Guy De Maupassant’s name. In ACT-1, story begins with 2 characters: Peter and Harry at San Francisco’s Embarcadero Pier 24. After listening to his back story of a missing possession, it’s a battle between guiltiness and innocence. Inner Voice VS. Outer Truth. In ACT-2, our Host quotes a line from Iago in William Shakespeare’s OTHELLO about robbing someone of their good name. Later, evidence against our main character was overwhelming and disobedience in court could send him behind bars. In ACT-3, pointing out that Anger & Bitterness make an ugly brew. More than that, a quote from Shylock from THE MERCHANT OF VENICE about villainy. In the end, the irony is that our main character died before he got to live. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall concludes on how revenge was indeed sweet just for Harry the fisherman. These narrations he gave us were informative and compelling to the story. Sound effects of buoys, boat horns, water waves, howling wind, background noise at the Health Club, footsteps, passkeys, lockers, doors, bell tolls, dialing of rotary phone, murmurs in the court room, gavel bang, store bell ring, and newspaper pages were significant and critical to this story. A variety of dramatic music tracks were played as they helped during the storyline. And finally, our cast: Mandel Kramer (as Peter), Lloyd Battista (as Bill Roberts and Oscar), Robert Dryden (as Harry and Leo Mantell), and William Griffis (as Charlie Clairborne and Milton’s Nephew). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown played the role of Milton: The Pawn Broker. The actors were tremendous on their parts, particularly William Griffis for playing a villain that everyone would love to hate and Mandel Kramer who is terrific for playing characters that act clever and anxious throughout the episodes. I do recommend this episode for everyone to check out. And check out the original story by Guy de Maupassant. SPECIAL BONUS: The episode features a commercial of Golden State Warrior Rick Barry talking about Cancer Chemotherapy. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. “Amusing” would be the word to describe Sam Dann’s mystery story featuring Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain. This is the kind of story that would be suitable for a TWILIGHT ZONE episode with funny elements of the writer’s block process. As much as I wanted to rate this 5 stars for EXCELLENT, the story was kind of far-fetched. A writer being obsessed with his character ’s life is one thing. But seeing his character come to reality and being obsessed with his creator on how he wants to live, is another. Also, the title doesn’t make sense since the characters in this story actually wrote it with just a typewriter, instead of handwritten on paper. The title should be called “Be Good To Everyone You Write.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with a philosophical point that life is a journey. In ACT-1, understand what writers talk about. Once our main character meets the fictional character that refuses to die, our Host quotes a line from HAMLET (Act 1, Scene 5) that matches this dilemma. In ACT-2, quoting Joyce Kilmer. As the story progresses with a different approach, further developments will come shortly. In ACT-3, the difference between an architect and a writer when they create their art on paper. After the finale, our Host talks about Limbo and how many are in it. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall questions if the writer’s characters rise up to overwhelm them. But also, understand that some writers have difficulties when controlling their fancies. The narrations that he gave us were philosophical and unforgettable. The sound effects of the sheet of paper, typewriter, phone ringing, chair leg scraping, background music at the saloon, doors, crickets, footsteps, Ragtime music, dancers murmuring, short applause, gun shots, body thud, and character crowd murmuring were all splendid. The dramatic music was a nice touch. Not suspenseful, nor frightening. But a variety of good tunes that fit the characters’ emotions. Now onto our cast: Norman Rose (as Samuel Clemens a.k.a. Mark Twain), Robert Dryden (as Dudley Everett and Harry Barnes), Evie Juster (as Martha Loomis and Martha’s Mother), and Kristoffer Tabori (as Tom Ditson and The Prosecutor). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown plays the role of Martha’s Uncle. Our cast was great, particularly Norman Rose and Robert Dryden. My favorite part of Norman Rose’s performance was in the 3rd Act when he amplifies the word, “Reprieve” with a different tone. It was eccentric, yet funny. This episode is enjoyable and worth listening to. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. I’ll review what I enjoyed the most first and then finish off what I disliked. First, I enjoyed the cast: Kevin McCarthy (as William Gillette/Sherlock Holmes), Jada Rowland (as Pamela Watson), Russell Horton (as Jim Watson), and Carol Teitel (as the Tour Guide and Mrs. Hudson). Carol Teitel was terrific in her 2 roles. Jada Rowland is my favorite actress in the CBSRMT series and having her partner up with Russell Horton again, like many episodes before, was delightful. And Kevin McCarthy was entertaining, just like his performance as Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes before this one. Next up, music and sound effects. Dozens of dramatic tunes were used, but no suspenseful or chilling tracks were used to match the feel of being trapped in a castle. Sound effects of car engine running, tires screech, footsteps, tourists murmuring, sliding doors, cat meowing, howling wind, gong, lamp breaking, doors, cane hitting clothing, gun shot, tapping of the phone, drawing the curtains, carriage rolling up, pouring of drinking glasses, and doorbell were very supportive in this tale. Next is our Host and his narrations. E.G. Marshall’s Prologue focused on castles and our story takes place at a castle in New England. In ACT-1, meet Jim & Pamela Watson where one of them is a Sherlock Holmes buff. In ACT-2, knowing so little about William Gillette’s career and we get a sense that some actors like him can go too far to create an illusion of reality. In ACT-3, after the strange turn of events, our Host’s only explanation to the Climax is to mention a quote from a playwright about the 6th sense of the Imagination. In his Epilogue, he recommends CBSRMT listeners to take a tour of the Gillette Castle itself in Connecticut. Good recommendation, but no Resolution explained on what happened to our characters afterwards. And so, it comes down to the final segment: the Script. Elizabeth Pennell has written decent drama mysteries and even did the adaptations of #0605-JANE EYRE and #0643-WUTHERING HEIGHTS. But this story was Fair. So-so, I should say. I was expecting it to be a haunting mystery about a haunted castle with the Sherlock Holmes references. But instead, this story’s turn of events created massive questions to think about. Like, how did the Jim & Pamela Watson hear about this castle? Was Mrs. Hudson going through nightmare problems? Was William Gillette really dead? Was he putting on a show for his guest just so he can play Sherlock Holmes for fun? Did these 2 tourists actually travel back in time? Was the castle actually haunted? Was it really a nightmare? Was anything resolved after Jim & Pamela Watson escaped from the castle? There are so many fill-in-the-blanks in this, the episode’s title should be changed and call it “A Bad Case Of The Jitters” or “Elementary, My Dear Guests.” Tune in to this, if you like. There are better castle stories in the CBSRMT vault. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials of AMEX travelers checks, Bob Armstrong’s Diamond Center, “The Ritual” novel, CBS-News, First Federal of Gary, Radio Advertising Bureau, Jewel’s Discount Grocery Store, CBS-Sports News in Chicago, CBS-News on Election 1980, Susan Anton for Serta Sleeper Mattresses, and Smokey Bear Program. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. I'd think that Robert Barr would have been pleased of the adaptation of this by James Agate, Jr. It has intricate clues, it has peculiar motives, and it has a surprising twist in the end. And above all, it has a great detective in this: Eugène Valmont. Robert Barr’s character ranks up with Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Another way to title this story would be “A Case Of Interest” or even “The Parisian Detective.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts it off by comparing one of the characters as a “Scrooge.” In ACT-1, the bloodline of the James Dudley Hills on their fortunes. As the plot thickens, we realize that not all clues were divulged in the first Act alone. In ACT-2, questions pop up. More importantly, they see the evidence clearly, but not recognize it. In ACT-3, quoting Sir Francis Bacon about suspicions and our main detective plays a waiting game. In the end, after discovering where the loot was hiding all along and discovering who else was related to the family, we learned a private post-mortem joke that money would bring out the worst in those with the least character. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with the comparison of the Midas myth - great wealth does not equal great happiness. Outstanding narrations. Sound effects of bells, footsteps, background noise at the police station, phone receiving line, seals, patrons murmuring, paper note, newspapers, doors, dog wincing, phone ringing, paper bills, intercom buzzer, emergency sirens, pulling off wallpaper were terrific. As for the music, great selection of dramatic tunes that moved the story forward. And let us not forget our amazing cast: Norman Rose (as Eugène Valmont), Russell Horton (as James Dudley Hill III and Inspector Graves), and Robert Dryden (as James Dudley Hill, Jr. and Elijah Browning). These 3 worked well together. Norman Rose, performing with a French accent, was very entertaining. This is one mystery story that CBSRMT fans should not pass up on. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I admire Murray Burnett’s work, particularly his adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But the story originally from Edith Wharton was better. The novelist’s ghost story had a Narrator without a name. In Murray Burnett’s version, we got a fashion designer that’s interested in the castle while the other male characters act persuasive and vulnerable. I was more interested in the mystery of the dogs and hope that they would play a bigger part to this tale. Other ways to title this would be “Dogs Of Kerfol” or “Strange Vendetta.” In our Host’s Prologue, that I had to find on other OTR websites, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about castles with ghosts. In ACT-1, meet our main character who’s interested in buying a castle. After digging into the story within the story, our Host points out the lifestyle differences of adultery from 2 different time periods. Our main character must’ve seen dogs or ghost dogs. After too many conflicts about pets getting killed in this story, E.G. Marshall mentions ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Was E.G. Marshall trying to advertise this non-profit organization into the episode? In ACT-3, he understands the reaction that our main character felt when reading the history book. When the story was over, E.G. Marshall stated that when he talked about this story to a psychiatrist and what was his take on this? Was E.G. Marshall talking about his personal life on this? Or was this something that Murray Burnett wrote for him? What’s even weirder, is the Epilogue. E.G. Marshall tells the world’s shortest horror story ever. It’s a classic, but it’s irrelevant to this particular story. E.G. Marshall wasn’t off topic with his narrations, but he could’ve saved the ASPCA mentioning, the psychiatrist moment, and the shortest horror story for other episodes. The music was OK, but the tunes for the chilling moments kept on repeating in every Act. Sound effects of birds chirping, bell ring, iron gate squeaking, footsteps, car tires screech, jewelry case, door knocking, howling wind, violin music, and unbolting the door were good. And of course, the sounds of dogs barking were helpful. And finally, our cast: Mercedes McCambridge (as Paula Randall and Anne de Cornault), William Redfield (as Herve de Lanrivain and Andre de Lanrivain), Ian Martin (as Baron Yves de Cornault), and Guy Sorel (as the Judge and the Gypsy). I like this choice of cast members. In fact, this was my favorite part of the episode. All of the actors were great. But it was Mercedes McCambridge, our leading lady, who was superb. Her performance in this reminds me of her performance in Ep. #0318-CARMILLA where she played 2 roles: The Narrator and the Woman who dealt with death. Fans of her would enjoy this episode. Check this one out, but also check out Edith Wharton’s original ghost story. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


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