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The House of the Seven Gables


A fresh take on Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic tale of tragedy shadowing the lives of the manor residents, and the curse visited upon them.



Air Dates

  • First Run - June 13, 1974
  • Repeat - August 31, 1974
  • Repeat - June 2, 1979





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11 Responses to Episode 0105

"The CBS Radio Mystery Theater" has been criticized for having plodding plots as a result of attempting to present hour-long programs in a medium designed for half-hour programs. The opposite would seem to be true in this episode. In fact, the show seemed a bit rushed as a result of trying to cram the whole book into just one hour. (Incidentally, the book itself is rather plodding.) I've taken the tour of the House of Seven Gables (it is a real house) in Salem. Ghost story.


A CBSRMT retelling of the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne book.


Steming from the Salem witch hunts, two families are set in a generations old struggle. At the gallows the condemned curses the accuser claiming that the accusations were made solely to lay claim to his property. In the generations to follow, the families seek shrug off the label of witch, and the other indulges their greed and pride, until one generation where a man and woman from each side strike up a congenial relationship... I enjoyed the old setting... actually visited Salem a number of years ago and had quite vivid images during this episode.


This episode was ambitious in its attempt to act out Hawthorne's classic "The House of the 7 Gables." It lacked as a radio drama because of time constraints. There was no time to develop any of Hawthorne's characters in less than one hour--the time allotted for Mystery Theater episodes. 3 stars was all that this episode deserved. What Hyman Brown should have done is make this story into a 2 or 3 episode series like Mystery Theater did more of in later years (1980s).


The introduction was significant, it gets your attention right away with the words of E.G. Marshall and the voice talent of Norman Rose (as Matthew Maule: the ghost & Holgrave Maule: Matthew's grandson). Bryna Raeburn (as Alice Pyncheon), Arnold Moss (as Colonel Pyncheon & Judge Jaffey Pyncheon), and Staats Costworth (as Clifford Pyncheon) played the roles decently, but not Gothically enough. If you watched the 1940 film version of THE HOUSE OF THE 7 GALBES, starring Vincent Price, the film is more dramatic and less horrifying . Nathaniel Hawthorne's tale is Gothic that combines horror & romance. And that's what I liked about the voice talent of Jada Rowland (as Phoebe Pyncheon). When you have Norman Rose & Jada Rowland in a CBSRMT episode together, you're definitely in for some entertainment! These 2 made their characters have chemistry build up in ACT-3 (especially at the 42-minute 42-second mark). SPECIAL NOTE: The House of the 7 Gables actually exist in Salem, Massachusetts. Kudos to Ian Martin for writing this adaptation. =0]


I loved this presentation of the Hawthorne story! As several commented on the other site I feeel it was too short.. I think it woul have been better as a two part episode. I loved the story sound effects and acting. All were excellent. I give this episode 3.5 outr of 5 for good! Check it out!


I thought it was too much information crammed into the show - it MAY have been better as a two-part show, but I'm not sure. I had trouble keeping track of some of the earlier characters and I wasn't always sure of how people were related (even though they were all cousins apparently). I never read the book nor seen/heard any other adaptations, so my reference point was limited as well. It may not have helped that I was a little distracted while listening to it.


House of the Seven Gables is my favorite.


Norman Rose is totally mesmerizing as Matthew Maule, who is the supposed to be narrator of this story. He sends chills down my spine, and is absolutely perfect for the part. He has such a great voice, especially for sinister ghost roles. Jada Rowland is also perfect as a young, innocent girl. It would have been good if they had picked her for young girl roles more often in other episodes, rather than sometimes casting old women in younger roles.


Enjoyed this episode and is in my favs. Great acting and building of suspense. The book was one I enjoyed reading and Vincent Price on the movie it's another great version. I wish i could travel to Salem and see the house like others have. Great story and the commercials made it more enjoyable.


Too bad the Prestone jingle never caught on.

Kathy D

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