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Title

The Raft

Plot

When haunted by dreams of being castaway on a raft in the middle of the ocean, a wealthy man tries to connect his strange visions with the illogical demand of a stranger for the sum of one million dollars.

Episode

1166

Air Dates

  • First Run - March 2, 1981
  • Repeat - April 21, 1981

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

65
56     9


51 Responses to Episode 1166

Debts come due 30 years after three men spent several days stranded on a raft floating in the ocean.

Errol Bigboy

(ahhh...what the heck, one more before I sign off for the night.) This one starts out as a flat out mystery, then the back half adds a "whodunit" alongside. Norman Rose plays a Mr. Ordway, a multimillionaire industrialist who lives on a James River plantation in Virginia, has a Mississippi accent, is secretly quite afraid of water and doesn't like to admit he ever gets cold. ("Who's cold? AH'M not cold...") His closest friends are his employees, a lady housekeeper and his longtime personal assistant. Ordway starts getting mysterious notes, in his bank statement, in the mail, by Western Union or by telephone, which simply say "One million dollars". He's quite unnerved by them. He's also secretly unnerved by flashbacks of being stranded on a raft on the Atlantic Ocean in early winter some time ago, a situation which apparently did not end pleasantly. Ordway finally confronts the mysterious caller over the phone and invites him to his plantation. Just as the visitor is about to come calling, Mr. Ordway sends his personal assistant away, who notices the older man has a loaded pistol at the ready...

Gualbert Mina

I really like 95% of the story. The ending (people tossed off the raft, yet clinging on unnoticed, a shark attack victim miraculously rescued immediately) left a little to be desired. I also couldn't figure out why the pilot waited 30 years to make his demand. Nice build-up, though.

Mr. Bixby

The script seemed like a promising first draft that needed to be polished. The scenes involving the raft, told in flashback, were the most interesting parts of the show but the tension largely evaporated when we jumped back to present time. The show would have benefited from devoting more time to their time on the raft. And what accent was Norman Rose adopting?

Joseph

This is one I taped off the radio with my handy-dandy tape recorder (always being careful not to make any noise as I edited out the commercial breaks) when I was @ 13. A good little mystery drama. I really liked the music selection in this tale-- especially the music used during all the flashbacks (which as someone already observed was the most exciting part of this particular story). I really enjoyed Marian Seldes as Ms. Harper ("I'm afraid") as the amateur sleuth. Her performance elevates the present day part of the tale, creating a completely sympathetic character (Though somewhat clueless-- but endearing none-the-less). Someone mentioned why the pilot took 30 years to enact his revenge. With no leg, no money and apparently no family, he found himself stranded in South America and it may have taken him that long to get back into the States, anonymously (which he would have wanted to do-- what with Peter Ordway being so powerful-- with a huge, multi--national corporation at his disposal). Just a thought........ Good selection, at least from a nostalgic point of view.....Until Next Time................

Jane

A couple of things: 1. BOY, was there a lot of Biblical scripture in this story - which I don't have a problem with whatsoever. A. E. G. quotes from (I believe) Paul's letter to Timothy about love of money being the root of all evil. B. He also quotes at one of the breaks (saying it's from scripture) that: "Riches will not profit in the day of revenge." C. Marian Seldes, at show's end, quotes from Jesus' words to Peter in Matthew "Those who live by the sword will die by the sword". D. There's another Bible quote in this show somewhere. 2. The music during the flashbacks was great - the rolling piano backed by muted trumpets always suggested "trouble on the water" and was used extensively in the fine RMT "The captain of the Polestar" and "The great white shark". 3. Mandel Kramer so often played a detective: in fact, I think he was a detective on the TV show "The edge of night" which produced so many RMT alumni. It's great to hear him say: "Open up - it's the police!"

George

Got this one years ago in a "tape trade". One I've really come to enjoy. Especially how both men in the raft survive, and it shows just what an evil man Peter Ordway really is.

Ross

Indeed. I think in the original story, the woman he pushed off of the raft was pregnant.

Kevin

I thought this was an excellent, compelling little mystery. It's one I'd never heard before and I really enjoyed it. The actors and production values were terrific. It kept me guessing all the way through, and the twist at the end was really good. Great choice.

Lanie

This is an episode that I'd seen in my collection many times, but never listened to. I don't know why, but it was always passed over. I was happy to see it as the show of the week. The file itself was a bit on the sluggish side for me; not bad, but the voices were slowed a tad which made the entire episode ssoorrtt ooff lliikkee tthhiiss. Definitely listenable. Also, I did catch a "news hiccup" in there at one point. Just to note. The episode itself, in my opinion, was pure RMT. It represents everything I enjoy about these shows. Not way too deep, but certainly far from shallow. Mystery and intrigue; vengeance and old debts; betrayal and suspicion. A great, all-around choice. In particular, those pesky writers did it again. What I love more than anything is when an episode is so seamlessly put together in production, that you forget you are listening to actors and a show, but instead become immersed in the story, the characters, and the environment. The Raft captured me and did not let go. My favorite part of the whole episode was when Miss Harper was trying to calm Mr. Ordway. Instead of saying something common like, "Please sit down and let me fix you something to eat," the writers had her say, "Mr. Ordway, let me bring you a soft boiled egg and some toast - and what do you say to another cup o' coffee?" Brilliant. I love when a writer, in any format, "shows me" the details instead of "telling me." I could actually see the reminder cards that Mr. Ordway received, with the handwritten ONE MILLION DOLLARS on them. This again is why I treasure episodes like this one. While television creates the mental landscape for us, leaving us with nothing to brew on our own, shows like The Raft hurl us from the ravaging sea into the sterile vertical world of a wealthy man's office. You could smell the rich texture of Miss Harper's words when she said, "You were holding the smoking gun!" The show was somewhat predictable, so I wasn't aghast by the end. But it was neatly woven together in a non-linear timeline to deliver information piece-by-piece, creating a wonderful tension throughout the show. I rated it about a 4.5. Very nice selection! Thanks for choosing it.

Elen

The first time I heard it the plot twist completely blindsided me. A few thoughts: - This play was based upon "The tragedy of the life raft" by Jacques Futrelle. Futrelle's play was another one which featured his character "the thinking machine" (I believe that guy was in the RMT's "The great brain" and maybe "The secret of the fifth bell"), but I thought it was wise of the scriptwriter not to put him in this one, and instead focus on Miss Harper as the detective. - If anything, Norman Rose was almost too nice in this role. The tidbits of the story I linked to above made Peter Ordway seem more fiendish than he was in the play. - What's that RMT play from 1982 you reviewed which was an absolutely sordid story with Rose playing an older Louisiana plantation owner who tries to forcibly win the heart of his stepdaughter or something like that? Rose's performance in that play was similar to this one, though his accent might have passed for northern Louisiana. In "The raft", I called his and Marian Seldes' accents "Brookly-sippian". (I love it when Rose says: "Uh, Walpole, leave me will ya?") Still, that's forgivable. - The music...this play and an RMT play called "The captain of the Polestar" have an interlude that could be called "trouble on the water". You hear it every time Rose's character has a flashback, and at the very end of Act 3. I heard it once used on the RMT play "The gratitude of the serpent". I like it a lot...piano with muted trumpets and muted trombones. - As I've said before, I wonder if CBS would produce a play today that had no less than four pieces of scripture referred to as done in this one: Mark 8:34-38 ("What doth it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul"), Proverbs 11:4 ("Riches shall not profit in the day of revenge"), Timothy 6:10 ("Love of money is the root of all evil"), and Matthew 10:52 ("Those who live by the sword die by the sword"). - Mandel Kramer is always fun to listen to as a detective. (I think he played one in "The edge of night", a TV show that many RMT cast members were culled from. He was fun to listen to as the Jack Webb-esque detective in the RMT's "Cool Killer Carl".)

Brad Dolph

it was lucky guesswork. When information is presented piecemeal, sometimes the visual details lend themselves to solving the riddle. For example, When the first evidence of the old man having one leg was presented, I thought, "ah, I'll bet it was bitten off by a shark!" When it was made clear that Walpole was on the raft, I thought, "He is somehow in on this." When he was awarded one million from the will, it all made sense. The plot twist was terrific, and it was far from obvious at the beginning. But again, once the pieces trickle in, the paths to solution begin to lessen. By the way, fabulous observation about the Biblical references. I didn't notice them readily until you made mention of them. Something I will start listen for in future shows!

Fritz

Scriptural references seem to be peppered throughout the RMT, particularly before the 1982 episodes. Funny how even in his darkest moments Peter Ordway (Rose) also makes references to God, such as in one of his flashbacks when he says people were "sayin' they wanted coffee when they should have been sayin' their prayers". (Obviously, his god (the appropriate term would actually be "false idol") is $$$$, for all the good it gets him.) Speaking of the flashbacks, I forgot that the aforementioned piano/muted trumpet/muted trombone music bed was also used quite a bit in the RMT's "The great white shark". I love it...listening to the dark, rolling piano melody one can visualize water on the ocean glimmering in the sun or moonlight, with added tension provided by the brass instruments.

D. Dave

I gave this one a 4. In my own rating system, I gave it an 8.5 and highly recommended it. It twisted and turned quite a bit and was well paced. What I'm noticing in many of the 1982 shows is that they are heavy on dialogue and short on action. They are paced WAY to slow. Acting is about the same, but there are too many historical recreations. It's been awhile since i've heard a good horror story, or suspense story such as the Raft. Jacques Futrell died on the Titanic for those who don't know about the brief, but highly creative life that was ended too soon.

Jill Brenda D.

I thought the show to be enertaining enough. I have a bias about mysteries such as these being performed on the radio, as I prefer to read them. 'Escape' did this show with the action on the raft...it was very good.

Lex

I love the cbsrmt. Loved it as a teen and love it now. This is my first post in this website and like the idea. Good Job. Anyways. I really liked this story and would have given it a 5 out of 5 if there could have been one thing different. The piliot should have been promised a million bucks if he would give up a leg for them to eat. Better than a shark? I dunno. But the episods are what they are, great!

Duran

This is an excellent episode that has a Mystery Theater classic elements - "The Raft" is very mysterious, it has great characters and sound effects, and the story unfolds through flashbacks with cool piano background music. Another episode that intertwined flashbacks to advance the story very effectively was "the Long Blue Line".

Melanie

EXCELLENT storyline indeed! But being a native Southerner, I detected some wobbly dialects from multiple regions across my beloved Dixie--VaGinya, South Karaline, Jawja, and even some Alabam! Lol.. That said, a most riveting, succinct and cohesive program for any CBSRMT listener!

DeDaDe

Peter Ordway, a millionaire many times over, suddenly begins receiving strange messages that say only “one million dollars.” His staff, thinking it’s the work of a crackpot, is mystified when Ordway buys a gun. What they don’t know is that Ordway made a million-dollar deal many years ago -- and now someone wants to collect.

Adam

What a great show !!!

J

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.)

Chris

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.

David

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

Ed

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.

Charlie

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.

Charlie

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.

Charlie

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

Joyce

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

Ruth

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.

Charlie

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.

Charlie

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.

Ted

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

Chris

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.)

Greg

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.

Charlie

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

Greg

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.

Claud

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.

Charlie

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.

Charlie

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)

Russell

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.

Kurt

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)

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russell

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.

Russ

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.

Russ

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.

Russ


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