CBSRMT Episode Information Next Episode

Title

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Plot

In exchange for eternal youth, a man makes a deal with the devil and gives up his soul. As he is consumed by evil, his portrait changes to mirror the abomination he has become.

Episode

0129

Air Dates

  • First Run - August 7, 1974
  • Repeat - October 5, 1974
  • Repeat - January 9, 1978
  • Repeat - May 13, 1979

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

100
78     22


74 Responses to Episode 0129

An Excellent Classic! I have always LOVED this particular episode which I first heard on am radio in Dayton, Ohio, sometime in the 1970's. Well written, well acted and also well directed ~ FANTASTIC.

Michael James Fry

Dorian Gray is a young attractive man who sits for a portrait and offers to sell his soul for eternal youth. He meets a man and the two engage in all forms of debauchery and sin - living only for the moment and without regard to others. The portrait changes with every new act and reflects the real hideous man Dorian has become.

Rudolph

A young man strikes the Faustian bargain in exchange for eternal youth. But as his soul is consumed by the evil that overtakes him, a portrait of him changes to reflect the ugliness of his soul.

Howard Staff

As I remember the novel, this is a pretty faithful rendering. The original story covers a greater span of time - explicitly something like 20 years - or enough for Dorian's continued youthfulness to become apparent. I'm sure there are a lot of changes but the only thing which struck me was the scene in which Dorian states that he would sell his soul to the devil if only the picture would age while he remained the same... And the picture then falls to the floor. This seems unnecessarily obvious. Dorian's cruel breakup with Sybil Vane is as well motivated as it was in the novel although the reason is different in this version. Pretty good overall.

H. Stern

Strong performance from Rose

Lucy Tormes

A handsome young man, Dorian Gray, having his portrait painted, talks with an older man about life and pleasure. The old man tells him that life is solely for the pursuit of pleasure and one’s own satisfaction and indulgence. Dorian takes this to heart and struck with his own beauty in the painting is jealous that the artwork will keep his beauty while he will age. He says he would sell his soul to the devil if he would remain ageless and the painting would take the ravages of time. He then embarks on a life of debauchery and self-indulgence and it appears the devil was listening and accepted the offer. Can Dorian come to terms with what he sees in the painting? Fabulous adaptation of the Wilde story.

Mariette

George Lowther adaptation of Oscar Wilde novel; starring Nick Pryor, Norman Rose, Roger Dekovan .

Eddie

A very powerful statement on the wages of sin. My impression was that this tale followed closely its source material. Does anyone know if that's true? The whole visual created in my mind of the attic and its horrid contents (The mutating portrait, Sir Henry's murdered corpse...) really captured my imagination. I think I dreaded Dorian's return there-- at the end-- as much as he. Being a sometimes portrait artist, I really enjoyed the clever use of a portrait as a "diary" which recorded the depravities of its subject.

Gregg

I tried but was unsuccessful in finding a National Review article I once read on Wilde which dealt with this very story and a few others of his. As I recall, it said how Wilde (ostensibly from personal experience) saw what a monstrous creation one becomes when they focus on themselves and their own vanity. Step back and think for a moment though...again, this episode dealt with a subject that, frankly, was and is quite controversial. And look at the quote directly from this episode above...while I've got to add one needs to know the battle they're fighting, this quote ALONE wouldn't make it into any hollywood-produced movie or radio show today given its subject. (Again, consider that the RMT was the little sister of "The Twilight Zone", which had an episode where (even though the subject was confronting Satan) the very idea of putting a CROSS (instead of the "staff of truth" which was used) on the door was voted down as too controversial in the early 60's of all times - a decade or more before the first RMT! Our wonderful RMT, even though it had several flawed episodes, took on HONESTLY the subject of homosexuality/lesbianism (This episode, "The sinister shadow", (I would argue) "Death is a woman", "Carmilla" (wonder how many would appreciate vampires if they knew the George Sheridan LeFanu story "Carmilla", a female vampire which molested girls starting at ages as young as 6 with the intent to kill them, was the direct inspiration for "Dracula" and seems to have directly or by default heavily influenced "Twilight"?), and some could include "The secret sharer"), abortion ("The phantom lullaby"), islamic terrorism ("The terrorist"), post-modernism ("The crack in the wall"), gambling ("You bet your life" and other episodes...to Twilight Zone's credit they did tackle that one), the value of parenting (the incredible (when you step back and think about it) "Welcome for a dead man", plus other episodes), the ongoing argument of heredity vs. environment ("Blood will tell"...an RMT with one of the all time best last second plot twists), the consequences of marital infidelity (take your pick of a bunch of episodes) and other controversial subjects with (IMO) frequently amazing ease. How did they do it, particularly in the mid-late 1970s era?

Edna

I didn't really catch on to the "undertones" hinted at by Dorian and Sir Henry's exchange. But, you're right, about how RMT occassionally slipped things like this pass the censors. I have two thoughts on this. First, Who did "censor" RMT? Were they required to submit their scripts to the FCC or some other governing body? How does that work with radio? Secondly, perhaps "whomever" paid little attention, because, after all, it was "just" radio. Who really listens to radio shows and because all the "visuals" created bt RMT are purely in the "Mind's eye" perhaps it's less "dangerous" --it's certainly far more subtle-- and a lot easier to "hide" certain implied situations. They probably just didn't take RMT as seriously as T.V. shows of the day. But the "Theater of the Mind" certainly makes a lasting impression on those of us willing to extend our imaginations beyond the common place......... Until Next Time..............

Raven

It's as if the RMT had more or less free reign, because even though we were just past the "free love", radical 1960s it seems to me that our American society had strong enough moral underpinnings left that many of these RMT tales were accepted and taken for the fables (and as such, morality tales and warnings) they were. (Frankly, the 60s were a sort of beginning, so there really wasn't time for the unleashed worldview of that era to have taken root among the general populace yet, which was a blessing for both the RMT and its listeners.) Seriously, I've NEVER heard of legal or censorship action ever taken against the RMT. I'd be surprised if it didn't happen somewhere at some local jurisdiction, but I've never heard of it happening.

Marlon B.

That would be interesting to discover. If, there was any legal action ever taken against RMT, even at a local level? Was there ever a situation where Himan Brown had to leave out a line or a theme due to network pressure? I'd be curious to find out. For the most part, RMT almost always had the "sinners" ultimately pay for their transgressions. Probably one reason these themes occasionally were allowed to air. Interesting little side-bar to explore..................

Vlon

RMT was always very subtle in addressing controversial subjects, and never thrust them in your face. Also, radio is a much smaller forum then television or cinema, and out of the spotlight one has much greater freedom. The same is true of literature. Books have a much smaller (and more educated) audience then the other mediums, hence greater freedom. The novel "Lolita" eventually found a publisher and avoided being baned in most modern countries, but when it was made into a movie, the sexuality was heavily watered down. At least that is my take on it. And I definitely agree that people are much more tolerant of scandalous subject matter as long the practitioners of said behavior are seen to suffer from it.

Joseph

I really liked this adaptation. Sometimes I kind of dread CBSRMT adaptations of classic novels...like the Dracula adaptation, where E.G. keeps promising us at each commercial break that if we haven't been scared witless yet, we will be soon...never happened for me. But I thought this one was great, especially for spelling out some of the things that were left to the imagination in Wilde's original. In more so than most adaptations of this story, you really got a feel for what a jerk Dorian was. Back on the subject of CBSRMT adaptations, I really liked what George Lowthar did with The Pit and the Pendulum. I fell asleep listening to that one on my iPod and it gave me nightmares as I drifted in and out!

Nadia

If you like news broadcasts, there's a somewhat tense CBS News at the beginning of this one, so check it out. It's a great episode as well!

Lester

A fine show and a fine encode. The Nixon news at the beginning is a nice addition; some of us remember those days . . . some as children remember things and some as adults remember things. But if you're 30 years old or younger you're not part of that club. It's difficult or impossible for me to be objective about Dorian. It seems to be very well written and acted, but somehow it doesn't have that magic "umph" for me. I'm pretty sure it's my over-familiarity with the story. (As if I could say, "I was sure surprised when Hamlet died at the end of the play.") So I think it's a good or even great episode from RMT. But for me . . . not so much. Weird, because the RMT version of Jeckyl/Hyde still strikes me as very fresh and lively, and I'm probably equally familiar with that tale. Of course some/many of the scenes are very good; when the girlfriend dies, the struggle in the attic, and conversations with the butler. The original moral of the tale holds up well; you sow what you reap, and what goes around comes around. Somewhat of a platitude but very accurate nonetheless. Something that each person of each generation has to learn anew. Well, time to get back to my painting. I'm doing a rendition of my dog hoping that this will forstall the ageing process in the beast. He does live a wild life, on the edge most of the time, so it'll be interesting to check up on the condition of the work from time to time once it's completed. No doubt he'll store it in the attic of his doghouse.

Ritchelle Carmen

i completely understand you about it being a story you're overly familiar with, though it really is a great RMT adaptation. i find, though i adore Norman Roses' presence on the RMT, he can sometimes portray a personality type rather than a character, sort of the way Bogart did in film... you know it's Bogart, he's not different that he was in any of his other films, yet somehow it works. i feel the same way about Norman Rose. he could play Mr. Winkles from Scooby Doo and still maintain his Norman Roseness, yet still be a convincing Mr. Winkles. does that make any sense? i read Dorian Gray when i was a freshman in high school. i liked it, but it creeped me out. the image on the cover of the book - a decaying face - was gruesome, and that's stayed with me. i read it again about three or four years ago, and the cover was much more romantic, yet the eyes of that old, decaying face were still in my mind. and so i found they were present once again while listening to this show. and lastly, yeah, I remember the Nixon era. what a lovely time. if you haven't seen it, i highly recommend the lengthy film, NIXON, starring Anthony Hopkins... he'll scare you more as Nixon than he did as Hannibal Lectur, for sure!!

Arric

Gang, in the age of the Web, and of Google that we live in, it's so fascinating to be able to hear these plays 30+ years later and be able to look at them, their actors and their authors in a whole different way while appreciating the original play (and story). First, an interesting take on Wilde and "Dorian Gray" from a National Review writer a couple of years ago... Quote: In this age of political correctness, in which people are so often recognized for how they identify themselves rather than for what they accomplish, Wilde's renewed popularity in Hollywood and Manhattan is quite likely due largely to the fact that he was gay. But whatever the reason for the revival, if it leads more people to discover his works then it can only have a salutary effect on our greatly debased culture. For Wilde, in addition to being among the most witty and brilliant craftsmen of the English language since Shakespeare, was also the quintessential moralist. Both in his plays and his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Wilde dispenses justice and moral judgment in true Victorian fashion. We know precisely who the villains are and who the decent folk, and we see them both get their just desserts — which is to say exactly what they've brought upon themselves as a direct consequence of their own actions. Wilde respected social norms, the necessary standards of decent and indecent public behavior without which any society collapses into anarchy. An Ideal Husband (1895) concerns a thoroughly honest and respected government minister who refuses to be blackmailed for a mistake he made years ago, even though it potentially means his personal and professional ruin. In Dorian Gray, a young man's portrait becomes increasingly disfigured while he remains youthful and handsome, indulging in every form of sin, but coming inevitably to a bad end. Wilde assumed many poses in his life; he frequently remarked, for instance, that art existed merely for art's sake, and that no artist should have "ethical sympathies." But his work belied such flippancies. Wilde said of Dorian Gray, "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment." Indeed, it is only because Wilde recognized and approved of social norms and standards of conduct that he was able to detect and ridicule hypocrisy so well, most notably and hysterically in Earnest (1895). ...Unfortunately, revisiting Wilde's work is a reminder of just how far our modern culture has traveled down the road of self-celebration. The embarrassing and tiresome spectacle of gay camp is splashed across our film and television screens — and thus into our living rooms. To be a gay character (and increasingly, a heterosexual one) on television or in a movie nowadays is virtually an automatic license to be silly, irresponsible, selfish, flamboyant, and sexually promiscuous (this, of course, is a partial list). Displaying such consequence-free behavior for the purpose of entertainment is not only lazy, but unhealthy and disrespectful of every social norm that has ever existed in Western civilization, and thus does a disservice to us all. Wilde would likely agree. However he behaved in his personal life, Oscar Wilde, to his great and lasting credit, recognized that engaging in private vice does not exempt one from the obligations of public virtue.

Agatha

Just a few "stream of consciousness" thoughts: - That RMT music is so haunting...I forget what time mark it is, but the unnerving (another CBS stock music used in "The twilight zone", I believe) sounder used when Gray and his painter friend (played by Rose) agree to go up in the attic to see the mutations in the painting sticks with me for some reason. - Rose was always wonderful...I loved when, right after that same music bed, he said: "MmmmMIL-DYEW must have gotten into the canvas..." - IMO, an underappreciated (and not frequently used) actor for the RMT was Roger de Koyven. (sic?) He was good in this one as Lord Henry Wotten ("I might ALSO have added that the only way to overcome temptation is to fight it!") but my favorite performance of his is as the retired Stanford professor conducting dangerous experiments in mental telepathy in "The breaking point". - In the pre-politically correct (until, perhaps, the 1982 season) era of the RMT, it was interesting to see how the program handled homosexuality/lesbianism/transgender issues. Notable programs with this theme in varying degrees of prominence are: - Picture of Dorian Gray - The long blue line - The sinister shadow - The secret sharer - Death is a woman (with a notable role by the RMT's Gordon Heath, who died of AIDS a decade or two ago) - Dressed to kill (the latter a farcical murder story, but interesting nonetheless) It was also broached in -The cornstarch killer - Change of heart (interestingly, from 1982) I'm not trying to get into a discussion of same, but rather just how the RMT handled it. (Note in particular E.G. Marshall's comments either at the end of "Dorian Gray's" third act, the conclusion, or both.) - How often did Nick Pryor appear in the RMT? The only other thing I think I remember him in is as the ill-fated young husband from Nebraska in "Speak of the devil" (also from 1974.)

Leon Lynns Reynolds

I have to agree with Mr. Miller regarding the first 6 minutes on Nixon (including the bit with Dan Rather). That was certainly a nice touch, leaving it in. I remember the first time I read this story, which was shortly after first listening to this episode of RMT. Quite the opposite of my experience with the Oblong Box, where I was already familiar with the story before having listened to the RMT broadcast. I particularly like the change in Dorian Gray's voice as the story progresses, as if his tortured, diseased soul is trying to break through the facade of his physical beauty. This episode was just as haunting to me today as it was some 30 years ago, and I feel equally inspired to pull the book down off the shelf again. Great choice!

Mr. Orange

some amazing powers of observation.

F. Poe

Regarding "Picture of Dorian Gray", it's just interesting how the RMT 30 years ago treated certain subjects in the episodes I mentioned, especially in light of yesterday's announced Oscar nominees for this year. (Can you imagine E.G. Marshall onstage making a presentation like Quote: E.G. MARSHALL: "...and this year's nominees for 'Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song' are...'It's hard out here for a pimp' from 'Hustle & flow', performed by 'Djay', written by Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard..." SFX: Applause and cheers MUSIC: "North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th Street bound Where niggaz all the time end up lost and never found Man these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein dead Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too You pay the right price and they'll both do you..." SFX: Applause and cheers (I'd be ready for him to do an "RMT third act outro" commentary after that one...)

Jack Cassidy

there's a reason i refuse to watch silly award shows. if i want to see wealthy clowns, i'll go to the circus and throw quarters. ugh.

Cletus

I'm with you on the awards shows! As for this episode, I just thought it was a cool variation of an old story. The deal with the devil story. A story that has been done so many times. The twilight zone used it repeatedly. I didn't read any political agenda into it. It was the deal with the devil story done very well. I just thought it was a great horror story. With excellent acting, directing etc. Just a great example of why I love mystery theater. 

Ace

I believe Oscar Wilde was one of the first to use it. I know Faust predates it, but I don't know of any other Faustian storyes that predate Dorian Gray.

Ross Antonel

I don't want to be the RMT's "expert" on this matter, but at work I'm listening to (for the first time) a strange little Elspeth Eric piece entitled "Fallen Angel" from the 1975 season...add it to the episode list I compiled above.

Jim R.

This was Oscar Wilde's only novel; he was primarily a playwright. Still a little bit dated to learn that part of the reason Gray is "evil" is because he enjoys having sex. Deal with the Devil.

Andy

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a classic. George Lothar did an amazing job of adapting Wilde's work. It was a great listen. I do believe though that if the truth be told, MOST would sell their soul for eternal youth. Fortunately, MOST have a more obligation to living out the inevitable--we are all going to grow old and die. I write this today on my birthday. How utterly apropo. 5 star.

DAVY JOE

It's been a long time since I read the novel, but it seems like a good encapsulation of the original (even though I seem to remember it covering a longer period of time). Was there really any guilt on the painter? I really don't think so, the guilt is primarily on Dorian himself (although Sir Henry definitely aided it). Even Oscar Wilde could write about someone who didn't want to take responsibility for their own actions and blame it on other people. I guess some things don't change.

Alec

Marian Seldes is missing from the cast list. She played both Sibyl Vane (Dorian's fiancée) & Catherine Wilson (the woman from the charity). Curiously, the error occurred in the broadcast—E.G. Marshall only mentioned the three men.

Karen

great adaption of the Oscar wilde story! this story scared the hell out of me!

terence m. jones

This was a great one.

Josh

Love this one!

Caryn

@Arric: I think you mean Mr. Wickles; still your point is well taken. Sometimes I wonder if Scooby Doo had either been a radio series first(before the cartoon came about) or if there had been a Scooby radio series in the 1970s or something similar what it have been like. Considering all the great CBS Radio Mystery Theater episodes out there, I would have liked to have seen the crew of that show take a crack at a Scooby Doo esque show(mystery solving teens or college students, maybe a talking animal or maybe not).

Adam

One of my favorites. I remember listening to this on the radio...... Awesome entertainment.

NJWanderer

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I'd give George Lowthar props for writing the adaptations on the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, and Guy de Maupassant. For this Oscar Wilde classic, his adaptation was nicely done, but not magnificent. In the original novel written in the 19th century, there were 9 characters to focus on. In this episode, there were only 4: just the main characters. Classic stories, such as this one, should've been expanded; just like what CBSRMT did for Victor Hugo's story of LES MISERABLES (#1275-1279) and Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's story of THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII (#1045-1049). Another way to title this would be "Portrait Of A Depraved Monster." Sound effects of the footsteps, portrait falls to the floor, bell tolls, horse carriages, pouring of the bottle of Brandy, steps to the attic, creaking door, lighting a candle, knife stab, body thuds, glass breaking, clock chiming at 11 o'clock, and stabbing the portrait at the very end were splendid. The music had the right chilling tunes for his chilling tale, especially in the final Act when the characters deal with the portrait in the attic. In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with the horror, wit, and brilliance of Oscar Wilde. In ACT-1, after speaking out old sayings, he lets the listeners know that our main character becomes a harsh bargainer. In ACT-2, it's about fearing the loss of youth, followed by reaping what our main character sows. In ACT-3, he concludes the story on the character's demise. In his Epilogue, he mentions Oscar Wilde's wit and wisdom. But here's where he messed up: E.G. Marshall did NOT mention Marian Seldes!?! How could he forget that talented actress when it was obvious that she was in the episode? He said the names of the 3 actors: Nick Pryor (as Dorian Gray), Norman Rose (as Basil Hallward), and Roger DeKoven (as Lord Henry Wotton and Parker), but not Marian Seldes (as Sibyl Vane and Catherine Wilson). Nick Pryor as the main character did an amazing performance. Norman Rose is good in every episode that he does for this radio series. Roger DeKoven was splendid in his 2 roles. As for Marian Seldes, this was one of her glorious roles! The way she said her lines at the 08:45 mark was captivating. I recommend this episode to everyone who enjoys Oscar Wilde's stories. And check out the 1945 film version of this story starring Angela Lansbury (from MURDER SHE WROTE). Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

Russell

Marian Seldes is also in this cast not listed on the web site. Such a great cast and George Lowthar's great adaptation - Truly another CBS RMT Masterpiece - well acted - and Himan Brown at his best directing and Nick Pryor, Norman Rose, Roger Dekovan at their very best.

Paul

Swayed by the influence of the insidious Sir Henry Wotton, Dorian Gray, a handsome youth, vows to sell his soul to the Devil if he could retain his youth and only have his portrait grow old. Months later, the effects of the depraved life Dorian is living show not at all in his face, though he must remove his portrait from view as it begins to show a monster.

Jack

The Picture of Dorian Gray was NOT written by "George Lowther. The true writer is, of course, the incomparable Oscar. —Oscar Wilde. —I.e., full name; Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde. Perhaps "George Lowther, merely ADAPTED this for the radio?! This masterpiece book, more than any of Oscar's great works, helped to put him in H.M.'s prison, Reading Goal. Oscar's pen name could be said to be "C.3.3." as none of his great works could be sold under his Christian name for about 40 - 50 years after his untimely death of an inner ear injury suffered in the brutal, British Victorian prison system. C.3.3. was Oscar's prison number/name at Reading Goal, as well as his cell number. Mr. Wilde is now honoured by most erudite, well read, tasteful, educated people. It is no longer a social faux pas to use Mr. Wilde's real name. That is, Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde. Please remember this name and repair your listing with Oscar's full name. I might even forgive your gross error. Doubtful, but I try to be kind.

Bix

Nobody said that Wilde didn't write the original story, but George Lowther adapted it. In order to adapt it for radio, he had to rewrite a lot of it, and consolidate the dialogue, or changed aspects of the story so that it would fit into one radio episode. So saying George Lowther 'wrote' it is not an error. He did write the script for the adaptation.

Amy

Anyone else feel sorry for Dorian at the end. He was pathetic begging for help, and his friend ran away when he saw the portrait, leaving Dorian weeping. His servant was very kind and didn't judge him at the end.

Amy

A classic tale that I've always enjoyed. This version was well done and i enjoyed the characters and sound effects throughout. Dorian is driven to the edge by a careless wishful comment. You almost feel sorry for him, except he knows exactly what he is doing and sees it clearly reflected in the painting. I've seen and heard various versions of this story and have enjoyed them all.

Nancy

The Nixon prodeedings are almost as riveting as the story itself! Glad the news and commercials were left in. Good rendition of a great Oscar Wilde story.

Margaret DeLuca

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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