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The Cask of Amontillado


A young lady is forced to sleep with her husband's greedy and lecherous backer to avert a fiancial disaster. In order to avenge this dishonor, the man extends an irresistible invitation to him.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 12, 1975
  • Repeat - March 19, 1975
  • Repeat - May 12, 1979





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22 Responses to Episode 0203

A man's wife sleeps with a piggish financier to save her husband from ruin. He seeks revenge with an invitation the financier can't refuse.


Poe. Poor suffering Poe. His literary corpse subjected to further indignities. This is getting a bit painful. OK. As per usual there is the need to pad out the story with detail and additional characters... But in this case the grim drama of revenge is turned on it's head from the first words of our host. Now the story is of revenge and the bringing to justice of the vengeful man. No spoiler here. E.G. Marshall tells us this right up front. Pathetic. But among CBSRMT episodes this one is average.

Alicia Woods

It's not pathetic because E.G. assumed that at least most people had read the Poe classic. I don't think the CBSRMT writers, or E.G., thought they were giving much way by talking about the ending of a classic tale at the beginning of the episode.


*giving much away.


A vintner is in arrears with his loan payments and the landowner demands payment not just of the interest, but of the principle. He says that will be impossible and pleads for more time. The landowner replies that he may be persuaded to grant an extension if he would be allowed to spend time with his beautiful wife. The vintner is irate and refuses, but when he tells his wife, she takes the initiative and sleeps with the landowner to achieve some leeway in repayment of the loan. The landowner’s daughter sees the two together and her penchant for gossip leads the vintner to fear for his reputation. He is now irate at his wife, his landlord, and the landlord’s daughter. Great episode.


Poe's story is simply a classic. As a CBSRMT program, it rates in my top 10 because it just gets better each time I listen to it. The revenge theme is simply perfect for the CBSRMT and I found this story was gripping even though I've listened to it two previous times.

J. Raynor

I gave this one a 5. I liked the suspense involved. Sometimes I think it would be best if I didn't listen to the intro. I find myself trying to figure out when in the program it fits in (which sometimes can give away a surprise I wouldn't have figured out).


I do that, too! LOL


I've enjoyed this story in several forms over the years. I read it in high school and listened to a scholastic version (with even the most veiled reference to sex removed) in my metaphysical literature class in high school. This was a solid adaptation of Poe's story. The dialogue was particularly strong and Janny was superb as Fortunato. A good choice! I do enjoy Poe -- the inventor of my favorite genre.


Like the other Poe adaptations I've heard on RMT this one was loosely adapted. But with Poe it's hard not to, as so many of his stories were on the order of hallucinations. (If you like something closer to the original, check out The Graveyard 761108, which is based on a Guy de Maupassant tale). Nonetheless I really enjoyed this episode because of the strength of the characterizations. In fact this adaptation had more dimensions than the original tale, so even though I knew Fortinado was going to get his in the end, the other plot twists made it interesting. The music was especially good too in this episode. I will have to check out the rest of the Poe adaptations which began the year 1975 for the series.


Check out "The telltale heart". That's an interesting RMT adaptation of a Poe story. There's also one with Paul Hecht as a doctor who "mesmerizes" a dying woman into not dying too is an interesting Poe tale on the RMT. The characters were fascinating on this. I liked the carnival music in the background as well. My favorite part was the ending. The last sentences uttered by the antagonist, along with the silence before Hiram Brown said "I'll be back shortly" or whatever. The very final words from the bad guy at play's end may as well have been: "I really (bleeped) up." 

Justin Ralph

I read a few Poe stories in school and always thought they were very good. The Cask Of Amontillado was no exception. George Lowther did an excellent job of adapting Poe's storie to the CBSRMT. Being cemented inside the old Catacombs does not sound like a pleasant experience.


i've always liked Poe stories but i think i like rmt shows where i don't know the ending. i think the storyline goes a bit too far for me but the writer directer and actors do afine job. i don't remember the killer being shamed by the bad guy and his wife. maybe i read a cleaned-up version.

Dylam Iam

Not a bad story. Well-scripted and acted. A good thriller; however, it is very far removed from the EAP original that it was supposed to be based on. I'd consider it a good thriller with EAP elements.


It seeems minimal effort was spent in making this a "modern retelling," the only reference I caught was for the "vintage" wine to be from 19 twenty-something. But, very well acted (my gosh, the one woman's screams! wow!) and it aroused the most anger from me for any antagonist so far. I actually flipped off the radio as I heard him belittle a character, for which I must ask God's forgiveness. Someday. 4 stars.


An okay adaptation again, but not very close to the original (just a few details). In the original there was more feeling for the revenge and the horror of being, in a sense, buried alive. I liked in the original that Fortunado's last words were "the Amontillado", as if he were still going to get it.


Response to Nadz- I am interested to hear what are your top ten shows? I wish more people would say what their favorites are!


MELANIE - Here are a half-dozen or so of my favorite episodes. I'd be interested in hearing yours: - The Hand - Overnight to Freedom - Fall of the House of Usher - Dracula (AS AN ADDED BONUS at the end of this episode there is a lot of fantastic contemporary news after the episode pertaining to President Nixon during the Watergate and White House tapes cases) - Prisoner of the Machines - The End of the Rainbow - Murder Preferred (My all time favorite!!) Enjoy - JUROR #4


Excellent. One of my favorites.


A good story, while it is not Poe directly, it is an adaptation. To me that means it has been changed to fit the venue of its presentation. I'm not sure why some get upset it is different from the original? A gripping story of revenge most cold. Sound effects and acting were good. I do wish they would leave in the commercials and news for nostalgia and adding to the mood of listening to the radio.


Writer George Lowthar (a radio legend) has adapted most of the Edgar Allan Poe stories presented on CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, including The Masque of The Red Death (201), Fall of the House of Usher (57) and a wonderful modern update to Pit and the Pendulum (233). Not only do these stories shine massively among Mystery Theater's adaptations – which says a lot – they are standouts. Sadly, The Cask of Amontillado is not among these. Unelegant, the story is ham-handed and clunky, as Lowther forcefeeds aspects of an un-nuanced story without explanation. Why does Fortunato need money all of a sudden? Why is Montressor so senselessly and irationally enraged at his wife's selfless – through morally questionable – gesture which seems to be a necessary step to save the family fortune and avoid the couple from being destitute. Then there are odd aspects of the narrative which don't make sense. Why does Fortunato show no interest at all when he finds his single daughter on a date with the married Montressor at the carnival? How is the inspector (played by Robert Dryden) so conveniently and completely up to speed on all the goings on of Montressor and his wife. I will grant Lowthar the fact that the play never seemed to stall or merely fill time, however this radio adaptation seemed to have been wrtten without much thought. The actors do their best to fill gaps but the story limits them; case in point Richard Kiley, who's psychotic manicism is in line with a murderer of his sort but which seems ham-handed and still irrational. Leon Janney (Fortunato) is a star and has a wonderully villanous voice that can be described as an aural sneer. I delight when he is featured in shows. The story's females, Frances Sternhagen and Roberta Maxwell are the least undesirable characters within the story, behaving in praiseworthy fashion, yet their actions are stifled by the horrible men in their lives and uninteresting roles. In all, this Poe adaptation of The Cask of Amontillado fall short a glass or two, earning only one star. For exhibitions of George Lowthar's true potetial, I invite listeners to seek out his outstanding Poe adaptations listed just above, especially The Fall of the House of Usher, possibly one of the top 10 Mystery Theater episodes of all time, and also a great adaptation of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' (85). Cheers! - JUROR #4


To commemorate Poe’s 215th birthday, listening to this nightmare tale was simultaneously entertaining and terrifying ! The superb actors, notably Kiley and Sternhagen, used their acting chops with extreme emotional conviction. The troop’s commitment to this unconventional story is climaxed with Act Two’s shockingly frightful end. Noting the commercial radio broadcast necessities, RMT episode previews, like film trailers, can entice the audience, give away the ending, and then get cut for an alternate take to the final performance. For better or worse, the advertisements can interrupt the audience’s dreaded horror. However, this specific broadcast includes a brief message to further disturb us: the local Chicago temperature was FOUR DEGREES !

Professor Richard Pierson

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