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The Ripple Effect


In an attempt to recover several scandalous love letters from a bitter ex-mistress, a politician unwittingly sets off a chain of events that threaten to ruin his life, and the lives of those around him.



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 4, 1977
  • Repeat - June 5, 1977





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13 Responses to Episode 0595

When a politician attempts to recover some love letters from a mistress, he sets off a chain of events that will ruin a few lives.

Cory Q.

I really enjoyed this fast moving episode


Recently heard "Ripple Effect": senate candidate sends a small- time thief to steal some leters he wrote to a former lover, murder happens, and it snowballs from there. I love E.G. Marshall's line after Act 2: we know by now Emerson (the candidate) is a "man of letters".


thisd was a pretty good story!

terence jones

This was a good crime drama in which one murder causes a ripple effect, as the title implies, and 2 women have similar agendas. At the end of the episode Himan Brown comes on to tell the audience about a new show that he is producing, starting feb 5, of what I assume is 1977, a new show called General Mills Radio Adventure Theater. He said it was to be broadcast every Saturday and Sunday, and was to be based on books as well as new stories that would be full of "action, suspense and adventure". It was to have starred actor Tom Bosley. Does anyone know if these aired and for how long?


yes. the show is archived as well. personally I found that general mills theater was not all that entertaining- the subject matter was rather weak- which is probably why it went off so quickly. there was one episode about time travel I liked but that was about all


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. What I like about Sam Dann’s writing is that his storylines can put CBSRMT fans on the edge of their seats when it comes to Drama-Mysteries & Fantasy-Mysteries. This particular Drama-Mystery was going so well, but unfortunately the ending wasn’t a big astonishment. The twisted part about what happened to the love letters wasn’t shocking, striking, or surprising. An O.K. ending, but no resolution on what’s going to happen to the female characters involved. The title of this CBSRMT episode works, but another way to title it would be “All For Nothing” because that’s exactly what our main villain did…all for nothing. The music had great suspenseful tracks in each Act. The sound effects, however, needed more. ACT-1 had the opening of the drawer, clicking of the revolver, gun shot, door buzzer, rotary phone, street noise, taxi cab, and doors. ACT-2 had the pushing of buttons of the telephone, 4 gun shots, background noise at the police station, and classical music. ACT-3 only had the sound of footsteps. What was great about our Host’s narrations is that E.G. Marshall pulls the listeners in by using insightful quotes. In his Prologue, he quoted German lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide who said, “Might is right, and justice there is none” which means that this mystery tale is about focusing on justice. In ACT-1, he quoted Leo Tolstoy who said, “God sees the truth, but waits” which is actually a title of his short story. In ACT-2, he quoted a poet who said, “If you’d write a love, carve your words on ice, scribble them on the sands, and speak of love into the wind.” Don’t know who the poet is, but it is a powerful message to those that seek affection. In ACT-3, he quoted Honoré de Balzac who said, “A person should always keep his words to himself instead of speaking them or writing them publically, so that other folks could twist them about for their own purposes.” Another powerful message. At the end of the story, E.G. Marshall points out that there was no perfect crime and the killer left a bit of himself of his personality at the crime scene. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall explains how the Ripple Effect works. It would make sense to talk about it at the very beginning of the show, but the quotes from poets/novelists made a greater contribution to the story. Another great thing about this, was our cast: Les Tremayne (as Emerson Maitland), Robert Dryden (as Jacko Lewiston and Lieutenant Quince), Martha Greenhouse (as Lolly Hovas and Evangeline Maitland), Earl Hammond (as Honest John Flanders and the Cab Driver), and Bryna Raeburn (as Lena Morgan). I’d give props to our actors & actresses for playing their 2 parts. And I’d give big props to Les Tremayne for his villainous role. It’s too bad that he only did 2 episodes for CBSRMT; this one and #0341-THE IDEAS OF MARCH. But still, it was a delight to hear. That, and hearing Himan Brown’s commercial about the GENERAL MILLLS RADIO ADVENTURE THEATER that premiered on February 5th, 1977. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


Good post. I love E.G. and his presence adds a great deal to the series. It’s amazing how many episodes Sam Dann wrote for mystery theater. I believe his daughter was/is a writer as well. It’s sad how many of the contributors to the show are no longer with us.


Thank you for your fascinating reviews, Russell. Always a joy to read and full of insight.

Michael R Sheffield

This one is just okay. Straightforward, predictable, kinda dull, not very plausible.


When someone reports a crime to one of Sam Dann's cops, usually played by Robert Dryden, the cop always starts out sounding like a lazy oaf who argues, spews sarcasm and shows no interest in doing his job. Then miraculously he does a 180 and dedicates himself to the case. This irrational behavior gets tedious after a dozen episodes.

Mark A

Speaking of cops, did anyone else pick up on the recurrence of this story's central character name, "Maitland"? Here it was "Emerson Maitland"; but there was also a "*Bill* Maitland" in the earlier episode, "Every Blossom Dies" (#240)—also authored by Sam Dann. "Maitland"? .... hmmm .... I won't say any more, because I don't want to chance spoiling THAT story (which I would easily rate four-and-a-half stars, by the way) for anyone else! :) But it's not like the names "Smith," "Jones," or "Green," etc. ... Makes one wonder what Sam was thinking; and whether he might've been subconsciously drawing on past memories of an old school acquaintance; a romantic rival; or a curmudgeon boss, etc., in the revisiting (and characterization) of that particular moniker. That said, I liked this episode, along with most anything (I've heard so far) authored by Mr. Dann. He seemed to have a knack for mixing moral lessons in with his stories of drama, mystery and suspense that were both relevant to the tale and multifaceted enough to allow the listener to come to their own conclusions and take away what they wanted.


Great play. Great series. Oh how I enjoy these radio dramas. If you haven't already, check out the CBS Radio News program prior to the broadcast. If you were alive in the 70's like I was, you will get a kick of the news stories.

Bruce C. Hartman

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