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To Be a Rose


A psychotic murderer kept incarcerated in a mental asylum recounts the days of him being a sensitive poet and how he fell in love. But his beloved broke his heart and drove him over the edge.



Air Dates

  • First Run - August 29, 1977
  • Repeat - January 14, 1978





37     14

4 Responses to Episode 0701

Hearts would be practical if only they were made unbreakable.....


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. This Drama-Mystery, written by Sam Dann, had some ups and downs. The upside, is that it’s a tale of a poet who loved his work and love a particular woman. The downside, is that others around him had love for money and it ends with a crime of passion. Fans of CBSRMT would feel sympathetic for the main character that lost his freedom, lost his passion for writing poetry, but also lost the only woman he had feelings for. As for the poetry that was spoken in this episode, it was OK, but not as passionate as Sam Dann’s poetic words from #0182-A BRIDE FOR DEATH or #0266-MUST HOPE PERISH or even #0392-HOW QUIET THE NIGHT. The title of this sounds appealing and it matches with his beloved’s lifestyle. Another way to title this, would be “I Don’t Want To Remember” or “Petals Of Pain.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall discusses Man’s fortune. In ACT-1, discussion on what people see in other people, which leads to Elwood “Curly" Quentin on what he would experience. When he meets his beloved and she’s loves his soul, our Host points out that drama requires suspension of belief. In ACT-2, our Host compares this couple to Beauty & The Beast (but in that fairy tale, the girl rescues the prince on an emotional level). When things took a turn in this story, E.G. Marshall points out that somebody has to get left in the end of meaningful relationships. In ACT-3, our main character is not the type of Country Boy that will be successful as a City Boy. After the finale, when all is said and done, our Host’s final analysis is simply this - who’s crazy? In the Epilogue, that I found on other OTR websites, E.G. Marshall concludes with the 6th Commandment with no ways around it. His narrations in all 3 Acts were terrific. But his Prologue and Epilogue didn’t match what the topic was about. Sound effects of doors, footsteps, birds chirping, tableware clinking, newspaper, cassette player, door buzzer, telephone ringing, cab engine running, TV static, TV audience cheer, 2 gun blasts, and dialing of the rotary phone were helpful. As for the music, a few suspenseful tunes, but a great collection of dramatic tunes that helped this story along. Now onto our cast: Leon Janney (as Elwood “Curly” Quentin), Catherine Byers (as Pammy Sue Puckett), Joan Shay (as Nurse, Curly’s Mother, and Jenny Thorpe), and Earl Hammond (as Jackie Thorpe, Barney, and Officer). Earl Hammond was good in his minor roles. Joan Shay was awesome with her dominant voice. Catherine Byers was sweet in her dainty voice. And Leon Janney was outstanding as the homely poet that went deranged. It’s one of his best roles. Check this episode out if you are looking for crimes-of-passion stories and poetry involved. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


It's not much of a mystery, but this is one of Leon Janney's best radio performances ever, imo. You just have to like "Curly" Quentin in spite of his crime of passion because he truly does have a beautiful soul. I won't give the ending away, but in the end he shows his true character, which proves him to be much more honorable than his public or the people around him. It's really difficult to understand his wife's behavior. I don't think a woman has to play around with all the men just because she is pretty. Leon Janney's performance elevates what could have been a really lame story, full of cliches, into a true CBSRMT classic. He brings to life a truly remarkable, very memorable, and lovable character. The other actors are also very good as well, but Leon Janney stands out especially in this episode. The way he reads the poems is truly classic, and if there really was a "Curly" Quentin, I can see why he would become famous.


I loved Leon Janney’s performance and I too loved the sweet soul of “Curly” Quentin. For those reasons I give this episode a thumbs up!


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