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The Fall of Gentryville


When an entire mountain town vanishes from a map, a reporter is dispatched to uncover the mystery. There she discovers the village's sole survivor and she narrates a chilling and terrible tale.



Air Dates

  • First Run - March 5, 1979
  • Repeat - August 23, 1979





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19 Responses to Episode 0959

A small mountain town disappears from the map leaving only one mousy woman to tell the tale. She tells a reporter a tale of horrible corruption and menace.


Great episode. Interesting that the characters never have to name Sodom/Gomorrah or Jerusalem, as examples of what happens to towns that go bad. The listener is assumed to know.


Good observation. In addition to the Biblical references you cite, this also invokes from the Bible the (quite literal) fall of Korah, from Numbers 16:1.

Redford White

Have always really enjoyed this one. It starts out with a great first act-- a really spooky little mystery-- has almost a "Night Stalker" feel to it with the reporter angle. The ending was just like that great old show,too, with no one believing Pete-- just like they never believed Kolchak-- either. It also evokes a little of "The Twilight Zone" --what with the moral at the end- which is what the best "TZ's" had. I enjoyed the villian, considerably. Ray Owens was pitch perfect and I liked his character's little quirk of always finding a new way to bid "adieu". This episode is also very reminiscent of anothe RMT "The Song of the Siren"-- only Mandel Kramer (who plays a reporter, too) meets with an much more dire end. Great Choice, with as much relevancy today as when it first aired! Until Next Time..............


As mentioned, this episode does remind me of the Twilight Zone or Night Stalker. The setup for the show, a disappearing town, is great. I love shows which start with a puzzling mystery. The Devil pops up a lot in RMT! My favorite Devil episode might be the story involving a dancer who sells her soul to Satan in order to regain her youth when she was a great dancer. The Night Stalker reference appropriate since it involves a journalist investigating the supernatural and of course the editor fails to believe his story. I wish the Night Stalker had had a longer run or that its revival on ABC had lasted. The concept is terrific. I only wish this had been narrated by E. G. Marshall. Brown is the worst host I can think of.


Hadn't thought of this at the time, but in the book of Revelation the antichrist and the false prophet will be cast alive into Hell at the end of the great tribulation, and after the earthly 1,000 year reign of Christ and the battle vs. the kingdoms of Og/Megog (also described in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel) the devil himself will truly suffer the same fate as those from "Gentryville".


This one is one of the best! Stephen King visited this type of strange little town so many times so effectively. Sam Dann is just as effective. Oddly enough, it is believable. It is amazing how seemingly incorruptable people can be corrupted by money. Dann explores the essence of human nature and found it wanting. For those of you who have not yet listened, Get to it. This one's great!


WOW. I downloaded this program last year and never listened to it. I won't preach here. All I'll note is: - E.G. says at the beginning another little known proverb: "There's no bigger insult to the devil than a virtuous woman." I don't know where this saying came from, but what American network program would ever open a program like this today? - The reporter at one point refers to a book "which should be the cornerstone for every one of us - the Bible." The morality of this entire series, even with its flaws, could be stunning. It makes me long for the day when we can hear something like this once again on American air waves. The question is: Will we (the people) be receptive to messages like this as we were from 1974-82? Could a program like the RMT last that long in today's culture? Or will it be as well-received as the reporter's story was to "Gomez" in his newsroom? My gut feeling is: "if not today, someday it will." Thanks for this selection.

Chavis Chemalli

Great program! I hadn't heard this play before so this was a pleasant surprise. The acting was terrific, though Jenny's voice sounded a bit "chipmunkish", and I enjoyed the fact that this story was presented as the labors of a freelance writer. I noted that the Devil was a real world traveler because he used one salutation in French (Au Revoir) and another in Italtian (Caio) - nice touch! I gave this program a 5.

Arnold Rubio

I think he also said to say (in German) \"Auf wiedersehen\". Nice touch by the scriptwriter. I also wondered if the woman\'s name, instead of \"Jenny\" was \"Ginny\", as in short for \"Virginia\", which is another element describing what Satan was so interested in.

J.V.C. Armenal

You're absolutely right. And the "Virginia" comment took me about three reads before it sunk in! Great observation!!!!!


Numbers 16:30-34, that for those who've heard it I believe "The fall of Gentryville" is partially based around. (And, like the CBSRMT show, you've got to read/see the whole context of "the fall" to realize why it occurred.)


Wow, what a grabber. I gave this show a high 4 for the overall show but certain aspects of this show are unprecedented in my listening, most of all the sheer human anguish Jenny goes through at the end. Initially I didn't buy the notion of the town just sinking because of a geographic phenomenon. But then I remembered, that was the premise the show opened with -- that many people confuse the limit of their perspective with the limit of all reality. There have been many instances in history of people and governments coming up with much more improbable explanations for things they refuse to acknowledge (I was just reading about the assassination of JFK the other day ...)


This is an unbelievable morality tale about good and evil, very mysterious and powerful. Another tale of morality, evil or the Devil (however you want to call it) that is excellent is "The Transformation", which is a fascinating gothic telling of a Mary Shelley's short story.


I am a huge fan of the CBS mystery theater, I was about 12 years old and the radio was my only escape from reality, (my mom wouldnt let me have a tv)so every night at midnight I tuned in to wbbm news radio 78. Thanks a lot for sharing a wonderful piece of history!

Steve Weiser

The caption above says that a woman is narrating the story but I believe the story is from a male reporter's point of view.

Steve Weiser

a really good story of how the most honest & upright people can be corrupted by $$$. As it says in the bible, "The love of money is the root of all evil" which seemed 2 be the main theme of this radio play & how, also, how u tell the truth & nobody wants 2 believe u or looks @ u like u have 2 heads. In 1 of the previous comment entries, a person who went by the name of Matabuena saying it had an element of Twilight Zone 2 it. Agreed. I've watched my fair share of TZ & I've noticed CBSRMT plays have the same background music that u hear in the Twilight Zone. I'm sure that I'm not the only 1 who's noticed that. In my mind's i, this play gets a 9.5 out 10. Anyway.....until next time, pleasant dreams!(LOL.....a little bit of wit)


reporter named Pete, in order to redeem himself, is assigned to write a story about why the little town of Gentryville and all its residents have vanished without a trace. The geologists and engineers blame it on an earth fault but, after he interviews the town’s sole survivor, a spinster named Jennie Powers, Pete comes up with a different theory that, if printed, will either land him in a nuthouse or win him a Pulitzer Prize.


I really like this episode. I think it's got a good plot. I often listen to this one when I need to sleep.


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