Tag Archives: Lux Radio Theater

20 December: From Macy’s to Dickens on the plains

Edmund Gwenn, nonpareil Santa. (Photo: 20th Century Fox.)

Edmund Gwenn, nonpareil Santa. (Photo: 20th Century Fox.)

Lux Radio Theater: Miracle on 34th Street (CBS, 1948)

Darryl F. Zanuck thought releasing Miracle on 34th Street as summer 1947 was born would be a clever idea because, well, he thought more people go to the movies in summer. Lux Radio Theater thinks tonight’s the more appropriate time to present its radio adaptation. In a small piece of poetic justice, the broadcast won’t injure the film at the next Academy Awards, where Edmund Gwenn will win Best Supporting Actor for the role he reprises tonight.

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14 February: A singular love

Love is deeper than a surface or a sight. Tonight I repeat a very special Lux Radio Theater performance that becomes, as of now, our annual Valentine’s Day feature program—even if it wasn’t actually performed on Valentine’s Day.

 

TUNE IN TONIGHT:
Lux Radio Theater: The Enchanted Cottage (CBS, 3 September 1945)

McGuire and Young in the original film. (Photo: RKO.)

McGuire and Young in the original film. (Photo: RKO.)

But it should have been. And if even the least sentimental listener isn’t gripped or embraced by this tastefully arresting adaptation of the film hit—in which Robert Young, Dorothy McGuire, and Herbert Marshall reprise their remarkable film roles—he or she might be prone to charges of lacking soul.

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20 December: The little miracle that could . . .

Edmund Gwenn, singular Santa. (Photo: 20th Century Fox.)

Edmund Gwenn, singular Santa. (Photo: 20th Century Fox.)

To a 21st Century viewer (of the original film) or listener (to any of several radio adaptatios), the very idea of the overcommercialised Christmas being satirised gently but firmly, in a time often misinterpreted to be less than mere bottom-lined, reeks of the Hallmark Channel.

What would you think, to put it plainly, if you ran across an old man who not only looked like Kris Kringle but confidently claimed that he was?” asked the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther upon Miracle on 34th Street’s June 1947 premiere.

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4 December: The backwoods renaissance man

Bob Burns, at the height of his radio career. (Photo: NBC.)

Bob Burns, at the height of his radio career. (Photo: NBC.)

Bob Burns only sounds like an Arkansas bumpkin, normally. Though he was born and raised in the Natural State, Burns (born Robin Burns) actually has a college education and an early life that includes serving as a civil engineer and a member of the U.S. Marine Corps’ early jazz band as a trombonist. In due course, he would become a farmer, carpenter, fisherman, toymaker, sailor, gunsmith, and even amateur astronomer.

In short, Burns is a kind of renaissance man of remarkable sanity and balance. And it was a very good thing, too, considering how long it took him to establish himself as an entertainer.

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15 November: Frances Farmer’s furies


Anne Shirley must have every eye of the studio audience and the crew upon her more intently than they’d be trained upon a Lux Radio Theater performance without the backstory hers carries. She’s standing in for one of the most spectacular crackups in Hollywood’s none-too-unspoiled or unsoiled history.

By now the original lead actress in Come and Get It has left Hollywood for the first time, partially in pursuit of stage work, and partially out of frustration that she can’t get roles that don’t call upon more than just her arresting looks. And Frances Farmer—whose turn in the original Come and Get It should have made her a bona fide star—can’t and won’t convince people that shunning glamour off set means anything but trouble.

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