Tag Archives: Lux Radio Theater

9 October: The high price of Oscar on the air

Blyth and Bracken with tomorrow's news today . . .

Blyth and Bracken with tomorrow’s news today . . .

Academy Award was only slightly deceptive as the title of this short-lived dramatic anthology. The hook was that at least one of each week’s players, or the film itself that was condensed for the radio performance, had either won or was nominated for an Oscar. Somehow, merely having been nominated didn’t seem quite enough for such a ballyhooing series name.

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25 March: Lux, radio thumper

Barbara Stanwyck, a frequent Lux Radio Theater performer. (Photo: CBS.)

Barbara Stanwyck, a frequent Lux Radio Theater performer. (Photo: CBS.)

No radio show in 1939-40 dominates its night the way Lux Radio Theater does. By the time the CBS anthology dramatising film classics for radio finishes the season, its 23.7 Hooper rating will provide the show the largest margin between itself and the night’s second place finisher—in this season’s case, Lowell Thomas’s popular news/commentaries (NBC Blue; 14.5)—with 9.2 points separating the two shows.

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Of music and survival: Old-time radio listening, 27 May

Lux Radio Theater: Music for Millions (CBS, 1946)

Maestro Iturbi, who knew a little too much tragedy in his accomplished life. (Photo: Library of Congress.)

Maestro Iturbi, who knew a little too much tragedy in his accomplished life. (Photo: Library of Congress.)

The Academy Award-nominated film musical gets a coolly understated radio interpretation tonight, with three of its stars—Margaret O’Brien, Jimmy Durante, and classical pianist/conductor Jose Iturbi reprising their film roles. In some ways, it seems almost miraculous that Iturbi is alive and functioning, considering his past.

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A Depression farce: Old-time radio listening, 30 November-1 December

Lux Radio Theater: A Man’s Castle (CBS, 1 December 1941)

Early and elemental Tracy . . . (Photo: Unknown publicity photo)

Spencer Tracy reprises one of his earliest—and most arresting—film roles in a performance that’s just about as arresting even with the requisite radio adaptation and editing.

As millions are jobless in the Great Depression, a squatter’s camper (Tracy) takes in a homeless young lady (Ingrid Bergman, in the Loretta Young film role). He feeds her as she makes him a castle inside a shack and falls in love with him despite his restless nature. There’s just one little hitch: when he discovers she’s pregnant, he wants nothing more than to hop the first freight train out of town.

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Too close for Sinatra’s comfort? Old-time radio listening, 17 November

Rocky Fortune: A Hepcat Kills the Canary (NBC, 1953)

Sinatra sometimes bumped against his own real-time heartbreak playing Rocky Fortune . . . (Photo: NBC)

Tonight’s installment in this short-lived, off-beat crime drama—it may prove a kind of pilot fish for television’s later-1950s smash, 77 Sunset Strip, playing the private-eye theme for laughs, with an accidental protagonist who isn’t even a private eye, license or otherwise, as 77′s jaunty Kookie will be—may hit a little too close to home for its between-sorts star.

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