Tag Archives: Suspense

13 January: Woolrich, Suspense, and Lucy

Cornell Woolrich, at the height of his career as a crime novelist.

Cornell Woolrich, at the height of his career as a crime novelist.

Cornell Woolrich is sometimes thought to have been the fourth-best mystery novelist in America in his time, behind Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Raymond Chandler. Issues involving his estate will prove the main reason, it will be said, why early 21st Century crime fiction lovers will not find many of his works still in print beyond a few new collections of short stories published in the 1990s.

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28 December: A brief comeback and a memorable “Suspense”

 

A should-have-been film star whose early mishandling in Hollywood disrupted her career, June Duprez was still comely in 1984  shortly before her death. (Photo: Richard Lamparski collection.)

A should-have-been film star whose early mishandling in Hollywood disrupted her career, June Duprez was still comely in 1984 shortly before her death. (Photo: Richard Lamparski collection.)

June Duprez is in the middle of what proves a very brief return to high-production-value film making, when she takes the lead in tonight’s Suspense, after her move to Hollywood from England nearly destroyed her career.

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28 March: A long, suspenseful road to success

Brian Donlevy as a blind sleuth tonight. (Photo: CBS.)

Brian Donlevy as a blind sleuth tonight. (Photo: CBS.)

Because its reputation will merely increase with time, as network radio’s classic era recedes further and further in the rearview mirror of American entertainment, it might be difficult for 21st Century fans to believe that it took several seasons before Suspense proved anything close to a ratings hit commensurate with its image as radio’s most sophisticated thriller.

Launched (as was Duffy’s Tavern) by way of the CBS anthology series Forecast in 1940, before becoming a full-time series in 1942, Suspense didn’t exactly begin with a bang—the show was nowhere to be found in Wednesday night’s top ten for 1942-43, and you’d have needed a homing pigeon to contact it past the overal top fifty.

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14 January: Not-so-dizzy Miss Lizzie

Suspense: Fall River Tragedy (CBS, 1952)

Moorehead, "the first lady of Suspense." (Photo: CBS.)

Moorehead, “the first lady of Suspense.” (Photo: CBS.)

In perhaps a minor masterpiece of understatement, the TruTV network’s Website Crime Library will put it like this:

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23 September: Wistful Vista the hard way

Fibber McGee & Molly:
Anything to Get Out of Scrubbing the Back Porch
(NBC, 1935)

 

The Jordans: They didn't just turn up at Wistful Vista overnight . . . (Photo: NBC)

The Jordans: They didn’t just turn up at Wistful Vista overnight . . . (Photo: NBC)

By now scattered, clumsy-minded, but bighearted Fibber McGee and his salt-of-the-earth, sweetly acid, patiently loving wife, Molly, have settled at 79 Wistful Vista. It’s probably easy to forget what old-time radio’s crown couple (if they’re not, they’re at least among the top three finalists) did before they got here.

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