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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Suspense - "Footfalls"

Written by Alvin George and Robert L Richards, from the short story by Wilbur Daniel Steele
July 12, 1945

Boaz, a blind cobbler, can barely support himself, much less his lazy son Manuel. Shortly after Boaz takes in a boarder there is a fire -- the boarder is killed and Manuel disappears. But Boaz heard the footsteps of the killer -- and he knows that someday he will hear them again...

Like "Sorry, Wrong Number", this episode has a premise that is perfectly suited for radio, and won't fully work in any other medium.

"Footfalls" takes complete audio advantage of its protagonist's blindness and enhanced sense of sound. The special effects boys in particular have a field day with the "hallucination" scene.


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
"Brave New World", CBS Radio Workshop (1956)
Narrated by Aldous Huxley
Written and directed by William Froug
Original music by Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Psycho)

Six hundred years in the future humans are manufactured in incubators, then carefully processed so they will grow into unquestioning, drugged worker-drones.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/zWABG98.jpg


Huxley's satire on the world of 1932 -- predating Orwell by fifteen years -- is adapted a quarter century later, for the America of Eisenhower, gray flannel suits and suburban barbecues. Huxley's theme of man as assembly-line cog has dated, but his idea that the traditional family must be destroyed for the revolution to fully succeed is as prescient as ever.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/NIIaH85.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/L5wAory.jpg


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Escape - "Zero Hour"

Written and directed by Antony Ellis, from the story by Ray Bradbury
Oct 4, 1953

A little girl plays a game with the other neighborhood kids called "Invasion", where aliens take over the Earth. Soon her parents fear the game is getting too real...

Classic adaptation of Bradbury's story. The central theme of dangerous children must have struck a chord with '50s family audiences, as it was also produced on Dimension X and Suspense (several times on the latter).

The terrifying ending is a masterpiece.


ipodking
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
That's definitely a good one.


tossedoff
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Love all these. Love hearing actors who became stars on TV in different roles later on. Gunsmoke had William Conrad (Cannon), Parley Baer (Mayor of Mayberry) and Howard McNear (Floyd the Barber). It is always a solid show. Have Gun, Will Travel is another solid one.

Your's Truly, Johnny Dollar; X Minus One; The Saint; Jack Benny; Phil Harris and Alice Faye; Suspense...all good shows. I wonder if any of these could be converted to TV now a days.


Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
quote:

Your's Truly, Johnny Dollar; X Minus One; The Saint; Jack Benny; Phil Harris and Alice Faye; Suspense...all good shows. I wonder if any of these could be converted to TV now a days
The Saint of course was a hit with Roger Moore in the '60s

For all intents and purposes Suspense became Alfred Hitchcock Presents, while X Minus One became The Twilight Zone.


tossedoff
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
I'm talking about now, not the 60s.


Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
quote:

I'm talking about now, not the 60s
Twilight Zone is on now

All the CSI type shows are essentially variations on the Dragnet Q&A format


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Theater Five - "The Underdeveloped Nation"

Written by Romeo Muller
Feb 5, 1965

An Air Force pilot insists he landed on an unknown island populated by pygmy-like creatures, but no one will believe him. Will a psychiatrist...?

Classic movie fans will be amused once you get the joke.

And wait for the payoff.


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Happy Anniversary!

The Mercury Theater Of The Air - "The War of the Worlds" (October 30, 1938)

Image: https://i.imgur.com/DjC7ouA.jpg


After the broadcast, Welles pleads his case to reporters.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/45jroJE.jpg


All's Welles that ends Wells: Orson meets H.G. at a San Antonio radio station, 1940.

Image: https://i.imgur.com/QoRDK1o.jpg


Image: https://i.imgur.com/Ifi2zfM.jpg


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skrayper
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
There's a few podcasts out there like that. A bit of a resurgence thanks to the medium.

Also, if you like humor, try Mission to Zyxx


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
quote:

Dimension X ran on NBC 1950-1. The show was later retooled as X Minus 1 in 1955-8. They dramatized stories from the pulp SF "golden age" of the 1940s by writers like Bradbury, Asimov, Heinlein etc.

While there are plenty of rocketmen and space travel stories, the most interesting episodes IMHO are those that prefigure the classic "Twilight Zone" situation -- ordinary people caught up in fantastic situations. Stephen King once commented that Richard Matheson took horror out of the gothic mansion and let it happen anywhere, even the minimart down the street. That's what these shows helped do for SF -- although Twilight Zone would get the credit. I wonder how often Rod Serling listened to them.

Dimension X

Kaleidoscope - Bradbury

To The Future - Bradbury

Mars Is Heaven - Bradbury

Dwellers In Silence - Bradbury

Dr. Grimshaw's Sanitorium - I can't believe they got away with this ending in 1950.
"To The Future" - from the story by Ray Bradbury (May 27, 1950)

Image: https://i.imgur.com/2tfSewI.png


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
NBC University Theater - "1984" (August 27, 1949)

The first dramatization of Orwell's novel, two months after it was published. Starring David Niven, with an intermission commentary by James Hilton (Lost Horizon).

Image: https://i.imgur.com/zHFOn6O.jpg


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DaleGribble
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Member since Sep 2014
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
quote:

There was a time when they would perform radio versions of then current films. I heard an awesome performance of Here Comes Mr. Jordan (the film that Warren Beatty’s Heaven Can Wait was based on).

The film’s star Robert Montgomery couldn’t play his role so they brought in Cary Grant. Man, it was better than the film.

The script was originally bought for Grant but they had replaced him with Montgomery.




That's probably Lux Radio Theater. They do radio versions of movie scripts, usually with at least some of their original main cast. It was on the radio for something like 20 years, so there's plenty of great episodes.

At least a few each with stars like John Wayne, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart. It's a great show.

If you want a really good comedy, The Great Gildersleeve is on pretty much all of the OTR sites.


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LSUfan20005
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
Great thread, might fire some of these up with the family in the evenings.

For something modern, “Blackout” is pretty good.


shinerfan
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)
No love for Chicken Man?


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Kafka
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re: Best radio dramas, past and present(?)


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - "The Final Problem" (1954)

A very short-lived UK series starring distinguished thespians Gielgud and Richardson. This episode guest stars Orson Welles as Professor Moriarty.





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