In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Orson Welles , I present a collection of 8 half-hour episodes of the CBS Radio series, “SUSPENSE” in which he guest starred.
While most are familiar with Welles’ films and hail his work as a filmmaker, for me his true genius was most evident on the medium of radio. These shows are but a few examples of his extraordinary talent as a raconteur, voice artist and seller of tales. These also happen to be as entertaining and affecting today as they were when they first aired many decades ago. Enjoy!
Directors: William N. Robeson, William Spier
Music: Bernard Herrmann
The Hitchhiker by Lucille Fletcher
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
The Lost Special by Arthur Conan Doyle
Philomel Cottage by Agatha Christie
Lazarus Walks by Robert Richards
The Marvelous Barastro by Ben Hecht
The Dark Tower by Alexander Woollcott and George S. Kaufman
Welles’ parody of Donovan’s Brain by Curt Siodmak
(NOTE: they all play in succession or you can fast forward to the next episode. All are worthy of a listen.)
While we primarily think of Welles in a cinematic sense — and no doubt he enjoyed what he called he toy set of a studio soundstage — radio, for both the imagination it required of the listener and the relative lack of interference from “the powers that be” — probably was the medium where he felt most at home. Alas for Orson, past the early 1950s there was no financial future in that industry.
Indeed all around! His voice and talents – to me – were absolutely perfect on the medium of radio. Though it requires a more “active” role on behalf of the audience, it’s too bad more aren’t familiar with these radio classics.
Thanks much for stopping in and commenting!
Loved Donovan’s Brain . Welles so good. Would love to see the 1953 film version with Lew Ayres
Me too! I’ve never seen it.
Was a wee bit disappointed in The Dark Tower. Orson seemed to be trying to copy Monty Wooley as ‘Sheridan Whiteside’ from The Man Who Came To Dinner.
Look forward to the others.
Oh, that Monty Wooley imitation thing is RIGHT ON!!! Didn’t occur to me as I listened.