Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep: The Way It Was, 3 September

Even the least sentimental listener will likely prove gripped and embraced by this tastefully arresting adaptation of the film hit that paired an unlikely couple in this romantic fantasy about love conquering even disfigurement, plainness, bitter isolation, and lonely impetuosity.

Called to war on the day he was to have been married, battle-disfigured socialite Oliver Bradford (Robert Young, reprising his film role) repairs to the remote cottage where he would have honeymooned but now seeks isolation from even his family and the fiancee who was first repelled by his injuries. There, he is befriended by the cottage's newly-hired caretaker, Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire, reprising her film role), a plain girl seeking a place in a shallow hometown to which she's returned after eight long wandering years.

But solace in loneliness turns unexpectedly to marriage, to guilt, and, then, to an unexpected revelation when the legend of the cottage---that it casts a spell upon newlywed couples who honeymoon there---takes an unexpected hold upon the newlywed Bradfords . . . who can't convince anyone else, except a blind pianist who befriends them, that his disfigurement and her plainness have disappeared as a result.

Additional cast: Unknown. Host/guest producer: Hunt Stromberg. Announcer: John Milton Kennedy. Director: Sanford Barnett. Adapted from the screenplay by DeWitt Bodeen and Herman J. Mankiewicz; based on the novel by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero.


THE WHISTLER: DESTINY (CBS, 1943)---Former bookkeeper Milton Strong (possibly John Dehner), retired unceremoniously after he finally demanded a raise, forges an elaborate escape from the shrewish, nagging wife (possibly Cathy Lewis) he can't bring himself to kill . . . but finds, in mining country out west, not a new life but new death---a corpse found on a property he hopes to buy, allowing him to make an identity switch that backfires gravely on him. Steve: Possibly Wally Maher. Kate: Possibly Betty Lou Gerson. Additional cast: Unknown. The Whistler: Bill Forman. Music: Wilbur Hatch. Whistling theme: Dorothy Roberts. Director: George Allen. Writer: J. Donald Wilson.

THE CHARLIE McCARTHY SHOW: A STOOGE FOR A STOOGE (NBC, 1945)---During a visit to New York, at which the tuxedoed termite tree can't quite wiggle out of doing his schoolwork, anyway, he has to explain a rather inflated hotel lunch check---and bear the iniquity of possibly being grounded for the entire trip, which prompts McCarthy to advertise for a new on-air partner . . . an ad answered by Fred Allen, in a sketch Allen will reference and expand upon memorably when resuming his own radio show. Also guest star: Portland Hoffa. Announcer: Ben Grauer. Music: Ray Noble Orchestra, Anita Gordon. Writers: Possibly Joe Connelly, Bob Mosher, Joe Bigelow.

THE MEL BLANC SHOW: THE FIX-IT SHOP FOR SALE (SERIES PREMIERE---NBC, 1946)---Betty (Mary Jane Croft) urges Mel (Blanc, who also plays Zookie) either to send Zookie and Uncle Rupert (Earle Ross) packing or sell the Fix-It Shop, the better to ease the drain---and ease their way to the altar after five years' engagement. Mr. Colby: Joseph Kearns. Announcer: Ken Niles. Music: Victor Miller Orchestra. Director: Joe Rines. Writers: David Victor, Herb Little.

MY FAVOURITE HUSBAND: LIZ'S MOTHER HAS SECOND THOUGHTS (CBS; AFRS REBROADCAST, 1948)---Going for a weekend with her mother (possibly Bea Benaderet, who usually plays Iris Atterbury in this series), ahead of George (Richard Denning) who has to attend an important bank board conference first, Liz (Lucille Ball) is surprised to learn her mother plans to marry again, to a rancher who arrives moments after George does. Additional cast: Unknown. Music: Wilbur Hatch. Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.


Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks for the link to "Enchanted Cottage", a sweet and moving adaptation that is one of my favorites.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

Jacqueline---I was myself surprised and pleased by the manner in which Lux Radio Theater adapted The Enchanted Cottage without cutting either its flow or the guts out of the original By the way, I enjoyed your review of Peyton Place. I often think it would have adapted well to what was left of old-time radio, had a radio network the courage to commission such a serial.---Jeff

10:44 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Now that would have been some show.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Kallman said...

I can think of quite a few such films that would have made splendid radio series. Try to imagine A Summer Place adapted to a summertime radio serial. Or, to get even more elaborate, if you remember Shirley Booth's (an old-time radio vet herself; she was the original Miss Duffy in then-husband Ed Gardner's Duffy's Tavern, and had had first crack at auditioning Our Miss Brooks before Eve Arden got the star-making role) About Mrs. Leslie, which isn't quite as soapish as people remember it to have been and tended to grip you without your quite realising it, particularly because she was so believable in what was probably the most romantically sad role of her career . . .

12:20 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Memories, memories, memories! What marvelous things 'memories.'

11:06 AM  

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