Casey, Crime Photographer

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Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Empty Re: Casey, Crime Photographer

Post by greybelt on 3/26/2020, 3:27 am

Disappearance of Mr. Dizzel was a re-use of the script from 1945-06-12 The Strange Case of Mr. Strange. It's an interesting script for a while but the details of the disappearance end up being simplistic and defy the mildest application of practical scrutiny.

For many years this episode circulated in bad sound, and no one was able to figure out the title or the spelling. In the 1970s, it would be listed as "The Disappearance of Adam Gazelle" or other approximations.

ADC continuity notes (the same for both broadcasts)...
The servants of a wealthy dealer in rare books return from their night off to see two men helping a third out or the house and inside they find bullet holes and bloodstains, but no body. Police believe that someone broke in and kidnapped the old man, and his nephew who has been friendly with several questionable characters is suspected. Ransom notes arrive at the nephew's door. The old man has been hiding in the fireplace chimney of his own den and has slipped the notes under the door himself at night in order to secure money to leave the country because his crooked dealings in book have been discovered by the other dealers.

00:50 There are some what may be considered caricatured portrayals of black servants (Louella and Henry Clarence) who work for Mr. Dizzel, speaking with exaggerated accents. It sounds like actors of that background (I suspect portraying the parts as they were "supposed" to sound) and are not imitations by other actors. They are not identified in the credits, but we know Casey only identified central characters and not supporting ones. Since we don't have the network copies of either broadcast or the scripts, we may never know. Cotsworth was very active quietly behind-the-scenes in getting helping actors get into roles on Broadway and radio and situations that broke some barriers. Perhaps that is the case here; again, we're 70 years removed from the day of broadcast so we can't be sure.

It's assumed from the beginning that Dizzel was kidnapped and there will be a call for ransom.

Professor Ishka is rare book thief who wants to do well and make amends after his release from prison. He goes to Casey because he knows the authorities won't believe him and doesn't want to be considered a snitch.

Bruce Madden, Jr. is a well-known extortionist. Neil Lawrence is Dizzel's nephew. Logan thinks they're in cahoots. Madden, Sr. cut his son off for his playboy and spendthrift ways. The Maddens are only referenced; they have no lines.

Another book dealer, Paul Vladimir, is killed later, at the same time as the Dizzel incident occurs, and the same kind of gun was used. We learn he was Ishka's brother.

8:00 Ann is suspicious of a kidnap plot from the beginning.

9:05 The ransom letter appears, placed under Lawrence's door. It's Dizzel's handwriting and says the kidnappers want $150,000. That's more than $1.6 million in 2020 dollars.

11:15 The indication is made by Louella that the building has been renovated with an impractical layout in the conversion from home to book shop. Moving from room-to-room is not intuitively navigated. This plays into the solution. 12:35 It's noted that there are phone extensions all over the house. In 1950, this was considered to be a sign of affluence because of the high costs. More than 35% of homes did not have phones in 1950.

14:15 Ann is still skeptical of Lawrence as the kidnapper.

14:46 Mr. Evans, a new customer at the Blue Note, diverts Ethelbert's attention; not sure which actor is doubling here. While Ethelbert steps away, Professor Ishka gets Casey's ear for a while and gives him some insights into Dizzel's dealings, which were not always ethical. He says that Vladimir was his brother and Dizzel killed him. Dizzel was a fence for stolen books, and that Dizzel was not kidnapped and is still alive, hiding.

18:45 Another envelope has been found. 19:05 It's a letter of instruction from Dizzel to his nephew. Casey gets suspicious. The note was tied to a piece of fire brick, not a rock. For some reason, this is a clue to Casey. He asks for some tear gas canisters.

20:58 The tear gas is dropped into a chimney -- and Dizzel comes out, gasping for air, from behind a bookcase with a gun! He drops the gun and surrenders.

21:35 The tear gas spills into the area, affecting Casey. He says he hasn't "cried so much since the Dodgers... well, you know..." He's could be referring to the 1949 World Series where the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in five games [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but more likely the 1947 series where the Dodgers lost in seven games [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Since this is a re-used script, this line may have been added. If the 1945 script had a World Series reference that was left intact, it would refer to the 1941 series [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  This is another reference that implies Casey is based in New York.

Back at the Blue Note, Casey explains that Dizzel had a hiding place in the house where he could store stolen books and was using the room hide until he could escape with his own ransom money. It's unlikely his staying in the room could be pulled off in practical daily life. There's no mention of a lavatory in the hiding place, and servants and his nephew would have heard him using such for personal hygiene, or his having to leave the room for that. Dizzel was raiding the kitchen when everyone else in the house was asleep, and eventually he would have been detected, even accidentally by spilling something or dropping something. He would have been found out, just by moving around in an older home with its usual creakiness of floorboards and doors.

23:40 Ann is having a date with Mr. Lawrence, whom she always knew was innocent. Casey is mildly jealous.

The AFRS closing is "This is the United States Armed Forces Radio Service, the voice of information and education."

Casey 50-04-13 336 The Disappearance of Mr Dizzel AFRS.mp3
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There are no newspaper clippings associated with this particular presentation.

This was not the episode originally promoted for this date. The substitution was made after the press releases were sent. The announced performance was done on another date, likely with a slightly different title.

1950-04-07 CBS Press Release
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Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 Empty Re: Casey, Crime Photographer

Post by greybelt on 3/26/2020, 2:05 pm

The Suicide is a repeated script that was originally presented on 1945-02-15 with the title Suicide Note. The last time a Broadway-like venue was used was for 1947-07-31 Bright New Star and a non-Cole script 1947-11-13 Too Many Angels were in similar settings of failed plays. This time, a handwritten page of draft dialogue from a very bad play was cut to look like a suicide note. Cole pulls the ol' life-insurance-doesn't-pay-for-suicides routine out of his back pocket. This is an average episode with a predictable plot, but generally well-executed.

ADC continuity notes (notes for 1945-02-15 Suicide Note are the same)...
After his play in which his wife starred and which was produced by her boyfriend fails an author is supposedly a suicide, having jumped from his hotel window while his wife was in the lobby talking with some people. He left a corny suicide note which Casey thinks was from a cut scene of his play. Casey gets the dead man's lawyer to tell the widow that he left very little money and that she forfeits the insurance because death was by suicide, As he thought she would, she goes to see the boyfriend and forces him to write a confession of murder after which she plans to kill him and make that too look like suicide; the police break in before she can complete her plans.

Every time I think of a failed Broadway play, I think of Mel Brooks' The Producers.

- Carl Ashby was the author of the play, a businessman who decided to try his hand at writing.
- Lee Gorman is the producer of the play, who decides to close the play after one night; according to Ann Williams, he is a "beautiful hunk of man."
- Nedra Millard is the star of the play... "Nedra" backwards is "Arden." Could Cole have had Eve Arden in mind? Nedra is Ashby's wife. Cole could have been stuck for a name. The actress-singer Nedra Volz was not active in this era [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] but Cole may have heard of her from her big band singing career in the Midwest. She was not well-known. Her acting career did not really take off until the 1980s when she played grandmotherly types in sitcoms.
- Ben Cartwright is Ashby's lawyer (no, not Ben from the TV show of years later).

4:10 Ethelbert says to them "Say, I didn't see you two last night. Where was you?" He says that Ashby is a regular at the Blue Note.

5:40 Casey is told that Ashby has committed suicide. 6:00 Logan says it's an open and shut case. 7:25 Nedra seems to have a perfect alibi.

7:50 Casey sees the suicide note, and the top of the page has been torn off, and the note is not signed. 8:40 He's really suspicious about it.

10:40 Nedra uses almost the same words "all of us make mistakes, don't we... big ones..." as Gorman did at 1:53 "one of those big mistakes we make at one time or another." The "mistakes" line is used at the end about a sports bet Casey makes.

11:15 Casey explains it all to Logan: Nedra married Carl for his money, but she continued to be interested in Lee. They figured a way to get rid of Carl. Carl wanted to write a play, and Nedra and Lee helped him in such a way to ensure it was a flop. The play dealt with a suicide, so they concocted a way for him to draft in longhand some dialogue that would fit neatly near the center of a page that could be contrived to be a suicide note once they trim the paper to remove the various aspects of character identification and stage direction. The ridicule about the play would give reason to the suicide. 13:21 Casey explains that Lee had a key to the apartment and pushed Carl out the window, and then returned to the post-show event by way of the freight elevator.

14:00 Logan explains that the insurance police Carl had was less than a year old, and would be void if death was by suicide. Logan says that Carl's lawyer says he was not as wealthy as believed. Casey believes that the voided insurance policy was actually part of the plan so no one would suspect Nedra of the murder because there was no financial incentive for it. Casey and the lawyer, Ben Cartwright, meet. The lawyer agrees, at Casey's urging, to tell Nedra that Carl was only worth $10,000 ($110,000 in 2020 dollars) and not $500,000 ($5.5 million in 2020 dollars).

18:48 Nedra meets Lee... neither of them knew about the insurance policy being voided. Now, she will turn on Lee and make it clear that Lee murdered him. 20:40 There's a gun in the room and Nedra has it as she says to Lee: "This gun will tell you what I mean" as she threatens to kill him unless he writes a confession that he was behind everything. Before she has a chance to shoot him, 21:27 Logan shoots the gun from her hand. Casey and Logan had rigged a Dictaphone to record everything they said about the murder. An ad for a 1950 Dictaphone product is at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The inventor of the core technology for the first Dictaphones was Alexander Graham Bell.

At the close of the episode, Casey mentions he bet Logan that the Red Sox would win today. They lost, Casey reports. And in real life, they lost, too, 5-4 with Cleveland's Bob Lemon beating the BoSox Mel Parnell. It was a day game, and it was over at about 4:30, they had time to adjust the script in any manner needed to make whatever Casey said be true. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  This line was newly added to this script because the original performance of this script was in February of 1945, two months before the baseball season would begin. This adds again to the question as to the locale of Casey, Boston or New York. If it was Boston, Casey would be unhappy if they lost. In New York, the saying has always been "I root for only two baseball teams, the Yankees and whoever is playing the Red Sox."

The AFRS closing is music after the Blue Note epilogue and then "This adventure of Crime Photographer starring Staat [sic] Cotsworth as Casey, came to you through the worldwide facilities of the United States Armed Forces Radio Service, the voice of information and education."

Casey 50-05-04 339 The Suicide AFRS UPGRADE.mp3
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There were no newspaper clippings related to this episode.

This news item was available, however. The 2020 value of Cole's payments were $275,000. It did not last much longer. Cole was not able to adjust to television writing, and did not have any other outlets for his work. More details in an upcoming post, some of it tragic.

1950-05-04 Atmore AL Advance
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