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Suspense Upgrades

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Post by artatoldotr 11/16/2017, 10:07 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Post by greybelt 11/17/2017, 3:26 am

Suspense_1944-04-27_DeathWentAlongForTheRide_wGeneKelly AFRS UPGRADE STILL LQ.mp3
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Suspense_1944-04-27_DeathWentAlongForTheRide_wGeneKelly UPGRADE-5 EC Thursday.mp3
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Post by artatoldotr 11/17/2017, 10:11 am

Thanks greybelt

Have a great weekend

Best regards

Art
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Post by greybelt 11/18/2017, 6:44 am

Suspense_1944-05-11_The_Visitor_wEddieBracken UPGRADE-3 EC Thursday.mp3
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A review is on this page [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Post by jb_steele 11/18/2017, 12:07 pm

Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Eddie_10
Eddie Bracken
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Post by greybelt 11/19/2017, 5:00 am

Today's post has different versions of a popular two-part Suspense production, "Donovan's Brain."

Suspense_1944-05-22_Donovans_Brain_Pt1_wOrsonWelles POSS AIRCK - has tone @ open w some signal drift WC Mon.mp3
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Suspense_1944-05-25_Donovans_Brain_Pt2 POSS AIRCHECK  - has tone @ open EC Thursday.mp3
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Suspense_1944-05-25_Donovans_Brain_Pt2_wOrsonWelles UPGRADE-3 EC Thursday.mp3
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The airchecks are listed here because they are different versions than what is commonly circulating  – the upgrade to part 2 is listed because of its improved sound of a version that has always been in circulation.

A very negative review of this Suspense presentation can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

As far as I’m concerned, having seen the movie on “Creature Feature” (with lots of record offer commercials in between) when I was growing up in New York metro area, I thought that doing something like this on the radio was really really cool. And it starred Orson Welles? Wow! I much prefer the Welles two-part version compared to the hour long version, and find the episode to be great fun. The more serious this kind of sci-fi is presented, the more fun it is. No, it’s not Suspense at its best, but it is Suspense near its most entertaining. So I disagree with the review. No matter the faults of these episodes, I do enjoy listening to them.

Background on the original novel is at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
It was first adapted into a movie as “The Lady and the Monster” [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Was the pending release of this movie in April 1944 the reason that the originally scheduled 1943 Suspense performances were shifted to May 1944? Hmmmmm... nothing like piggybacking public relations on an existing event. Most of the ads for the movie mention "Donovan's Brain."
The more famous movie was 1953's “Donovan’s Brain” with Lew Ayres and Nancy Davis (later Mrs. Ronald Reagan) (trailer only) [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
In 1962 as “The Brain” with a different plot twist [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
On IMDB.com the movies are rated 5.7, 6.0, and 5.2, respectively, out of 10.
Only the 1953 version is rated on review website "Rotten Tomatoes" with 53% from critics and 35% from viewers.
Based on the movie reviews, and not that of a kid watching it on NYC’s channel 5's Creature Feature, maybe the radio version is the best way to present this story because the movie effects can’t match the imagination that audio and the mind creates. It might be different with today's computer graphics technologies rather than the cheesy sci-fi effects found in many of the 1950s movies (which also make them so endearing in many cases).
The website “Trailers from Hell” has some interesting background [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It may very well be that the best treatment of this novel was the two-part Suspense with Welles.
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Post by kdmarket 11/19/2017, 9:12 am

Donovan's Brain movies & trailer

the lady & the monster 1944-03-17
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donovan's brain 1953-09-30
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the brain 1962
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Post by bojim1 11/20/2017, 2:50 am

Great stuff!!! Thanks!!!

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Post by greybelt 11/20/2017, 5:56 am

Thanks KD!

Suspense_1944-06-12_CaseHistoryOfEdgarLowndes_wDCrisp UPGRADE-5 WC Monday.mp3
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Post by artatoldotr 11/20/2017, 10:29 am

Thanks greybelt & kd

Best regards

Art
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Post by jb_steele 11/20/2017, 12:56 pm

Suspense_1944-06-12_CaseHistoryOfEdgarLowndes_wDCrisp
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Donald10
Donald Crisp (Dr. Aronson)
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Thomas10
Thomas Mitchell (Edgar Lowndes)
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Roma_w10
Delivery for Orson Welles. :-)
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Post by greybelt 11/20/2017, 1:12 pm

That's a great railcar picture -- now we know for certain why Roma was so good -- why bother with barrels when you can let wines age in railway cars?

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Post by jb_steele 11/20/2017, 9:54 pm

greybelt wrote:why bother with barrels when you can let wines age in railway cars?
From what I read, they shipped wine in the rail tankers to bottling plants around the country to save on shipping.
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Post by greybelt 11/20/2017, 11:22 pm

How did they get the wine out of the railcar? Those corks must me huge! And that corkscrew must be massive! Smile

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Post by greybelt 11/21/2017, 8:32 am

Suspense_1944-06-19_AFriendToAlexander_wGFitzgerald WC Monday UPGRADE.mp3
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Post by greybelt 11/21/2017, 12:04 pm

The Donovan's Brain stuff has piqued my interest. This was obviously more of a media event than I had initially realized. So here are more clips.

This first newspaper clipping highlights the Welles appearance, Orson being quite the draw at this time in his career.

1944-05-16 Battle Creek MI Enquirer
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-017

The reviewer at this newspaper gives it a big plug. Note the comment that the network did not preview the story plotline in as great detail as they did for other programs in their publicity.

1944-05-18 Indianapolis IN News
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-018

This one was a surprise -- the Suspense episodes mentioned in the ads for Lady and the Monster. This certainly makes me suspicious that this may have been one of the reasons the Suspense performances were postponed from 1943 at someone's suggestion. Was it the novel's publisher? The author? The studio? Someone's agent? CBS? In the PR business, any time you can cooperate for synergystic effect, or hijack or free-ride on an existing PR stream started by others, is considered a smart tactic, even today.

1944-06-17 Lincoln Nebraska State Journal
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-010

There was always a fascination with sound effects among the listening audience. You'd occasionally see short mentions in newspapers and magazines about how something was done for a prominent episode of a series.

1944-06-21 Louisville KY Courier-Journal
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-016
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Post by jb_steele 11/21/2017, 4:03 pm

greybelt wrote:How did they get the wine out of the railcar? Those corks must me huge! And that corkscrew must be massive! Smile
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Img_6110
Probably with one of these babies. Cool
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Post by jb_steele 11/21/2017, 4:42 pm

Suspense_1944-06-19_AFriendToAlexander_wGFitzgerald
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Gerald10
Geraldine Fitzgerald
If I was married to her, I wouldn't be dreaming of Alexander Hamilton. What a Face
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 Richar10
Richard Whorf
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 James-10
James Thurber (author)
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Post by greybelt 11/21/2017, 6:16 pm

Thanks JB -- that was great!

That guy Whorf looks nothing like he did on Star Trek: The Next Generation Smile

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Post by jb_steele 11/22/2017, 1:44 am

Whorf must have been messing with that Augment human DNA again. ;-)
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Post by greybelt 11/22/2017, 4:36 am

Suspense_1944-06-22_Ten_Grand_wLucilleBall UPGRADE-5 EC Thursday.mp3
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You may be shocked to hear this but the programs we love so much are... OLD!! Here's another shocker -- a dollar back in the 1940s is not the same dollar we use today -- the 1940s dollar had more purchasing power at that time, and it has declined because of inflation. So when you listen to an episode of Suspense that has a title like “The Ten Grand,” it does not deliver the emotional impact today that it did in 1944. So let's take the "old" out of the money amount. In today’s US dollars, that’s $140,149.43!! That makes for a clumsy title Smile "Join us next week when our star will be Miss Lucille Ball in 'The 140.14943 Grand'!" Smile Knowing this adds to the appreciation (and dare I say the suspense) of the show. The average salary in 1944 was $2,400, so the amount of money in the title was almost four years pay! The average home cost $7,200. That “ten grand” could buy you a new house and a new car at the time of this show’s broadcast -- for cash! So when you hear people on the Whistler conspiring to knock someone off because of their $5000 insurance policy, or there's a story about someone getting away with $500 in a robbery, just multiply that amount in your head by about 14 and you'll be close enough for these 1940s programs. For the real calculation hop on over the inflation calculator at the Bureau of Labor Statistics [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] So when Lucille Ball's character in Suspense finds $10,000, that's a that's a significant life-changing amount, but it is much less so in 2017.

1944-06-22 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-019

1944-06-19 Circleville OH Herald
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-020

1944-06-18 Lincoln Nebraska State Journal
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-011


Last edited by greybelt on 11/22/2017, 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by artatoldotr 11/22/2017, 10:11 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Post by jb_steele 11/22/2017, 3:39 pm

Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 10000010
Here's a $7142.86 bar to enjoy with this episode. Laughing Laughing
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Post by greybelt 11/23/2017, 8:57 am

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Suspense_1944-06-29_WallsCameTumblingDown_wKeenanWynn UPGRADE-4 EC Thursday.mp3
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1944-06-24 Harrisburg PA Telegraph
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-021

1944-06-29 Belvidere IL Daily Republican
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 1944-022

Comments about this episode can be found at...
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And perhaps this is more interesting... this is another Suspense script that became a movie.
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But it became a script only after it was first a novel, so it doesn’t count in the list of original scripts that went to screenplays. The book was published in 1943.

Researching it led me to this really interesting web site of someone who digitally restores book jackets. The one for this original novel are at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  This is one of those businesses that looks like a tremendous labor of love for people who find book cover art from the period to be fascinating. Some of the restorations are beautiful.

Here’s a lobby card of the 1946 movie.
Suspense Upgrades - Page 20 The-wa10

Does anyone have access to a copy of the movie or know where it can be streamed online?
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Post by artatoldotr 11/23/2017, 10:57 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

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