OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD - 3 mp3 - Total Playtime: 2:52:57
The Summer 1946 series premiered with Eric Ambler's gripping suspense mystery, Journey Into Fear, starring Laurence Olivier, was a fitting exemplar of the fascinating and compelling mysteries to come. The first Film rendition of Journey Into Fear came to the screen in 1943, starring many of the Mercury Theatre Players of the 1930s and 1940s, including Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Agnes Morehead, Ruth Warrick, and Everett Sloane. Joseph Cotten also wrote the screenplay, with writing and directing assistance from Orson Welles. We indicate the then recent background of the Eric Ambler novel to underscore the understandably high expectations of contemporary listening audiences to The Hour of Mystery's premiere. Laurence Olivier clearly rose to the challenge, delivering a fascinating, albeit Robert Cenedella abridged, adaptation of the famous mystery over Radio.
Thereafter, The Hour of Mystery showcased twelve more classic stories of mystery, intrigue and suspense. With a reported $12,000 budget for each production, U.S. Steel clearly set out to maintain the high standards and critical acclaim it had enjoyed with it's first full season of Theatre Guild On the Air. This was also a major coup for the American Broadcasting Company, the youngest of the big four networks of the day, and only recently having begun to generate its own programming after the overlapping programming years following its acquisition of NBC's Blue Network. By 1946, having finally established itself as the American Broadcasting Company, ABC was desperate to show potential sponsors and affiliate stations that it could deliver quality drama apace with NBC, CBS and MBS.
Theatre Guild On the Air and The Hour of Mystery clearly put their competitors on notice that ABC was ready to go head-to-head with any of the 'majors' where prestigious dramatic programming was concerned. By the time that The Golden Age of Radio was winding down, The Golden Age of Television was fast pulling away from Radio as the medium of choice. ABC launched its Television version of the U.S. Steel Hour over Television in 1953--the last full season of the U.S. Steel Hour over Radio. The U.S. Steel Hour was an even greater critical, popular and financial success over Television, but ABC Television held the franchise for only 1953 through 1955, at which time U.S. Steel jumped networks to CBS. CBS aired the U.S. Steel Hour for another eight years until it was finally cancelled in 1962.
The high bar that U.S. Steel set for itself with both Theatre Guild On the Air and The Hour of Mystery was the basis for what became an almost eighteen-year franchise of some of the finest dramatic entertainment to ever air over either Radio or Television. The groundwork for that award-winning franchise is nowhere more evident than in this compelling, well-produced, and well-performed series of great modern mystery dramas.
Principal Actors: Laurence Olivier, Robert Dryden, Alexander Scourby, Guy Sorel, Dwight Weist, Richard Coogan, E.A. Krumschmide, Anthony Kimball Cooper, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Brian Aherne, Wendy Barrie, Ralph Bellamy, John Beal Roger Pryor, Donna Keyes, Jone Allison, Herbert Hayes, Harold Young, Ted Jewett, Vincent Hayworth, Arthur Kohl, John Moore, Michael O'Day, William Holden, William Bendix, John Loder, Franchot Tone, Victor Jory, David Niven, Anthony Kimball Cooper
Directors: Kenneth Webb; Edwin Marshall [Producer]
Text from Digital Deli
460609 1 Journey into Fear (PREMIERE w Laurence Olivier)
460721 7 The Singapore Exile Murders (Roger Pryor)
xxxxxx Rip Van Winkle (W Fred Allen) US Steel Hour Of Mystery
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