Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Little Man Who Wasn't There

Here's a brief synopsis and notes of The Shadow radio episode, "The Little Man That Wasn't There" that originally aired on April 8, 1945.  

An invisible little man has made three daring robberies and leaves behind a note at each one.  He robs a lady of a priceless diamond, a gentleman of thousands in bonds, and an actress of costly jewelry.  Lamont Cranston and Margo Lane get involved and Commissioner Weston believes the invisible thief is non other than The Shadow! 

I think it was a great touch for Margo to recite the poem that inspired the crime!  The name of the poem is "Antigonish" and was written by William Hughes Means in 1899 but was later made into a popular song in 1939 by Glen Miller.  Here's the part that Margo recites in the show:
"Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away..."

All three victims had insured their items through the same insurance agent, so Lamont and Margo pay him a visit.  While talking with him, he is shot and killed!  Lamont does some investigating and pays a visit to each of the victims as The Shadow.  He invites them to come to the theater just before midnight and the little invisible man will return their stolen goods!  It turns out The Shadow has already deduced the three "victims" are in league to commit insurance fraud as the items were not stolen!  Each one pretended to wrestle with an invisible little man and claimed he stole their items so they could not only keep the items but claim the insurance for them being stolen.  All three are arrested by Commissioner Weston and The Shadow proves his innocence!

This was the first Shadow episode I've listened to that starred John Archer as Lamont Cranston/The Shadow.  I must say that I don't particularly care for his portrayal.  To me, his voice doesn't seem to match the character and The Shadow's laugh just seems too forced.  It was a good story, but I just don't like Archer's voice for The Shadow.  Maybe as I listen to more of his shows I'll get a better feel for him as The Shadow!  John Archer portrayed The Shadow in the 8th season of the radio show (1944-1945).

Lamont Cranston/The Shadow:  John Archer
Margo Lane:  Judith Allen
Commissioner Weston:  Ted de Corsia

Sponsor:  Lin-X

Friday, July 27, 2018

Margo Lane Trivia #1

In The Shadow radio episode "Curse of the Cat" (aired January 20, 1946) we learn that Margo Lane has a dog.  It's a Cocker Spaniel named Brownie!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Strange Puzzles Audio Collection

Currently I'm listening to The Shadow radio episodes on Audible from the collection entitled "Strange Puzzles."  It's a pretty good collection of Shadow mysteries.  Here's a summary from the Audible website.

"Music, madness, death, and darkness face amateur criminologist Lamont Cranston and The Shadow. In the midst of the most classic of mystery motifs - from foreboding castles to frame ups - he unravels each remarkable riddle. From elusive treasure to conclusive evidence: How? Why? And, who dunnit?

Let your curiosity lead you through two newly discovered Orson Welles episodes, available here for the first time since their original broadcasts in 1938 - "He Died at Twelve" and "The Black Buddha." Consider the clues in more classic episodes starring Bill Johnstone and Bret Morrison as the cloaked crusader. Ask yourself, is that really Ken Roberts singing in "Tenor With a Broken Voice"?

The Shadow producer and scriptwriter Edith Meiser once said, "A mystery is just a puzzle solved by the detective." Of course, the 18 cases in this digitally restored and remastered collection are cracked by…The Shadow!"

Epidsodes Include:

  • Tenor with a Broken Voice 06-05-38
  • He Died At Twelve 07-10-38
  • The Black Buddha 09-04-38
  • Traffic in Death 09-25-38
  • Murder in E Flat 12-04-38
  • Phantom Fingerprints 10-29-39
  • Mansion of Madness 11-05-39
  • Death Shows the Way 12-03-39
  • Murderer's Vanity 03-17-40
  • The Case of the Three Frightened Policemen 11-16-41
  • They Killed With a Silver Hatchet 05-26-46
  • Makeup for Murder 12-01-46
  • The Shadow of Suspicion 12-29-46
  • The Bones of the Dragon 01-11-48
  • Reflection of Death 05-09-48
  • The Giant of Madras 05-16-48
  • Murder at Dead Man's Inn 09-12-48
  • Murder by a Corpse 10-31-48

My favorite episodes so far have been "The Black Buddha", "Traffic in Death" and "Mansion of Madness."  The stories I haven't cared for too much are "Phantom Fingerprints" and "Murder in E Flat."  All in all, so far I'm very pleased with the selection.  The audio has been remastered so the sound is clearer and with less static and background noise.

Please note that this collection can also be purchased from Radio Spirits.  It comes on 9 CDs and includes a Program Guide by William Nadel with photographs and background information about the series.  (This guide is not included if you purchase it from Audible.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Margo Lane Daydreams of The Shadow's Wedding

I was listening to The Shadow radio episode "Mansion of Madness" and found a humorous ending to the show!  Lamont Cranston and Margo Lane are attending a wedding at the end of the episode and Margo isn't paying much attention to Lamont as he talks to her.  Lamont says, "...are you listening to me?"  and Margo responds that she was listening but was just thinking about what it would be like if The Shadow ever got married.  Here's how Margo envisions it:

"Don't be alarmed Lamont, it was pure supposition!  I was just thinking of you walking up the aisle...ready to take the sacred vows that endure for the rest of your life...and all of a sudden somebody would shoot the best man, the minister would fall down poisoned, the bridesmaid would be stabbed, and you'd be off on another case and bust up the whole darned thing!"

That was pretty comical and thought it was a great description of how The Shadow's wedding truly would be!