|BOOKLIST JULY 2000
MYSTERY THEATRE VOLUME 3
Four stories that originally aired on Canadian radio in the late 1960's capture the excitement and horror of the written text. The feature selections, W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw," is a variation on the three-wishes fairy-tale theme: here payment for the wishes exacts a horrifying price. Listeners are drawn into a comfortable and uneasiness through the fine use of sound effects and dramatic narration. At first the British accents are a bit tricky, but the ear quickly adjusts to the phrasing and diction. The other stories are E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Mines of Falun and The Sandman and Otto Lowy's Double Strip. Best enjoyed for enrichment and relaxation. - Judy Morrissey Mystery Theater Volume 3 The Monkey's Paw (WW Jacobs) + 3 Other Radio Plays! (CBC)
Books on Tape
The Stage Series was classier in style and concept and had higher literary priorities, drawing on classic yarns and the works of eminent contemporary writers. The series was also responsible for drawing together what The New York Radio Times called "the best radio repertory company in North America", actors Barry Morse, Christopher Plummer, Lorne Greene, John Colicos, John Dranie, James Doohan and Jane Mallett, among others.
Scenario has also made available Alan King's five part radio series Nazi Eyes on Canada ( two cassettes, 2.5 hours) starring Orson Welles, Vincent Price, Helen Hayes, Judith Evelyn, House Jameson and Quintin Reynolds, and four volumes of original Mystery Theatre radio plays adapted and/or written for, produced by the CBC from 1966 to 1968. CBC Vintage Radio Plays: Canadian Old Time Radio Plays (OTR)
Mystery Theatre Volume 4
Radio has been relegated to such background status today that it's difficult to imagine how people once gathered around it so expectantly. The four classics, three by Nathaniel Hawthorne, from the archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, however, will make people long for those days. Billed as four classic radio plays of mystery, suspense and horror,the plays do not rely on modern-day definitions of those genres, such as placing pauses in between episodes of violence. Instead, they draw upon the capacity of the human mind to seize upon and obsess over an idea, which lead to shocking results that are also often pitiful.
Since pity is one of the most horrible emotions to experience, either for oneself or on another behalf, the classification of the plays as horror is appropriate. All four are thoroughly absorbing, entertaining and thought-provoking. Mystery Theater Volume 4: 3 Mystery Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne on Talking Books
THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS
WARTIME BROACAST IMAGES LIFE IN NAZI-OCCUPIED CANADA
Canada lies prostrate under the Nazi heel. The Swastika flies from the
Pease Tower in Ottawa. Deutschland uber Alles- the anthem at Toronto
City Hall. Women are shipped off the Gestapo labour camps.
If you were listening to J. Frank Willis' radio series Nazi Eyes On
Canada, you might think that the unthinkable- the German invasion and
occupation of Canada- had come to pass. What couldn't happen has
happened, we're told in melodramatic tomes.
The five plays, featuring an all-star, dulcet-voiced cast led by Orson
Welles, Helen Hayse and Vincent Price, were based on reports written
by Colin Ross, a German spy who traveled through Canada on a
reconnaissance mission in the 1930's.
Broadcast during the darkest days of World War II, when German armies
were on the march in Europe and North Africa, Nazi Eyes On Canada was
past drama and part propaganda. It was ultimately designed to stiffen
Canadians resolve in the face of German military victories and to
rise money for Canadian war bonds. In the words of a stentorian
narrator, We won't win the war unless we put all efforts into winning
it.Now the plays, whose running time is two-and-a-half hours, are
available on two audio cassettes released by a Toronto company,
Scenario Productions.The first one, turning on the Welch family of
Toronto, incorporates a speech made by the nation by former prime minister
W.L. Mackenzie King a week before Nazi Eyes on Canada was aired. Denouncing Germany's lust for conquest, king declared that its satanic objectives was to
posses the world's soul.
The Welches, a typical middle-class WASP family of the era, are
crushed by the weight of Germany's occupation. Joe, a demobilized
soldier, is sent off to Germany to work in the mines. One of the
beautiful sisters is dispatched to an Aryan breeding camp. There is
no future and hope anymore, wails her distraught mother. Weigmann, a
Nazi administrator, retorts, There is no place for silly sentiments
in the new order. The second episode, which takes place on an Alberta ranch owned by
John and Cora Stevenson, emphasizes the theme of betrayal amid the
spectre of a family breakup. Dresser, the local Nazi heavy, requisitions the
Stevensons' cattle, horses and grain. And in a final indignity,
he places their 1-year-old daughter, Rosemary, under his protection. Thoroughly
brainwashed by Nazi teachers, Rosemary turns against her parents.
Meanwhile, brave Canadian ranchers retreat to redoubts in the Rocky
Mountains. The return as guerrilla fighters, blowing up oil wells. As
the play ends, Canada's finance minister urges Canadians to fight with
their hearts and souls to defeat Germany.
In the next play, the focus shifts to Sandy Smith and his family,
residents of a town in the Maritimes. They, too, resist the predatory
The subsequent play is set in Vancouver, and the focuses on the
imaginary takeover of British Columbia by Japan, Germany's Axis ally.
Bob Maxwell, a solid patriotic citizen, battles the sly and
contemptible Hadaka, an ethnic Japanese fisherman who collaborates
The last play unfolds in the prairies. German panzer divisions have
overrun Canada and the Luftwaffe has rained death and destruction on
If nothing else, Nazi Eyes On Canada reminds us of a perilous time
when western civilization hung in the balance
Nazi Eyes on Canada: Vintage Radio Plays - OTR - CBC History top
Canadian Press Newswire, My 31'00.
Title: Classic CBC radio dramas revived on audio tape
Yes, yes, it was Marlon Brando's closing line from the film Apocalypse
But imagine Lorne Greene as Kurtz delivering the famous death quote
Imagine no longer, because Heart of Darkness, a 1954 CBC Radio drama
In addition, the series includes The Investigator, also from '54,
Heart of Darkness should be listened to closely in order to find the story within the story. Also it may take a few minutes to acclimate oneself to the sounds of the Congo competing with the sometimes-excited clipped voices.
After The Heart of Darkness, one will be ready for a little intellectual relief, although Ship's The Investigator still requires some knowledge of history to allow full enjoyment of this parody of the McCarthy era.
Killed in a plane crash, the investigator finds himself in a strange place, standing with the gatekeeper in heaven. He will have to be investigated in order to past through the pearly gates.
The play takes on all the characteristics of the McCarthy era. The Red scare in heaven involves reopening files of souls already in heaven that are suspected as subversives. Socrates, Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, Martin Luther, and Abraham Lincoln are all suspect. The play invokes the same paranoia and political backstabbing as history records. In the end the play echoes words spoken by the investigator at the beginning of the play but with much comedy, "I am the chief, I am the chief."
Reviewer: Hsieh ker-lian (see more about me) from Taipei, Taiwan I am glad finally there is a audio play available for this time-honored sea story by Joseph Conrad. Although the narrative has been omitted in this production, the essence and the mood have well kept and best of all, the sound quality is still in top form even though it was produced in the fifties. This is really a vintage radio play at its best, I am sure it will delight fans of the golden age of radio.
HEART OF DARKNESS, THE INVESTIGATOR
Canadian old-radio drama is just as good as the best of
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Toronto radio-drama troupe Scenario Productions, under the direction of founders Mark Bornstein, unearthed a vault of lost CBC radio dramas from the 1940s and '50s. Among these are a number of recordings from the Canadian broadcasters' flagship program, "The Stage Series." The adaptations of ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (each on a separate one-hour cassette) are very faithful to Carroll's work, even if not as smooth as the Disney film. S.E.S. ?AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/NOV 00]
This CBC reproduction of four Nathaniel Hawthorne thrillers is a superb collector's item for radio theater buffs, as well as fans of Hawthorne's short stories. Perhaps the most appealing part of this collection is that the stories are faithfully reproduced from the originally aired recordings of the late 1960s. There are no added contemporary introductions, as are often included in other nostalgia radio programs. What listeners receive is a pure version of the performances--brilliantly acted and chock full of sound effects that will draw audiences right into the stories. R.A.P.
The Mystery Theatre series collects several chilling tales originally broadcast in the 1960s and presents them in four-packs of fear. This first volume features well-loved classic tales, as well as some lesser-known pieces. The first cassette treats mystery lovers to "The Tell-Tale Heart," told as frighteningly as it ever was in any dank parlor or at any camp fire. "The Kitchen Table" gives domesticity an ancient twist. On the second cassette, the British double-header (including a Sherlock Holmes story) balances the production like a mystery travelogue. R.A.P. ©
|Back | Home | Stage Series | Mystery Theatre | Brick Mallery | Dr. Gypsee Gunn |
Wayne and Shuster
Mordecai Richler | Camp X | Order