Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "Death Has a Shadow"

As I mentioned earlier, Suspense offered performers who were well-known in certain types of roles - that is, typecast - opportunities to experiment with heavier, more challenging material. Take for instance, Bob Hope.

Bob Hope starred in the May 5, 1949 episode of Suspense, "Death Has a Shadow," in which he portrays a lawyer trapped in his office after hours, waiting for a killer to arrive. You can download the episode from here.

If you examine Hope's film and television career you'll find an awful lot of froth; after all, he was a comedian. He was at home making people laugh (I mention this because it may seem unbelievable to modern audiences). Although some of Hope's films delved into mysteries - such as the Cat and the Canary (1939) or Ghost Breakers (1940), it was primarily to parody the genre. However, there is no parody to be found in "Death Has a Shadow," none of his usual asides to the audience - Hope take the material and plays it straight. He's actually quite good here! His character winds up being a completely terrible louse, which is also a departure for him.

Tomorrow: "I got the body over my shoulder then carried it upstairs and put it in the bathtub. I locked the bathroom door from the inside. Then I got to work."

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