Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "John Barbie and Son"

I enjoy mystery-thriller stories which have a great surprise ending - but at the same time (as I've droned on about before), I like stories which play fair with the audience.

On February 22, 1945, Thomas Mitchell starred in the Suspense episode "John Barbie and Son." Mitchell portrays a devoted father, determined to protect his son, a child whose developmental needs have forced them to go on the run from the authorities. You may download the episode from archive.org here.

The clues to the central mystery of "John Barbie and Son" are laid out for anyone with the attention span to notice them; the sharp WHAM! ending of this episode will not surprise you if you've been pitting your wits against the creators - but it's not required of you to match wits with the creators! As I've complained before, Suspense's first auteur John Dickson Carr seemed so obsessed with upsetting his listeners' expectations that his episodes are almost unbearable - they're certainly not entertaining. Suspense is entertainment. Settle back and enjoy it.

Tomorrow: "The face I said I wouldn't want to run into - close."

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