Sunday, October 5, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "Mission Completed"

Eight years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and more than four years following V-J Day, it's safe to say the USA still felt a pretty sharp pain at the memory of the legendary sneak attack which launched them into war; thus it was that the eight-year anniversary was marked on Suspense through a special episode.

Starring James Stewart, the December 1, 1949 episode "Mission Completed" features Stewart as a paralyzed veteran lying in a hospital. One day, he recognizes a flower dealer as the Japanese officer who tortured him during the war; all at once, his long-lost strength begins to boil to the surface... You may download the episode from here.

Because most of the episode was narrated by its protagonist, it needed a strong, captivating actor. Naturally, Stewart had the chops; in fact, his own time spent in uniform during the war gave him credentials for this role which would eluded a home-bound actor. In my mind, I imagine the paralyzed Stewart looks a lot like the similarly-paralyzed Stewart from his later role in Vertigo (hence the above image).

Tomorrow: "As to forgetting one's worries in absorbing work, I can't think of a better place in the world for a man to do that than Scotland Yard."

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