Saturday, October 27, 2012

Old-Time Radio Theme Month, Day 27: "Evening Primrose"

John Collier wrote many sly tales with occasional diversions into the realm of fantasy, but less frequently ventured into the weird. Such a weird tale is "Evening Primrose," a somewhat notorious tale beloved by some, derided by others. I feel the Escape adaptation from November 5, 1947 is top drawer entertainment.

A frustrated poet decides to live inside a department store to allow himself the freedom to explore his art. However, the store turns out to be populated by many refugees who can't handle the outside world; to live amongst them, the poet must adapt to their rules. Matters are complicated when he falls in love with a fellow outcast.

You can download a copy of this radio show from here.


Tony said...

I got kind of busy and haven't had time to check out your OTR choices for a while, but I did listen to "Evening Primrose" and WOW!
What a trip!

It's too bad the mannequins from the Twilight Zone didn't swoop in for a last-minute rescue!

Michael Hoskin said...

Thank you Tony!

Ah, so I'm not the only person to compare this tale to the "After Hours!" It's quite a bit more whimsical than Serling's program and yet also rather grimmer. It's funny how the shifts in tone work so well.

Tony said...

Do you watch "30 Rock"? I just saw an episode from March where one of the characters (played by Wendy Schaal) said that she had abandoned her children at Sears.

And of course, I thought, "More department store inhabitants for the little community of 'Evening Primrose.'"

OlmanFeelyus said...

This was one of my all-time favourites. Freaked me out as a kid.

Why do some people deride it?

Michael Hoskin said...

I don't quite understand the problems others have with "Evening Primrose," but I think it's the shift from humour to horror - that they find the situation of people secretly living in department stores to be out-of-place next to people being chopped into mannequin parts.