Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "Drive-In"

Suspense excelled at placing its central characters into tense, desperate situations which either demanded great ingenuity on the protagonist's part for them to escape, or led to the protagonist's downfall. Sometimes the protagonists had committed crimes, then had to protect themselves from the law, other criminals or both. Other times the protagonists were upstanding people who maneuvered themselves into harsh situations; perhaps they worked too late at the office ("Very Much Like a Nightmare"), turned down a road they shouldn't have ("On a Country Road") or merely walked into a dark subway tunnel ("Subway Stop"). Today's protagonist accepts a ride from a stranger; terror ensues.

This version of "Drive-In" premiered November 21, 1946 on Suspense with Judy Garland in the lead role. Garland portrays a waitress at a drive-in who has to work a little too late and misses her bus home; a friendly customer offers her a lift and from there she's placed into a dilemma which can only be solved by her own cunning. You may download the episode from here.

The original broadcast of "Drive-In" was heard on January 11, 1945 with Nancy Kelly in the lead role. No offense to Ms. Kelly, but I prefer Garland's performance - especially with Garland acting opposite Elliott Lewis as the maniac. Still, if you wish to compare the two versions you can find the original broadcast at here.

Tomorrow: "If you must know, I'll tell you: they said there was something wrong with my mind."

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