Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days of Suspense: "Too Hot to Live"

Today: my 7th-favourite episode of Suspense!

Richard Widmark is again the featured player for this episode: October 26, 1950's "Too Hot to Live." Widmark plays a wandering ex-G.I. who strolls into a quiet town on a hot, sweaty day. Before too long he's implicated in a murder - and considering how delirious the heat is making him, the accusations might be true! You may download the episode from here.

This is a tough story which really packs a punch, due mainly to Widmark's frantic performance. It's certainly the only old-time radio play I've heard which includes narration about throwing up! Because we in the audience cannot feel the heat - nor, through film, see the effects of the heat - Widmark and the others have to sell the sticky, sweltering environment with words - and I think they do so admirably. There's a murder-mystery angle to this episode, but the play is focused primarily on atmosphere and tension, which makes this an unforgettable production.

Tomorrow: "Always and forever. I promise."

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