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31Mar/110

EP0374: Sherlock Holmes: The Singular Affair of the Babbling Butler

Tom Conway

The butler of a playwright who has satirized Holmes comes to Holmes for helping fearing his master is about to kill him.

Original Air Date: January 27, 1947

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30Mar/111

EP0373: Let George Do It: Every Shot Counts

Bob Bailey

A singing cowboy hires George to investigate someone who is threatening a female sharpshooter. The sharpshooter tries to get George off the case, but a shot fired from across the street. A murdered blackmailer sets the stage for a mystery where everyone seems to be a sharpshooter.

Original Air Date: October 31, 1949

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29Mar/110

EP0372: Nero Wolfe: The Case of the Hasty Will

Sidney Greenstreet

A man hires Archie to witness a new will and then disappears.

Original Air Date: March 2, 1951

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28Mar/110

Perry Mason Audio Dramas on Sale

One show that's been requested that we won't be able to do on our podcast because of a lack of complete story lines is Perry Mason.  However,  a modern radio drama version of Perry Mason has been released by the Colonial Radio Theater in Boston based on the original stories by Erle Stanley Gardener.

Two of these sets are available through Audible for $3.91 (for audible members) but only through March 29 at 11 a.m. at which point they'll return to the normal price of $4.89 each, which is still a pretty good deal compared to some of the BBC Sets out there.

I've not listened to the Perry Mason sets myself (though I did pick them up as part of the sale), but I have listened Colonial Theater's Father Brown set which was a very nice professional adaptation, and I look  forward to listening to the Perry Mason.  Below are the dramas of interest:

Perry Mason and the Case of the Sulky Girl

Perry Mason and the Case of the Velvet Claws

The Blue Cross, The Secret Garden, The Queer Feet, and The Arrow of Heaven: The Father Brown Mysteries

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28Mar/110

EP0371: The Abbotts: The Dead-White Lifeboat

Claudia Morgan

A woman asks Pat to pretend to be her husband in order to save her life.

Original Air Date: April 24, 1955

1957 AFRTS Transcription

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25Mar/110

The Rathbone-Bruce Countdown, Part Three

Continuing on our list of Rathbone-Bruce Sherlock Holmes movies from best to worst (see Part One and Part Two):

6) The House of Fear (1945)

Each of these films is a little different from each others, and this one is a classic old house mystery. The plot centers around seven retired gentlemen who buy an old house and live together as the Good Comrades. Then members of the group start dying under mysterious circumstances leaving no identifiable bodies.

This one is a puzzler.  The solution to the mystery was incredibly clever and took me totally by surprise. This one doesn't have as much action or tension as some of the other films, the mystery more than makes up for it.

5) Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943)

This was the second of three Sherlock Holmes counterespionage movies.  It places Holmes squarely against the Nazis and Professor Moiarty who is serving as a Nazi Agent. The plot centers around a Swiss scientists who comes to the UK to supply the British with a powerful new weapon the Nazis would love to get their hands on.

These films liked to borrow an element from a Doyle story as an homage. Here, the puzzle of the Dancing Men makes for a fascinating puzzle for both Holmes and Moriarty trying to beat each other too the bunch. There's good battle of wits, that's worthy of the two geniuses with a prize that's definitely worthy of their efforts: a weapon that could change the course of the war. This one had a nice mix of comedy in the midst.

Of course, it should be noted that the final few minutes of the movie between Holmes and Moriarty had almost a campy feel, with Holmes playing off of Moriarty's  intellectual vanity. Still, it was a very fun movie.

4) The Scarlet Claw (1944):

This film probably incorporated a greater horror element as Holmes receives a letter asking for help-written by a woman just before she'd been murdered. When Holmes comes to town, everyone is a suspect including her husband, who Holmes had been having a spirited debate over the existence of the supernatural (no pun intended) when they both learned of her death.

This film is perhaps the most frightening and tense of the series, as many of the locals suspect supernatural involvement. Similar to the Hound of the Baskervilles, the locals believe that a supernatural beast of some sort made the odd marks on the body, while Holmes believes an implement was used.

The denouement of the mystery doesn't disappoint.  Just like with, House of Fear,  I was surprised by who the murderer was. (Although, the astute viewer may catch a clue when Watson references a Father Brown story in the middle of the film.)

 

25Mar/110

EP0370: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Edward French Matter

Edmond O'Brien

Johnny Dollar goes to the Malay provinces to investigate the disappearance of a plantation owner. The wife claims her husband was attacked by bandits, but Johnny finds evidence to suggest its her boyfriend.

Original Air Date: April 7, 1951

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24Mar/110

EP0369: Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot

Tom Conway

Also known as the Cornish horror. While recovering from a convalescence, Holmes has to solve a bizarre murder that local legend would seem to blame on the devil.

Original Air Date: January 13, 1947

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23Mar/111

EP0368: Let George Do It: Rose Petal Staircase

Bob Bailey

George gets a strange letter from a man who says he's mailed him before, when George didn't get the letter. Driven by curiosity, George heads out to a house that features two spinsters who care for a paralyzed man. George finds that his correspondent has died and decides to check into the case further.

Original Air Date: October 24, 1949

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22Mar/110

EP0367: Nero Wolfe: The Case of the Malevolent Medic

Sidney Greenstreet

The wife of a millionaire dies. The doctor says its a heart attack, but the husband suspects murder and hires Wolfe.

Original Air Date: February 23, 1951

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