The Forecast is. . . Murder

Following up on the Nick Ray post, another little note about Forecast and the many links between radio drama and classic film. The most famous episode was the audition for Suspense, the famous anthology show that ran for over 900 episodes and was one of the last two dramas on the air, at the end of the period when, as silken-voiced actor Larry Haines put it, radio shows were being “taken outside and shot.” But this adaptation of the Lodger was also an indirect pilot for Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

The original idea was for Hitchcock to host the show and present stories that were, you know, Hitchcockian, but negotiations fell through, and the show wound up achieving great success under director William Spier, who had a facility for self-promotion that rivaled AH’s own. He even got the media to call him “The Hitchcock of the Airlanes,” at a time when radio directors and producers were even more anonymous than filmmakers.

So here’s Herbert Marshall as the Lodger in the first Suspense tryout. Amusingly, “Hitchcock” is played by an actor, Joe Kearns, who acquits himself well even though he has to compete with our memories of Hitch playing Hitch in so many shows, trailers, and records.

Forecast 1940 July 22 Suspense

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