Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 Suspense, adapted from the popular radio series, ran on CBS from 1949 to 1954.  For its pilot program, the show lived up to its name by presenting a story from an acknowledged master of suspense -- Cornell Woolrich.

Roy Gardner is unemployed and dead broke.  Due to his ruthless former boss, Roy cannot find work.  In desperation Roy kills the boss and steals some money.  Roy's wife Mary decides to stand by him and the two plan to flee from New York.  In typical Woolrich fashion, an attempt to escape from a situation only makes things worse.

The episode was recorded live from New York City and is one of 90 of the 260 episodes to survive today.  

Meg Mundy, a stage, film, and television actress took top billing as Mary Gardner.  She later appeared in two other episodes of Suspense and had a long-running role as Mona Croft in the daytime drama (677 episodes) The Doctors from 1972 to 1982.  She dies in 2016 at age 101.

Also appearing were Philip Coolidge (North by Northwest, Inherit the Wind, The Tingler) and Gage Clarke (The Bad Seed, I Want to Live!, Nightmare).  Rex Marshal, long-time radio personality and and "voice" of Reynolds Aluminum for twenty-five years, served as the series announcer.  Everyone's Favorite Martian, Ray Walston, made what might have been his first television appearance here in the uncredited role of "Ticket Seller."

Emmy Award winning director Robert Stevens produced and directed this episode, as well as 105 others in this series.  Stevens is also noted for directing more episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents than anyone else -- 44 episodes, plus an additional five episodes for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

No credit has been given for whoever adapted Woolrich's story but the script follows the sort story in effectively ratcheting up the suspense.


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