Monday, September 5, 2016

"I Don't Know How to Kill the Guy"

"The Locked Room Mystery."
An episode of the Lights Out radio series.
First broadcast: October 23, 1935. Original running time: ~30 minutes.
Script at Generic Radio Workshop HERE; recent audio version at No More Radio HERE (22 minutes 42 seconds).
(Note: As far as we can tell, no recordings of the original broadcast survive.)
"The police will come and they'll find you dead in your locked penthouse apartment...they'll have to break down the doors...they'll find you, weltering in your own blood...alone...and they'll wonder....wonder who murdered you...."
Our play begins with somebody reading out loud:
CHASE: (READING) A footstep sounded in the stillness of the empty room. Devereux turned. "Good evening," said a suave voice. "Who - who are you?" demanded Devereux. "You don't remember me?" said the suave voice, mock-ingly. "You can't be - Harvey Kerrigan!" gasped Devereux. The other laughed. "I am Harvey Kerrigan in the flesh," he said.
Devereux reached for the telephone. "I wouldn't touch that if I were you," warned the man who called himself Kerrigan. He stepped to the wall and flicked on the lights. Their radiance flooded the room. Devereux noticed that his adversary was weaponless. (TALKS) And there's where I'm stumped.
STEWART: How come, Sam?
CHASE: I don't know how to kill the guy.
- For more about Lights Out see Wikipedia (HERE), Old Time Radio (HERE), and Old Time Radio (HERE).

The bottom line: "The intelligence and the emotions function on different levels. The emo-tional reaction to visual images and sounds, or their evocation in descriptive writing, is inde-pendent of reasonableness. The primitive element of fear is never far from the surface of our thoughts; anything that calls to it can defeat reason for the time being. Hence menace makes its appeal to a very ancient and very irrational emotion. Few men are beyond its influence."
Raymond Chandler

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