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CBSRMT Episode Information
Revenge Is Not Sweet
('Jacques Futrell story')
A police detective becomes suspicious of the family's strange behavior and looks deeper into the death of a wealthy old man.
Air Dates:
First Run - January 2, 1980
Repeat - April 24, 1980
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2 Responses to Episode 1044

Entertaining mystery; not super but but above average - Beck and Dryden are among the best of the radio era male actors and perform to their usual high standards.

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. After listening to this Drama-Mystery, written by G. Frederick Lewis who adapted this tale from “Problem of the Lost Radium” by Jacques Futrelle, I wanted to give it 5 stars for EXCELLENT. But when I read Jacques Futrelle’s original story afterwards, I dropped it to 4 stars. Don’t get me wrong; this CBSRMT episode was entertaining; intriguing as the Sherlock Holmes episodes with the twists and turns. However, this was a different version beyond Jacques Futrelle’s story. The time period, the location, the technology, the names of the minor characters; all different; including the crime that was committed!!! G. Frederick Lewis wrote a crime story involving a death in the family, but Jacques Futrelle wrote his crime story involving the theft of radium. What did not change, were the names of our main characters: Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen: the Thinking Machine and his comrade Hutchinson Hatch. SPECIAL NOTE: Just like Sherlock Holmes, Professor Van Dusen had his own catch phrase: “Nothing is impossible.” Why G. Frederick Lewis wrote a different version and didn’t stick to the classic? A mystery we may never know. But let’s move on to our excellent Host. In his Prologue, E.G. Marshall brings up the topic of a cipher-a method of transforming a text to conceal its meaning and introduces us to Professor Van Dusen who was a popular character in Jacques Futrelle’s stories. In ACT-1, not only does he inform us on ciphers, but he also questions to us: could 1 corpse have died 3 ways: natural causes, suicide, and murder? In ACT-2, he explains that the spirit of revenge is both ancient and modern. He even compared our female character to Catherine the Great. At the end of ACT-3, he says, “To what lengths one’s soul can twist and one’s hate can transform?” Good question since revenge is its own executioner. In his Epilogue, he quotes the writings of John Milton’s Paradise Lost; which fits well in this story: paradise…lost. The sound effects of the phone buzzing, bottle from the bag, opening the letter, the hard rain, engine running from the moped bike, echoes in the cellar, pistol being fired, beeps at the hospital, rotary phone ringing, clinking of the glasses, the moped bike crashes into a brick wall, frogs croaking, footsteps at the driveway, ringing of the doorbell, and opening the envelope filled with ashes in it; decent to hear. But the music was suspenseful in every scene, especially the dark & mysterious tune in the cellar scene in ACT-2. And our cast was suspenseful as well: Robert Dryden (as Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen & Mr. Sloan), Jada Rowland (as Elizabeth Devan), Gordon Gould (as John Stockton & Dr. Benton), and Jackson Beck (as Hutchinson Hatch). Jada Rowland is one of my favorite actresses from CBSRMT and she acted terrifically for playing a character to love & hate at the same time. And a great job to Robert Dryden for playing as Professor Van Dusen: the Thinking Machine. Good as Kevin McCarthy in the Sherlock Holmes adaptations. If anyone’s interested in Jacques Futrelle’s work, you should read his story “Problem of the Lost Radium” and then tune in to this episode and you will notice the differences. But you should also check out #1055-THE CRYSTAL GAZER and #1067-THE SECRET OF THE FIFTH BELL for they feature the Thinking Machine. And check out the rest of the other adaptations by Jacques Futrelle: #0956-THE GREAT BRAIN, #1024-DANGEROUS MEMORY, #1108-THE MASTER MINDS, #1166-THE RAFT, #1169-MUDER ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE, and #1197-DIOGENES, INC. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)

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