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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
Blood, Thunder, and a Woman in Green
Plot:
A private detective in the 1940's stumbles into a murder investigation when his tabloid photographer friend is brutally slain over a controversial photo he took.

Episode:
0631
Air Dates:
First Run - April 8, 1977
Repeat - August 23, 1977
Listen:
Rating:
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8 Responses to Episode 0631


A 1940s private investigator stumbles into a murder when his friend -- a tabloid photographer -- is murdered over a photo he took.

I just listened to this episode and couldn't believe it was over when it was over! I was listening to the story and trying to figure it all out as the film noir aspects were really capturing my interest. The problem came when it was over without me hearing what happened. I didn't like the ending where we were told by the woman in the green dress what happened out in the bar. That is always my biggest complaint about movies or radio mysteries--action that is told to us instead of shown to us. I just didn't see why we couldn't witness the police attack instead of hearing it second hand. This episode just ended too soon for my liking. The first half of the show was great. The second half left me cold. ARG!

This was a fun episode in that it was unlike any other RMT that I'd heard so far. The "noir" style, Sam Spade approach was refreshing if not unique to anything else I've come across. However, it took me about five listens to finally get through the episode. I just wasn't drawn into it. I think the first act had an allure about it, being in that particular genre of private dics and what not. But after that, everything seemed to have plateaued and remained at the same pace throughout the show. Even at the end, I wasn't quite sure it was over. I pictured the characters smiling at the camera and holding up old-style bottles of Coca-Cola saying, "G'night now!" and then winking... fade to black. Three cheers for the writers exploring different avenues and trying to keep the audience full of fresh, new mysteries to uncover, but this episode pretty much lacked any real mystery to it. "The film was under his body!" really ticked me off. What criminal who is desperately searching for some piece of valuable information fails to search the body? For me, this was the dramatic flaw that pinched the nerve in the tooth of the episode. It seemed as though the writer had perhaps written himself into a corner and this was the only way out. A lot of irrelevent details and dialogue, all for naught, had they only checked the body first. I gave the show a 3.5 based on the production and the acting quality, which I found to be above par for the RMT standard.

I realize imitation is a form of flattery, but this didn’t even come close. Um, UNT, next time you shouldn't hold back so much, k? HOLY BOB DRYDEN have I missed that kind of feedback on these boards! Welcome back, UNT... your amazing insight is inspiring as always. I drill for ways to express my thoughts, which seem to come out like taffy, while you seem to whistfully capture every nuance and generate ideas which were completely peripheral and passed by in my head. Good work!

I enjoy the genre, the references to Chandler got me hooked early but may have raised my expectations. It started out well enough, but Mandel Kramer seemed to underplay the character, trying to be dry, but he came off seeming disinterested and uninvolved. Once he got taken prisoner this thing really fell apart, the central character became a bystander. I thought maybe it was supposed to be funny, with the Shakespeare thing and all, but it fell flat in that department, too. No clever ironies that I could pick out. Just a literary alias thrown in. Lots of cliche-ish stuff Then, this woman shows up, walks freely right into the bad guys lair, and wraps up the whole thing very neatly, after being repeatedly told not to talk, it's a trick, they're listening, etc. And the bad guys just walk away and leave them together? I didn't get it. Our hero detective really didn't do anything except get beat up and bound. The case was "solved" without him. We spend 15 minutes on him being grout, then grggy, then helpless, then not knowing anything. Then we got blitzed in the last few minutes with all of this plot info that he could have been learning if he'd escaped from his captors from Bo Peep's place in Act 1 (after taking a few hard shots fom the punk), caught up to the green gal, and they pursued leads together, maybe took a shier under the eye, solved the caper and fell into a big smooch at the end. That would have been more satisfying (for both my enjoyment and to honor the traditions of the genre), than him just being held captive while she comes in, tells him about everything and announces that she had already solved the mystery that he hardly ever knew anything about. I realize that my suggestion would be perhaps more cliched than what we got, but I'd rather the thing be predictable than nonsensical. This was sort of like watching the first half of a flm and then having someone else tell you about the second half. I like this style and I had not heard it before on RMT, but I am afraid I was disappointed by most of the last two acts after a very promising start. Still, as always, it is a treat to kick back and listen to these plays. I'm wondering if there are any others utilizing this style in the RMT catalog. I like the style. I've heard some of the stuff, like Johnny Dollar and, of course, Philip Marlowe, that seems more authentic. probably because it originated during that era instead of 30+ years later.

This episode attempts to recreate the hard boiled genre of detective radio fiction circa 1940’s. This is a formidable undertaking as the expression of the original art form was both the written and spoken…namely books and OTR (Old Time Radio). Indeed, the peak of radio extended into the 40’s. Classics such as “Suspense”, ‘The Whistler”, “Pat Novak For Hire” and are known to most still today. Our 1977 revisit borrows from these shows in character and story. Indeed, it can be argued that it borrows from the movies and their respective characters of the era as well. ( an off-shoot of the books ) Unfortunately, it does so only in a most inane, boring and superficial manner. Through the story E.G. reminds us of one of the Master’s of the genre, Chandler. This serves nicely to raise our expectations. Notoriety by association is not enough. The story itself borrows from many. He does let us know that Colbridge is no Marlow. This P.I. is less successful…even self deprecating when introducing himself. Immediately the character of Pat Novak comes to mind, and this is solidified by his being knocked out after some verbal sparring with the Sidney Greenstreet rip-off “Shakespeare” and his stereotypical dumb, lackey Dickey. Unlike Webb’s Pat Novak, Kramer’s Colbridge never really sounds tough and lacking mental or physical prowess can’t even compensate by being funny. Sure, he uses the words of the genre, but they sound simply scripted. Hell, he ends up not even solving the story and is ultimately a guy half conscious through the show, in the dark literally and figuratively. We the listeners (victims) are not in the dark because there is zero suspense. We know Bo Peep will be found dead because we know the uninterested and tired Colbridge will get off his duff and go to the flat. Sure enough, Bo Peep is found dead and described with some blood soaked verbiage. Meanwhile the thunder continues to pound on in the background with its inevitable though unseen correspondent (lightening) only illuminating to us that 1) thunder doesn’t go on and on like this, surely?, and 2) it illuminates the cheese in “cheesy”. Since the story is unable to leave the listeners in the dark because there is no suspense, the writers keep Colbridge unconscious a good deal and have the characters retell the events of the story to “Sugar”, played by a cotton filled mouth Bob Dryden. This serves the purpose of turning a 15 minute story into 45. Meanwhile the thunder goes on, though at about 30 minutes into the show Dickey promises the audience that the storm is about to break ( a promise to keep us listening…a bribe?)……(un)interestingly the thunder never does end. It’s like listening to bad heavy metal, a wall of sound that gets old fast. The only character that is not stereotypical is Miss Lane. Her independence ends there, for she is as dull as the rest. She simply doesn’t sound like she is trying to fit in, whereas the others try to, albeit unsuccessfully. Colbridge even has to tell us who she is!!!! This despite the fact that she is described as being in all green with red hair! As a saving grace, she does “solve” the story. When I heard her name, I thought, “You are no Margo Lane!” E.G. ends his dialogue with a quote from Chandler. I was compelled to think of Chandler at the time, and one of his novel’s, “The Big Sleep”. This show should have been called “The Bigger Sleep”. So much OTR is out there from the 40’s that is absolutely fantastic…and available to listen to. 

Looks like I wasn't the only one who thought this episode could have been better. Say, has anyone ever heard of Firesign Theater? In about 1969 they made an album, one side of which was called "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger." It is a spot-on parody of this genre, old radio, movies, as well as 60s counterculture (i.e., drug lingo and Beatles White Album quotes). It is absolutely hilarious. The more of these movies and radio programs you've heard, the funnier it is. You can listen a dozen times and hear new stuff every time.  You'll enjoy the sound effects, voices, puns, double entendres, etc.

1. I always like when Mandel Kramer plays a cop. Three other such performances: 1. "The raft" 2. "The long blue line" 3. "Cool killer Carl" 2. At the 6:44 mark is a simple 4-note music bed that I have always remembered from the RMT. It may be my all-time favorite, even though it's so simple. (There's also a sped up version of it.) In the aforementioned show "Cool Killer Carl" the very same bed plays while Kramer is talking first person. His voice and that music bed work great together. 3. IMO, William Griffis was somewhat a wasted talent in this...I always like his work. (I think he played the cabbie and the younger thug.) 4. Jackson Beck, on the other hand, fooled me early. I thought for awhile he was a different actor. 5. Kind of an unusual ending, as some have said. I did enjoy listening to this.

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