CBSRMT Episode Information Next Episode

Title

Ninety Lives

Plot

Suspicious of his motives, a brother does a background check on a supposed amnesia victim that his waitress sister has taken a fancy to.

Episode

1008

Air Dates

  • First Run - August 29, 1979
  • Repeat - December 14, 1979

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

89
74     15


12 Responses to Episode 1008

Episode seemed to be building to something interesting, then the ending left me feeling flat. Err, not my fave. I thought that the mystery guy was going to move from one body to he next, something like that. I figured he didn't know who he was because the two guys who accosted him on the street killed him, then he came back to life. Ah well! Thanks for posting it!

Mickey

Mickey I think Sam Dann needed your input ! Your idea for a better plot line is right on. Story is flat but the performers are worth a listen. Terri Keane as a blue collar is really terrific and amazing Fred Gwynne as Muldoon is really fun. Inside joke there as Fred's character on tv's CAR 54 was FRANCIS Muldoon. The cast saves this one for me!

Paul Liberti

OOH!! OOH!! FRANCIS!!!!

Stephen Worrell

Russell Horton is uncredited here but plays the mysterious stranger with amnesia. Listen for him in the opening scene where he plays his own attacker with Fred Gwynne. He has one line - "what for?"

Paul Liberti

would liked to have seen the waitress get her man too. gray actors i can picture that diner

jay

Good story and audio quality, shame EG's closing summation gets cut at the end though

John p

These type of amnesia stories always make me wonder. The amnesia victim can't remember anything before they 'woke up'. They can't remember their name, where they live, or any family or friends. Yet they still can speak perfect college English. This guys knows perfectly what the names of trees are, what a city is, what money is, and even knows that the thing wrong with him is called amnesia, and not athlete's foot, for example. Proof that rote school learning is ingrained forever.

D.C.

D.C.:And yet, I believe, this is exactly what occurs to people. The can retain all their skills, but not remember people or events. Here is an excerpt from an article: "The type of memory that has been lost can also be differentiated. There are two main divisions; declarative memory and nondeclarative memory. Declarative memories are those you show you learned by telling people. They’re a narrative. Say you lose all memories for specific events, or episodes, in your life; you can’t remember going to school, learning to play basketball, your first kiss, your first job, all that autobiographical knowledge. You’ve lost your episodic memory. In this specific case, since those things happened before the injury, you have retrograde episodic memory loss. You can have anterograde episodic memory impairments too, if you can’t make new autobiographical memories. There’s also semantic memory, which means general knowledge about the world. Think of it as more like trivia. What’s the capital of Rhode Island? What’s two plus two? Those sorts of things are considered semantic. Both semantic and episodic memories are considered to be declarative. Nondeclarative memories are things you show you learned by actually doing: Procedural memories. Procedures are skills that you perform. I show you I know how to ride a bike by actually riding a bike. No amount of semantic knowledge is going to convince you otherwise. I can tell you how bikes are ridden until I’m blue in the face, but you won’t necessarily believe me until I get on one and start pedaling. Note that we’ve uncoupled the skill (riding) from the semantic (describing how bikes are ridden) and the episodic (when you learned to ride). Your fall down the stairs may take away the memory for an event (e.g. when your dad taught you to ride a bike), but leave intact the skill of actually riding a bike. You may have absolutely no idea that you know how to do it! As you can guess, this is difficult for an amnesiac to cope with, but it gives rise to those tantalizing moments in movies when the character suddenly remembers they can beat up several prison guards or sing an opera."

jim shane

I loved watching Care 54 Where Are You! On Nick @ Nite in the 80s. He was quoted as saying: "Voice work is the kindest thing that can happen to an old actor." (Though wasn't he a judge in "My cousin Vinny", long after the last RMT episode - think it was Mr. Gwynne's final role before he passed.)

Chris

I rate this episode ★★★☆☆ for AVERAGE. I’ll review what I enjoyed the most first and then finish off what I disliked. First, I enjoyed the cast: Kevin McCarthy (as William Gillette/Sherlock Holmes), Jada Rowland (as Pamela Watson), Russell Horton (as Jim Watson), and Carol Teitel (as the Tour Guide and Mrs. Hudson). Carol Teitel was terrific in her 2 roles. Jada Rowland is my favorite actress in the CBSRMT series and having her partner up with Russell Horton again, like many episodes before, was delightful. And Kevin McCarthy was entertaining, just like his performance as Sherlock Holmes in previous episodes before this one. Next up, music and sound effects. Dozens of dramatic tunes were used, but no suspenseful or chilling tracks were used to match the feel of being trapped in a castle. Sound effects of car engine running, tires screech, footsteps, tourists murmuring, sliding doors, cat meowing, howling wind, gong, lamp breaking, doors, cane hitting clothing, gun shot, tapping of the phone, drawing the curtains, carriage rolling up, pouring of drinking glasses, and doorbell were very supportive in this tale. Next is our Host and his narrations. E.G. Marshall’s Prologue focused on castles and our story takes place at a castle in New England. In ACT-1, meet Jim & Pamela Watson where one of them is a Sherlock Holmes buff. In ACT-2, knowing so little about William Gillette’s career and we get a sense that some actors like him can go too far to create an illusion of reality. In ACT-3, after the strange turn of events, our Host’s only explanation to the Climax is to mention a quote from a playwright about the 6th sense of the Imagination. In his Epilogue, he recommends CBSRMT listeners to take a tour of the Gillette Castle itself in Connecticut. Good recommendation, but no Resolution explained on what happened to our characters afterwards. And so, it comes down to the final segment: the Script. Elizabeth Pennell has written decent drama mysteries and even did the adaptations of #0605-JANE EYRE and #0643-WUTHERING HEIGHTS. But this story was Fair. So-so, I should say. I was expecting it to be a haunting mystery about a haunted castle with the Sherlock Holmes references. But instead, this story’s turn of events created massive questions to think about. Like, how did the Jim & Pamela Watson hear about this castle? Was Mrs. Hudson going through nightmare problems? Was William Gillette really dead? Was he putting on a show for his guest just so he can play Sherlock Holmes for fun? Did these 2 tourists actually travel back in time? Was the castle actually haunted? Was it really a nightmare? Was anything resolved after Jim & Pamela Watson escaped from the castle? There are so many fill-in-the-blanks in this, the episode’s title should be changed and call it “A Bad Case Of The Jitters” or “Elementary, My Dear Guests.” Tune in to this, if you like. There are better castle stories in the CBSRMT vault. SPECIAL BONUS: This episode has commercials of AMEX travelers checks, Bob Armstrong’s Diamond Center, “The Ritual” novel, CBS-News, First Federal of Gary, Radio Advertising Bureau, Jewel’s Discount Grocery Store, CBS-Sports News in Chicago, CBS-News on Election 1980, Susan Anton for Serta Sleeper Mattresses, and Smokey Bear Program. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. I'd think that Robert Barr would have been pleased of the adaptation of this by James Agate, Jr. It has intricate clues, it has peculiar motives, and it has a surprising twist in the end. And above all, it has a great detective in this: Eugène Valmont. Robert Barr’s character ranks up with Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. Van Dusen and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Another way to title this story would be “A Case Of Interest” or even “The Parisian Detective.” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts it off by comparing one of the characters as a “Scrooge.” In ACT-1, the bloodline of the James Dudley Hills on their fortunes. As the plot thickens, we realize that not all clues were divulged in the first Act alone. In ACT-2, questions pop up. More importantly, they see the evidence clearly, but not recognize it. In ACT-3, quoting Sir Francis Bacon about suspicions and our main detective plays a waiting game. In the end, after discovering where the loot was hiding all along and discovering who else was related to the family, we learned a private post-mortem joke that money would bring out the worst in those with the least character. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall finishes it off with the comparison of the Midas myth - great wealth does not equal great happiness. Outstanding narrations. Sound effects of bells, footsteps, background noise at the police station, phone receiving line, seals, patrons murmuring, paper note, newspapers, doors, dog wincing, phone ringing, paper bills, intercom buzzer, emergency sirens, pulling off wallpaper were terrific. As for the music, great selection of dramatic tunes that moved the story forward. And let us not forget our amazing cast: Norman Rose (as Eugène Valmont), Russell Horton (as James Dudley Hill III and Inspector Graves), and Robert Dryden (as James Dudley Hill, Jr. and Elijah Browning). These 3 worked well together. Norman Rose, performing with a French accent, was very entertaining. This is one mystery story that CBSRMT fans should not pass up on. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. I admire Murray Burnett’s work, particularly his adaptions of the Sherlock Holmes stories. But the story originally from Edith Wharton was better. The novelist’s ghost story had a Narrator without a name. In Murray Burnett’s version, we got a fashion designer that’s interested in the castle while the other male characters act persuasive and vulnerable. I was more interested in the mystery of the dogs and hope that they would play a bigger part to this tale. Other ways to title this would be “Dogs Of Kerfol” or “Strange Vendetta.” In our Host’s Prologue, that I had to find on other OTR websites, E.G. Marshall’s topic is about castles with ghosts. In ACT-1, meet our main character who’s interested in buying a castle. After digging into the story within the story, our Host points out the lifestyle differences of adultery from 2 different time periods. Our main character must’ve seen dogs or ghost dogs. After too many conflicts about pets getting killed in this story, E.G. Marshall mentions ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Was E.G. Marshall trying to advertise this non-profit organization into the episode? In ACT-3, he understands the reaction that our main character felt when reading the history book. When the story was over, E.G. Marshall stated that when he talked about this story to a psychiatrist and what was his take on this? Was E.G. Marshall talking about his personal life on this? Or was this something that Murray Burnett wrote for him? What’s even weirder, is the Epilogue. E.G. Marshall tells the world’s shortest horror story ever. It’s a classic, but it’s irrelevant to this particular story. E.G. Marshall wasn’t off topic with his narrations, but he could’ve saved the ASPCA mentioning, the psychiatrist moment, and the shortest horror story for other episodes. The music was OK, but the tunes for the chilling moments kept on repeating in every Act. Sound effects of birds chirping, bell ring, iron gate squeaking, footsteps, car tires screech, jewelry case, door knocking, howling wind, violin music, and unbolting the door were good. And of course, the sounds of dogs barking were helpful. And finally, our cast: Mercedes McCambridge (as Paula Randall and Anne de Cornault), William Redfield (as Herve de Lanrivain and Andre de Lanrivain), Ian Martin (as Baron Yves de Cornault), and Guy Sorel (as the Judge and the Gypsy). I like this choice of cast members. In fact, this was my favorite part of the episode. All of the actors were great. But it was Mercedes McCambridge, our leading lady, who was superb. Her performance in this reminds me of her performance in Ep. #0318-CARMILLA where she played 2 roles: The Narrator and the Woman who dealt with death. Fans of her would enjoy this episode. Check this one out, but also check out Edith Wharton’s original ghost story. Until next time…pleasant dreams.

Russ


Leave a comment