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The Saxon Curse


A fortune teller foretells that he will carry out the perfect crime in order to safeguard his betrothed. Armed with that knowledge, the haughty nobleman picks his target.



Air Dates

  • First Run - March 29, 1976
  • Repeat - August 13, 1976
  • Repeat - November 11, 1979





103     15

30 Responses to Episode 0457

after learning from a fortune teller that he can and will commit the perfect murder, an arrogant aristocrat selects his victim.

Gzon S.

An aristocrat visits his old aunt, his only living relative apart from his twin sister. The aunt is entertaining other famous individuals, one, a palm reader of some renown. Despite his objections, the man has his palm read and it is apparent the palm reader is not telling all that he sees. Seeking him out the following day, the man demands to know what is in his palm. The reader says that murder, a long trip, and a lost relative are there… but how, where and who? This is a delicious episode with one of those 'just dessert' endings. Fun fun fun.

R.R. Chapman

One of the better episodes I've listened to. Strong script and performances. Good sound quality.


I enjoyed this one. I heard it recently as well. It left me thinking in several different directions. Was it fate for the 3 predictions to happen, or did he make them happen by believing they would? Maybe if he hadn't seen the fortune teller, (charlatan - liked that word!) the 3 pieces would have still happened, but fit together differently. The story seemed to say towards the end that he was a phony, but was he? His predictions did come true (although the character only commited attempted murder, and I wouldn't consider his wife to have murdered him.) If someone tells you something bad will happen to you, you will obviously try to stop it. If it doesn't happen, then you may feel gratitude toward the person because you believe knowing ahead of time allowed you to prevent it (as the character tried to.) Or, if it does still happen, then the fortune teller's prediction was correct. He wins either way. Hmmm This story made me think about whether or not someone can change their destiny, or if it is already laid out. It is creepy sometimes to think of the smallest decision - or a split second in time can throw your future on a wildly different course. I was very intrigued by the movie "Frequency" which was the opposite idea of changing the past (which of course creates a paradox.)

Jeff L. Oliver

WOW! This is one with a twist at the end. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. I just love that as I am listening to these shows, my husband and I react to the story as if it were real. He said "This guy is such a wacko!" I think that indicates how well the actors come across as real people, not just actors. I am copying this one for my mother right away! It was a great episode. Please, keep suggesting your best picks here Steve!

Paulo G.

OK, I can take a hint. hehe... I know that feeling, Steve! I did catch the show, but I just purchased a new system and should have it online in a day or so. Once I do, I'll be posting again on a regular basis. I'll save my comments for then. Thanks for choosing it!


I'll look forward to hearing your comments. Glad everyone else seemed to like it. I thought this was a fun witty mystery, and it sounded like the actors were having a great time performing it. (I sure had a great time listening to it!)

Antonel Ross

thanks for recommending this episode. A couple of thoughts: 1. We've talked about the morality aspects of the RMT, and of how some plays they aired then might not make it today. One such play was also written by this episode's original author, Oscar Wilde. The play is "Picture of Dorian Gray". I've seen it done on something like a Hallmark play back in the 70s, and I watched it when my Dad was still alive and I was junior high age. (I was so naive in those years that I had no clue what issues Gray, and Wilde, were grappling with.) There are what today would be some very sensitive subjects in that play/ pun intended. 2. Interestingly, in "Picture of Dorian Gray", like "The Saxon Curse", the main character's female love interest is named "Sybil". 3. Was it Evie Juster who played Aunt Clementine? She did some strange phasing of her voice while in one moment she'd sound like Ms. Juster (always one of my favorite female RMT voices), then the next she'd sound like the marooned-aristocrat millionaire's wife in "Gilligan's Island". At times I expected her to start saying "Thuuuuston...dahhhling." Paul Hecht is a consummate radio actor, and always sounded good in cultured roles (i.e. the doctor he played in the RMT's "The captain of the Polestar" or "Premature burial".) 4. Excellent twist at the end. Crime never pays...pretty much always the message on the RMT.


Anyone who is interested in the works of Oscar Wilde might enjoy the films (1990s?) called Salome's Last Dance, based on the play by O.Wilde. I read quite a bit of his work years ago, and though Dorian Gray is perhaps his finest and most mainstream work, along with the Importance of Being Earnest, this tale is certainly worthy of recognition. His witty, epigrammatic style is a testament to the class of society he often offended, yet delighted. I always found his insolence to be refreshing. This was a fabulous adaptation and stays true to the original (titled, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime). The only thing this tale seems to leave out, is how obnoxious and over-bearing the wealthy woman truly is. In the original story, she is often heard to "shout at the top of her lungs" to guests and relatives. This small bit of info is the only thing that does not clarify exactly why the main character wants to poison her in the first place. Anyhow, without droning on, this was a wonderful tale that explores a question similar to The Chinaman Button and many other RMT shows, "If you knew you were going to commit a murder AND get away with it, what would you do with this information?" As oft as Wilde loves to tease the society folk, it is my suspicion that in his own mind, this was pure fanatasy for him, likely derived from his own relations and upbringings. A morality test which the main character refuses, but inevitably embraces. A caustic embrace, which of course, eventually costs him his own life. I gave the show a glaring 4.9/5.0 and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Thanks for a great pick!

Gregory Hupp

The "Saxon Curse" is a very good episode!! Elements such as the Power of Suggestion, innate evil, coincidence, fortune telling, come together with really good sound quality and an excellent script!


I did enjoy this story even if I saw the ending coming. I find it interesting that someone tells you that a close family member will die that you decide to kill one of them so the other will live - isn't it possible the other will die shortly thereafter? I guess it all depends upon the person and we obviously found out what kind of person our main character was.


Cool that it included a "cameo" by Sigmund Freud!


I always liked the Stiller and Meara "Blue Nun" commercials. I often wondered how RMT made money. We were all 15 when it aired. The Commercials were for adults :)


My feelings toward news and commercials depends largely on my mood. Sometimes its a fun nostalgia trip but other times I just want to hear the story. Often, I find the newscasts depressing because they point out to me just how little progress we’ve made over the past 40 years. The ads range from amusing to downright annoying. I always liked Lou Rawls’ Budweiser ads. He was such a smooth talker.


I'm with you on the news and commercials. I like the history of the newscasts, but they don't depress me. Social change, if it is to last, has to come slowly and be gradually internalized by the individual. The major changes brought about by revolution, coup d'etat, and so on, don't last. I'm hoping that, any day now, Myanmar will once again become Burma. It took 70 years for Socialism to die as a major force in the former U.S.S.R., but it did happen. And, how long did Nazi Germany last? Not that long. So, a responsible and responsive government, a true market-driven economy, and so on, are going to take a while, and I don't expect to see much change in my lifetime. But, I'm a pragmatist, I guess, for some things, and an optimist for others.


"The commercials that get annoying to me are all the PSA spots that air on stations that clearly had trouble selling ad time locally to carry the Mystery Theater. You get an insight into which actors/comedians etc. need to pay their bills every time you hear them voicing one of the spots! The WBBM broadcast of Mystery Theater from 10/14/76 is interesting to me in this respect. Earlier in the evening CBS Radio carried Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS (Yankees beat the Royals) and my recording of this broadcast is also from WBBM so that means having the Mystery Theater airing an hour after the game with newscast practically gives me several uncut hours (save one) of one station for that night. There is a WBBM local newscast from Christmas night 1976 *after* the Mystery Theater and how technical snafus led to a massive giggle attack by the newsreader Len Walter (who is still at the station today). But even funnier was a CBS newscast after Mystery Theater on the night Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman and the anchor goofed and said Ali beat George *HERMAN* which was the name of a CBS reporter who hosted ""Face The Nation"" at the time. I fell on the floor when I heard that."


History is history, just because we may not like it or be proud of it, it is what it is and we can't deny it or pretend it didn't happen although many universities are trying to do a rewrite anyway. The commercial that irritates me is the Army recruitment one in the form of a country/western song. There was one commercial for some type of wine, Venia Rose I think, it was sung in the style of a 1920s type old movie.


"Oh, yeah...I don't think that came along until 1975/'76. Also, the Buick ""A little science, a little magic"". That one I really liked. Re: Goldie Locks She sounds like the stereotypical flaky blonde, though, to me, and I have more respect for women than to find that desirable. Now, Smurfette cute is okay, but she wasn't real, anyway. LOL! As for the taste of diet 7-Up, at the time of the commercials, sugar-free pop was sweetened with cyclamates. Sodium saccharin came along later, and now, it's primarily aspartame with sucralose bringing up the rear...I think. I haven't had a bottle of any kind of pop in at least six years, though. And, though I remember what aspartame and saccharin taste like, I don't remember cyclamates."


"My favorite was the Contac cold capsule commercial E.G. Marshall did. Here's a question: Do old CBSRMT commercials affect your purchasing choices today? Do you find yourself buying Special K, Budweiser Beer, Contac, 7UP, maybe even a Buick? A marketing person should probably look into this. I hate current commercials; I blitz through them with the DVR. But I will watch 70's commercials for longer than I'm willing to admit. "


on my fourth Buick!!!!!! Love the Buick commercials with Ralph Bell. Love when they explain the concept of range .


Anything with Ralph Bell in it is impressive. Norman Rose turned up in a few commercials too, he did one for J.C.Penny jewelry and diamonds.


"Actually I think that was Lloyd Bridges unless he took over later on. The PSAs don't bug me, because, having studied for my First Class Radiotelephone Operator license in the late '70s, I know that public service is one justification for obtaining a station license, anyway. So, they're obligated to give so much airtime to public service. The PSAs are one avenue they have for discharging that duty. The ""exploding microphone"" caper is funny. But, what's he gonna do /but/ laugh? You know he was thinking things that would've got him fired and the station fined big time.Actually I think that was Lloyd Bridges unless he took over later on. "


It's easy enough to skip over the commercials when we're not in the mood. The commercials-only task would be a big one, but what I'd like to see is an all-news project. Now, that would give an historical overview of the period when the CBSRMT episodes were broadcast. Where I am in my listening, Nixon is about ready to resign.


I always feel from an archival standpoint that if the original recording has commercials/news etc. they should be retained to preserve the integrity of the recording. That's why I like the fact that we have these uncut versions as well as the fact that there are also version where the original version has no commercials like the Armed Forces masters etc. And yes, it was always Lloyd Bridges on the Contac commercials.


Yup, "give your cold to Contac!" I don't think Contac is made anymore, is it? As for Budweiser, I'm not sure if the commercials -- old or new -- influence me, but I do drink it and enjoy it, nevertheless. I haven't eaten Special K in years, so I don't even know what different types they have now. I know the brand is on everything from frozen waffles to granola bars to, yes, even cereal. For breakfast, though, I eat Jimmy Dean's stuffed hash browns. And, if I could drive, I'd probably be looking for a mint Buick Grand National, if such could be found these days, only I'd put a Chevy 283 V8 into it and sell the stock V6.


I think Contac went away when phenylpropanolamine did, unless they found something else to put in its place. If it has pseudoephedrin in it, though, it's behind the counter and you have to sign for it in most states. When I get a stuffy head or itchy eyes, I have been using Alavert D-12, another 12-hour sinus opener. If it hadn't of been for those commercials on the cbsrmt, I'd never of known about the better business bureau and that Albert Einstein had a learning difficulty. I quite enjoy them especially when they come with news broadcasts... just listened to cbsrmt gate 27, with Fred Gwynne who played a bum, and also, a very private miracle, and a portrait of memory and double exposure and Who Is Jessica Worth? and to many others to mention here.


Lord Arthur Savile is urged by his ailing Aunt Clementine, who is suffering from the Saxon curse (headaches), to have his palm read. The palmist foresees young Savile committing a murder and not being caught for it. Even though he completely disbelieves what he has heard, Savile soon finds himself making preparations for the perfect murder -- with his Aunt Clementine the victim.


A very entertaining tale to listen to, with an excellent and unforseeable twist of fate at the end! GREAT CBSRMT EPISODE!!!

Eric Templeton

Very good episode. Extremely well performed and entertaining. There's nothing like a good twist done with a touch of humor. Loved it.

Maureen Maher

The best part was Himan Brown as Freud, lol! :D That was a scream, LOL!


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