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The Unborn


An American encounters a woman several times through his life as he moves between occupations. She grows younger each time. He falls in love not knowing he tarries with the mistress of the Devil.



Air Dates

  • First Run - October 29, 1976
  • Repeat - February 6, 1977





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10 Responses to Episode 0543

What!!! No brandy?

Randy Mc

One of the most interesting episodes of CBSRMT. It has supernatural elements, romance, a bit of spying too. The only drawback is McCambridge's casting as the young Margot. Her voice sounds like that of an old woman. This is the same problem when she was cast in Dracula and Give the Devil His Due. Her voice acting is nice, but just mistcast.


I agree, James. In fact, I find the quality of McCambridge's voice in CBSRMT episodes to be so unpleasant that I don't listen to any with her in the cast; especially as she was too often cast as a young woman. She was no doubt a talented actor, but she was well past the age to be playing the ingenue -- even just the voice -- by the time CBSRMT.

L Wil

Actually I should say that MM's character is something of an eternal,an old soul made apparently younger in stages due to an infernal bargain. Perhaps her voice can be taken as reflecting the true age of the character (if we wish to so imagine!)

Dale haskell

While it was perhaps peculiar to cast McCambridge as younger characters when all manner of roles were available on CBSRMT (though I found her effective as both young and old in CARMILLA)she was such a gifted actor and radio legend I value every opportunity to discover her work. Besides,her character here begins as middle aged. Orson Welles at one time called her the greatest living radio actress and for good reason. I urge listeners to seek her golden age performances. she was a frequent guest on INNER SANCTUM for instance.

Dale haskell

An American encounters a woman several times through his life as he moves between occupations. She grows younger each time. He falls in love not knowing he tarries with the mistress of the Devil.

Marika L.

I guess I will weigh in on Mercedes as well. I agree with the general consensus that she’s a brilliant actress. But from a personal standpoint she has sort of a creepy factor going on. On the one hand she fascinates me, yet on the other hand what I find slightly creepy is her occasional delivery of lines in an almost sing-song fashion. I’m not sure I’m describing it well, but the way she draws out words is very unique and strangely unsettling.


Mercedes McCambridge should never, ever be cast as a woman any younger than middle aged (at the least). Her voice sounds really old, and the ironic thing about this episode is that she sounds even OLDER than she usually does, LOL! In some episodes, at least she tries to sound a bit younger, (even though it doesn't work out too well), but in this episode, she doesn't even bother to try. As the character in the story grows younger, it's as if her voice gets older as the woman gets younger. Her voice should have sounded younger along with her age regressing. It just doesn't make sense. I'll be frank and just say it is totally ridiculous. Frankly, I agree with Anastasia's comment above that there is something unsettling about Mercedes McCambridge's acting style. I think I can put my finger exactly what it is: she doesn't talk NATURALLY. She draws out certain words because she is trying so hard to sound dramatic and emotional, but she doesn't talk like real people talk, and it's her unnaturalness that is unsettling. In this episode, her acting is actually better than usual, but she sounds so OLD for the role she is supposed to be playing, so regardless of her overall performance, she is totally miscast for the part. Her voice should have sounded younger and younger as the story progresses. The story itself would have been very interesting if one wasn't so distracted by her old-woman voice. Sorry if this seems harsh, but this is one of the worst, miscast episodes ever.


Just for clarification, I don't mean that this episode is one of the worst episodes ever in terms of story line and overall acting, but as far as the casting goes, it's one of the worst. They should have cast someone in the role who could have made her voice get younger and younger. Evie Juster could have done it. In fact, just about any of the regular CBSRMT actresses could have done a more believable job.


Interesting takes on Ms. McCambridge's casting. Until I read your comments, what I heard while listening was a woman becoming younger externally, but internally struggling while getting tired and older on the inside. Enjoyable story.

Maureen Maher

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