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Return Engagement


An intriguing tale of an aged actor turned small time hoodlum. He steals arbitrarily but can he be a murderer too?



Air Dates

  • First Run - October 17, 1977
  • Repeat - March 11, 1978





95     16

16 Responses to Episode 0725

One of the best I've heard. Great story line and ending.

Ty Griffies

This is one of the best I've heard. Fred Gwynne gave a tour de force performance, and it had the feeling of a walking nightmare. Very highly recommended.


WOW! I'm going to compare this to the most disturbing show I ever heard on the RMT (that I've mentioned ad infinitum here) "Star Sapphire". Fred Gwynne, in "Return engagement" as in "Star sapphire", completely transforms himself. In "sapphire" he goes from a gentle, would-be adoptive father to cold-hearted abuser. In "engagement" he goes from befuddled-sounding, washed-up thespian to insane would-be killer. It takes a great actor (such as the Yale-trained (?) ) Gwynne to pull this off. Originally I started to get sleepy listening to this, but Gwynne pulled me into it ever so gradually, then suddenly with all the subtlety of a, well, a blow to the head with a pair of fire tongs. Gwynne's performance alone was great, and the supporting cast was good also.

A. Gico

I thought this one was good, but not great. It didn't move very fast and kind of stumbled toward the end until it gave us a nice twist.

Charles Bagget

I finally caught up to this show. It always puzzles me to think that Fred Gwynne, a man with such versatile and intense talent will likely be remembered by pop culture fans as Herman Munster. Blows me away. As I've said many times, my favorite RMT shows deal with characters who are plagued with psychological curses. I guess because they are so horrifying in a fictional sense, but so very real and believable to everyone. Gwynne delivers this performance like a great chef, cooking up a personality that is not only believable, but chilling. This was a character I would not wished to have stumbled upon, or on me. The scene where he is picked up in his pajamas was particularly stunning, as I could only imagine myself offering the same service to a poor sod wandering the streets. But hearing this tale certainly would make me more cautious on that position, knowing what I know. While not a terrifying horror character in a villainous role, Gwynne's man has our sympathy and our pity. He holds a flame of greatness from a career that elevated him to star. But, as we've seen in our pop culture far too many times, even the brightest and highest of stars can be subject to fall at the hands of fate. 


Totally agree with your comments regarding Fred Gwynne and his performance in "Stone Sapphire" and now we have another excellent example of just how brilliant and we'll rounded his career actually was. I will now be seeking all of his radio performances on CBSRMT and I'm sure I will enjoy them immensely. Herman Munster indeed.


Roy Rayburn, once a famous Shakespearean actor, is found wandering in his pajamas on the George Washington Bridge. He manages to slip away from the police and purchase some fire tongs in a Manhattan antique shop. Later on, he heads for the Long Island estate owned by his mother whom, he sincerely believes, like Queen Gertrude in Hamlet, murdered his father and now must pay for the crime. (725/1381) Notes: Dryden's Cabbie picks up Roy walking east across the George Washington Bridge, dropping him off near Riverside Drive. Next, Dryden's cop finds him asleep on a park bench in Central Park. Roy references a private house on Fifth Ave. Roy then shows up at Schmidt's shop, "Den of Antiquity," located at 22 Court St. There is such an address in Brooklyn. After leaving the shop, Roy tries to buy a ticket on the Long Island Railroad to Sands Point. Later, Michael the taxi man asks Roy if he will be acting in any new shows. Roy answers that he was thinking about "Return Engagement," which is the title of a play by Lawrence Riley that ran on Broadway in 1940, and closed after one week. Roy's "big old house" is located "at the end of Sands Point Road" in Sands Point, Long Island. The road exists but doesn't pass by the referenced lighthouse.


Gwynne is the best actor on RMT . Not all the parts were created for him but he adapts brilliantly oh come on with cops


I love all the episodes with Fred Gwynne, he is just fantastic. This had a great story, kept me wondering, was wonderful all the way to the end


What a great episode


Excellent episode. Well written


I just listened to that one. After finishing most of the CBSRMT episodes I'm going back and listening to my favorite actors' episodes


LOVED this episode. My favorite one.


One of my faves! Most people don't remember Fred Gwynne as a radio actor. I'd say they remember him from The Munsters, Car 54, and My Cousin Vinny.


The CBSRMT episode "Return Engagement", starring Fred Gwynne, was a well above-average piece, in that very inconsistent series, which might have been written with Gwynne in mind.


I’m sorry to say that I did not enjoy this one. Fred Gwynne episodes are usually among my favorites. I will give this another go-around in case I’m just not paying enough attention.


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