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Old-time radio, 22 April: There's more than one way to weave a tangled web

Lurene Tuttle is a murderous would-be heiress tonight . . .
Unknown publicity photo

Only The Whistler could get away with setting you up to know who did it right out of the chute, simply because it rarely got better than that for taking you through the labyrinths the bad guy or girl traveled before committing the crime in question . . . most of the time. Sometimes, of course, people as well as things aren’t quite as they seem at first.

On the other hand, tonight the bad girl learns the hard way about tangled web weaving . . .


The Whistler: The Waterford Case (CBS, 1946)

Elaine Waterford (Lurene Tuttle) has set up her cousin Richard (Jeff Chandler) perfectly to take the fall for his wealthy father’s murder. That would make her the sole heir to the Waterford fortune.

She has only one problem: she discovers the victimised cousin plans to marry the woman (Betty Lou Gerson) over whom his father once threatened disownership . . . and he plans to do it the night before he’s due to be executed for the murder he didn’t commit, ensuring the bride as the Waterford heiress.

This slightly mangled tangled web works better than you’ll think at first. Don’t let it go.

Additional cast: Unidentified. The Whistler: Bill Forman. Announcer: Marvin Miller. Music: Wilbur Hatch. Writer: Kenneth Harvey.

Further Channel Surfing . . .


Fibber McGee & Molly: A Night Out with the Boys (NBC, 1941)—Jim and Marian Jordan, Harold Peary, Bill Thompson, Harlow Wilcox. That’s what the Squire of 79 Wistful Vista would love, especially when Gildersleeve—whose wife is out of town—teases him with a thought about poker night at the lodge, assuming the usually combative twosome can maneuver Molly into letting her husband out of her clutches; er, arms. The usual deftness even when a joke or two gets trite.

The Goldbergs: A Little Talking (CBS, 1942)—Gertrude Berg, John R. Waters, Roslyn Siber, Alfred Ryder. Rather tyrannically, Jake bars Rosalie from seeing unhappily-engaged Walter, but Molly and Sammy try to change two stubborn minds—Jake, fearing he’ll alienate Rosalie; and, Rosalie, to convince her Walter needs to make clear to Norma that he’s not in love with her. The difference between this gently elemental comedy-drama serial and the soap operas with which it’s often lumped is apparent in the understatement, in writing and acting alike.


The Inner Sanctum Mysteries: The Melody of Death (CBS, 1944)—Raymond Edward Johnson (host), Mary Astor, unidentified additional cast. Dining with her fiance, a newly-engaged woman persists and finally convinces a reluctant gypsy violinist to play her favourite song—a song the musician warns is bad luck for a newly-betrothed woman who may become enslaved by the melody . . . possibly to the point of murder. If it sounds just a little too much like a contorted Pied Piper perversion, you may discover soon enough that it only sounds that way.


The Six-Shooter: Johnny Springer (NBC, 1954)—James Stewart, Harry Bartell, Joel Cranston, Virginia Gregg, Parley Baer, Barney Phillips. Bartell shines quietly but firmly as hotel manager Sid Tucker, who blames a youthful outlaw for a shooting that rousts barely-asleep Ponsett, leading the traveling avenger-by-default to a pursuit that turns up the hotel’s safe deposit box, a succession of lame horses, and a young woman who thinks the shooter is another man—who’s promised to marry her, assuming he isn’t hitched already. Stay with it.

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