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The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

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The Hitch-Hiker

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After two Oregon newlyweds are robbed and murdered in their car by a hitchhiker, police release a photograph of their prime suspect, ex-convict Emmett Myers. The hitchhiker then kills and robs a salesman in central California. Soon after, two Arizona men, draughtsman Gilbert Bowen and garage owner Roy Collins, drive across the California-Mexico border on their way to a fishing vacation in Baja. Once past Mexicali, Roy and Gil offer a lift to a stranded stranger. Almost immediately, the man, Myers, pulls out a gun and forces them to stop on a side road. Myers, who freely admits his identity, confiscates Gil’s rifle and ammunition, then orders them back on the highway. After warning Roy and Gil not to “get smart” like his previous victims, the excitable Myers demands to know when their wives expect them home. To keep Myers calm, Roy responds that they are not due back anytime soon. Later, while stopped for gas, Gil starts conversing in Spanish with the non-English speaking attendant, and Myers, who does not understand Spanish, flashes his gun at Gil to keep him quiet. At the next deserted side road, Myers studies a map and decides he is going to catch a ferry in Santa Rosalia, 500 miles away. Myers then shows off his shooting skills and forces Gil to fire his rifle at a tin can that Roy is holding hundreds of feet away. Gil’s shot hits the can, but both men are shaken by the incident. Pushing on, Continue reading

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49th Parallel (1949)

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In the early days of World War II, a German U-boat is sunk in Canada’s Hudson Bay. Hoping to evade capture, a small band of German soldiers led by commanding officer Lieutenant Hirth (Eric Portman) attempts to cross the border into the United States, which has not yet entered the war and is officially neutral. Along the way, the German soldiers encounter brave men such as French-Canadian fur trapper Johnnie (Laurence Olivier) and soldier Andy Brock (Raymond Massey).

49th Parallel

Laurence Olivier in “The 49th Parallel”


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Sherlock Holmes – Classic Radio Mystery Shows

The New Adventures oSherlock-Holmes-Vol1f Sherlock Holmes was an old-time radio show which aired in the USA from October 2, 1939 to July 7, 1947. Most episodes were written by the team of Dennis Green and Anthony Boucher.

Originally, the show starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson. Together, they starred in 220 episodes which aired weekly on Mondays from 8:30 to 9:00pm. Bromo Quinine sponsored some of the earlier programs on the NBC Blue Network and for a period Parker Pen was the sponsor. The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System. It was originally broadcast from Hollywood. During World War II, the show was also broadcast overseas through the Armed Forces Radio Service. It is unknown exactly how many of the original 220 shows have survived, 53 are currently known to be in circulation.Sherlock-Holmes-Vol2

Basil Rathbone’s last episode as the famous Detective was “The Singular Affair of the Baconian Cipher.” He was eager to separate himself from the show to avoid being typecast as Sherlock Holmes, and even though the show’s sponsor Petri Wine offered him generous pay to continue, he decided to move on. Once he did, the sponsor did as well, and Tom Conway took the starring role, though Nigel Bruce got top billing and was always announced first. The new sponsor was Kreml Hair Tonic for Men, and the new series lasted only 39 episodes. Bruce and Conway then left the series. From then until 1950 the series continued as “Sherlock Holmes” with various actors playing the two principal parts.

Sherlock-Holmes-Vol-3With Rathbone and Bruce, the show exhibited an interesting introduction. The sponsor’s spokesman, usually Knox Manning or Harry Bartell, or, during the show’s initial season and again in the final season, Joseph Bell, would show up weekly at Dr. Watson’s house (then retired and living in California), and share a story about Holmes and his adventures over a glass of Petri wine. This offered them the chance to sometimes bring in other characters to contribute to the story, and also gave Watson a chance to summarize or add additional titbits at the end. Another interesting thing about this radio show’s introductions was Dr. Watson’s anecdotes and comments about his dogs usually referred to as the “Puppies.”Sherlock-Holmes-Vol-4