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Lux Radio Theater (or is it 'Theatre' ?)


speedracer5
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I know that this might be old news; but recently I discovered that you can download Podcasts of Lux Radio Theater (Theatre) episodes for free on iTunes!

 

While I didn't download all the episodes available, I of course, downloaded all the Errol Flynn ones first.  I also downloaded a couple Lucille Ball ones and the radio version of My Man Godfrey

 

I've only listened to Mr. Flynn's radio shows so far.  I've really enjoyed them.  It's interesting to listen to the radio version of a movie that I've seen.  Flynn did radio versions of four of his films on 'Lux Radio.'  He did: The Perfect Specimen, Green Light, Virginia City and Captain Blood

 

I haven't seen The Perfect Specimen, but I really enjoyed the radio show.  Flynn, Joan Blondell and May Robson repeated their film roles on the radio version.  I really wish this film wasn't hung up in some copyright dispute.

 

Green Light and Captain Blood were fun.  Both radio shows starred Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.  It is interesting to see how the storyline is slightly changed in order to accommodate the radio format.  

 

Cecil B. DeMille's introductions are interesting and for whatever reason, it amuses me when he is tongue tied and messes up his lines.  It's amazing that the actors are able to complete their whole radio show without screwing up their lines.  If they did screw up, they must have been excellent ad-libbers.

 

What's hilarious in these shows are the product placements for Lux.  Usually between Act 1 and 2, they'll have a "guest" who will be on the show to discuss something related to the show being performed.  However, within their spiel, they'll manage to work Lux into their discussion.  It seems that "Lux Toilet Soap" was also promoted as specifically a woman's product.  I don't really hear the men hawking it.  They do promote the "Lux Flakes" or they'll promote the toilet soap by stating how good their wife's complexion looks.  Then after the conclusion of the radio show, the male and female stars will talk to Cecil B. DeMille.  In the ones with Flynn, Errol is always talking about some trip he's about to go on; whereas the female costar will talk about something related to her, but then will promote Lux Toilet Soap again. 

 

I haven't listened to any other stars' radio shows yet in order to gauge their talents; but Flynn was excellent on the radio-- as were his co-stars: Olivia de Havilland, Joan Blondell and Barbara Stanwyck. 

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Archive.org has thousands of old time radio shows for free download: Mercury Theater with Orson Welles, Jack Benny, and many others.

 

My favorites include the Adventures of Philip Marlowe with Gerald Mohr, the science fiction anthologies Dimension X and X Minus 1, the mystery anthology Suspense and its sister show Escape.

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I had seen that other radio shows were directly available for download online.  I liked the iTunes Podcasts because I could put them directly on my iPod.  I realize that I can put non iTunes stuff on there too--it's easy to download straight from the iTunes store though!  The radio shows are the perfect length for my commute.  From home to work, I can listen to an entire show.  It's a nice change from the same old music all the time.

 

I have 3 collections of the Smithsonian/Radio Spirits collaborations of radio shows: Lucille Ball, Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.  I got them quite some time ago and have them on cassette.  Lol.  These are perfect to listen to while camping.

 

I will have to check out archive.org and see if I can find the Errol Flynn radio appearances that he made outside of the Lux Radio Theater.  Of course, I'll also want to look for more appearances by my favorite stars as well.  I also love Lucille Ball's appearances.  She was excellent on the radio-- especially in her My Favorite Husband-- basically a precursor to I Love Lucy.   

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It is theater in the US and theatre in the UK...similar to center and centre. 

 

Yeah, but what difference does it really make over there anyway, eh Emily?!

 

I mean seein' as how the Brits don't pronounce their "r"s at all, RIGHT?! YOU know! As in "threatah" and "centah"!!!

 

(...and ALSO seein' as how those "threatre" and "centre" words are even SPELLED over there, well, it suuuuure as heck looks suspiciously like FRENCH of all things TOO, now doesn't IT?!) ;)

 

LOL

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Thanks for mentioning this speedracer. As much as I rely on the IMDB (movie database) and the IBDB (Broadway database), I wish there was a database that listed all the broadcast information for the golden age of radio. Some sites that sell old time radio, or these free websites, often just list the title, the year of original broadcast and one or two stars. But nothing is ever mentioned about producers, directors, supporting cast, etc.

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Thanks TopBilled.  I've also found it hard to obtain information about who is in a particular radio show.  With the iTunes podcasts, unfortunately, they also do not list the actors' names who starred in a particular program.  I wanted to download all the Errol Flynn ones and had to do some additional research on the internet to obtain the titles that he appeared in, so I knew which ones to download.

 

One of the interesting programs I discovered was the radio version of These Three starring Errol Flynn and Barbara Stanwyck.  Which I found out later was a 1936 film of the same title.  Then this film was later remade in 1961 as The Children's Hour.  Flynn and Stanwyck's version was excellent. 

 

What I find amazing about these radio shows is how well the actors can act out these stories when I presume they are just standing on a stage in front of microphones holding a script.  The actors never seem to flub their lines either! I don't think there were "re-takes" on radio. 

 

Does anyone know, did these programs air live as they were being performed? Or were they recorded and aired later? I know they're at least filmed in front of an audience, because you can occasionally hear their laughter during a performance or during Cecil B. DeMille's intermissions between acts.

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Does anyone know, did these programs air live as they were being performed? Or were they recorded and aired later? I know they're at least filmed in front of an audience, because you can occasionally hear their laughter during a performance or during Cecil B. DeMille's intermissions between acts.

I think most were live, but some were definitely pre-recorded.  

 

My favorite ones are the shows done by the Mercury Players for The Campbell (Soup) Playhouse. It was after Welles' famed War of the Worlds broadcast, and he had free reign to tackle any kind of story he wanted. All his supporting players are perfect and he manages to attract some top name guest stars. It's a shame his movie career wasn't as good. RKO should have let him adapt most of these radio scripts into feature films.

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I think most were live, but some were definitely pre-recorded.  

 

My favorite ones are the shows done by the Mercury Players for The Campbell (Soup) Playhouse. It was after Welles' famed War of the Worlds broadcast, and he had free reign to tackle any kind of story he wanted. All his supporting players are perfect and he manages to attract some top name guest stars. It's a shame his movie career wasn't as good. RKO should have let him adapt most of these radio scripts into feature films.

Re: live versus pre-recorded.  I figured that they were performing live; which makes it even more amazing that the stars were able to perform so flawlessly without flubbing their lines.  Even Cecil B. DeMille flubs his lines during his segments.  I have to imagine that the stars must have been provided scripts a week or two ahead of time and probably rehearsed the show together before going live with it.  If they didn't and they're acting this all out on the fly, that'd be really amazing.

 

I agree about Welles'.  His voice is just meant for the radio.  I could probably listen to a radio broadcast of him reading the telephone book and be enthralled.  I have a collection of Orson Welles radio programs that was put out by the Smithsonian and aside from the amazing War of the Worlds, he has a lot interesting shows.  Welles was able to turn his film, The Third Man, into a regular radio series. 

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Does anyone know, did these programs air live as they were being performed? Or were they recorded and aired later? I know they're at least filmed in front of an audience, because you can occasionally hear their laughter during a performance or during Cecil B. DeMille's intermissions between acts.

 

 

Big radio programs were almost always live until Ampex developed audiotape in the 1940s. Bing Crosby was a major instigator in the adoption of tape, since he wanted to prerecord his radio show.

 

Individual segments of programs were sometimes pre-recorded before tape. 

 

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A major plot point of Laura involves a radio segment being pre-recorded.

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Big radio programs were almost always live until Ampex developed audiotape in the 1940s. Bing Crosby was a major instigator in the adoption of tape, since he wanted to prerecord his radio show.

 

Individual segments of programs were sometimes pre-recorded before tape. 

 

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

 

S

P

A

C

E

.

.

.

 

 

 

A major plot point of Laura involves a radio segment being pre-recorded.

 

This same plot point was used 3 years later in The Unsuspected.   

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