Discussion:
Lux Radio Theater question
(too old to reply)
Kingo Gondo
2004-01-12 03:57:31 UTC
Permalink
What was the deal with this series? Did it promote films, or just rehash
them after their theatrical run?

My question was prompted by an email I got from XM promoting various
programming--apparently they have The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and
Claudette Colbert this Wednesday night (I'm sure this stuff is on tape/CD,
too).
JMKAUFFMAN
2004-01-12 16:21:43 UTC
Permalink
It was a weekly radio series which, yes, frequently (though not always)
"re-did" movies in radio play form. It's actually fascinating to listen to
these old broadcasts and see how they truncated and/or changed the original
scripts.

In its heyday, Lux was one of the top-rated shows on the radio, and also
included host Cecil B. DeMille interviewing the week's guest stars. You can
hundreds of these in MP3 format on eBay usually for pretty cheap.
Jim Beaver
2004-01-12 22:44:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by JMKAUFFMAN
It was a weekly radio series which, yes, frequently (though not always)
"re-did" movies in radio play form. It's actually fascinating to listen to
these old broadcasts and see how they truncated and/or changed the original
scripts.
In its heyday, Lux was one of the top-rated shows on the radio, and also
included host Cecil B. DeMille interviewing the week's guest stars. You can
hundreds of these in MP3 format on eBay usually for pretty cheap.
I just this week bought pretty much the entire series from somebody called
The Old Time Radio Lady, or something like that. I can't find the URL right
now, but if you google Old Time Radio, you'll find lots and lots of sources
for these shows.

Jim Beaver
VPaterno
2004-01-12 21:06:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
What was the deal with this series? Did it promote films, or just rehash
them after their theatrical run?
Lux was on the air for slightly more than two decades (1934-55), almost all of
which featured dramatizations of films. At its peak -- the late 1930s and early
1940s -- it was among the top-rated programs on the air, hosted by Cecil B.
DeMille, and a Monday night institution on CBS. Most of the productions aired
long after the film's theatrical run, often but not always with the film's
original leads, although every now and then Lux would broadcast an original
story. Several hundred Lux episodes are available on mp3 form, and they make
fascinating listening.

There were several similar programs on the air from 1937 through the early
1950s, including Screen Guild Theater, Silver Theater and Screen Directors'
Playhouse. Most were half-hour shows, compared to Lux's 60 minutes.
Post by Kingo Gondo
My question was prompted by an email I got from XM promoting various
programming--apparently they have The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and
Claudette Colbert this Wednesday night (I'm sure this stuff is on tape/CD,
too).
"The Awful Truth" was one of the most popular film properties in radio drama.
Lux broadcast it several times, first on Sept. 11, 1939 with Grant and Colbert,
and in March 1941 with Constance Bennett and Bob Hope. In the last year of Lux,
January 1955, after the series moved to NBC, Grant and Irene Dunne finally
teamed up for a production. Other series also did their own dramatizations of
"The Awful Truth"; one featured Carole Lombard in a lead role.

V


"There is no such thing as accident. It is Fate -- misnamed."
--title card, Erich Von Stroheim's "The Wedding March," 1928
Kingo Gondo
2004-01-12 21:22:00 UTC
Permalink
Wow, thanks for all of this information! I may have to check some of these
out. How bad could Cary Grant be on radio?
Post by VPaterno
Post by Kingo Gondo
What was the deal with this series? Did it promote films, or just rehash
them after their theatrical run?
Lux was on the air for slightly more than two decades (1934-55), almost all of
which featured dramatizations of films. At its peak -- the late 1930s and early
1940s -- it was among the top-rated programs on the air, hosted by Cecil B.
DeMille, and a Monday night institution on CBS. Most of the productions aired
long after the film's theatrical run, often but not always with the film's
original leads, although every now and then Lux would broadcast an original
story. Several hundred Lux episodes are available on mp3 form, and they make
fascinating listening.
There were several similar programs on the air from 1937 through the early
1950s, including Screen Guild Theater, Silver Theater and Screen Directors'
Playhouse. Most were half-hour shows, compared to Lux's 60 minutes.
Post by Kingo Gondo
My question was prompted by an email I got from XM promoting various
programming--apparently they have The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and
Claudette Colbert this Wednesday night (I'm sure this stuff is on tape/CD,
too).
"The Awful Truth" was one of the most popular film properties in radio drama.
Lux broadcast it several times, first on Sept. 11, 1939 with Grant and Colbert,
and in March 1941 with Constance Bennett and Bob Hope. In the last year of Lux,
January 1955, after the series moved to NBC, Grant and Irene Dunne finally
teamed up for a production. Other series also did their own dramatizations of
"The Awful Truth"; one featured Carole Lombard in a lead role.
V
"There is no such thing as accident. It is Fate -- misnamed."
--title card, Erich Von Stroheim's "The Wedding March," 1928
VPaterno
2004-01-13 01:24:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Wow, thanks for all of this information! I may have to check some of these
out. How bad could Cary Grant be on radio?
Cary was his usual professional self on radio; have heard him and Carole
Lombard team up for a Lux dramatization of "In Name Only" and both were in good
form.

Grant also appeared on several other radio drama shows, notably "Suspense";
there, he was excellent in a production called "The Black Curtain," in which he
played an amnesiac. It was produced at least twice during the series, first on
Dec. 2, 1943.

V


"There is no such thing as accident. It is Fate -- misnamed."
--title card, Erich Von Stroheim's "The Wedding March," 1928
d***@DELETEsocal.rr.com
2004-01-12 22:35:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by VPaterno
"The Awful Truth" was one of the most popular film properties in radio drama.
Lux broadcast it several times, first on Sept. 11, 1939 with Grant and Colbert,
and in March 1941 with Constance Bennett and Bob Hope. In the last year of Lux,
January 1955, after the series moved to NBC, Grant and Irene Dunne finally
teamed up for a production. Other series also did their own dramatizations of
"The Awful Truth"; one featured Carole Lombard in a lead role.
I wish they had put those on the Columbia DVD. Some of these cleaner &
more expensive DVD releases, like the Criterion "Rebecca," feature one
or more of the Lux broadcasts.





--
The city of Ogden is some sixteen miles north of Farmington.

-- De Voto, "Nemesis"
Robert Keser
2004-01-13 03:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@DELETEsocal.rr.com
Post by VPaterno
"The Awful Truth" was one of the most popular film properties in radio drama.
Lux broadcast it several times, ...
I wish they had put those on the Columbia DVD. Some of these cleaner &
more expensive DVD releases, like the Criterion "Rebecca," feature one
or more of the Lux broadcasts.
Another fascinating radio performance that should be available on
DVD is a wartime "Man Who Came To Dinner" starring Jack Benny,
Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Dorothy McGuire, and Gene Kelly .
There was also a TV version in 1954 with Monty Wooley, Merle
Oberon, and Joan Bennett (on CBS's "Best of Broadway").

--Bob Keser
Wishy13764
2004-01-14 01:03:10 UTC
Permalink
I just received my order of "Casablanca" with Hedy Lamarr and Alan Ladd. It was
excellent. There was something that Cecil once said, that some of the public
were disappointed at times of which stars were in the original movies and he
thought it would be a good idea of casting stars that either should of been in
and couldn't for reasons of being under contract to different studios...case
in point, Hedy was originally set for Casablanca, but MGM refused to loan her
to Warners and result was Ingrid the only other popular foreign actress at that
time. At the end of the program, Alan Ladd gave accolades to humphrie bogart
for his role as Rick. It was a show that 2 super stars under contract to
different studios, are given the opportunity to appear together, whereas it
was very difficult at that time, unless you were a freelancer..such as
Ingrid..she was not under contract to any one studio.
Cadet Grey
2004-01-14 02:40:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Wishy13764
I just received my order of "Casablanca" with Hedy Lamarr and Alan Ladd. It was
excellent. There was something that Cecil once said, that some of the public
were disappointed at times of which stars were in the original movies and he
thought it would be a good idea of casting stars that either should of been in
and couldn't for reasons of being under contract to different
studios...case
Post by Wishy13764
in point, Hedy was originally set for Casablanca, but MGM refused to loan her
to Warners and result was Ingrid the only other popular foreign actress at that
time. At the end of the program, Alan Ladd gave accolades to humphrie bogart
for his role as Rick. It was a show that 2 super stars under contract to
different studios, are given the opportunity to appear together, whereas it
was very difficult at that time, unless you were a freelancer..such as
Ingrid..she was not under contract to any one studio.
On the other hand, sometimes an actor is so perfect in a role that
accepting a substitution is almost impossible. Case in point ... "Laura"
in which our own Waldo Lydecker was played by Otto Kruger
rather than Clifton Webb. Despite Mr. Kruger's undeniable talent -
and the glowing presences of Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews - the
Lux Radio Theatre version of "Laura" just didn't work without the
inimitable Webb.

- Grey
Robert Keser
2004-01-14 04:38:04 UTC
Permalink
This was posted a couple of years ago, but it's still interesting to
see the range of parallel-universe casting that took place on Lux
Radio Theatre (most of these performances are available from
specialized old-time radio outlets, I believe):


Edward G. Robinson in 'The Maltese Falcon'

Barbara Stanwyck, Errol Flynn, and Mary Astor in 'These Three'

Joseph Cotten and Valli in 'Spellbound'

Joan Crawford in 'Mary of Scotland' [!!]

Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray in 'His Girl Friday'

Loretta Young in 'Jezebel'

Judy Garland in 'Morning Glory'

Laurence Olivier and Rosalind Russell in 'My Favorite Wife'

Cary Grant in 'I Confess'

...and my favorite...

John Garfield in 'Pinocchio'.

--Bob Keser
VPaterno
2004-01-14 14:55:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Keser
This was posted a couple of years ago, but it's still interesting to
see the range of parallel-universe casting that took place on Lux
Radio Theatre (most of these performances are available from
Edward G. Robinson in 'The Maltese Falcon'
Barbara Stanwyck, Errol Flynn, and Mary Astor in 'These Three'
Joseph Cotten and Valli in 'Spellbound'
Joan Crawford in 'Mary of Scotland' [!!]
Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray in 'His Girl Friday'
Loretta Young in 'Jezebel'
Judy Garland in 'Morning Glory'
Laurence Olivier and Rosalind Russell in 'My Favorite Wife'
Cary Grant in 'I Confess'
...and my favorite...
John Garfield in 'Pinocchio'.
--Bob Keser
A few more, if I may:

Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea in "Hands Across The Table"

Fredric March in "The Plainsman" (actually, March pinch-hit for Gary Cooper,
who was to have played the part on radio in May 1937 but became ill, as host
Cecil B. DeMille noted at the outset of the broadcast)

Ginger Rogers and Don Ameche in "A Free Soul"

Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino in "The 39 Steps"

Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy in "Anna Christie" (as one might guess, Greta
Garbo was the only Hollywood star of note not to appear on radio dramatization
shows such as Lux). Crawford also appeared opposite Basil Rathbone in a Lux
production of "A Doll's House"!

Rudy Vallee and Virginia Bruce in "Swing High, Swing Low"

Olivia DeHavilland and Herbert Marshall in "Vigil In The Night"

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Joan Bennett in "Nothing Sacred"

Alice Faye and Don Ameche in "Vivacious Lady"

Carole Lombard and James Stewart in "The Moon's Our Home"

Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche in "The Shop Around The Corner"

V




"There is no such thing as accident. It is Fate -- misnamed."
--title card, Erich Von Stroheim's "The Wedding March," 1928

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