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Original Arch Oboler's Plays header art

The Arch Oboler's Original Plays Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Arch Oboler's Original Plays
 Announcement ofArch Oboler's Plays premiere March 25 1939
Announcement ofArch Oboler's Plays premiere March 25 1939

Arch Oboler discusses Arch Oboler's Plays script with Nazimova circa 1939
Arch Oboler discusses Arch Oboler's Plays script with Nazimova circa 1939

Arch Oboler discusses Baby script with Joan Crawford circa March 1940
Arch Oboler discusses Baby script with Joan Crawford circa March 1940
Announcement of James Cagney appearance on Arch Oboler's Plays circa March 9 1940
Announcement of James Cagney appearance on Arch Oboler's Plays circa March 9 1940

Announcement of Nazimova's return appearance on Arch Oboler's Plays circa March 23 1940
Announcement of Nazimova's return appearance on Arch Oboler's Plays circa March 23 1940

Background

Between 1936 and 1973, Arch Oboler either conceived or participated in an ambitious undertaking of both brief and long-running dramatic series':

  • 1936 Lights Out!
  • 1939 Arch Oboler's Plays [and the 26- Ep., MBS run of 1945]
  • 1940 Everyman's Theater
  • 1942 Plays for Americans
  • 1942 This Is Our America
  • 1942 To The President
  • 1943 Free World Theatre
  • 1944 Four for The Fifth (with William N. Robson)
  • 1949 Illusion [ a.k.a. The James and Pamela Mason Show]
  • 1950 African Adventure
  • Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962 Capitol Records LP)
  • 1964 Arch Oboler Presents both old and new Arch Oboler's Plays
  • 1964 AFRTS Rebroadcasts of both old and new Arch Oboler's Plays
  • The Devil and Mr. O (a 1970s revival series)

Arch Oboler's Plays was Oboler's breakout dramatic showcase over Radio. Everyman's Theater further established Oboler's versatility and range, while underscoring Oboler's growing appeal to a far wider audience than he'd already established with Lights Out!. Though eight years his senior, the diminutive Oboler, while never as widely popular as Orson Welles, invites comparison to the other great young playwright-actor-director. Their skills were clearly each other's equal, their versatility had already been amply demonstrated by 1940, and their genius was indisputable. It's also clear that both Wyllis Cooper and Norman Corwin served to influence and inform Oboler's growing, wider appeal.

The Arch Oboler's Plays franchise aired in one form or another over a period of almost thirty-three years, counting the original canon of fifty-three new radioplays, the subsequent special canon of twenty-six radioplays for the Mutual Broadcasting System (1945), then a 1964 revival, and finally a 1971 revival. The original canon of scripts encompassed some ninety-plus original stories. And, as dyed in the wool Lights Out! fans will surely point out, a good number of Lights Out! stories were reprised among the Arch Oboler's Plays canon over the years as well.

By the second year of Lights Out!, America was under the spell of the diminutive giant of a playwright, Archibald 'Arch' Oboler and his spellbinding, highly personalized writing style. While clearly a genius in his own right, it's also clear that much of his writing style had been informed by Wyllis Cooper at the least. Cooper's own writing style almost routinely employed a highly personalized point of view, so as to further attenuate the listening experience of his radioplays to the greatest degree. Given young Arch Oboler's close association with Cooper with Lights Out!, it's difficult to divorce Wyllis Cooper's writing style from Oboler's in many respects. There's no question that Oboler more than differentiated himself with his Arch Oboler's Plays seasons, but it's also quite clear that even after cranking out some sixty-seventy original radioplays for his own breakout dramatic franchise, that he was even then being influenced by his association with Wyllis Cooper.

In addition, NBC at least, was making comparisons between its own wunderkind, Arch Oboler, and CBS' very own legend-in-the-making, Orson Welles. And while there's no question as to the respective genius of both young playwright-director-producers, we feel comfortable observing that perhaps NBC was stretching the point of comparison just a bit loosely. Forgetting to add 'dramatic actor' to the list of comparisons does more of a disservice to Welles than to Oboler. Not an inconsequential additional basis of comparison in the least, there's no question that Welles' added dimension--as an actor--informed everything else he produced, wrote, or directed for his entire career.

To the extent that they both enjoyed tremendous personal magnetism and loyalty from their performers, one need but glance at the list of the performers for the original run of Arch Oboler's Plays to get an appreciation of the luminaries of the Stage and Screen that were literally lining up to beseech Oboler to write something for them. Nazimova reportedly recorded her first Radio program for Arch Oboler. Norma Shearer reportedly beseeched Oboler to pen something with her in mind. Raymond Massey, reputedly asked Oboler to write something for him. Ronald Colman put a Hollywood feature film on hold for a week to do an Arch Oboler play he'd asked the young playwright to pen for him. Joan Crawford apparently finessed Oboler into writing a radioplay just for her. Even crusty James Cagney apparently cajoled Arch Oboler into penning a script just for him. The list is longer, but we suspect one gets the idea by now. Oboler's plays were the hot ticket as America turned the corner on 1940 and headed toward a year and a half of uncertaintly about stepping into another World war.

In that same vein, it was becoming quite clear how young Arch Oboler felt about War--or the prospect of War: he was agin' it. An avowed pacificist his entire adult life, he nevertheless made extraordinarily ambitious contributions to support for World War II--for the troops and the families of the people being killed on both sides, especially. Oboler's World War II efforts also point up the long-standing relationships shared by Oboler and his Hollywood friends. Oboler mounted his superb Everything for The Boys series with Ronald Colman as the lead--for the first twenty programs in any case. It's clear that Oboler's friends were of the more permanent variety than exist in most Hollywood relationships.

In Arch Oboler's Plays' earliest incarnation, Oboler's fascinating plays contained a mix of straight supernatural thrillers, such as only Arch Oboler could 'straighten' them, and a smaller sub-set of cautionary tales, more in the vein of a Norman Corwin, for example. Indeed in a 1945 radioplay that seemed almost embarassing to promote in the newspapers of the country, Oboler penned a radioplay showcasing the unprecedented oppression that America exercised against its Japanese-American citizens during World War II. Clearly, by that point in his career, Oboler felt secure enough in literary standing and personal reputation to leverage the goodwill that his reputation had gained for him during World War II. While there's no question that even listing that episode in the newspapers of 1945 was controversial in itself, it's a perfect example of Oboler's deep convictions--the very convictions that kept Hollywood artists lined up to do one of his plays.

The 1945 Mutual Broadcasting System run called for 26-weeks of programming: the first four weeks to be performed from New York, the next two from Chicago, and the last twenty from Hollywood. Once the 1945 series of Arch Oboler's Plays had run its course, Obeler began to dive into film projects--others' and his own--for the next ten years. After some fifteen years of taking a run at feature film and television, Oboler returned to his roots, first cutting an LP for Capitol he called Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962). He subsequently released at least thirteen of his Arch Oboler's Plays to the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service as a special collection of Lights Out!/Arch Oboler's Plays (1964) for the troops. The final attempt to breathe new life into the Lights Out!/Arch Oboler's Plays canon came with the 1970s syndication of twenty-six of his plays, packaged as The Devil and Mr. O. With Oboler's passing in 1987, the franchise passed with him. He'd already divested much of his copyright material to Metacom and the remainder of his work had entered the public domain.

The Arch Oboler Plays canon in its various refinements over the years, represents some of the most innovative, experimental and cutting edge script and production effects work--from one man--ever seen during The Golden Age of Radio. The best circulating exemplars of this extraordinary canon are some of the finest examples of suspense/thriller atmospherics ever heard over Radio. The worst circulating examples have been so brutally co-opted, adulterated and cut-and-pasted as to make any plausible sense of their origins virtually impossible--by intent, sadly.

The good news is that a few more of the finer exemplars enter circulation every couple of years lately. We can only hope the trend continues. We're attempting to plow through our entire Arch Oboler canon, beginning with Lights Out! and Wyllis Cooper's The Witching Hour to attempt--yet again--to weed out all of the fakes and adulterated exemplars. With Everyman's Theater and Arch Oboler's Plays now somewhat in hand, we hope to move onto the remainder of the circulating exemplars of this legendary playwright's work.

We'll keep you posted here.

Series Derivatives:

Everyman's Theater
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Supernatural Dramas
Network(s): 1939 Run: NBC Red [WEAF]
1945 Run: Mutual [WOR] and Don Lee-Mutual
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 1939 Run: 39-03-25 01 The Ugliest Man In The World
1945 Run:
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 1939 Run: 39-03-25 to 40-03-23; NBC Red [WEAF]; Fifty-two, 30-minute programs and one, hour-long program; Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.
1945 Run: 45-04-05 to 45-10-11; MBS; Twenty-six, 30-minute programs; Thursdays, 9:00 p.m.
Syndication: 1939 Run: NBC Orthacoustic Transcriptions
1945 Run: Unknown
Sponsors: 1939 Run: Sustaining
1945 Run: Swan Soap
Director(s): 1939 Run: Arch Oboler
1945 Run: Arch Oboler
Principal Actors: 1939 Run: Raymond Edward Johnson, Betty Winkler, Nazimova, Edmund O'Brien, Elia Kazan, Frank Lovejoy, Charlotte Manson, John Brown, Paul Stewart, Betty Caine, Arnold Moss, Betty Garde, Gilbert Mack, Hester Sondergaard, Jack Grimes, Mae Grimes, Jackie Kelk, Katherine Hepburn, Robert Readick, Ed Latimer, Adelaide Klein, George Wallace, Lou Merrill, Elliott Lewis, Jane Morgan, James Cagney, Ronald Colman, Verna Felton, Sophie Stewart, Jay Novello
1945 Run: Ingrid Bergman, Raymond Massey, Mercedes McCambridge, Hester Sondergaard, Ann Shephard, Alfred Ryder, Lurene Tuttle, Carleton Young, Cathy Lewis, Bruce Elliott, Jane Morgan, Betty Rubin, Nanette Balbot, Lisa Goan, Joseph Granby, Frank Martin, Lou Merrill, Roseanne Murray, Irene Tedrow, Truda Marson, Bea Benadaret, Norman Field, Mary Jane Croft, Bill Christy, Rhoda Elaine, Raymond Severn, Bob Bailey, Earle Ross, Harry Lang, Everett Allen, Evelyn Scott, Wally Maher, Barney James, Dorothy Scott, Edmond MacDonald, Everett Allen, Gloria Blondell, Theodore Von Eltz, Therese Lyon, Burgess Meredith, Franchot Tone, Tommy Cook, Joel Davis, Edmund Gwenn, Anthony Ellis, Jack Meighan, Morris Carnovsky, Barbara Eiler, Lynn Whitney, Louise Erickson, Elliott Lewis, Hans Max, Eddie McCambridge, Van Heflin, Dawn Bender, Olive Deering, Frank Lovejoy, John Alden, Leo Cleary, Gerald Mohr, Jay Novello, Mary Lansing, Henry Standish, Raymond Edward Johnson, Joan Blaine, Lou Merrill, William Johnstone, Sidney Miller, Elga Moret, Barbara Eiler, Bill Shaw, Harry Tanoway, Lynn Whitney, Norman Field, Irvin Lee, Eddie Cantor, Howard Duff, Lester Jay, Jack Edwards Jr., Mary Lansing, Bill Shaw
Recurring Character(s): 1939 Run: Varied from program to program
1945 Run: Varied from program to program
Protagonist(s): 1939 Run: Varied from program to program
1945 Run: Varied from program to program
Author(s): 1939 Run: Dalton Trumbo, Arch Oboler, Richard Connell
1945 Run:
Writer(s) 1939 Run: Arch Oboler
1945 Run: Arch Oboler
Music Direction: 1939 Run: Gordon Jenkins [Composer/Conductor]; Leith Stevens [Composer/Conductor]
1945 Run: Gordon Jenkins [Composer/Music]
Jack Meakin [Music/Composer/Conductor]
Gordon Shaw [Composer]
Jack Moskin, David Raksin[Composers/Conductors]
Sylvan Levin, Albert Sack [Conductors
Art Fulton, Bill James, Jack Snell, Bill James [Sound]
Mischa Pelz [Engineer]
Musical Theme(s):
Announcer(s): 1939 Run: Raymond Edward Johnson; Arch Oboler [Host]
1945 Run: Frank Martin, Marvin Best, Dick Wynn [Announcers]; Arch Oboler [Host]; Griff Barnett [Swan Soap Commercials]
Howard Duff [AFRS Announcer]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
1939 Run: 53
1945 Run: 26
1964 Run:
26
Episodes in Circulation: 1939 Run: 16
1945 Run: 25
1964 Run:
13
Total Episodes in Collection: 1939 Run: 11
1945 Run: 21
1964 Run:
13
Provenances:
Contributor Jerry Haendiges.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc

OTRisms:

For whatever unfathomable reason, Arch Oboler's Plays has become a lightning rod for every conceivable canard, sham, obfuscation and counterfeiting technique known to the seedier underbelly of the commercial 'otr' world. Unfathomable, since the Oboler's Lights Out! canon was, for the most part, readily and freely traded throughout the post-1975 period loosely referred to as the 'otr' era. Given the almost 180 degree difference between the vast majority of Arch Oboler's Plays and Lights Out! episodes one has to wonder--even today--what possible motivation there'd been for so many years to distort, adulterate, or otherwise disguise virtually every circulating exemplar of Arch Oboler's work.

The usual commercial otr suspects are in play throughout the Oboler canon in one or more of the following scams:

  • Arch Oboler's Plays from 1945 simply labeled as 1939 exemplars.
  • Arch Oboler's Plays from 1939 simply labeled as 1945 exemplars.
  • Arch Oboler's Plays from 1960s AFRTS exemplars clipped and labeled as 1939 exemplars.
  • Arch Oboler's Plays from 1960s AFRTS exemplars clipped and labeled as 1945 exemplars.
  • Lights Out! exemplars clipped and labeled as 1939 Arch Oboler's Plays exemplars.
  • Lights Out! exemplars clipped and labeled as 1945 Arch Oboler's Plays exemplars.
  • Capitol Drop Dead! LP combined and pawned off as a 'special missing episode of the 1939 run of Arch Oboler's Plays.
  • Capitol Drop Dead! LP combined and pawned off as a 'special missing episode of the 1945 run of Arch Oboler's Plays.
  • KHJ Rebroadcast exemplars altered to make them appear as from the 1939 or 1945 runs.

There are probably even more 'creative' adulterations we haven't yet encountered, but we have no doubt that they're legion in any case. Why does this nonsense persist? Very simple . . . it's made literally millions of dollars for the purveyors of this garbage over the past forty years.

Quite predictably, the commercial otr community, since its invention in 1975, has left 39 years of mislabeling and misinformation in its wake. Our research disclosed fully 40% of the circulating, logged exemplars as incorrectly titled.

As to 'as broadcast' provenances, yes, many of the exemplars announce the next program. The problem with many of Arch Oboler's announcements is that a good number of those announcements were inaccurate. Oboler would either pitch an announced program between the time the announcement was recorded and the date of the next program's rehearsal or recording date, or he'd announce, on-air, that he'd changed his mind a week later. In any case, we're left with as many as seven unverifiable scripts that simply vanished, as best we can tell. Either that, or they were renamed and used in other broadcasts. Perhaps the Thousand Oaks Library collection can sort it out for us one day. For now, what you see below is what we've turned up.

[
UPDATE: We've corrected the short, twelve--[possibly thirteen]--episode run from the summer of 1964 over KHJ to reflect the dates, titles, and episode order as best as we can determine.


What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.







The Arch Oboler's Original Plays Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
39-03-25
1
The Ugliest Man In The World
N
39-03-25 Lima News
     Boris Karloff, Frankenstein monster of the screen, was the inspiration for "
The Ugliest Man in the World," premier production of Arch Oboler's Plays, new series of original dramas of the fantastic and of the imagination to be produced by NBC.
   The play will be broadcast over WEAF Saturday at 10 p.m.
   Two years ago Karloff and Oboler were drawn together in NBC's Midnight thrillers, "Lights Out."  Karloff was starring in the spine-tingling productions and Oboler was then writing them.  One day the two sat down at lunch and discussed the many distorted-faced characters Karloff had portrayed on the screen.
   "That was the beginning of 'The Ugliest Man in the World'," Oboler explained.  "But don't misunderstand me.  Boris himself is one of the handsomest men in the world in a virile way, but these ugly monster roles set me thinking.  What would happen to the man who was so ugly that children would scream in fright when they saw him, who was such a shocking spectacle that even his mother's life became unbearably unhappy?  How would such a man react to people and to love?  What childhood would he have?"
39-04-01
2
Mirage
N
39-04-01 The Lima News
Arch Oboler will portray the entire action of a radio drama thru the medium of only two characters in "Mirage," which will be presented over WEAF Saturday at 10 p. m., as the second production of NBC's new series of Arch Oboler's plays.
The two characters of the novel drama are Linda and Carl, two society sophisticates, who desert a party to stroll on a nearby beach. Linda's only interest in life is society and Carl's is business. The viewpoints of both change completely, however, after watching an old man writing in the sands on the beach.
The two difficult roles will be enacted by the popular stars, Joan Blaine and Ray Johnson. These two actors are among the group of players Edwin Whitney, production director, plans to use frequently to interpret the highly imaginative Oboler dramas. Others in this group are Ann Shepherd, Betty Caine, and Frank Lovejoy.

39-04-01 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m. — Arch Obler's Plays (WCFL): "Mirage,"a play based on two characters.
39-04-08
3
The Truth
N
39-04-08 The Lima News
Ray Collins will be starred as the perplexed scientist in "The Truth," third production in Arch Oboler's Plays which is to be presented over WEAF Saturday at 10 p. m. Collins, a native of Sacramento, Cal., has played more than 900 character roles on the stage. He first attracted attention on Broadway when he spent his last cent to produce "Conscience" which became a hit with himself in the leading role. Then he turned to radio but had to appear on 2,800 broadcasts before he achieved top billing in that medium. In "The Truth" Collins will play the difficult role of a scientist who endeavors to determine whether the universe has an independent, material existence or whether it is just an idea in the mind of God.
39-04-15
4
Memoriam; Sole Survivors; Humbug
Memoriam; Sole Survivors; Hail Victory
The Ways of Men; Past, Present and Future
Y
39-04-08 The Lima News
Arch Oboler, who presented a psychological study, a fantasy and a philosophical drama as the first three of his new series of plays over WEAF will turn to stark realism for his fourth broadcast Saturday at 10 p. m., with three short sketches on the general theme of war and peace. The first, "Sole Survivors," will have a contemporary setting. The second, called "Memoriam," is to treat of a past conflict. "Hail Victory," the third, will dip far into the future in an endeavor to show where present trends may lead the human race.
39-04-22
5
Mister Important
Mr. Important
N
39-04-22 The Lima News
"Mister Important." the strange story of a pompous little man, who for a magic hour saw into the minds of the people around him, will be presented over WEAF Saturday from 10 to 10:30 p. m. as the next in the NBC series of Arch Oholer's Plays. Martin Gabel, noted for his performances on Broadway as Cassius in the modern dress production of "Julius Caesar" and as Danton in "Danton's Death," will have the leading role, supported by a cast of prominent NBC actors.
39-04-29
6
The Last Man
The Cliff
Y
39-04-29 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m. — Arch Obler's Play ('WCFL): Betty Winkler in "The Last Man."

39-04-29 The Daily Mail
On the Saturday night list:
WEAF-NBC" " Arch Oboler play
"The Last Man;"
39-05-06
7
The Engulfed Cathedral
Engulfed Cathedral
Y
39-05-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p. m. — Arch Oboler Play (WCFL): Ann Shepherd in "The Engulfed Cathedral."
39-05-13
8
Baby
N
39-05-13 Wisconsin State Journal

Child Program Star
to Enter New Field
in Adult Role Tonight

Ireene Wicker, whose children's programs have won national recognition in her nine years on NBC, will enter a different field at 8 tonight .vhen she is starred in Arch Oboler's "Baby." Her role will be a highly dramatic, adult part. WIBA will broadcast the play.

39-05-13 The Lima News
Ireene Wicker, who has won world-wide recognition and many awards during' the nine years she has been presenting children's programs over National Broadcasting Co. networks, will be starred in a highly dramatic adult role in "Baby," Arch Oboler's play to be presented on, WEAF Saturday at 9:00 p. m.
The story, which Oboler considers one of his best, will be told in the author's striking stream-of-consciousness style. The star is to be supported hy Vicki Vola and Charlotte Manson, young NBC actress, and her ability as a singer will be taken advantage of thru an original musical score written by Jerry Moross, composer of such well known symphonies as "American Patterns' and "Tall Story."

39-05-20
9
Crazytown
Crazy Town
Y
39-05-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p. m. — Arch Oboler Drama
(WCFL, WTMJ): "Crazytown," indictment of the present state of world affairs.

39-05-20 The Lima News

Oboler Radio Play Indicts
Current Affairs In World

"Crazytown" Inhabitants Show Toll Of Hate, Greed, Mistrust

"Crazytown," a stinging indictment of the present anarchic state of "world af fairs, will be presented by Arch Oboler over WEAF Saturday at 9 p. m. The contemporary fantasy is to star Edmund O'Brien, who scored a success this season as Prince Hal in Maurice Evans' Broadway production of "Henry IV." Charlotte Manson, young and talented NBC actress, will have the leading feminine role. The story tolls of two young aviators who make a forced landing in unknown territory while returning from a successful bombing expedition against civilians of a defenseless enemy city. They soon find they have cracked up in Crasytown, the place where individual morul values have become us topsy-turvy as are international moral values in the outside world. Hate, envy and suspicion are cardinal virtues; pity, love and honor are considered unforgivable sins, while murder is the only logical way of settling a quarrel.

39-05-27
10
The Word
N
39-05-27 The Lima News
The reactions of a young honeymoon couple who come down from the eminence of the Empire State Tower to find themselves.the only ones in the world will be revealed by Arch Oboler when he presents the next drama in his current series over WEAF Saturday, from 9 to 9:30 p. m. For this week only the program will originate in Chicago.
Titled "The Word," the original play carries on the Oboler tradition of stark realistic drama enhanced by sound efferts. Altho the characters move in an imaginary and impossible situation, they behave as normal human beings.
39-06-03
11
Dark World; Steel; Humbug
Dark World; Steel; The Laughing Man
Y
39-06-03 The Lima News
Three short plays of widely contrasting character will be presented by Arch Oboler over WEAF
Saturday at 9 p. m. Two of these, entitled "Steel" and "Humbug" will be repeated by popular demand with Raymond Edward Johnson in the roles he originally made famous. The third, called "Dark World," will star Joan Elaine, well-known radio actress
who has been heard in many previous
Oboler plays.
"Steel," an impressionistic picture of the life of a metal worker, was inspired by the equally impressionistic composition, "Steel Foundry," by the Russian composer, Mossolov. Originally produced on the Vallee Hour over NBC it is being revived with the permission of that genial orchestra leader. The drama was first presented without music, but for this production Oboler has obtained the permission of the Soviet government to use "Steel Foundry" as a background for the dialogue.
39-06-10
12
Nero's Wife
Y
39-06-10 The Lima News

Farce - Fantasy Offering To
Be Given Saturday Night

Arch Oboler Masterpiece Will Be Aired At 9 P. M. Via WEAF;

Arch Oboler has written the first comedy in his presentseries of plays and will present it over WEAF Saturday at 9 p.m. The farce-fantasy is entitled "Nero's Wife,'' and deals with the woes of an inoffensive little clerk who returns to his apartment after work to he welcomed by a beauteous dame in toga and diadem. The visitor insists that the clerk is a reincarnation of Rome's fiddling emperor and that she is his l a w f u l spouse.
Complications ensue due to the fact that in the 18OO-odd years which have elapsed since her death, the empress lias forgotten whether she is Octavia, (he pure and innocent first wife whom Nero divorced, exiled to the Isle of Pandateria and murdered; Acte, the Amazonian freedwoman who for a brief period tried to reform the Emperor by beating his head against thr palace wall, or P'oppaea, the bloodthirsty hell-cat consort of Nero's later years.

39-06-17
13
The Immortal Gentleman
Immortal Gentleman
N
39-06-17 The Lima News
Edmund O'Brien, who played the tempestuous Prince Hal in Maurice Evans' Broadway production of "Henry IV" last, season, and who had the part of the overbearing young aviator in Arch Oboler's '"Crazytown" on May 20, will he starred in "The Immortal Gentlemen," Oboler's 13th production, to he presented over WEAF Saturday, at 8:30 p. m.
The story was inspired hy a line from Walt Whitman's ''Reconciliation" and deals with a youth who is so obsessed with the idea of death that he has, no time really to live. Projected by accident into a brave new .world far in the f u t u r e where medical science has made immortality a reality, the hero discovers the wonders, dangers and even horrors of such a condition.
39-06-24
14
The Luck of Mark Street
N
39-06-24 The Lima News
Raymond Edward Johnson and
Betty Caine, NBC artists who have been heard frequently in Arch Obolcr's plays, will be. co-starred in "The Luck of Mark Street" which Oboler is to present over WEAF Saturday at 8:30 p. m. This drama is a tragedy which shows how the inescapable consciousness of guilt haunts a criminal until his eventual undoing.
The plot was suggested by the old proverb which runs: ''Nothing is
more common than for great thieves to to ride in triumph when small ones are punished. But let wickedness escape as it may, at the last it never fails of doing- itself justice; for every guilty person is his own hangman." As interpreted by Oboler the proverb has considerable contemporary significance.
39-07-01
15
The Visitor from Hades
Visitor from Hades
N
39-07-01 The Lima News
The age-old controversy as to whether actors should have "lived" the roles they play in order to turn in perfect performances may be definitely settled as the result of the broadcast of Arch Oboler's drama. "The Visitor from Hades," over WEAF Saturday at 8:30p.m.
On Friday, June 30, the leading role in the drama — that of a young newlywcd who is always quarrelling with his wife — will be rehearsed fay Frank Lovejoy, a bachelor. But on Saturday the part will be played over the air by Frank Lovejoy, ''an old married man" of twelve hours standing.
Frank, a well-known stage and radio actor, is getting married on Saturday morning to Frances Williams, popular singcr who is' now starring in Billy Rose's Aquacade at the World's Fair.
"Here's what is probably the first real opportunity in all history to prove or disprove the point that actors must have gone thru the experiences that they portray in order to give inspired performances," says Oboler. "I'm having racordings made of the Friday rehearsals, and I'm going to do my infernal best to stir up at least one small quarrel between Frank and Frances before broadcast time. Then—providing we have a program at all — we shall see what we shall see."
39-07-08
16
The Ivory Tower
N
39-07-08 The Lima News
Nazimova, who celebrated her 60th birthday last month, will demonstrate her versatility and great dramatic ability by playing the part of a girl of 20 during the early scenes of Arch Oboler's play, "The Ivory Tower," in which she. is to be starred over WEAF Saturday, at 8:30 p. m. She then will grow old with the character she represents until, at 60, she is at last called upon lo make the decision which forms the climax of the story.
In casting other roles in 'The Ivory Tower" Oboler has selected players who have done really outstanding work on his present series. These include Raymond Edward Johnson, who has scored in "Mirage," "The Engulfed Cathedral," "Steel," "Hail Victory" and 'The Luck of Mark Street;" Martin Gabel. of the Mercury Theatre who had the leading part in '''Mister Important" for Oboler, and John Brown, who jumped into the leading role of "Nero's Wife" on an hour's notice.
39-07-15
17
Three Brides
The Shooting Star - Talisman - Eigerwund
N
39-07-15 The Lima News
Alia Kazan, who played the part of Foselli, a gangster, during the long Broadway run of "Golden Boy," and Kurt Conway, who scored in the same role during an extended road tour, will be costarred in Arch Oboler's play, "Three Brides, when it is presented over WEAF Saiurday at 8:30 p. m.
Kazan appeared with Nazimova in "The Ivory Tower" which Oboler produced on J u l y 9, w h i l e Conway
has been heard during the NBC scries in such Oholer dramas as "Sole Survivors" and "Memoriam"
""Three Brides" concerns itself with a question which millions of persons have asked themselves: "What would have happened if I had married the other one?" It takes place in the subconscious mind of a heavyweight prizefighter who,while put under during a major operation, is presented with the choice of three wives.
39-07-22
18
The Ugliest Man In The World
N
39-07-22 The Lima News

Favorite Oboler Drama To
Be Presented On Saturday
Repeat Performance By Popular Request

''The Ugliest Man in the World," which inaugurated Arch Oboler's present series of plays was, in fact, largely responsible for his having a series in the first place, will be repeated by popular request over WEAF Saturday at 9:30 p. m.
Raymond Edward Johnson, who has scored repeated personal successes in Oboler's dramas, will havo the title role which he created during the first presentation on March 25.
The supporting cast includes Betty Caine and Ann Shepherd, stage and radio attresses who also have been heard repeatedly on this series.
Boris Karloff, Frankenstein monster of the screen, was Oboler's inspiration for "The Ugliest Man In The World." Two years ago Karloff and Oboler were drawn together in NBC's midnight "Lights Out" thrillers. Karloff was starring in the spine-tinglers which Oboler was then writing. One day the two sat down at lunch and discussed the many hideous characters Karloff had portrayed on the screen.

39-07-29
19
Another World
Y
39-07-29 The Lima News

Versatile Actress To Play
In Oboler Fantasy Saturday

Betty Garde Will Be Star Of "Another World;"

Betty Garde, versatile young stage, screen and radio actress
who has just completed a long Broadway run in "The Primrose Path," will be starred in "Another World.'' Arch Oboler's fantasy about interplanetary travel which is to be presented over WEAF Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Miss Garde, a native of. Philadelphia, will not feel out of place at the helm of a rocket ship, for, during her exciting !
career, she has played all sorts of roles, from the irrepressible Sis Hopkins in a high school vaudeville show to the venerable Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch in one of the 40
radio serials in which she has starred.
She won fame on the screen supporting Charlie Ruggles, Claudette Colbert and other luminaries; has appeared on Broadway in such productions as "The Nervous Wreck." "Easy Come, Easy Go," "The Social Register" and "The Poor Nut," and, between engagements has found time to play with many noted summer stock companies.

39-08-05
20
Mr Pip; The Brat; Rich Kid
Mr Pip - Man to Hate - Rich Kid
N
39-08-05 The Lima News

Three Plays To Be Staged
As Saturday Radio Feature

Sidney Lumet, star of the recent Broadway hit "My Heart's in the Highlands,'' by William Saroyan, will play the lead in "The Brat," second of three plays by Arch Oboler to be presented on Saturday from 8:30 to 9:00 p. in., over WEAF.
First drama in the grouip will be "Mr- Pip'" with Ray Collins, outstanding stage and radio actor, in the lead role. "Rich Kid,'' originally played by Freddie Bartholomew and the "Dead End" Kids on the Rudy Vallee hour, will be repeated by popular request as the concluding drama of the broadcast.

39-08-12
21
The History of A Mug
History of a Mug
N
39-08-12 The Lima News

Group Theatre Stars To
Play "History Of A Mug"

Elia Kazan, Curt Conway, Ann Shepherd and Hester Sondergaard, all -well-known members of New York's Group Theatre who have appeared singly on previous Arch Oboler programs, will be co-starred in the young author-producer's "History of a Mug" which is to be presented over WJZ Saturday at 8:30 p. in.
"The History of a Mug" tells the life story of a rising young politician of Micldleton, as it is viewed thru the disillusioned eyes of his mother. It shows the grave dangers of carrying to their logical conclusion the high-pressure techniques for winning friends and influencing people.
Kazan, who has the title role in this realistic drama, will be re-membercd for Broadway appearances in "The Gentle People" and "Golden Boy" and for his recent role opposite Nazimova in Oboler's "The Ivory Tower."
Conway also scored in "Golden Boy" and in Oboler's "Sole Survivors." Miss Shepherd was in "The Gentle People" and also in "The Engulfed Cathedral" in this radio series. And Miss Sonderjraard won considerable acclaim in the Group Theatre-Theatre Guild production, "My Heart's in the Highlands" as well as in Oboler's "Another World."
The talented quartet made a special trip to Manhattan fromLake Grover, N. Y., where they are rehearsing the Group Theatre's first fall production, in order that they might play together over the air.

39-08-19
22
Efficiency Island
N
39-08-19 The Lima News

"Efficiency Age" Effects To
Be Studied In Oboler Drama

Betty Caine Will Carry Entire Burden Of Plot At 8:30 p. m. Broadcast On Saturday

Betty Caine, who has been co-starred with her husband, Raymond Edward Johnson, in such striking Arch Oboler
dramas as "The Ugliest Alan in the World" and "The Luck of Mark Street," will carry the entire burden of a plot for the first time when she has the lead in "Efficiency Island" over WEAF Saturday at 8:30 p. m.
This eerie tale is laid in the future when straight-line factory methods of production have reached perfection and workmen, chained for generations to the machine by their pay checks, seem to have lost the will to fight for better working conditions.
The problem of what the assembly line will do to humanity in the long run has vexed economists and sociologists since the start of the industrial era. It will be given a new and surprising twist by the young author-producer.
Miss Caine, who met her husband in Chicago at a rehearsal for one of Oboler's early "Lights Out" thrillers, came to New York several months ago and since has been heard frequently over NBC. A slim, dark-haired girl, she is equally at home in character and in straight roles.
Oboler thinks she is one of the most talented members of the select group of players from which he casts his dramas—and she thinks he's the best producer radio. When not playing a leading part in one of his productions she can usually be found doing a bit role or just sitting in the studio studying his technique.

39-08-26
23
This Lonely Heart
N
[Note: Special time for an hour-long presentation of This Lonely Heart]

39-08-26 The Lima News

Nazimova Appears For First
Time On Air In Clever Drama

Nazimova, who once played second fiddle in an orchestra conducted by Tchaikowsky, will realize one of her life's ambitions when she plays the part of Madame von Meck, the great Russian composer's "beloved friend' in "This Lonely Heart." The play is an original hour-long drama by Arch Oboler to be presented over WEAF Saturday at 6:30 p. m.
"This Lonely Heart," will deal mainly with the reactions of Madame von Meck. It will show her unremitting effort to help the selfish musician, both financially and as an adviser, and will disclose that, in spite of the continual humiliations which she was forced to undergo, her love still enabled her to express her own genius and to live fully, rather than becoming stultified by the round of household duties which hedged the average Russian woman of her day.
The close association which has been formed between Nazimova and Oboler is almost as interesting as the relationship discussed in "This Lonelv Hearts," altho from a totally different angle. It was after hearing one of Oboler's powerful dramatic programs that the great Russian actress offered to break her long-standing rule against appearing on the radio.
So confident was she of his ability that she volunteered to play in any story which he might write for her.

39-09-02
24
Love Story - The Valley - Mungahra
N
39-09-02 The Lima News

Young European Actor To Star In Oboler Drama;

Lew Danis. young European-born actor, will realize an ambition to star in an American drama when he appears in "Love Story," Arch Oboler play for Saturday at 8:30 p. m. over WEAF.' Oboler heard Danis broadcast over a local foreign language station recently, and immediately stamped him as "a young edition of Charles Boyer." Danis comes from a distinguished European theatrical family.

39-09-02 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Arch Oboler Plays (WIBA, WMAQ):
"Love Story," "The Valley," "Mungahara."

39-09-09
25
And Adam Begot
N
39-09-09 The Lima News

50,000 Year Old Setting To
Be Used In Drama Saturday

Oboler Play To Pose Problem Of Parenthood;

Three moderns — American, French, and English — who find themselves whirled 50,000 years thru time, and two cavemen are the characters in Arch Oboler's play, "And Adam Begot," which will be presented over WEAF' Saturday, from 8:30 to 9:00 p. m.
The drama, presenting contemporary characters moving against a background of Neanderthal men, poses a question old as time itself — that of parenthood. Oboler's fantasy will show i hat parenthood is neither a duty nor an obligation , but a rare privilege which is abused much too often. It also shows the unending struggle between brute force and ethics.
The young dramalist expects to face his biggest casting problem in filling the roles of the two Neanderthal men which he has written into "And Adam Begot."
He wants a voice, he explains, which will instantly suggest a cave-man to the radio listener.
With that in mind, he conducted a survey of what people expect in a Neanderthal voice. "A cross-section of the answers," ' Oboler says, "suggests a bass voiced prizefighter, talking double talk with his mouth full of hot potatoes."

39-09-16
26
Suffer Little Children - Finale - I Do
N
39-09-16 The Lima News
Arch Oboler will complete his second series of plays over WEAF and clear the way for a third when he presents two socially significant sketches entitled "Finale" and "Suffer Little Children" on Saturday at 8:30 p. m. "Finale" is a tale about "road kids," those juveniles with the wanderlust and no jobs who roam America's highways and railways in such large numbers. It will star Raymond Edward Johnson and Ann Shepherd, who played equally important roles in "The Ugliest Man in the World," which opened Oboler's present scries on March 25 and which was repeated July 22.
"Suffer Little Children," which concerns itself with the plight of war refugees, will star Betty Caine, well known radio actress who also has appeared in many of Oboler's dramas.

39-09-16 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Arch Oboler Plays (WIBA, WMAQ):
"Finale," story of "road kids;" "Suffer Little Children," about war refugees.






39-09-23
27
Mr. Whiskers
N
39-09-23 The Lima News
Four stars of New York's iconoclastic Group Theatre, will appear over WEAF Saturday in "Mr Whiskers", the first production in Arch Cooler's new series of dramas.
"Mr. Whiskers." a realistic stream - of - consciousness play which dramatizes the slow but sure process of democracy, is to be heard at 8:30 p.m.. On Sept. 30 and weekly thereafter, Oboler's Plays are to be broadcast at. 10: 3o p. m. over the same station .
Group theatre players who have
leading roies in the drama include Morris Carnovsky, star of "Rocket To The Moon," who will be making his first appearance on an Oboler show, Elia Kazan, star of "The Gentle People," Curt Conway and Ann Shepherd.
All of the latter have appeared repeatedly in this series.
39-09-30
28
Holiday 1939
N
39-09-30 Circleville Herald
10:30 Arch Oboler's Plays. "Holiday 1939," tonight's drama, is set in the England of loday and shows how the children .are learning the meaning of bomb shelters and blackouts, WTAM.
39-10-07
29
Happy Year
The Machine, - Happy Year - Autumn Flower
N
39-10-07 The Lima News
Winsome Betty Winkler will be
heard for the third time in Arch
Oboler's current series of dramas
when she appears in "Happy
Year" over WEAF, Saturday, at
10:30 p.m..
Miss Winkler, who is heard regularly from NBC's Chicago studios in "Girl Alone," and other popular productions, is considered by Oboler to be one of the most talented young actresses in radio.
He cast her frequently when he was writing the Lights Out! thrillers. Last April, just after he started his present series, he induced her to make a special trip to New York to star in his "The Last Man." When he visited Chicago again in May, Betty was his choice for an equally important role in 'The Word." And now he is stopping off there on a trip to Hollywood in order to use her in his latest play.

39-10-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p.m.--Arch Oboler Play (WIBA, WMAQ): Betty Winkler in "
Happy Year."
39-10-14
30
The Word
N
39-10-14 The Lima News
Edmund O'Brien, young irish actor who was signed to play the romantic lead in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" a few hours after Hollywood executives heard him perform in "Crazytown," an Arch Oboler drama, will make a return appearance on Oboler's program Saturday at 10:30 p.m., over WEAF."
O'Brien will play one of the only two roles in "The Word," which Oboler first produced on May 27, and which is being repeated by popular request. He attracted wide attention on Broadway as Prince Hal in Maurice Evans' production of "Henry IV." The feminine lead will not be selected until the author-producer of this series reaches Hollywood.
"The Word" is an eerie drama dealing with a young couple who has to walk down from a sight-seeing visit to the observation tower of the Empire State Building to discover that the rest of the world's population has mysteriously vanished
39-10-21
31
The Perfect Party
Perfect Party
N
39-10-21 Appleton Post-Crescent
"
The Perfect Party," starring Elliott Lewis, Lurene Tuttle and Ray Collins, will be the Arch Oboler play to be presented at 9:30 tonight over WMAQ.
39-10-28
32
Profits Unlimited
N
39-10-28 The Lima News
Ray Collins, one of the East's outstanding radio character actors, who has just arrived in Hollywood for his first motion picture role, and Paula Winslow well-known character actress of the Western stage and screen, will be featured in "Profits, Unlimited," Arch Oholer's drama over WEAF, Saturday at 10:30 p. m.
"Profits, Unlimited" is a fantasy adventure concerning events which
might take place (in the far distant future, of course) if big business
were to lose sight of the human factor and concern itself wholly with the increase of output and dividends by menus of straight-line production methods.
39-11-04
33
Young Mr Trouble
N
39-11-04 Wisconsin Stage Journal
8 P. M. — Arch Oboler Play (WIBA, WMAQ): Billy Halop in 'Young Mr. Trouble."
39-11-11
34
I'll Tell My Husband
N
39-11-11 The Lima News
Gale Sondergaard and Edmund McDonald, well-known screen players, will be co-starred in "I'll Tell My Husband," a stream - of - consciousness play about the thoughts, memories, and hopes of an affection-hungry woman approaching middle age which Arch Oboler is to present from Hollywood over WEAF Saturday at 9:00 p.m. Miss Sondergaard is the sister of Hester Sondergaard, radio character actress starred by Oboler in many plays produced in New York.
39-11-18
35
Bathysphere
N
39-11-18 The Lima News
"Ghost Town," first all-American
ballet to he included in the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo repertoire, will be a special musical offering of WEAF Saturday from 10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.. John Martin, dance critic of the New York Times, will join the broadcast as commentator.

39-11-18 Chester Times
9:00 p.m. -- KYW, WEAF—Arch Oboler play, "
Bathysphere."

39-11-18 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Arch Oboler Play (WIBA, WMAQ): "The Bathysphere."
39-11-25
36
Mirage
Mirage-Miss American
Y
[Program moves to 9:00 p.m.]
39-11-25 The Lima News
9:00—Arch Oboler's Plays—nbc-weaf

39-11-25 Chester Times
9:00 p.m. -- KYW, WEAF—Arch Oboler play, "Mirage," with Nan Sunderland.

39-11-25 Capital Times
Nan Sunderland, stage and screen star who, in real life, is the wife of Walter Huston, will be starred in Arch Oboler's -Mirage," at 3 o'clock on Station WIBA,
"Mirage" is a drama portrayed through the medium of only two characters. Against a background of wind, sea and stars they carry on to its breath-taking conclusion the story of a young couple whose lives and viewpoints are completely changed after they watch an old roan writing in the sands of the beach.
39-12-02
37
Hometown; The Circle; State Executioner
N
[Program moves to 8:00 p.m.]
39-12-02 The Zanesville Signal
8:00—New time for Arch Oboler—nbc-weaf

39-12-02 Wisconsin State Journal
3 p. m. — Arch Oboler Play
(WIBA, WMAQ): three short
dramas of men and their ways.

39-12-02 Capital Times
OBOLER DRAMA
Three short dramas of men and their ways will be presented as Arch Oboler's Plays tonight, through WIBA at 8 o'clock. They are "Hometown,", "The Circle,", and "State Executioner."
Ray Collins, one of the outstanding character actors in radio, will be starred in "Hometown,", the story of a successful international financier who returns to the scenes of his boyhood. "The Circle" tells the story of a few moments in the day of a man living in the turbulence of Europe today. "The Executioner" is a short stream - of - consciousness drama.
39-12-09
38
Nobody Died
Hometown - New World
N
[Program moves to 9:00 p.m.]

39-12-09 The Lima News
Peter Lorre, famous screen player will be starred in "Nobody Died," Arch Oboler drama to he presented from Hollywood Saturday, at 9 p.m., over WEAF.
What would the elixir of youth do to our modern civilisation? That is the question propounded by Oboler's play, a deveolpment of an idea first presented in the young author-producer's ''Immortal Gentleman."
Lorre gained an international reputation as portrayer of a
psychopathic character when he
appeared in'"M," great German horror film. He has been the star of several "Mr. Moto' pictures. In his first American broadcast, Lorre was a guest of Rudy Vallee on NBC, as star of Oboler's "Prelude To Murder."

39-12-09 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p. m. — Arch Oboler Play
WMAQ): Peter Lorre in "Nobody
Died" . . .
39-12-16
39
Nobody Died
N
39-12-16 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p. m.—Arch Oboler Play (WMAQ): Peter Lorre in. "Nobody
Died." . . .

39-12-23
40
There Are Your Brothers
These Are Your Brothers
N
39-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m. — Arch, Oboler (WMAQ)- "There Are Your Brothers," A Christmas story
39-12-30
41
This Precious Freedom
N
39-12-30 Chester Times
KYW, WEAF—Arch Oboler Play, "This
Precious Freedom."
40-01-06
42
Money, Money, Money
N
40-01-06 San Mateo Times
5:00—KPO Arch Oboler's Plays Drama ''Money Money Money "

40-01-06 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p. m. — Arch Oboler Drama (WMAQ): "Money, Money Money," a ghost story

40-01-06 The Lima News
Arch Oboler, who started the New Year right by simultaneously renewing his contract with the National Broadcasting Co. as an author-prducer, and by joining the scenario writing staff of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, will present "Money, Money, Money," with screen actor Edmund MacDonald in the starring role, as his first orginal drama of 1940 over WEAF Saturday, at 8 p.m.
This play, a modern ghost story in which money jingles instead of chains, was first presented by the British Broadcasting Corp., last year while Oboler was visiting England.
40-01-13
43
Incident on the Dover Road
The Truth
N
40-01-13 Capital Times
"Incident on the Dover Road," a swiftly-moving melodrama starring John Deering radio and picture star, will' be the Arch Oboler play for tonight, over WMAQ at 7 o'clock, The drama concerns a sealed diplomatic pouch, a lonely road, a swiftly-moving automobile and a pretty girl.
40-01-20
44
The Sensitive Mr Ginsberg
Sensitive Mr Ginsberg
N
40-01-20 The Lima News
Benny Ruben, erstwhile comedian of stage, screen and radio, appears at his own request in Arch Oboler's play, "The sensitive Mr. Ginsburg," which is to be presented over WEAF Saturday at 8 p.m.. The story concerns a fight manager who finds that his sensitive soul interferes with business.
40-01-27
45
Back To The Indians; The Day The Sun Exploded; The Laughing Man
Three Stories - With Tongue-In-Cheek
N
40-01-27 The Lima News
Arch Oboler, who once canvassed dozens of Negro choirs to find just the right voice for one of his plays, is now auditioning Indians, in search of a leading actor for "Back To The Indians," a satire which he will present over WEAF, Saturday at 8:00 p.m.. The play is built around the well known wise crack about giving America back to the Indians. So far hs has found few Braves brave enough to want any part of it.
40-02-03
46
Special to Hollywood
A Hollywood Special
N
40-02-03 The Lima News
The earth-shaking repercussions which might ensue if a plane-load of film stars headed eastward to attend the world premiere of a super-super production should disappear completely, will be envisioned by Arch Oboler during a tongue-in-cheek drama entitled "Hollywood Special" Saturday at 8 p.m.. The fantasy, suggested by fanfare surrounding many of Hollywood's recent premiere junkets, will endeavor to show not only how the populace survives the loss of its favorites, but also what happens to the stars themselves.
40-02-10
47
Old Man Chump
Memoriam - Dark World
N
40-02-10 Capital Times
"Old Man Chump." will be the title of tonight's Arch Oboler Play, to be heard through Station WIBA at 7 o'clock. The production will originate
In Hollywood.
40-02-17
48
Genghis Kahn
N
40-02-17 The Lima News
"Genghis Khan," which Arch Oboler considers the strangest stroy he has written will be presented over WEAR Saturday, at 8 p.m.. The drama concerns a simple Harlem Negro who suddenly decides to become dictator of the world. The plot is based on the theory that dictators of this generation are reincarnations of ruthless power-seekers of the past.
40-02-24
49
The Women Stay at Home
The Women Stayed at Home
N
40-02-24 The Lima News
Elsa Lanchester (Mr. Charles Laughton), famous Britsh screen actress, will star in "The Women Stay at Home," Arch Oboler play to be presented over WEAF network Saturday at 8 p.m.. She will portray an English woman of the present day in this searching drama of life on the unexciting but all-important home front.
40-03-02
50
Baby
N
40-03-02 The Lima News

Joan Crawford Will Play
Lead Role In Radio Drama

Joan Crawford, movie star for whom Arch Oboler has just. completed "Fall 0f a Woman", his first motion picture script, will appear at her own request in the leading role of "Baby", one of his most outstanding radio dramas, which will be repeated over WEAF Saturday at 8:00 p. in. It is an original score for this study of a woman who has jus! been told by her doctor that she soon is to become a mother.

40-03-09
51
Johnny Got His Gun
Y
40-03-09 Capital Times
James Cagney, two-fisted hero of the movies, will be starred in a role critics said was impossible to present in a radio drama when he is heard in Arch Oboler's adaptation of Dalton Trumbo's war story, "Johnny Got His Gun," on WIBA tonight at 7 o'clock. Cagney will be cast as a shell-shattered American doughboy of the World War—deaf, dumb, blind and helpless —in the vigorous anti-war drama.
40-03-16
52
The Most Dangerous Game
N
40-03-16 The Lima News
Ronald Colman, often forced to postpone appearances because of motion picture commitments, will break Hollywood precedent when he postpones start of a new film for one week in order to devote full time to rehearsals for his starring role in Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," which Arch Oboler is to present over WEAF Saturday at 8:00 p. m.

40-03-16 Capital Times
RONALD COLMAN, romantic hero of the movies, will be starred in an Arch Oboler adaptation of Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," during the Oboler play over WIBA tonight at 7 o'clock.
Set in an atmosphere of fear and hatred, the drama will tell the story of the adventure of the marooned hero of an uncharted island.
40-03-23
53
The Ivory Tower
N
40-03-16 The Lima News
Arch Oboler, radio's most prolific dramatist, will wind up his current NBC series in New York, starring Nazimova in his 53rd and final program over WEAF, Saturday, at 8:00 p.m.. Then he plans a four-week vacation in Honolulu with his wife before returning to Hollywood.
Nazimova, and all others of the original cast, are to be presented in a revival of "The Ivory Tower", Arch's most powerful stream - of - consciousness drama in the March 23 broadcast.





The Arch Oboler's Plays [MBS] Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
45-04-05
1
Strange Morning
Y
45-04-04 Ironwood Times
Arch Oboler, brilliant young radio playwright will return to the airwaves in a new series of programs which will be called "Arch Oboler's Plays" starting Thursday at 9:00.
"Lust for Life" the much discussed novel by Irving Stone on the life of Vincent Van Gogh, the painter, will be the first presentation. Don't miss the premiere,
it should be good listening.

45-04-05 Emporia Gazette
You'll enjoy
''Strange Morning," by Arch Oboler tonight at 9:00.

45-04-05 Lowell Sun
ARCH OBOLER DRAMA:
"Strange Morning." a story in anticipation of the day of Germany's capitulation: WXAC, 10

45-04-12
--
-
--
Pre-empted for Death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
45-04-19
2
Lust for Life
N
45-04-11 Ironwood Times
Franchot Tone, who is playing in the current Broadway hit, "Hope for the Best," will be the guest on "Just Between You and Jane Cowl," tomorrow at 1:15 and at 9:00 tomorrow night the second presentation of "Arch Oboler's Plays" will be heard.
" Lust for Life" scheduled for the premiere last week will be the play featured.

45-04-19 New York Post
10:00--WOR, Arch Oboler's Plays, Raymond Edward Johnson, Martin Gabel in "
Lust for Life."

45-04-26
3
The House I Live In
Y
[ Announces the third broadcast]

45-04-18 Ironwood Times
"Love, Love, Love," a drama in the comedy vein, will be the title of the third play in the "Arch Oboler's Plays" series to be presented tomorrow night at 9:00.
The theme of the play will be in 'direct contrast to the serious moods of the first two broadcasts, and promises to be entertaining.

45-04-26 Brooklyn Eagle
Raymond Massey doing two Arch Oboler plays on WOR t'nite . . . One, "
Defeat," is an imaginative account of an encounter between Winston Churchill and the last Nazi.

45-04-26 Gloversville Herald
Raymond Massey will be the guest when the Arch Oboler Plays of MBS at 10 put on a double header, "
The House I Live In," and "Defeat."

45-04-26 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
Raymond Massey Tongiht - "The House I Live In," and "Defeat", two plays by Arch Oboler, will have Raymond Massey, distinguished actor of stage and screen, as their star on the "Arch Oboler Plays" broadcast tonight, 10 to 10:30 p.m., over Mutual, through WMBO. "The House I Live In," with a special musical score by Gordon Jenkins, is an Oboler dramatization suggested by the Earl Robinson - Sergt. Millard Lampbell song of that name. It is described as a "strong plea for tolerance,in a story of Main Street U.S.A." "Defeat," is a highly imaginative and fantastic adventure story of the encounter of Winston Churchill and the last Nazi. A company of top-rank radio actors will support Raymond Massey in both plays. Sylvan Levin will conduct the musical background.

Announces "
Love Love Love" as the fourth and next.
45-05-03
4
Love, Love, Love
Y
[ Announces the fourth broadcast]

Announces "
Holiday 194X" as the fifth and next.
45-05-10
5
Holiday 194X
Y
[ Announces the fifth broadcast]

45-05-09 Ironwood Times
"Holiday 194X" is the title of the Arch Oboler broadcast Thursday at 9:00. The play is all about the adventures of a typical American family who having saved their war bonds, go to see the world. Arch Oboler's Plays are original, produced and directed by the author.

Announces "
Mr. Ten Per Cent" as the sixth and next.
45-05-17
6
Mr. Ten Per Cent
Mr Ten Percent
Y
[ Announces the sixth broadcast; No open or close]

45-05-16 Ironwood Times
"Mr. Ten Per Cent," a comedy, is the title of the play to be presented on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" tomorrow night, Thursday, at 9:00. Lee Cobb who will be remembered for his performance in the screen version of "Golden Boy" will play the lead. Special music for the play has been written and will be conducted by David Raksin, composer of the theme music for the motion picture, "Laura."
45-05-24
7
An Exercise in Horror
Y
[ Announces the seventh broadcast]

45-05-24 Lowell Sun
ARCH OBOLER DRAMA: Peter Lorre
in '
'An Exercise In Horror," WNAC, 10

45-05-24 Albany Knickerbocker
GET THIS ONE: "
An Exercise in Horror," describedby Arch Oboler as a "peculiar comedy," is the presentation on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" broadcast on WABY tonight at 10. With the famous portrayer of villains, Peter Lorre, in the lead, "An Exercise in Horror" will base its theme upon the horror men of our time, from Boris Karloff to the late Adolph Hitler. With tongue-in-cheek and a script tinged with irony, the play will show why Oboler, a past master at this method of treatment, refused to write any horror stories for this series. His "Mr. Ten Per Cent" heard last week was far below the usual Oboler standard. The acting was hammy, and the writing was so much unlike Oboler that one wonders whether Arch wrote under duress or over a coke at the corner drug store. These inferior interludes are rare. Prepare for something especially good tonight.

Announces "
Triple Feature" as the eighth and next.
45-05-31
8
Ostrich In Bed; Report To My Relatives
Y
[ Announces the eighth broadcast; Oboler announces that he couldn't accomodate a 'triple feature' to he had to do with a double feature]

45-05-30 Ironwood Times
The "Arch Oboler's Plays" will attempt something unusual Thursday night at 9:00 when they present
"Triple Feature." Arch Oboler, a radio playwright, director and producer, will do three plays all witnin a half hour. The program will consist of a comedy, a melodrama, and a tragedy. A cast of well known radio actors will portray the characters in "Triple Feature."

Announces
"Names on The Land" as the ninth and next
45-06-07
9
Night
Y
[ Announces the ninth broadcast]

45-06-07 New York Evening Post
10:00--WOR, Arch Oboler's Plays,
"Nocturne."

45-06-07 Albany Knickerbocker
OBOLER DRAMA: An original dramatization of the new and much talked about book, George Stewart's "
Names on the Land," which reveals how many American place names got that way, will be the presentation on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" presentation on WABY tonight at 10. Oboler says that the Stewart book from which he has fashioned his dramatizations is an exciting account which traces the names of places in America from the earlies days. A cast of Hollywood actors will be heard in the presentation.

Announces "Mr. Pyle" as tenth and next
45-06-14
10
Mr. Pyle
Y
[ Announces the tenth broadcast]

45-06-07 Lowell Sun
ARCH OBOLER DRAMA: "Mr. Pyle
."Life of Ernie Pyle, late war correspondent, starring Burgess Meredith; WNAC. '10.

Announces "
Naked Mountain" as eleventh and next
45-06-21
11
The Naked Mountain
Y
[ Announces the eleventh broadcast]

45-06-20 Ironwood Times
On Arch Obolers Plays Thursday
night,
"The Naked Mountain," a drama set in the Bavarian Alps and centered around the first fighters against Facism_. has Franchot Tone playing the lead. Plays by the famous author are presented each Thursday night at 9:00.

45-06-21 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
Bavarian Alps Feature "
The Naked Mountain," a melodrama set in the Bavarian Alps and starring Franchot Tone, leading artist of stage and screen, will be the presentation on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" broadcast of Thursday, June 21, (10 to 10:30 p.m. EWT) over Mutual and WMBO. Oboler, who has always used his gifts as a radio dramatist to fight Fascist doctrines at home and abroad, describes "The Naked Mountain" as a story "revolving around the first fighters against Fascism--the Spanish Republican refugees." His play comes at an opportune moment--at the time when the Spanish Refugee Appeal Campaign is currently being held throughout the country. David Raksin, Hollywood composer-conductor, and writer of the hit tune "Laura," has composed special musical score for the program. The entire production is written, directed and produced by Oboler.

Announces "The Truth" as twelfth and next
45-06-28
12
The Truth
Y
[ Announces the twelfth broadcast]

45-06-28
Edmund Gwenn, distinguished stage and screen character actor, will be starred in Arch Oblelr's radio play,
"The Truth," over WOR-Mutual, at 10. David Raksin has written a special score for the broadcast.


Announces "Big Shot" as thirteenth and next
45-07-05
13
Dr. Bluff
Y
[ Announces the thirteenth broadcast]

45-07-05 Wisconsin State Journal
Arch Oboler's Plays (WGN. WIBU): "
Big Shots." . . .

45-07-12
14
A Gallery of Big Shots - Feminine
Y
45-07-12 Wisconsin State Journal
Arch Oboler's Plays (WGN, WIBU):
"Big Shot," drama postponed from last week

45-07-12 Schenectady Gazette
Carnovsky to Star in Oboler Drama on WBCA - Morris Carnovsky, distinguished character actor of stage and screen, will be starred in the drama of the remarkable "
Dr. Bluff" on the broadcast of "Arch Oboler's Plays" tonight at 10 o'clock over WBCA. Carnovsky, currently being seen in the role of the father of the late George Gershwin in the motion picture, "Rhapsody In Blue," will be cast in the part of a physician who, for a few magic hours, can hear what other people think about him, and sees himself as others see him. The entire production is written, directed and produced by Arch Oboler.

45-07-19
15
Special to Hollywood
N
45-07-19 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m. — Arch Oboler's Plays
(WIBA, WGN):
"Special Hollywood."
starring Olive Deering.

45-07-19 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
WMBO Features - "Special Hollywood," a drama that is considered among Arch Oboler's more popular works, has been scheduled for presentation on the "Arch Oboler Plays" broadcast of Thursday. (10 to 10:30 p.m.), over Mutual and WMBO. First done on the air two years ago and included in Oboler's book of plays, "This Freedom," the story reveals what takes place during an airplane flight from New York to Hollywood with the plane carrying a group of Hollywoodians returning from a band tour. Olive Deering, a popular radio personality, will be heard n the leading role. The musical score for "Special Hollywood" will be written and directed by Jack Moskin, well-known Hollywood conductor-arranger, who is replacing David Raksin as musical conductor of the Oboler series while the latter is away working on an Army motion picture.

45-07-26
16
My Chicago
Y
[ No open or close ]

45-07-25 Ironwood Times
My Chicago" will be the presentation on-the "Arch Oboler's Plays" Thursday night, at.9:00... with words, songs and music- the play will take listeners on.a citywide tour of Chicago, telling all about the great city's lake front, its stock yards, universities .and boulevard.
45-08-02
17
Parade
Y
[ Announces the seventeenth broadcast]

45-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
Arch Oboler's Plays (WOR):
"Great Day," honoring AAF and starring Van Heflin.

Announces "
History of a Mug" as next
45-08-09
18
History of a Mug
Y
[ Announces the eighteenth broadcast]

45-08-16
19
Lust for Life
N
45-08-16 Bradford Era
9:00 p.m. Arch Obolers Plays
"Lust for Life"
45-08-23
20
I Do; Facts of Men; Baby
N
45-08-30 Pre-empted
Y
[Pre-empted in some WOR-fed, regional markets for the Green Bay Packers-College All-Star Seniors' Game on August 30, 1945.]

45-09-06
21
History of A Mug
Y
[ Announces the eighteenth broadcast; East Coast broadcast]

45-09-06 The Lima News
Arch Oboler, prolific radio playwright-producer, once more aims
towards the unusual in his dramatization entitled
"History of A Mug," on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" broadcast at 9 p. m. Thursday
over WOR.

45-09-06 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p. m. — Arch Oboler's Plays (WOR):
"History of a Mug," the unreserved case history of an evil character

45-09-06 Dixon Evening Telegraph
9 Oboler play
"History of a Mug."

45-09-06 Salamanca Republican
10. Oboler play
"History of a Mug."

45-09-06 New York Post
Arch Oboler, prolific radio playwright-producer, once more aims towards the unusual in his dramatization entitled "
History of a Mug," on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" broadcast of Thursday, 10 to 10:30 p.m., EPT, over Mutual and WMBO. Oboler describes the play as "the uncensored, unreserved case history of an evil character, as seen through the eyes of his own mother." Bea Benadaret, one of the leading character actresses developed through radio, will be heard in the role of the mother. Special music for the program will be written and conducted by Jack Meakin, Hollywood composer-conductor.

Announces "
A Gallery of Big Shots - Masculine" as twenty-second as next
45-09-06
21
Mirage
Y
[ Announced as special Don Lee-Mutual broadcast; West Coast broadcast]

Announces "
Profits Unlimited" as next
45-09-13
22
A Gallery of Big Shots - Masculine
Y
[ Announces the twenty-second broadcast]

45-09-13 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
Arch Oboler, radio's most prolific playwright and producer will present "
Big Shot, Masculine," on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" series broadcast tonight 10 to 10:30, over Mutual and WMBO. This play follows by a few weeks the play in which Oboler figuritively buried a satiric typewriter at a certain female of the species. "Big Shot, Feminine." Popular response to this play prompted Oboler to attempt the same thing with the male element of big shots. A special musical score will be written and conducted by Jack Meakin, Hollywood composer-conductor

Announces "
Rocket to Manhattan" as twenty-third and next
45-09-20
23
Rocket from Manhattan
Y
45-09-20 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
WMBO Features - An adventure-fantasy story which takes place in the year 2000 A.D., titled "Rocket From Manhattan," will be presented on the "Arch Oboler Plays" series broadcast of Thursday (10 to 10:30 p.m., EPT) over Mutual and WMBO. Oboler describes his new play as "an adventure story about a group of people, who, in the year of Our Lord 2000 will leave the earth and go to the moon only to find on their return that the power which had lifted them through the vacuum of space had done strange things to the earth they had left." The scene of the play is a great World's Fair in New York, taking place on the site of the previous World's Fair, but this time, it is magical, almost fantastic, because in the year 2000, American industry had reached the zenith of its productivity and ingenuity of invention.

45-09-27
24
The Family Nagachi
Y
45-09-27 The Lima News

Treatment Of Jap-Americans
Is Thursday Broadcast Theme

A theme that many writers have shied away from—our treatment of the Japanese-American population following Pearl Harbor, will be presented when "The Family Nagoya" is broadcast on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" program at it 9 p.m. Thursday over WOR. From material furnished by the Department of the Interior, Oboler looks at the problem and its post-war effect on each of us thru the eyes of the loyal Japanese-American family, Nagoya.

45-09-27 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
A theme that many writers ahve shied away from--out treatment of the Japanese-American populartion following Pearl Harbor, will be presented when "
The Family Nagoya" is broadcast on the "Arch Oboler's Plays" program on Thursday, September 27 (10 to 10:30 p.m., WPT) over Mutual and WMBO. From material furnished him by the Department of the interior, Oboler looks at the problem and its postwar effect on each of us through the eyes of the loyal Japanese-American family, Nagoya. Music for the program will be written and conducted by Jack Meakin, Hollywood composer-conductor, and the entire production will be under the direction of Oboler.

45-10-04
25
Mr. Miller
Y
45-10-03 Ironwood Times
Tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. Arch Oboler's Plays will present the singing comedian, Eddie Cantor in the play
"Mr. Miller"

45-10-04 Auburn Citizen Advertiser
ARCH OBOLER'S PLAYS, on the broadcast tonight (10:00 to 10:30, EST) will be an event of unusual interest in bringing to the air one of hte Nation's outstanding comedians, Eddie Cantor, in his first dramatic role. The beloved star of many a comedy hit on the stage, in the movies and in radio, will play the lead in another Arch Oboler original, "
Mr. Miller," over Mutual and WMBO.
45-10-11
26
I Declare War [This Living Book]
Y
45-10-11 Hutchinson News-Herald
9:00 p.m.--Arch Oboler's Plays
"I Declare War"
45-10-18
--
--





Arch Oboler Presents [KHJ Summer 1964 Rebroadcasts] Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
64-07-12
--
--
64-07-12 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
1:00 -- KHJ—Sinatra, Compton and Strings (to 5)
64-07-19
1
The Visitor from Hades
Y
64-07-19 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
1:00 -- KHJ—Sinatra, Compton and Strings (to 5)

Announces "Special to Hollywood" as next
64-07-26
2
The Word
Y
64-07-26 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
The Word," Wm. Shatner, Barbara Eiler, Hal Peary

Announces "Special to Hollywood" as next
64-08-02
3
Special to Hollywood
Y
64-08-02 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Special To Hollywood," Gloria Blondell, Wm. Shatner

Announces "The Day Sinatra Got Fat" as next
64-08-09
4
The Day Sinatra Got Fat
Y
[ AFRTS exemplar also]

64-08-09 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays

Announces "Come to the Bank with Me" as next
64-08-16
5
Come to the Bank With Me
Y
64-08-16 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Come to the Bank." Virginia Gregg

Announces "The Immortal Gentleman" as next
64-08-23
6
The Immortal Gentleman
Y
64-08-23 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Immortal Gentleman," Victor Perrln

Announces "Big Ben" as next
64-08-30
7
Big Ben
Y
64-08-30 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Big Ben," Virginia Gregg

Announces "Rocket from Manhattan" as next
64-09-06
8
Rocket from Manhattan
Y
64-09-06 Long Beach Independent
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Rockets from Manhattan," Wm. Phipps

Announces "African Story" as next
64-09-13
9
African Story
Y
64-09-13 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
African Story," Ben Wright

Announces "Revolt ot the Worms" as next
64-09-20
10
Revolt of the Worms
Y
64-09-20 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Revolt ot the Worms," Edgar Barrier

Announces "Bathysphere" as next
64-09-27
11
Bathysphere
Y
64-09-27 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Bathysphere"

Announces "Mirage" as next
64-10-04
12
Mirage
Y
64-10-04 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Mirage," Virginia Gregg

Announces "Him or Me" as next
64-10-11
13
Him or Me
Y
64-10-11 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
4:30 -- KHJ—Arch Oboler's Plays "
Him Or Me," Larry Dobkin

Announces "
Mrs Kingsley's Report" as next
64-10-18
14
Mrs Kingsley's Report
N
64-10-18 Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram
1:00 -- KHJ—Paul Compton (to 5)





AFRTS 'Arch Oboler's Plays' Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
64-08-09
The Day Sinatra Got Fat
Y
64-11-14
Big Ben
Y
64-12-21
22
Rocket from Manhattan
Y
64-12-28
African Story
Y






The Arch Oboler's Original Plays Radio Program Biographies




Archibald Oboler
(Writer, Director, Producer)

Stage, Screen, Radio and Television Writer, Director, Producer; Playwright; Mineralogist
(1907-1987)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1937 Your Hollywood Parade
1937 Lights Out
1937 The Chase and Sanborn Hour
1938 The Royal Desserts Hour
1938 Good News
1938 The Rudy Vallee Hour
1938 Texaco Star Theatre
1938 Columbia Workshop
1939 Curtain Time
1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1940 Everyman's Theatre
1941 The Treasury Hour
1942 Cavalcade Of America
1942 Hollywood March Of Dimes Of the Air
1942 Plays For Americans
1942 Keep 'Em Rolling
1942 To the President
1943 Cavalcade For Victory
1943 Free World Theatre
1944 Everything For the Boys
1944 The First Nighter Program
1944 The Adventures Of Mark Twain
1944 Four For the Fifth
1945 Weird Circle
1945 Chicago, Germany
1945 Wonderful World
1945 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 The Victory Chest Program
1946 The AFRA Refresher Course Workshop Of the Air
1953 Think
1956 Biography In Sound
1970 The Devil and Mr O
1972 Same Time, Same Station
1979 Sears Radio Theatre
Drop Dead!
Arch Oboler Drama
AFRTS Playhouse 25
The Joe Pyne Show
Treasury Star Parade
Hollywood Calling
I Have No Prayer
Yarns For Yanks
Arch Oboler goes over The Hollywood March Of Dimes Of The Air script with emcee Tommy Cook at the NBC mike (1942)
Arch Oboler goes over The Hollywood March Of Dimes Of The Air script with emcee Tommy Cook at the NBC mike (1942)

Arch Oboler with Raymond Edward Johnson rehearsing at the MBS Mike
Arch Oboler with Raymond Edward Johnson rehearsing at the MBS Mike

Arch Oboler goes over a script with Nazimova circa 1940
Arch Oboler goes over a script with Nazimova circa 1940

Arch Oboler gives direction to Nazimova circa 1940
Arch Oboler gives direction to Nazimova circa 1940

Arch Oboler with Norma Shearer conferring on Escape (1940)
Arch Oboler with Norma Shearer conferring on Everyman's Theater (1940)

Oboler's post-Apocalyptic film Five (1951)
Oboler's post-Apocalyptic film Five (1951)

Arch Oboler on the set of Five circa 1951
Arch Oboler on the set of Five circa 1951

Perky piece punctuates penta-psychodrama proposing pitiful post-pandemic panic.
Perky piece punctuates penta-psychodrama proposing pitiful post-pandemic panic.

Oboler's F.L.Wright-designed beachhouse was used as the final location for his movie Five (1951)
Oboler's F.L.Wright-designed beachhouse was used as the final location for his movie Five (1951)

The gatehouse of Oboler's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Malibu Canyon
The gatehouse of Oboler's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, 'Eaglefeather,' in Malibu Canyon.

Arch Oboler's Twonky (1953)
Arch Oboler's Twonky (1953)

Oboler's Bwana Devil boasted its claim as the first feature length 3-D film
Oboler's Bwana Devil (1952) boasted its claim as the first feature length 3-D film

As late as 1962, Arch Oboler and Capitol Records teamed to create a fascinating compilation of Oboler's scarier productions.
As late as 1962 Arch Oboler and Capitol Records teamed to create a fascinating compilation of Oboler's scarier productions.
5'1" tall Arch Oboler, pound for pound, inch for inch one of Radio history's scariest writers/directors--ever--was born in 1909, in Chicago. He was also, by most accounts, one of Radio's most sensitive, introspective writers, and a giant by virtually any conventional measure of the industry.

ARCH OBOLER, WROTE THRILLERS FOR RADIO IN 1930'S AND 40'S

By WILLIAM G. BLAIR
Published: Sunday, March 22, 1987

Arch Oboler, who enthralled listeners with his tales of suspense and horror in the golden age of radio in the 1930's and 40's, died Thursday of heart failure at the Westlake Community Hospital in Westlake, Calif. He was 79 years old and lived in Malibu.

Although Mr. Oboler was perhaps best known as the writer of a series of nighttime radio dramas that were broadcast under the name ''Lights Out,'' he also wrote for screen and stage.

The ''Lights Out'' programs, delightfully chilling fare to many now over the age of 50, began with these words:

''These stories are definitely not for the timid soul. So we tell you calmly and very sincerely, if you frighten easily, turn off your radio now. Lights out, everybody!'' 'I Wrote About Human Beings'

The rights to rebroadcast and distribute many of the ''Lights Out'' thrillers were acquired from Mr. Oboler late last year by Metacom, a Minneapolis-based concern that specializes in the distribution of old radio shows.

In an interview with The New York Times in October, Mr. Oboler said he had turned down offers to sell his radio stories to television in the 1950's because ''basically, I think TV talks too much and shows too much.''

Mr. Oboler said he believed his thrillers had not lost their ability to terrify because ''I wrote about human beings, not special effects.''

''What we fear most is the monster within - the girl who lets you down, the husband who is unfaithful,'' he said. ''The greatest horrors are within ourselves.''

In movies, he first made a name for himself as the writer of the 1940 screen version of ''Escape,'' the anti-Nazi best-selling novel by Ethel Vance, that starred Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor.

Three-Dimensional Movie

More than a decade later, he wrote, directed and produced the first three-dimensional movie, ''Bwana Devil,'' which had moviegoers in special eyeglasses ducking when African spears and lions appeared to be flying off the screen directly at them.

In the mid-1950's, Mr. Oboler turned to Broadway. He wrote ''Night of the Auk,'' a science-fiction drama set aboard a spaceship. The show, produced by Kermit Bloomgarden and directed by Sidney Lumet, ran for eight performances and was briefly revived in 1963.

From the 1960's on, as head of Oboler Productions, he continued to write for radio, movies and the theater. In 1969, he wrote a book called ''House on Fire'' that a reviewer for The Times described as ''pretty much what Mr. Oboler used to terrify America with.''

He is survived by his wife, the former Eleanor Helfand, and a son, Dr. Steven Oboler of Denver. A private funeral is planned.

Between 1936 and 1944, Arch Oboler either conceived or participated in an ambitious undertaking of both brief and long-running dramatic series':

  • 1936 Lights Out!
  • 1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
  • 1940 Everyman's Theater
  • 1942 Plays for Americans
  • 1942 This Is Our America
  • 1942 To The President
  • 1943 Free World Theatre
  • 1944 Four for The Fifth (with William N. Robson)
  • Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962 Capitol Records LP)
  • The Devil and Mr. O (a 1970s revival series)

Arch Oboler's Plays was Oboler's breakout dramatic showcase over Radio. Everyman's Theater further established Oboler's versatility and range, while underscoring Oboler's growing appeal to a far wider audience than he'd already established with Lights Out!. Though eight years his senior, the diminutive Oboler, while never as widely popular as Orson Welles, invites comparison to the other great young playwright-actor-director. Their skills were clearly each other's equal, their versatility had already been amply demonstrated by 1940, and their genius was indisputable. It's also clear that both Wyllis Cooper and Norman Corwin served to influence and inform Oboler's growing, wider appeal.

The reach and effect of Arch Oboler's writing style, subject matter, and point of view remain significant influences to this day. Indeed a world of imitators, 'hat tippers', homages, and unabashed worshippers of his style have sprung up every year since the mid-1950s. And for good reason. Devising new ways to scare the be-jee-zuzz out of people has become something of a cottage industry at various times during the past 60 years.

Thillers sell when the public is in the mood for them. And when the public is in the mood for them, they tend to be insatiable for them.

Wyllis Cooper and Arch Oboler were arguably the two of the most significant influences in supernatural thrillers over Radio, of the 20th Century. Virtually every modern fiction writer of the past seventy years cites both Cooper and Oboler as influences.

Arch Oboler's fortunes waned with the waning of The Golden Age of Radio. His solo Film projects were, while revolutionary in many respects, not nearly up to the standards of his Radio work. His Five (1951) was a rather overly contrived, over-ripe, and self-important opus about a post-apocalyptic world and its five widely differing survivors. Filmed around his property and home in Malibu Canyon, it's become more of a cult flick than a representative Atomic Age sci-fi drama.

Bwana Devil (1952) was the first feature-length film to be produced in 3-D, yet another of Oboler's signature--albeit eccentric--innovations. Historic for only its innovative technology, the film, while popular as a novelty, was a stinker in every critically measurable way.

His Twonky (1953), starring pal, Hans Conreid, was a fascinating concept, somewhat frivolously executed. It featured a television set with a mind of its own, purportedly receiving direction from an alien force in geoconcentric orbit around Earth. This was highly reminiscent of the CBS Radio Workshop program, The Enormous Radio (1956), wherein a similar problem surfaces with a Radio set.

Oboler later released the Capitol LP, Drop Dead!: An Exercise In Horror (1962), reprised many of his Arch Oboler's Plays with the 1971 revival series The Devil and Mr. O, and in 1969, employed his 3-D production skills in another first, Stewardesses, a soft-core porn feature he wrote and directed for 3-D, under the pseudonym, 'Alf Silliman.'

Arch Oboler spent much of the remainder of his life attending to the various elements of his Oboler Productions company and the various writing, Film, Radio and Television projects Oboler managed through it.




Raymond Edward Johnson
(Ensemble Performer)

Stage, Screen, Television and Radio Actor
(1911-2001)

Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Education: Goodman School of Drama, Chicago, IL

Radiography:
1938 Welcome Valley
1938 The Royal Desserts Hour
1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
1939 Great Plays
1940 Mandrake the Magician
1941 Inner Sanctum
1941 Behind the Mike
1941 Metropolitan Opera Auditions Of the Air
1942 Cavalcade Of America
1942 The Man Behind the Masterpiece
1942 Don Winslow Of the Navy
1943 Lights Out
1943 Treasury Star Parade
1943 Doctor Christian
1943 Radio Hall Of Fame
1943 Words At War
1944 The Pause That Refreshes
1944 The Kemtone Hour
1945 War Town
1945 The Radio Edition Of the Bible
1945 The Adventures Of Ellery Queen
1946 Treasury Salute
1946 The Eternal Light
1946 Murder At Midnight
1947 Crime Club
1947 Fibber McGee and Molly
1947 Treasury Agent
1947 The Gabriel Heatter Show
1947 Studio One
1947 Casey, Crime Photographer
1948 A Program About A Lot Of Things
1948 The Golden Door
1948 Gang Busters
1948 The Big Story
1948 Candid Microphone
1948 Ford Theatre
1948 Secret Missions
1948 You Are There
1949 Name Your Poison
1950 Crime Fighters
1950 Mysterious Traveler
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Dimension X
1950 MGM Theatre Of the Air
1950 Chandu the Magician
1952 Best Plays
1953 American Jewish Caravan Of Stars
1953 Tales Of Tomorrow
1953 Twenty-First Precinct
1954 Inheritance
1956 X Minus One
1961 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1961 Suspense
The Lone Ranger
The Lonesome Train
Raymond Edward Johnson circa 1941
Raymond Edward Johnson circa 1941

Raymond Edward Johnson with Arch Oboler circa 1947
Raymond Edward Johnson with Arch Oboler circa 1947

Inner Sanctum spot ad from August 4, 1944
Inner Sanctum spot ad from August 4 1944

Raymond Johnson -- stars in Oboler drama on Station WIBA tonight at 7:30.
Raymond Johnson -- stars in Oboler drama on Station WIBA tonight at 7:30.

Inner Sanctum spot ad from 1942
Inner Sanctum spot ad from 1942


Raymond Edward Johnson . . . plays the star role, ''Mr. District Attorney,'' tonight over Station WIBA at 8 o'clock
Raymond Edward Johnson . . . plays the star role 'Mr. District Attorney' tonight over Station WIBA at 8 o'clock
From the September 16, 2001 edition of the The New York Times:

Raymond E. Johnson,
Radio Host, Dies at 90

September 16, 2001
By RICHARD GOLDSTEIN

Raymond Edward Johnson, a versatile radio and stage actor who provided a signature moment for radio as the ghoulish host with the creaking door in the long-running "Inner Sanctum," died on Aug. 15 in Wallingford, Conn. He was 90.

Mr. Johnson was a familiar presence in the radio serials of the 1940's and won acclaim playing Thomas Jefferson in Sidney Kingsley's 1943 Broadway play "The Patriots." But he was best known as Raymond, the original host for the gothic tales of "Inner Sanctum," which made its debut in January 1941 and ran for 11 years, on NBC, CBS and ABC.

"I didn't have Leonard Bernstein and 200 musicians doing `The Ride of the Valkyries,' " Himan Brown, the director of "Inner Sanctum," remembered long afterward. "All I used was a creaking door. There are only two sounds in radio that are trademarked — the creaking door and the NBC chimes."

After three bars of organ music, "Inner Sanctum" opened with the sound of Raymond turning a doorknob and then the creaking of rusted hinges. "Good evening, friends," intoned Raymond. "This is your host, inviting you through the gory portals of the squeaking door." Then came a gruesome joke, laughter intended to make his listeners shiver, and finally an improbable episode with ghosts and bloodcurdling sound effects.

When the stories — featuring actors like Boris Karloff, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains and Raymond Massey — reached their climax, Raymond offered another round of macabre laughter. Then he concluded the evening by wishing his listeners "pleasant dreams."

Mr. Johnson also played the lead role in "Don Winslow of the Navy" and "Mandrake the Magician" in his busy radio career.

In the summer of 1945, after four years of fan mail sometimes accompanied by oil cans for that creaking door, Mr. Johnson stepped down as host of "Inner Sanctum" and was replaced by Paul McGrath.

By then, Mr. Johnson had achieved success in his Broadway debut as Jefferson in "The Patriots," a tribute to democratic ideals in a wartime America fighting fascism.

While appearing in the play, he continued as the host of "Inner Sanctum" on Sunday nights.

In his review of "The Patriots" in The New York Times, Lewis Nichols wrote that Mr. Johnson "conveys excellently the various moods of Jefferson."

Raymond Edward Johnson was born in Kenosha, Wis., worked as a bank teller, and then studied acting at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago. His sister, Dora Johnson Remington, who died in 1989, was a radio soap opera actress, best known for playing Evey Fitz, the married daughter in "Ma Perkins."

Mr. Johnson, who suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years, nevertheless revisited his starring years in radio in 1997, when he appeared at a gathering of the Friends of Old Time Radio. He delivered a reading from a portable bed.

His co-star on "Inner Sanctum" was not always a reliable presence, as Terry Ross, a soundman, recalled in telling how a young man setting up the equipment once tried too hard to please.

"We got the hinges and buried them in the dirt out back and watered them down like plants for a couple of weeks or so, till they got nice and rusty, then mounted them on the door a little bit askew, so they would squeak," Mr. Ross recalled in an interview for Leonard Maltin's "Great American Broadcast" (Dutton, 1997). "One of the setup boys came to me and said: `Terry, I fixed the door for you. I oiled the hinges.' This was just before showtime. What do you do when the signature of the show was a squeaky door?"

Mr. Ross became the door. He imitated its creak with his voice, and Raymond and the eerie plot did the rest.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company


Raymond Edward Johnson certainly never let any grass grow under his feet as he pursued one of Radio's most successful acting careers. One of Radio's busiest and longest appearing Radio actors, Johnson's radiography comprises many of the Golden Age of Radio's most popular and longest running programming.

From the July 19, 1947 edition of the Cumberland Evening Times:

''Raymond Edward Johnson left Inner Sanctum approximately two years ago to enter the service and upon his release declined to take over his former role in the mystery thriller. He believed that to continue might type him with other producers as a ghostly voice and hinder his chances of portraying lead characters. Currently he may be heard Saturday mornings over NBC as the father in Archie Andrews, in addition to frequent, appearances on ABC's Theatre Guild On The Air.''

When Raymond Johnson returned from the service, he understandably increased his efforts to distance himself from the supernatural thriller typecasting he'd been most associated with through both Arch Oboler's various productions and Himan Brown's successful Inner Sanctum series. He took the name "Raymond" with him, leaving his replacement on the series, Paul McGrath, to his own devicies.

Reinventing himself payed off, finishing out his last years performing over Radio in a wide variety of straight dramatic roles. Stricken with Multiple Sclerosis while in his forties, Johnson's appearances on the small screen were limited to a few appearances behind the scenes as a narrator. He continued to perform over Radio until the early 1960s by which point the effects of his disability forced his retirement from the acting profession.

As indicated in his obituary above, Raymond Johnson's Radio fans continued to make demands on him for the remainder of his life, in spite of the advancing effects of his infirmity. Indeed, while in his 80s and bed-ridden, the otr community prevailed upon him to appear at one of their otr selling conventions with a portable bed and help re-enact their favorite exemplars of his work. While this doesn't say a great deal about the commercial otr community that took grotesque advantage of his circumstances, it speaks volumes about Johnson's continued dedication to the memory of The Golden Age of Radio that he'd both performed in, and loved, for most of his adult working life.

It's that very sense of dedication and love of the craft of acting that endears so many of these great Radio performers to collectors of vintage Radio recordings. With an estimated 3,000 radio appearances to his credit, and hundreds of those exemplars in current circulation, Raymond Edward Johnson's extraordinary versatility as an actor, announcer, narrator, and personality of the era are increasing his avid fan base with each passing year.

Justifiably so.




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