Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday's Favorite OTR

The Falcon: “Natural Seven” 2/28/52

Here’s a well-plotted hard-boiled procedural with a pretty good twist at the end.

It starts with a game of craps in a gambling joint. An eager but foolish player asks for permission to bet way over the limit, then fails to make the point. He can’t pay off his bet, which is a situation that generally ticks off gambling joint owners.

From here, the story moves along very quickly, but always logically and clearly. This episode, in fact, is a good example of just how clear and concise radio was as a storytelling medium, providing the scripts, acting and production values are high. We are carried along as the guy in debt tries to rob his boss for the money he needs, later gets beaten up by the gambler’s thug when this doesn’t net him any cash, then becomes a prime suspect when the gambler is murdered. The gambler’s kinda trampy wife and her lover are tossed into the mix as well and it’s soon left up to the Falcon to sort it all out.

Earlier in its run, the Falcon had had a sort of suave British flavor to it. But by the 1950s, it had become more hard-boiled, expertly telling fast-moving crime and spy stories without ever leaving an attentive listener behind.

Click HERE to listen or download

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