Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday's Favority OTR

Richard Diamond, Private Eye: “The Gray Man” 2/16/51

Richard Powell’s acting career took an interesting turn in 1944. He’d been a song-and-dance man, appearing in musical comedies. But in ’44, he took the part of P.I. Philip Marlowe, starring in the excellent film noir Murder, My Sweet. He was really, really good at the tough guy role and this opened new acting opportunities for him.

One of those opportunities was taking the tough private eye role to radio. Richard Diamond, Private Eye was an entertaining and affable show. It was a nice balance between playing straight with the stories and parodying the genre. Powell, playing the title role, narrated the stories in the traditional private eye manner, with the writers supplying him with snappy, funny dialogue and some sharp one-liners. Powell’s amiable line-readings were a perfect fit for the scripts. Often, he got to show off his ability to carry a tune at the end of an episode, when he would sit down at the piano at his girlfriend’s home and treat her to a song. Powell exuded just enough charm to make these potentially corny endings seem appropriate.

On top of this, the stories were very well-constructed in terms of plot, with Diamond following up clues in a logical manner to get to the bottom each case. In “The Gray Man,” Diamond is hired by a dying man to find a missing college professor. This soon expands outward to involve murder and blackmail, leading Diamond to question the motivations of his client. It all leads up to a really nice twist at the denouement. The case is resolved satisfactorily, with all the plot elements being properly explained. And we get to listen to a lot of snappy dialogue along the way. That’s a very pleasant way to spend a half-hour.

Listen or download HERE.

1 comment:

  1. As a kid, I used to watch & listen to this excellant show. I loved it.JH


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...