Mystery in the Air


(4.2 stars; 15 reviews)

Complete old-time radio series "Mystery in the Air", hosted by and starring Peter Lorre. Lost Episodes: 1945 Season (Stonewall Jackson series starring Jackson Beck): All 12 Episodes 1947 Season: #1 The Tell-Tell Heart #2 Leiningen Versus The Ants #3 The Touch of Your Hand #4 The Interruption #5 Nobody Loves Me


This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.

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Reviews

Peter Lorre at his manic best

(5 stars)

I first encountered 'Mystery in the Air' back in the mid '80s when I came across a cassette copy of "The Black Cat". It was great many years later to finally download and listen to the other seven episodes. The series really showcases Peter Lorre's talent, which makes it a fun listen. It's a series I like to revisit every few years, just for fun. True story: In a neighborhood where I used to live, there was an almost solid black cat who used to hang out at my house. One day, I noticed he had a torn ear like the cat in the Poe story, so not knowing his real name, I called him 'Pluto' and jokingly talked to him like Peter Lorre. Eventually, he would only respond to my Peter Lorre voice.

Well done but overacted by Lorre

(4 stars)

Most of the stories are classics or at least regarded short-stories, and are very well-adapted for radio (not an easy task). It's interesting to hear (future officer) Harry Morgan do the announcing and an occasional character. Peter Lorre is very good, but tends to have these annoying outbursts of extreme rants of over-acting, which are out of place and detracting. Nonetheless, the rest of his performances are quite natural and fluid compared to the radio performers of his day and the shows are well made. It's amazing to realize that someone scored rather sophisticated soundtracks for a live orchestra for each show. Of course this was true for many of these shows; this one just did it particularly well.

The Horla

(3 stars)

I think The Horla is the best of the series and is close to the original story (etexts of de Mauppassant stories can be found online).. The Lodger story was performed in 1940 (the ending slightly different), in the popular 'Suspense' radio show, premiere episode, entitled 'Forcast The Lodger,' starring Herbert Marshall as the creepy lodger (he performed the narrator part as well). I believe the Barrasto story was also previously performed on Suspense. Perhaps they all were. Lorre has a habit of punctuating lines with 'Yes' no matter what the part or story ... listen for it, it's curiously soothing ... Best of all are the times when he snaps and raises his voice to a thunderous growl.

Lorre is Da Man!

(5 stars)

Peter Lorre died on March 23, 1964. That's 47 years ago. Yet everyone still knows EXACTLY who he was. As for you who criticize him...do you think YOu will be remembered almost half a century after you're dead? This series is terrific (and those rants were the "Lorre schtick" that made him so beloved as a character actor...whether in THE MALTESE FALCON, CASABLANCA or those Roger Corman movies. But if you want to see just HOW good an actor he was...check out the Mr. Moto series of movies he made between 1937 and 1939. OR in Disney's 1954 version of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA....

Not many, but well done

(5 stars)

I really enjoyed this series because it was very well produced and performed. The stories were on the romantic side with a touch of madness added. If you're familiar with the work of Peter Lorre, you'll understand since he's the star. If you like his brand of acting that is sometimes punctuated with outbursts of creepy histrionics, you'll like this. (There's even an episode here where this actually works to the actor's disadvantage.) Since it seems to hinge on his persona (at least in the 2 episodes I've heard), it should be something you already enjoy.

Interesting historical resource!

(4 stars)

I disagree with any talk of "overacting." Peter Lorre was an excellent actor who could shine very brightly, given the proper material. The problem was he wasn't always given very high quality material to work with. Plus I don't think his heart was really in all those murder jokes, heh. It was something he felt forced into. That being said, it's wonderful that these clips are now available to the public after all this time. They really represent a different era in entertainment and our cultural history. :)

change title

(4 stars)

Does anyone elsr get an error saying "The input media format is invalid." I use Windows Media Player and have played this seried before. What am I doing wrong? yes.. some things show this, if you change the title, ie, get rid of the underscores..through propieties?.. it will or should work. some things, this doesn't work, it'll work with winamp or try downloading again.. as for the review, i think enoughs been said if you like peter lorres' stuff you should enjoy this. sav rekons 4 stars

Passable but not great

(3 stars)

Lorre was not a terribly good actor by the late 40's, especially not for radio. He tended to slur his words and had about two modes, mumbling and shouting, with lots of "Yeeessss"s thrown in. That said, the supporting actors helped out quite a lot in this series, and the scripts weren't too bad either, so this is mostly worth checking out. But I doubt I'll listen to any of these again for a long time.