Molle Mystery Theater

(2.7 stars; 3 reviews)

Mollé Mystery Theatre was a half-hour anthology series that ran from 1943 to 1948. The show was produced in New York, and with high production values. Comparisons to Suspense are natural because the shows often adapted works from the same authors, and sometimes the same stories. In terms of budgets, there was no comparison: Suspense was a much lusher production with a focus on big Hollywood stars. Molle, however, was a solid program that used some of New York's best radio and Broadway talent. Another important difference in the program is that Molle had a host, "Geoffrey Barnes," played by Bernard Lenrow. He also played Captain Logan on the popular Casey, Crime Photographer , for which he did not receive on-air credit because of his Barnes role. Lenrow had a voice of authority when he played Barnes, who, listeners were told, was a famous criminologist. The popular mystery authors all had work adapted and presented, the most famous being Cornell Woolrich. They even played along with some of Woolrich's output that was under his pseudonym, William Irish, preserving the illusion that Irish was a distinct person. Despite the lesser budget than its most direct competitor, Molle was a superb production for many successful years. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



(3 stars)

Fantastic to preserve these radio shows and share with the public - The actors have distinctive voices and accents - something that is now lost on TV shows -