Comments on Lights Out ... Winnipeg?!
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Posted May 06, 2006 - 8:08 PM:
[February 2, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press]
"LISTEN -- if you dare!" is the enticing tag-line for radio's newest, creepiest, hair-raisingest programme which emanates from WENR every Wednesday night at midnight. Groans, screams, and the mysterious machinations of spirits all blend crazily into the quarter-hour called "Midnight Mysteries." It's a good thing the kids are in bed. Excellent presentation.
Advice for next Wednesday: listen with the lights out!
[February 7, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press - Radio Flashes column by Cliff McNeill]
Thanks are due Bill Cooper, who is the producer of those extraordinary Midnight Mysteries heard from WENR every Wednesday at midnight. Lights out, everybody, for a guaranteed thrill!
[May 9, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press]
LIGHTS OUT! -- Listen in the dark -- if you dare! -- to Bill Cooper's supernatural drama -- Last time we mentioned it in this column, Lights Out was scaring folks for only 15 minutes over WENR -- Now you can be scared for a half-hour over a network of NBC stations! -- at 11 p.m.
[June 30, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press - Radio Flashes column by Cliff McNeill]
A GOOD MANY readers of this column have become acquainted with Lights Out, the intriguing supernatural stuff that has been emanating from WENR Wednesday nights for several months past. If you haven't, you've been passing up one of the most cleverly produced dramatic shows on the air today.
We tipped you off several times on when to hear Lights Out, and now we want to warn you that the show is due for a large boost — twice a week over NBC. Bill Cooper, an NBC writer in Chicago, whose energetic fingers have typed out myriad horrors and weird doings for several moons, will turn out twice as much in future.
Just got word that Lights Out will be spotted today at 6:30 p.m. over NBC. Maybe KFYR will have it; maybe not. At any rate, the six-thirty hour is a bit early for this stuff; instead of dousing lights, we'll have to pull down the blinds. Or take the radio down in the coal bin.
A letter to Bill for details of Lights Out elicited the following concise information:
"As to the show: I write them all. We use Arthur Jacobson, well-known juvenile, in practically all of them. Bernardine Flynn, Philip Lord, Sidney Ellstrom and Don Briggs are also pretty regularly in the show. Sid Ellstrom, by the way, is the guy to whom most of the terrible things happen. He does a swell job of suffering, and to date he has been skinned alive, had his tongue torn out, his hands smashed on an anvil, his ears nailed to a wall, his teeth smashed with sledge-hammer, been burned alive, and had his head cut off. I have been both writing and producing the shows, but occasionally Joe Ainley, of our production staff, does the job of producing."
[August 25, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press - Radio Flashes column by Cliff McNeill]
ANOTHER day and back to NBC to chat with Willis Cooper, continuity editor, who made us feel right at home by revealing his several visits to Winnipeg. On one occasion here, Bill made a friend in Inspector A. H. L. Mellor, of the R.C.M.P., and, incidentally, picked up some valuable material for a radio series he was writing for CBS at that time.
Bill's present occupation resolves itself mainly into scratching off, once a week, one of those hair-raising supernatural dramas that emanate from WENR each Wednesday around midnight. The series, which has been running for some months now, is known as "Lights Out!" Bill sits up all night (from midnight to 8 a.m.) when he's polishing off his typewriter keys with weird whisperings, groans and choice bits of skullduggery. If there's a good electrical storm in progress, so much the better, for Cooper thrives on atmospheric rumblings, clanking chains and dark-skinned sirens and juicy murders.
[November 3, 1934 Winnipeg Free Press]
At last the the old order has been reversed. Radio plays are being adapted to the stage. Willis Cooper, NBC central division continuity editor, is adapting some of his "Lights Out" scripts for stage presentation. One of them will be produced this winter by the Detroit Players club.
[January 26, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press - Radio Flashes column]
"LIGHTS OUT" AGAIN
The crime-and-horror fans who haven't written or phoned me about Bill Cooper's "Lights Out" feature on WENR at midnight on Wednesdays, have written direct to WENR, with the result that "Lights Out," which broadcast its final play about two Wednesdays ago, is immediately being resumed.
For myself I'm surprised that so many people can listen to more than one of Cooper's hair-raisers. I sat through one, but the strain was too much. Loss of several finger nails (which I chewed off in my anguish), loss of appetite and sleep and the threatened loss of my hair, which wouldn't lie down for several days afterward, forced me to steer clear of WENR on Wednesday nights, if I valued my future peace of mind.
For those about to listen to "Lights Out" for the first time, I would respectfully suggest that you invite about six or eight of your strongest and most reliable friends over to listen also; friends whom you can trust. Pulling down all the blinds in the room helps too -- it eliminates the possibility of seeing gibbering gargoyles at the windows, if they happen to be there. I never did get up enough courage to turn the lights out while I listened, as that arch-fiend Bill Cooper suggests.
However, if in spite of all this you still like to hear horror stories and supernatural dramas, and the weirdest, most heart-rending assortment of sighs, sobs and moans, then by all means listen in to WENR at midnight next Wednesday. The inarticulate mouthings of a disembodied spirit is something to be remembered long after all the other folks in the house have dropped off to sleep.
[February 27, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... "The Mine of the Lost Skulls," an eerie episode dealing with a lost mine in the southwest and the strange misadventures which befall two people who discover it, presented during the Lights Out programme, over WENR at midnight. The programme, written by Willis Cooper, continuity editor of the NBC Central division, is produced for the special benefit of those stout-hearted persons who are not afraid to turn out the lights when they tune in.
[April 13, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
... Petitions arrived from no less than 87 fan clubs in Chicago alone. Other letters came from groups ranging from society folk to taxi drivers who each Wednesday convened in all-night restaurants to hear the programme. One letter came from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police here in Winnipeg. ...
[April 17, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
Willis Cooper['s] popular supernatural and horror dramas go National when his "Lights Out!" programme goes on the NBC network a half hour earlier at 11.30 p.m.
[April 24, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
"The Phantom Ship," a ghost drama of the sea done in the most realistic "Lights Out" tradition, will be presented during the second network broadcast of spooky stories at 11.30 p.m. (NBC, including KFYR). The story involves two sailors, lone survivors of a ship which is torpedoed and sunk during the World War. After drifting on the sea for a time they encounter and board a deserted ship. Here the supernatural element enters the play, for the ship proves to be anything but an ordinary craft.
[May 1, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
Willis Cooper, author of the Lights Out ghost series, has concocted a thriller out of such a non-spooky subject as moving from one apartment to another for the broadcast at 10.30 p.m., (NBC). In "Moving Day", however, the apartment is haunted.
[June 1, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
NBC'S GHOST DRAMA
Numerous protests have been registered to the effect that Willis Cooper's "Lights Out" ghost dramas on NBC at 10.30 Wednesdays, have gone sort of Elsie Dinsmore-ish since their debut on the network. Fans want them "awfuller and awfuller." Seems like "Frankenstein" and his "Bride" and "Dracula" and the "Werewolf of London" have sort of acclimatized listeners and left a taste for more and more horror.
The "scene" of Cooper's latest is chronicled here below, candid fashion:
Wednesday night, 10.30 p.m. ... actors gather about a shaded floor lamp over the microphone in studio B, NBC Chicago studios ... remainder of studio control room and observation rooms are dark ... thirteen chimes sound, and Lights Out, programme of ghost drama goes on the air ... Production Director Ted Sherdeman and the engineer are in the control room ... a small desk lamp enables them to see the script and the control panel ... Sherdeman insists that studio be darkened in order that actors may feel they're really playing a ghost drama ... result: members of cast frequently become as frightened as their listeners ... no theme music ... only thirteen chimes ... scenes are broken by sounding of a gong, which also closes broadcast ... it's one of the few dramatic programmes without theme music ... makes production director's task doubly difficult. ... he has to finish "on the nose" without filling in with longer or shorter closing theme ... works with a script four minutes short ... natural pauses for effect take up the four minutes during broadcast ... now two actors, Sidney Ellstrom and Bernardine Flynn, are at the mike, their faces lighted by the lamp ... other members of cast sit in darkness nearby ... Don Briggs steals up behind Bernardine and clutches her throat ... she screams in real terror, for she's afraid of the dark ... Briggs is a ghost ... he laughs maniacally ... all a part of the script, but in the darkness it seems real, and the actors feel it IS real ... especially the feminine actors ... they're usually Betty Winkler and Bernardine ... the programme continues, building to a climax ... Briggs and Art Jacobson fight ... they really grapple and finally go to the floor . . . it's all part of the realistic treatment of the programme ... a gong sounds and the programme is off ... lights come on ... the actors relax, and laugh ... spectators in the observation room feel safer now, too ... it's eleven; and the cast departs.
[June 15, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
Here's one for Ripley: a radio press sheet recounts the story of a Chicago police station captain who telephoned the studio following a "Lights Out" broadcast and said that his men had been listening to it and were afraid to go out afterwards and walk their beats. Don't that beat all.
[November 16, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press]
WILLIS COOPER, author of the NBC Flying Time and Lights Out programmes, has been named a judge in a national contest for radio script writing conducted by the League of American Pen-women.
[April 2, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... A new play especially written for the programme as the feature of Rudy Vallee's Variety Hour at 7 p.m. (NBC). The play is entitled "Box Car", and it was written by Arch Oboler, author of "Rich Kid," which attracted wide attention on the Vallee Hour several weeks ago. ...
[September 9, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... The author of the play himself as the leading character in the "Lights Out" drama, when a horror play titled "The Author and the Thing" is broadcast over NBC at 10.30 p.m. Although the writer is the central character, Author Arch Oboler will not play the role. He'll sit safely at home and hear himself go through a very uncomfortable evening.
[October 21, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press]
"The Thing That Crept," another spooky melodrama by Arch Oboler, will be broadcast over WDAF at 11:30 o'clock Wednesday night. The mystery this time concerns a new kind of monster -- a synthetic beast created by gem thieves with vacuum cup feet -- which climbs up a forty-five story building to a penthouse, where most of the action takes place. The characters are a gem collector, a young girl, a reporter and the thief.
[November 4, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... "Death Prayer," the story of an eminent British mining engineer whose latent cruelty is brought out by heat and hardship in the bush country of Australia, as the subject Arch Oboler has taken for his "Lights Out" broadcast, at 11.30 p.m. (NBC). In revenge, the bushmen begin the horrible "prayer ceremony," the results of which follow the scientist back to England.
[November 5, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press]
The vehicle for Peter Lorre is a radio "original" specially written for Lorre and the Vallee Hour by Arch Oboler. It is called "Prelude to Murder" and utilizes the technique of "thoughts spoken aside" which was revived in "Strange Interlude" on the stage. Oboler was the author of the one act play "Rich Kid," in which Freddy Bartholomew made such a hit on the Vallee Hour some months ago. Since then Oboler has written several dramas for the programme. He also authors the Wednesday night "Lights Out!" series.
[November 11, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press]
Lester Jay, boy star of Sidney Kingsley's "Dead End," now playing an extended engagement in Chicago, will take a leading role in "The Crime Clique of Croesus," horror play written by Arch Oboler for the "Lights Out" programme at 11.30 p.m. (NBC). Jay appeared with Freddie Bartholomew recently in a skit, "The Rich Kid," also authored by Oboler, which was heard on Rudy Vallee's Royal Variety Hour. "The Crime Clique of Croesus" concerns a group of men who join to commit perfect crimes for the thrill of it.
[November 25, 1936 Winnipeg Free Press]
A big city racketeer decides to organize the laundries of his bailiwick into a "protective association." He also decides to include Chinese hand laundries in his organization. And thereby hangs a tale expounded in "Tong," the Lights Out drama at 11.30 p.m. (NBC). Cruel murders of Chinese as gangsters attempt to shove them "into line" are avenged by the orientals in their own way, with some particularly horrible torture reserved for the gang leader himself. Included are some little-known torture methods, according to Arch Oboler, author of the series.
[December 6, 1936 Kansas City Star]
Everybody Lives In Murderless "Lights Out" Story Wednesday.
"Nobody Died" -- or will die, at least -- in the "Lights Out" drama by that name to be heard over WDAF at 11:30 o'clock Wednesday night.
The murder-less "thriller" is a tale of a young scientist in a modern European militaristic state who discovers a way to make the old young. War comes and the dictator forces the scientist to turn over his secret process for use in increasing the [army?]. The climax of the play, as all "Lights Out" dramas do, will be heard as the midnight hour nears.
[January 13, 1937 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... A doctor who has discovered [a] method of grafting human limbs from one body onto another with some particularly weird and gruesome results as the principal character in Arch Oboler's "The Devil in White," macabre drama written for the Lights Out broadcast at 11.30 p.m. (NBC).
[January 20, 1937 Winnipeg Free Press]
Pain is the theme of "Beast of the Shamo," Arch Oboler's horror story for the "Lights Out" broadcast, at 11.30 p.m. (NBC.) The monster which lives in the mysterious vastness of Tibet, has developed an attitude toward physical pain that leads him to inflict it on those who fall into his clutches with an almost religious fanaticism. Some highly imaginative methods of torture are involved.
[March 10, 1937 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... "Chicken Heart," a fantastical and horrible story originating from the fact that a bit of tissue from a chicken heart at the Rockefeller Institute in New York has for years been rapidly growing as the title and theme of Arch Oboler's Lights Out broadcast at 11.30 p.m. (WRC). In the drama, the heart grows at a progressively increasing rate until the very, existence of humanity is threatened by this great throbbing mass of flesh.
[February 9, 1938 Hammond Times]
"Screen Test" is the Lights Out drama tonight. A screen idol and seven mysterious old ladies meet in a haunted room of a strange, out-of-the way hotel ... and the screen idol has quite a time, let me tell you kid.
[March 2, 1938 Appleton Post-Crescent]
Arch Oboler's play, "Mother-In-Law," will be dramatized on "Lights Out" program at 11:30 over WMAQ and WTMJ. The story gives some ideas on how to remove unwelcome visitors from the home.
[March 13, 1938 Kansas City Star]
KARLOFF IN LIGHTS OUT
SCREEN ACTOR TO PLAY IN HORROR DRAMA FOR FIVE WEEKS.
Arch Oboler, Author of the Show, Will Write Five Special Programs for "Frankenstein."
Boris Karloff, famous horror actor of the screen, is going on the air in radio's most famous horror dramatic series, Lights Out.
His first appearance on the program will be on the broadcast of Wednesday, March 23 at 11:30 o'clock over WDAF and the red network.
His contract calls for his appearance on five of the Wednesday night Light Out programs.
For Karloff, Arch Oboler, Lights Out author, is writing five original radio melodramas, each designed to bring out the special talents of the noted actor. Karloff. whose most famous role in the movies was that of "Frankenstein's Monster," will broadcast from the Chicago studios.
Light Out recently marked its fourth anniversary on the air. A hit from its beginning, it has increased in popularity until it is now one of the most widely followed programs on the air. Once the program was dropped to make way for another show. So insistent were the demands for its return that soon it was back.
The technique of directing the program which has prevailed throughout its life will not be changed. G. P. Hughes, director of the program, will rehearse the cast in a darkened studio with shaded stand lamps providing enough light for the actors at the microphone.
A recent audience poll of Lights Out brought thousands of letters from listeners. Among the writers were astronomers from the Mt. Wilson Observatory, faculty members of the universities as far apart, geographically, as Harvard and the University of Texas; students, clerks and businessmen.
Karloff never misses a Lights Out broadcast if he can help it.
"I always have been interested in plays that deal in the supernatural," the actor said in speaking of the program. "I am glad that my screen schedule permits me to join the Lights Out cast for these five programs."
[May 18, 1938 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... Good, Bad, Indifferent, Arch Oboler's weird drama of the amazing events which take place at an English house party, presented on the Lights Out programme at 10.30 p.m. (NBC-CKY). The plot is based on a local superstition that at a certain time of the year three persons die -- one good, one bad and one indifferent. The dramatization of the deaths, unearthly in their relationship to the superstition, will be heard from the NBC Chicago studios.
[June 1, 1938 Winnipeg Free Press - You Will Hear ...]
... Scoop, a newspaper drama to end all newspaper dramas, as the latest Arch Oboler thriller booked for the Lights Out broadcast, at 10.30 p.m. (NBC-CKY). Highlighting the programme, which is replete with horror, will be the sound of a strange newspaper sheet -- printed, according to the script, on human skin.
[March 29, 1939 Hammond Times - syndicated column Radio Short Circuits by Paul K. Damai]
ARCH OBOLER PLAYS (Sat 9 pm WCFL) Oboler is overrated -- or at least thus run our sentiments. Occasionally he socks the carillon but even when he clicks his writings have a monotony. A demi-moribund air pervades too thickly not only the confines of his whole works but hangs heavy in the subdivisions comprising the individual MSS. Such lack of versatility earns criticism.
The first in this new series "The Ugliest Man In The World," was one of Oboler's better efforts. Not only that, it had a happy ending, which is surprising for a psychological study where a suicide seemed to be the only hackneyed but expected solution. Not romantic, but psychological said Author Arch after the play, describing the aims and modus operandi of the series. Oboler betrayed an excellent mike delivery, and displayed that which gave us a vague notion that here might be better actor than playwright.
The series is of a very high type and decidedly an addition to the enrichment of the air if the present form is maintained.
Oboler's Play for this week is "The Mirage," a drama with only two characters. . . . these will be enacted by Joan Blaine (Mary Marlin) and Raymond Johnson (who played to the hilt last Saturday's "Ugliest Man").
[April 12, 1939 Hammond Times]
Curt Conway and Ray Johnson star in Arch Oboler's half-hour trilogy (Sat, 9, WCFL). "Sole Survivors" dealing with the war of the present, "Memoriam" of the past wars and "Hail Victory" of future conflict.
[April 18, 1939 Nebraska State Journal]
... Arch Oboler plays, drama series, presenting "The Truth," unique play probing this question: "Is the universe a great, soulless machine or is it a thought in the mind of God?"
[May 13, 1939 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 by Vicki Vola and Charlotte Munson, 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."
[May 20, 1939 Lima News]
"Crazytown," a stinging indictment of the present anarchic state of world affairs, 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 tells 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 Crazytown, a place where individual moral 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.
[May 27, 1939 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 effects. Altho the characters move in an imaginary and impossible situation, they behave as normal human beings.
[May 27, 1939 Oshkosh Daily Northwestern]
... Arch Oboler's Plays. "The Word," the story of a woman obsessed by the desire to know the meaning of death, will be tonight's play. This play was originally scheduled for last week. ...
[June 17, 1939 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 by 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 future where medical science has made immortality a reality, the hero discovers the wonders, dangers and even horrors of such a condition.
[June 23, 1939 Lima News]
Due to the fact that the dramatic series has changed time and is now heard on the West Coast before youngsters retire, Arch Oboler will tone down the chills and horror in his weekly offerings.
[June 24, 1939 Lima News]
Raymond Edward Johnson and Betty Caine, NBC artists who have been heard frequently in Arch Oboler'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 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.
[July 1, 1939 Fresno Bee]
Nazimova Will Be Star Of KMJ Drama Program
Alla Nazimova, famous Russian actress, will be the star of a dramatic production [written] for her by Arch Oboler, noted NBC playwright, and broadcast over KMJ and other NBC Red Network stations at 5:30 P. M., July 8th.
Her appearance is the result of a broadcast of one of Oboler's plays recently which was heard by the actress. She telephoned him and asked that she might appear in one of the dramas and Oboler immediately began writing one especially for her.
Later, Nazimova visited the Oboler home, listened to recordings of several of his other dramas. Her enthusiasm mounted. Never, she said, had she fully appreciated the artistic possibilities of radio until she heard Oboler's productions.
"I am appearing on the program," said Nazimova, after her visit, "out of a sincere desire and hope to further the cause of good radio drama."
Nazimova, whose last appearance was in The Mother on Broadway this season, has appeared with equal success on the Russian, English, German, French and American stage and in motion pictures. She started her career as a concert violinist with such conductors as Tschaikowsky and Rimsky-Korsakoff.
At seventeen she decided to become an actress and went to Moscow to study with Stanislavsky. Later she toured Europe with the Orlenoff company and then came to America. She mastered English in five months in order to play her first broadway role in Hedda Gabler.
[July 28, 1939 Circleville (OH) Daily Herald]
... Arch Oboler's Plays. "Another World," the fantastic story of a group of people who look for another planet in an interplanetary rocket when the earth is faced with annihilation. ...
[July 29, 1939 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. in. 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. ...
[July 29, 1939 Fresno Bee]
A fantastic story of the problems that may confront human beings if they ever attempt to colonize other planets will be the theme of Arch Oboler's play, Other Worlds, which will go on the air at 5:30 o'clock this evening.
The play does not deal with the scientific aspects of such an eventuality so much as with what might happen when a human sets foot on a distant world.
Oboler has prepared imaginative answers to many questions that might arise should humans succeed in reaching one of the distant worlds.
[July 29, 1939 Nebraska State Journal]
Arch Oboler's Plays presents some of the problems which will face the human race if it attempts to colonize other planets, in "Another World."
[August 12, 1939 Fresno Bee]
Players Form Air Show Cast
The History Of A Mug Is Title Of Oboler Drama This Evening
Four well known members of New York's Group Theater will be heard in the principal roles of another Arch Oboler play, The History Of A Mug, from 5:30 to 6 o'clock this evening as one of the highlights of the night's entertainment schedule over KMJ, The Fresno Bee Radio.
Elia Kazan, Curt Conway, Ann Shepherd and Hester Sondergaard, all of whom have previously been cast in various roles in Oboler plays on the air, will desert their rehearsals for the Group Theater's first Fall show to costar in the air drama.
Oboler says this play "tells the life story of a rising young politician, as it is viewed through the disillusioned eyes of his mother, and 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, had the chief supporting role in the play in which Alla Nazimova recently was heard over KMJ. Conway was heard in Oboler's Sole Survivors; Miss Shepherd in The Engulfed Cathedral in this radio series, and Miss Sondergaard in Another World, also by Oboler.
[August 26, 1939 Lima News]
Nazimova Appears For First Time On Air In Clever Drama
Nazimova, who once played second fiddle in an orchestra conducted by Tschaikowsky, will realize one of her life's ambitions when she plays, the part of Madcjda von Meek, 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 5:30 p. m.
"This Lonely Heart," will deal mainly with the reactions of Madame von Meek. 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 Lonely Heart," 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.
[September 2, 1939 Fresno Bee]
Lew Danis a young Italian actor, will make his initial appearance in a network radio drama when he plays the leading role in a play by Arch Oboler at 5.30 o'clock this evening. The play is entitled Love Story.
Two other plays by Oboler, The Valley, laid in the far West, and Mungahara, a tale of the wild bush country of Australia, also will be presented.
[December 16, 1939 Fresno Bee]
Lorre Is Star Of Oboler Play
One of the highlights of broadcasts over KMJ will be the appearance of Peter Lorre, famous as Mr. Moto of motion pictures and currently appearing in Strange Cargo, as the star of the Arch Oboler play at 5 o'clock this evening.
The play, Nobody Died, is Oboler's is answer to the question, "What would the elixir of youth do to our modern situation if it were suddenly made available?"
Lorre, who is well known to both radio and motion picture audiences as well as on the legitimate stage, made his radio debut several years ago in a play by Oboler. Tonight he will appear as the head of the propaganda bureau of a foreign country who is confronted unexpectedly with the wonder of a great discovery.
[September 9, 1939 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.
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 that 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 dramatist 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."
[September 17, 1939 Port Arthur News - New York Reporter column by Jack Sher in Screen & Radio Weekly]
Arch Oboler gave a party atop Radio City for Alla Nazimova. Most of the attention was centered on Oboler's pretty, childish-looking, blond wife. She came garbed in a bright colored peasant's costume, her hair in pigtails. She looked about 14. Everyone remarked about this, but Arch explained that it was sort of an optical illusion. "Eleanor is really not as young as she looks," he said, "and she certainly isn't a child-bride, as one old fellow in the South thought."
Oboler met his present wife while they were both attending the University of Chicago. They were soon married and she stuck by him loyally during a very tough year and a half, during which he was trying to break into radio writing. Before Oboler took to using a dictaphone, she acted as his stenographer, and Arch claims she is the fastest and best in the country.
[March 8, 1940 Winnipeg Free Press photo caption]
JAMES CAGNEY who will try an impossible role for an actor -- that of a deaf, dumb and blind ex-soldier in Arch Oboler's adaptation of Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo -- at 7 p.m. Saturday, on NBC. Running true to his character, as portrayed in screen roles, Cagney asked Oboler for the part when he heard critics say it was impossible for any actor to play it.
[February 17, 1940 Lima News]
"Genghis Khan," which Arch Oboler considers the strangest story lie has written, will be presented during his series of plays over WEAF 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.
[January 6, 1940 Nebraska State Journal]
Arch Oboler's Plays; tonight's drama is a ghost story entitled "Money, Money, Money" and starring Edmund MacDonald.
[February 17, 1940 Nebraska State Journal]
... Arch Oboler's Plays, presenting "Genghis Khan," a drama about a Harlem Negro who suddenly decides to become dictator of the world. ...
[July 5, 1946 Fresno Bee]
A long time favorite among dramatic suspense programs will make its debut tomorrow night at 6:00 on KMJ. "Light's Out" was first heard about 11 years ago and was a regular feature for many years.
A Wyllis Cooper fantasy built around the legendary superstition that the young Jew who jeered at Christ at the crucifixion was doomed to wander the world forever will be the opening presentation.
[February 16, 1950 Winnipeg Free Press]
Another drama tonight deals with social problems and is guaranteed to prove that even they can be entertaining. Arch Oboler's play Profits Unlimited will be heard from Winnipeg over CBW at 11.