A wily old hermit in the Ozarks, feared by the locals for his affinity with snakes, incurs the murderous enmity of a backwoods hunter who thinks his wife is having an affair with the ‘snake doctor’.
–As found on Plotspot.com.
Ladies and gentlemen, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.
A man claiming to be an important figure from South America shows up on the doorstep of George Valentine. All he wants to do is find a particular person, and pay them money. Why won’t Joe Martin respond?
George gets more details from the South American about the situation, and takes the job to find Joe martin. As George and Brooksie investigate, they find that Joe isn’t exactly a nice guy. In fact, the closer they get to finding him he is downright nasty. What is his involvement with the man from South America? In the run around a corpse makes an appearance.
The plot takes some twists, dirt is dug up, and the pressure is on. George has a plan to round up the mentally unstable Joe martin, but not after some suspense and frightful moments. Could there be anything more frightening than being stalked by a crazy psychopath? Unless there’s something else going on under the surface.
Who is the real crazy person here, and what is really going on? George explains it all at the end.
A psycho-analyst comes to Sam Spade’s office with a load of troubles about a blackmailer. Not particularly interested in the doctor’s trouble, it takes a nice price to sway him. Look out, once Sam takes the job, it doesn’t take long for the bodies to pile up.
At the scene of the murder, the cast of suspects begin to make their way before Sam. The weeping widow, a partner who only wants the patient records and take over the business. Is this a suicide, as the police claim?
The doctor was involved with an actress on the stage. What about her, or her manager? Meet the shady blackmailer, Nicholaitus. Is there a motive for him to kill his mark?
Get ready for some gun blasting moments as Sam Spade wisecracks his way through the loose ends. Have you got the mystery figured out? Who’s motive for murder was the real one? Who was the one person that could be at the right place at the right time?
PS: I love Howard Duff as he portrays the hard boiled, wise cracking detective. Though I love the work of Lurene Tuttle as Effie Perine, or any role she’s in, I really hate the character in the show. OK, I hate the way the writers wrote the character, and changed her from a smart gal who knew what she wanted, and knew how to pave the way to get it.
In the books, Effie could be vulnerable, but she was strong and multi-faceted. In the radio show, she does little more than read a few lines at the beginning and end, and is such a dumb and clueless person.
Of course, the 30 minute format of each mystery makes it hard to cram her part into the mix. It’s also one big reason I’m less keen on mysteries. It can take much longer than 30 or even a 60 minute show to develop characters, and clues. More red herrings can enter the story, and make things less cut and dried. Or more character development can make it more clear why a person acts the way they do. In the short format, you get 2 dimensional people, with stereotypical personalities.
Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy a mystery. Especially when they’re well written and acted. Despite my criticism of Sam Spade, and Dashel Hammet was only involved in name only, the shows are action packed, with clear cut morals, and justice intact. Good guys win, bad guys lose.
Marlowe gets a phone call to tell him one of his steady girlfriends has been shot. Headed to the funeral parlor to pay his respects, Philip questions friends and other suspicious people hanging around. He finds a clue in a glass statue of a donkey that’s missing a leg.
Who is Mr Massey, and what connection does he have to the murder? Elements of blackmail, love affairs, and business troubles emerge. When Mrs Massey turns up dead, Marlow thinks he has some solid evidence to wrap up this mystery.
Things are escalating as Philip beats the bushes, and his investigating progresses. Danger and gunplay are in store before Marlowe gets to the bottom of the matter, and the gory details are exposed.
California, 1941. Visiting a potential client, Marlowe meets the formidable Mrs Murdock, and becomes acquainted with the eccentric family and the matter of a missing, rare coin. Can Marlowe handle the delicate family matter, and leave it to Mrs Murdock to privately rake her daughter in law, Linda, over the coals for swiping the coin? She did it… right?
Nightclub owners, kept women, love triangles, club singers, and murder creep into the picture. Marlowe soon has more trouble than he expected. The cops are willing to work with Philip, but the complications are just beginning when that rare doubloon shows up in the hands of our hard boiled detective. But when the coin shows up with Mrs Murdock, the case is closed as far as she’s concerned.
Is Marlowe obligated to keep his client’s embarrassments confidential? How much can he tell to the cops and keep his conscience clear? The Murdock matter may be closed… sort of… but there’s murder that Marlowe is left to answer on his own.
Facing a deadline with the cops, Marlowe digs into who killed who, and why. Easy resolutions are at hand to appease the cops, but the travesty of justice, truth, and ethics only make a big stink for Marlowe. Bodies pile up, secrets explode to the surface, and blackmail is exposed.
Though the cops are happy with their case closure, it’s confrontation time to unravel the truth, and see that justice is done, confidentially, and in Marlowe style.
It’s a long show, so Keith keeps his comments brief. There’s only some mention about the manner of justice, while avoiding the justice system.
On Homicide detail. The owner of a fur store has been killed, and it’s up to Joe Friday to trap his man. On the crime scene, Joe and Ben gather clues, and the facts of the case. Mrs Scribber seems to be in shock, and has hardly uttered a word. Will she open up at all to tell Joe Friday anything about the incident? Motive for the killing is unclear, but a timeline begins to form.
Forensics technicians make sense of the crime scene evidence to explain what kind of struggle took place. Will near by shop owners have anything to tell about the happenings at the fur shop? A blonde with a bottle of wine, is seen going in, then later coming out with a fur coat. Miss Shepherd admits to being in the store to get her coat out of hock, but claims nobody else was there, and she left without incident.
The search of the other shop owners for information continues, but seems to lead no where. Albert Scribber’s missing car has turned up, but will it yield any clues? Canvassing of the neighborhood begins. Will someone return to the car? It doesn’t take long for a drunk blonde to enter the picture, or much work to tie evidence to her and the crime.
Candy is asked to look into a matter for a friend. Her brother is said to be losing his mind, and working on a symphony of death. He certainly seems to be a little wacky.
He has a weird story to tell, and a one finger symphony that is far from being fit to play before any audience. Is he being threatened by a mysterious man? What do his riddles in his speech mean?
No sooner is the decision made to put the mentally unstable man in a sanitarium, he is found dead, and his sister is picked up as suspect. Candy gets her friend Rembrandt Watson to help out with the musical clues the man left. Who killed the composer? The answer is odd, but a simple one.
Note: At the start of the show, an award is given for the quality of the shows in the series. Good thing it was awarded before this one was performed. Maybe they revoked it afterwards. The acting and production in this episode is indeed high quality. I think the writers need to be put in the aforementioned sanitarium though. Not so much a good mystery as a public service announcement for mental health.
Working for an insurance company, Sam is hired to be security guard for Kimberly Cross. Who is she? Well… it’s not a she… It’s actually jewels, that are valued at $250k, a nice sum for today, but huge for 1951. I already see a problem. When private detectives get hired to be security, or a body guard, the thing or person comes up missing or dead as soon as the writers can put words on paper.
Distracted by a dame going into a near by drug store, Sam keeps company with the other security guards, until a burglar alarm is sounded. One guard ends up dead, the jewels gone, but Sam is sure the suspicious blonde didn’t have time to pull off the job.
Sam easily pegs a known gangster to the job. He just has to follow the trail to find him. He finds the dame behind the business end of a gun, and the story that his gangster is the fall guy for someone else. Sam needs to find out who is double crossing who, before he finds himself dead. He does, but stay tuned to the final report for the details.
Despite being his secretary, Effie is jealous over seeing Sam out with another woman. He soon returns to the office to deliver the report on his latest case. The weather had been bad, and the same for business. Donald O Stryker comes from an old English family, and wants to hire Sam. A dieing man warns him to beware of a siren, and gives him a picture. Is it just a wacko, or is there real concern?
Checking on leads,Sam finds an out of tune boarding house matron, singing to an also out of tune piano. Sam isn’t in time to stop a murder, but he lets the cops handle the matter. His next step is to track down the siren in the picture. Murder seems to be a step ahead of Sam, as his trail grows closer to the red headed dame in the picture.
Visiting the morgue, Sam discovers more clues about the murders connected to the dame. Though he tries to warn Dundee, the cop can’t do much about crimes that haven’t happened yet. Sam is sure the dame isn’t the killer, but that she’s working with someone. What’s the motive behind it all?
Tailing a contact, Sam is led to the dame, and a connection to a plan that was hatched from prison, and is now playing out. Will he ever catch up to the evasive dame? Will he Figure out a trap to catch his bad guys? You know he will, and the truth will be exposed.
Assigned to homicide detail, a killer and burglar is still at large. It’s up to Joe Friday to find him. With signs of rain in the night sky, Joe and Ben wonder if the ball game will be called off, when the call comes in. At the crime scene, Joe describes what he finds in voiceover. The man is in shock as he tells how he and his wife came home to an intruder. Neighbors in the hotel are interviewed, but will they offer any further help? A nervous neighbor is full of lies.
Joe and Ben take Tommy to have his arm bandaged up, and continue to test his story. As suspicious as he seems, Mr Bennam claims it wasn’t Tommy in his room. The trail turns to the missing gun, and other lab work. The more the evidence ties Tommy to the scene, the more that Bennam insists it was another man.
A lab tech picks up on a clue as a confrontation between the two men is staged that Joe didn’t detect.
After days of interrogation, Tommy’s story is too consistent, but doesn’t explain how some of his clothes were at the crime scene. With the right kind of pressure turned up, Tommy begins to crack, and spills the beans about his real story, and relationship to the old man. Will Benham be caught in his own lies? Especially when the cops have him re-create the events of the crime? Joe is a step ahead of his story, and catches him off guard.