Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Radio: Donovan's Brain (Suspense)

NOTE: My file host ( recently had some hacker trouble, and as of this writing, they're still picking up the pieces. So if you can't get the players to work, please try again later.

Based on the novel by Curt Siodmak, originally published 1942.

Originally broadcast on CBS, May 18 and 25, 1944.

For our first Friday Radio back from hiatus, I decided to shoot the works and do a two-parter!

Part One:
Part Two:

Although he wrote thirteen novels, Curt Siodmak (1902-2000) remains best known as a screenwriter. And although he worked in many genres, it was in science fiction and horror that he made his mark. Here are just some of his credits:

Transatlantic Tunnel (1935)
The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
The Wolf Man (1940)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
Son of Dracula (1943)
House of Frankenstein (1944)
The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)
The Magnetic Monster (1953)
Riders to the Stars (1954)
Creature with the Atom Brain (1955)
Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

As it happens, though, he didn't write any of the three screen adaptations of Donovan's Brain: The Lady and the Monster (1944), Donovan's Brain (1953), and The Brain (1962). Nor the 1955 television adaptation on Studio One.

Suspense adapted the novel twice: this 1944 version, starring Orson Welles, and a one-hour version in 1948.

Speaking of Orson Welles, is it my imagination, or in his role as Dr. Patrick Cory, is he imitating George Coulouris? (Coulouris played the banker Walter P. "I think it would be fun to run a newspaper" Thatcher in Citizen Kane.) To me, Welles sounds so much like him that when I first heard the first episode, it took me a good five or ten minutes to realize Wells was playing Cory.

And speaking of this adaptation, when it was released on LP in 1982, it won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album.

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