Escape's "The Game" involves two young men, a bottle of whisky and a game of Russian roulette. It appears to be a cautionary tale based on some unnamed true story or urban legend. We don't find out what or who inspired this episode but that doesn't diminish the impact. Escape presented this episode in 1953, but apparently the lure of the game continues.
In "The Game" one of the young men reads about Russian roulette and taunts the other into playing it. Today, there is a contemporary urban legend about the movie The Deer Hunter that warns that the movie is responsible for inspiring a number of "unplanned suicides" from Russian roulette. But that urban legend is based on fact. One step beyond that is the true story of the guy who didn't realize that Russian roulette has to be played with a revolver and not with a semi-automatic pistol.
"The Game" was an unusual choice for Escape. This story, written by Antony Ellis, was better suited for Suspense. It lacks the high adventure and exotic locations that Escape was supposed to deliver to its audience. Instead, it is set in Anytown, U.S.A. and the story drives home a message about guns and alcohol. The entire episode is a tense dialogue between the two young men, and listening to this story will probably make you wince and remember all of the dumb things you did when you were young.
Although different from their usual fare, this episode lived up to Escape's standards for story-telling. Two years later, this radio-play was presented on Suspense with minor differences, but both versions are good.
Escape's version of "The Game" aired on August 30, 1953. The ending of the broadcast is clipped so the names of the two actors and narrator aren't given.