Escape's "The Red Mark" was loosely adapted from a short story by John Russell about a French prison colony in New Caledonia. The original work is available in a book called The Red Mark: And Other Stories (1919), which also includes his better known tale about French convicts in New Caledonia, "The Fourth Man."
Escape turned "The Red Mark" into a love story, and though it is a good episode, it bears little resemblance to the original, which is a grim father and son tragedy. Earlier, in 1928, "The Red Mark" had been made into a silent movie, but with a different ending.
Escape's version centers on the relationship between a convict named Bijou (named Bibi-Ri in the original) and Zelie, the child-bride of Monsieur de Nou. Zelie's husband is a convict, but because he willingly took the job of executioner, Monsieur De Nou has special privileges and a higher rank in the colony. De Nou and his assistant, Bombiste, know that Bijou and Zelie want to be together and they have a plan to stop them.
"The Red Mark" was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and Manny Grotnik. Harry Bartell played Bijou and William Conrad played Dumail. Also appearing were: Will Geer (M. De Nou), Junius Matthews (Bombiste), Barbara Whiting (Zelie), and Paul Frees (The Commandant). This episode aired on February 21, 1950.
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