In "The Black Path of Fear," a woman tries to escape her gangster husband by running away to Cuba with her new love. Before their first night in Havana is through, she is knifed and her lover is framed for the murder. The story is taken from the 1944 Cornell Woolrich novel The Black Path of Fear, the fifth in Woolrich's Black series.
As the episode opens, Bill Scott and Eve Spinelli are taking a carriage ride through Havana. They appear to be a couple of carefree tourists, but their happiness is shadowed by their fear of Eve's husband. It hadn't taken Mr. Spinelli long to find out where his wife and her chaffeur had gone.
The carriage driver deposits them at the entrance of a popular nightclub called "Sloppy Joe's," and they go in for a drink. When a photographer takes a souvenir photograph of them, Eve is stabbed from behind. The police blame Bill, but he is innocent. He tells the police that the murder weapon wasn't his knife, but the more Bill tries to prove that, the worse he makes it look for himself. How can Bill Scott prove to the police he was framed? With some unexpected help from a prostitute named Midnight, he may have a chance.
Suspense's version abbreviates the novel by leaving out the opium fiends, sinister Chinese smugglers, and violent ending, but it is still a good adaptation. The Black Path of Fear was also adapted for the premier episode of the Suspense television show in 1949, but unfortunately, that episode is not currently available.The television version aired under the title of "Revenge."
The 1946 film noir The Chase, starring Robert Cummings, was loosely-based on The Black Path of Fear.
"The Black Path of Fear" was adapted for Suspense by Robert Tallman and was produced/directed by William Spier. Brian Donlevy starred. Also appearing were Lurene Tuttle, Hans Conried, Wally Maher, and John McIntire. This episode aired on August 31, 1944.
Suspense presented this story again two years later with Cary Grant in the lead role. Also appearing were Cathy Lewis, Elliott Lewis, and Wally Maher. William Spier produced/directed. This episode aired on March 7, 1946. (The sound quality of this episode is not the best.)
(Image from 1946 Avon edition)