Wild Oranges is a novella by Joseph Hergesheimer that was first published in 1918 and is best remembered as a 1924 silent film by King Vidor. Escape, overall, did a good job of condensing this story for radio, but the tension of the novella is lost by the way in which the two main characters fall in love so quickly.
The story revolves around a man named John Woolfolk, who has spent twelve years aimlessly sailing his yacht around the world with his first mate, Halvard. He has chosen a life of wandering the seas to escape the memory of his young wife's untimely death.
When they land the yacht in an isolated spot on the Georgia coast, Woolfolk becomes curious about the people who live in the run-down mansion nearby. He is cold at first, but slowly, Woolfolk becomes attracted to Millie, the daughter of an emotionally-broken recluse. The problem is that their house servant, Nicholas, who is a homicidal maniac wanted by the police, also loves Millie.
Escape presented their adaptation twice. The second presentation, starring Van Heflin as John Woolfolk, is better than the first.
"Wild Oranges" was adapted for radio by John Dunkel. William N. Robson produced and Richard Sanville directed. Paul Frees played John Woolfolk and Jeannette Nolan played Millie Stope. Also appearing were William Conrad, Jack Kruschen, and Sherry Hall. This episode aired on December 17, 1947.
Escape presented this story again on September 28, 1949. Van Heflin starred. Gordon T. Hughes produced and directed. Also appearing were Betty Lou Gerson, William Conrad, Edmund MacDonald, and Wilms Herbert.
(Image from the film Wild Oranges)