Escape, considered to have been the best of all radio adventure shows, made the odd choice of premiering with a story about a doomed nightclub ventriloquist. Instead of their usual practice of basing episodes on short stories, the series began with an adaptation of a film.
Escape's "Dead of Night" aired on March 21, 1947, and was based on a segment from the British horror classic Dead of Night (1945). It was an ambitious choice of material, and Escape's version failed to capture the essential creepiness of the film. (For more information about the radio version click here.)
Dead of Night should be seen in its entirety, but the segment that Escape adapted can be seen on YouTube.com. (See below) This story, one of four, appears in the latter half of the film.
Michael Redgrave played Maxwell Frere, the ventriloquist who descends into madness. Dead of Night was the inspiration for other stories of this kind that came later, but Redgrave's performance will never be outdone.