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November 16, 2008



"Pass to Berlin" is another entertaining example of a radio script making the rounds of different programs. The script was done earlier as "Leona's Room" with Vincent Price for the Philip Morris Playhouse.


I listened to "Leona's Room" and you are right, it is, more or less, the same story. I liked their show, but all of the ads for Phillip Morris gave me a cigarette hangover.


I liked this one, but I was confused by one part of the ending.


Where did all of the MPs show up from at the end? They seemed to be waiting for the killer as he attempted to escape the theater. At first I thought that The Great Stanley had done some kind of sting operation to entrap the killer, but he had just told his wife that he had to leave for a while that night. Presumably as part of his plan to get his hands on the stolen penicillin.


Thanks, Rob, for calling "Leona's Room" to my attention. It was just as good as Pass to Berlin, imo. Coincidentally, by listening to it, I was able to finally answer my question about the (seemingly) sudden appearance of the MPs in Pass to Berlin. In both episodes the killer is afraid that he will be noticed by an usher/MP if he leaves during the middle of an act. By sitting down to wait he allows time for the authorities to arrive.

It's interesting to listen to the differences between the two shows. I think the opening scene in "Leona" is stronger. I think the mortician character in "Berlin" is much more interesting; was that Paul Frees? Vincent Price was more charismatic, but Stacy Harris was more nuanced. The last scene in "Leona" was easier to understand, but the last line of dialog in "Berlin" was stronger.

p.s. "Call for Philip Morris!" My God, that has to be the most annoying advertisement I've ever heard. It's positively ear-splitting. In hindsight "You'll be glad tomorrow that you smoked Phillip Morris today!" is darkly humorous. It's astounding the way tobacco companies used to advertise themselves.

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