The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, Volume 1 is a collection of the only known episodes to exist from its run on both NBC and CBS radio. Originally called "The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe," the private eye series, based on the character and books created by Raymond Chandler, made its debut on the NBC radio network on June 17, 1947, with Van Heflin in the role of Marlowe. The first episode adapted Chandler's short story "Red Wind."
Unable to find an audience on NBC, the series aired it's last episode for the network on September 9, 1947, barely three months after its debut. The series was picked up in 1948 by the CBS radio network, renamed simply "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe," recast with Gerald Mohr as Marlowe, and began a 114-episode run that, by 1949, attracted the largest audience in radio. The new CBS series also began with an adaptation of Chandler's "Red Wind," although with a different script than the NBC version. Both episodes are included in this volume.
Mohr played Marlowe on all but one of the CBS shows, where he was replaced by William Conrad for the episode entitled "The Anniversary Gift" which is included in volume two. Conrad went on to play Matt Dillon on CBS radio's "Gunsmoke" which became the longest running radio show in history.
(PUBLISHER'S NOTE: As with all live cast recordings of old time radio broadcasts, some shows may contain commercials for products and services of the era. In some cases, unlike radio of today, there may be commercials for tobacco and alcoholic products. To maintain the charm of these recordings and to faithfully reproduce the listening experience, we have left the programming intact, including the commercials. Additionally, because live radio performances were recorded directly to acetate records for archival purposes, the sound quality may differ from episode to episode based on the care given to their preservation over the last 60 years.)
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The quality of these recordings is very good and stands the test of time. Originally broadcast in USA in the 1950's, it's a window on a previous generation. The adverts are as insightful as the programmes themselves, for instance when a broadcast scheduled for the same time the following day is for a concert of classical music. Would that happen now? Perhaps not! And this is in an era with little or no television to compete with CBS! The acting is competent and linking music is tolerable: many broadcasts of this period have some pretty irritating musical noise between scenes, but that's not the case here. You'll notice that there are a huge number of episodes on offer in this compilation, and I have to admit that I've not got past the half way mark. A bit of a plot spoiler here: all the plots are the same! Baddy has gun, baddy shoots an unattractive somebody else. Marlow comes along, shoots baddy dead. End of story. There's a lot of gratuitous shooting, in fact it's omnipresent, and it does tire after a while. Great for my insomnia though, and you don't have rewind when you wake later, because as I say, all the plots are virtally identical! Harmless good fun, not to be taken seriously.
"Poor Audio Quality"
Don't repeat the same story and check the quality of the recording.
The narration was fine when you could hear it.
I wouldn't put in more than one copy of a story. I think the first story repeated at least twice.
I was listening to these in my car and the audio quality was so poor I couldn't understand what was being said. This one was a waste of time and I am a fan of Radio Drama.
"Love old time radio"
Great series. Fun to listen to. Original 1940's short ads. Descriptive storyline and stage sounds.
"Addictive and fun, but questionable sound quality"
I never thought I could get addicted to an audio drama, but Philip Marlowe is hard to resist. He's charming, witty, the cast is fantastic and the stories short and entertaining. The only drawback I've noticed, and also mentioned in another review, is the questionable audio quality. Some episodes are outright shocking in their poor quality (hissing/popping, muddled voices, low volume); details that are easily addressed with modern software. I've heard cleaner versions from digital library downloads and streaming sites. Still, it's rather nice to have available without needing Internet. I'd definitely recommend this.
"Marlowe is the man."
Philip Marlowe Philosopher, ladies man, Private detective. He was all that during his radio run. The man also got beat up lot. Some of his clients ended up dead or guilty of a crime or sometimes both. But he did his job well. I liked this show and I plan to listen to some more.
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