31 Days of Halloween – 027: Three Skeleton Key Starring Vincent Price

October marches on, and so does our countdown to All Hallows Eve. This year, rather than trying to do a full 31 film reviews or something truly time-consuming like that, most of what I’m going to be posting are favorite trailers, short films, some full-length movies, and other items just to kind of help get everyone in the spirit of what really is one of my favorite holidays.

Those of you who have been following this blog for awhile now will know that Vincent Price holds a special place in my heart. Of course, if you’ve been following along, you also know that I have a special love for Old Time Radio shows. Today those loves come together as I spotlight one of my all-time favorite shows.

Three Skeleton Key” originated as a short story written by French author George G. Toudouze. It first appeared in English in the January 1937 issue of Esquire magazine. The story concerns three men who inhabit and tend a lighthouse on an island off the coast of French Guiana. One night, an abandoned ship, which has been overrun by thousands of ferocious rats, wrecks on the island. From that point on, the lighthouse, which has meant life for so many, becomes a deathtrap for the three men.

The short story was adapted for the radio by James Poe, and was first broadcast on the anthology series Escape in 1949. It was so popular that it was performed again (these were actual re-performances, not simply rebroadcasts) in 1950 and 1953. It was also performed on the series Suspense at least twice, once in 1956, and another time in 1958. Each of these performances had different casts, but three of them, the 1950 Escape broadcast and the two Suspense performances featured Mr. Price in the starring role.

The version that I’m presenting below is my personal favorite, the March 17, 1950 Escape broadcast.

Also, for those interested in reading the original short story, it’s available in .pdf format here. And, of course, for more Golden Age of Radio goodness, just check back here every week for Old Time Radio Thursday.


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