This radio dramatization of the classic movie, which also starred Nelson Eddy, originally aired on September 13, 1943. The Lux Radio Theatre was one of radio's most popular series, attracting Hollywood's top stars and boasting a lavish budget. It began in 1934 by featuring dramas from Broadway, but there was not enough material to support the show. In an attempt to reverse the slipping ratings, the show was moved to Hollywood in 1936, where there was plenty of material and talent. In fact, filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille often served as the host.More
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A Historical Curiosity
The radio plays are very short, so I didn't make too much of a commitment to this, but time may be better spent on an unabridged version of the novel.
Lux Radio Theatre productions are oddities anyway - radio versions of big films (of the time) with the original stars, complete with adverts for Lux soap and endorsements by the film's female stars. They tend to sacrifice the clarity of the story as they're so brief - more like an edited highlights than a full story. This one is odder than most, however, as it includes a number of songs, which further reduces the time available for telling the story.
Well, you do need a singer, so Nelson Eddy is fine in this, although his acting is very limited. Basil Rathbone is at his scenery chewing peak, which suits the production values of Lux, but one definitely would not want to spend too much time with either. And as for Christine's soprano ....
Listen to this as a curiosity, read the unabridged novel.
This Lux production was produced during WW2, and has some interesting references to wartime America (Ida Lupino's advice on hairpins, for instance).