arson.com by Ed S.
Old-time radio programs
Greer sounds great on the radio
Greer took part in many radio broadcasts in the 1940's,
reprising some of her own movie roles and performing new
ones. She also appeared on a number of "variety" shows
on the radio, hosted by such stars as Edgar Bergen and
many of these broadcasts appear to be derived directly
from their movie version, as if the radio adapter had merely gone
through the movie's shooting script with a highlighting
marker. These copycat
versions include "Mrs. Miniver", "Random Harvest", and
But there are some exceptions.
"Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
This broadcast took place on
October 26, 1941, and costars Basil Rathbone as Mr.
Chipping. It was part of "Gulf Screen Guild Theatre"
hosted by Roger Pryor.
No highlighter was used here.
The production is wonderfully original.
The adapters (Charles Taswell and Hector Shevney (sp?))
have taken the "Kathy" portion of the original script
and re-arranged and compressed it to fit it into a
half-hour radio slot. They've done a brilliant job,
creating a version that is fresh and delightful to
listen to even if you've memorized the movie version.
Rathbone is a bit "softer" than Donat was in the movie, and
the radio-Kathy is a bit harder-edged, but this is well
This broadcast is from
February 8, 1944, costars Ronald Colman and was
written by Arch Oboler. Colman hosted a weekly series of
Tuesday broadcasts entitled "Everything for the Boys,"
meaning the boys that are fighting in the war.
You can't get much better than Greer and Ronnie.
I wasn't familiar with this story, so it's been a delight
to listen to it over and over again.
It was broadcast on the day after Greer received
an Oscar® nomination for "Madame Curie". It features
some excellent but anonymous character actors. The
woman playing "Katherine" has a very attractive voice
and the actor playing brother "Tom" is terrific.
"The African Queen"
Greer performs with Humphrey Bogart on December 15,
1952, and she is absolutely wonderful. She is
delightfully prim, the sound effects are great, and Zsa
Zsa Gabor hilariously mispronounces "delicate" during a
I would love to have seen Greer in the movie
This really is a fabulous production.
It's Bogey's show all the way, though: he knows
it like the back of his hand and elicits lots of laughs
from the studio audience. (He makes a few slips though.)
We get to hear commercials from the likes of Zsa Zsa
Gabor, and even Greer mentions Lux soap one time.
And Greer delivers some delicious "Oh"'s: after Bogey
tells her about the Louisa's six-pound guns, and
when he's explaining how the boiler leaks steam.
"My Favourite Wife"
This was broadcast on November 12, 1945,
and costars Greer's then-husband Richard Ney.
This is a very dated comedy, and I find it chiefly
amusing for the several moments when Greer utters a line
in an uncharacteristically sultry manner. (Hubba hubba,
as they used to say back then.) Mr. Ney has apparently
not yet mastered the concept of waiting for the studio
audience's laughter to subside before delivering his
This was broadcast on November 29, 1948, and costars Van
Heflin, who has a bit of a British accent.
This one is very good. Both Greer and Van are very
subdued and their characters are in obvious torment.