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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Charles H, Feb 5, 2008.
Any word when the third--and apparently final--volume of SUSPENSE will be released?
Only the first two volumes are showing at Infiinity Entertainment's web site:
Suspense: The Lost Episodes: Collection 1 (4DVD) 617742200294 IEG 2002 $39.98 7/24/2007
Suspense: The Lost Episodes: Collection 2 (4DVD) 617742200898 IEG 2008 $39.95 10/30/2007
I must be strange, but I absolutely love this show. I know that it is a little creaky and primitive, but it adds to the charm. I am really hoping that they release the last volume. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one watching it.
If you want to watch something that's really "creaky and primitive," may I suggest "Lights Out," an early live TV adaptation of a popular radio show. By comparison, "Suspense" seems absolutely "big budget" (though I know that it's not). Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much that was saved from "Lights Out," though Alpha has released a few episodes.
The fascinating thing about the early SUSPENSE shows in 1949, they were virtually inventing the wheel....or at the very least, waiting for Lucy to invent filmed tv. The staging is so awkward that they have two characters sitting on a a sofa and filling the same shot in order to divert the viewer's attention from the wobbly set. When one of the characters goes to answer the door, there's a pathetic pre-steadicam tracking shot that virtually decapitates the remaining character. Because of budget cutbacks, contemporary shows are using closeups to circumvent location work and the need for extras. My wife calls the SUSPENSE and TALES OF TOMORROW shows that I have shown her "Fractured Fairy Tales," but in the context of the times, they are certainly ambitious.
Absolutely, Charles. It amazes me when I watch these shows knowing the incredible difficulties that the technical personnel must have gone through to get these shows on the air. They are really fascinating to watch, from both entertainment and historical points of view.
I zipped through both sets rather quickly. Fascinating little artifacts. I'm particularly pleased that the commercials were included, which adds greatly to the historical context. Also fun to spot so many familiar faces in the casts, often in small roles. I'm sure I spotted Joseph Campanella several times in tiny, unbilled bits. Also surprised to see Khigh ("Wo Fat") Dhiegh in a miniscule role as a newstand operator. The episodes can be awfully creaky at times, and some fall totally flat, but they still make for very intriguing viewing, in their peculiar, almost semi-surreal datedness.
My favorite episode whose name escapes me at the moment is now going to be an annual event at my house on New Year's Eve. It concerns a brow beaten postal worker who has to wait on his wife hand and foot, even though she is faking her illness. There is a wild New Year's Eve party going on in the building upstairs, and the man finally decides to poison his wife, because he just couldn't take it any more. He puts the poison in her drink, and meanwhile some girls from across the street decide to start making crank phone calls, and it all goes downhill for him from there. I don't know why I liked this one so much, but it really made me laugh. It also had Robert Emhardt in it, who seems to be in every other episode.
Actually, that was probably my favorite episode as well. It was titled "Telephone Call." And speaking of early bit parts, a very young Nita Talbot appeared as one of the partygoers in that one.
Thanks for coming up with the title Bert!
Thought I'd give this thread a bump. Both volumes of Suspense are selling at Buy.com for $11.99. Some other Infinity titles are also on sale, like Man With a Camera ($14.99) and Dangerous Assignment ($17.99.) Substantial savings, even better than the presumed-upcoming sale at Deep Discount.
Speaking of Suspense, what ever happened to the release of the third volume? I really hope that they haven't abandoned it because of poor sales.
Thanks for the "heads up" on this. They also have a few other Infinity titles on sale like "The Real McCoys" for $17.99 per season and the complete "Jim Bowie" collection for $23.99. Amazed that the "Suspense" sets are priced that low.
I really hope that we get that 3rd set as well. I know one of the problems Infinity was having with Man with a Camera was that they couldn't get stores to stock it, limiting sales to online orders. I wonder if they are having the same problem with Suspense. I've never bought a DVD in a store in my life so I'm out of the loop on this but I would imagine that for a lot of people that's the only way they buy. Without store exposure, these older, niche releases won't do well and subsequent volumes may be in jeopardy.
Though I suppose it's possible somewhere, I don't think that I've ever seen an Infinity Entertainment Group release or, for that matter, their predecessor Critics Choice at a brick & mortar store. Even their web site suggests that their products are only being sold at Deep Discount and Amazon (not true as other online stores carry their releases).
Infinity Entertainment Group
But yes, you are absolutely right, there is a portion of the market for older series who don't use computers, and consequently never even become aware about some of these releases, as well as those who use computers but won't use internet stores. I've often thought that if I ever had the capital, I'd offer some of these classic series through mail order and advertise them in the AARP publications or other niche publications.
Thanks docdoowop - Suspense is a great show and that's a fantastic price. I haven't seen Man With a Camera (I don't even remember it when it was broadcasted) but I've also really been enjoying revisiting Dangerous Assignment. Another similar - and immensely fun - program is Passport to Danger.
Mike, you might want to check out Mill Creek's upcoming "Spies & Lies." It has selected episodes from both "Dangerous Assignment" and "Passport to Danger" as well as selected episodes from other spy/espionage/mystery series from the 1950s. It's public domain, so expect that quality level, but the price is right and ought to be a fun watch. Details here:
Mill Creek Details Page
Biff Baker U.S.A.!!
I never thought I'd see these again!
For me, "Biff Baker" plays like an espionage version of "Mr. & Mrs. North," i.e., a husband & wife team getting involved in all sorts of mystery & intrigue. "Foreign Intrigue," in my humble opinion, is one of the great unheralded series of the early 1950s. Though obviously done on a low budget, the stories always seem to draw me in and the European locations and actors (save the leads who are American) really add a measure of authenticity to the post-World War II/Cold War atmosphere of the series.
Maybe they're timing it as a Halloween release? Either that, or it's not looking good.