1949-1953 / 2007
Cue the spooky organ music! Infinity Entertainment is releasing a four-disc, 20-episode set of “Suspense,” a live CBS television show that’s all but forgotten today, despite running for several years in the Forties and Fifties.
Having originated from the radio show of the same name, “Suspense” presented a new half-hour mystery each week, only with the added benefit of visuals. Half the appeal here is seeing some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in early credits, including Paul Newman, Charlton Heston and Jack Lemmon.
The episode “The Brush Off” gives you the one-two punch of Leslie Nielsen (later a miner of comedy gold in “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” franchise) and George Reeves (TV’s “Superman”). The former is an out-of-work actor who overhears a plot to murder the latter. When Nielsen tries to warn him and the authorities, no one believes him. “Aw, nuts!” says Nielsen. It all leads to a “surprise” ending you’ll see a mile away, but enjoy out of sheer nostalgia.
The video quality isn’t pristine, but I strongly suspect it never was to begin with. What’s really a kick is to see these shows at all, plus with their original live commercial breaks, all three here from Auto-Lite, plugging its batteries and spark plugs with crudely animated cartoons. “You’re always right with Auto-Lite!”