Iit was one of the most famous radio shows of its day - a weekly ration of gruesome chills, presided over by Raymond, a drooling ghoul of a narrator who specialized in macabre puns, and could barely keep the insane laughter out of his voice. Each show began with an interminable creak of a heavy door, admitting you to . . . the INNER SANCTUM.
Which, apparently, had a full bar:
No Raymond. No underground lair. No monologue. instead we have an old guy talking to a nervous femme fatale.
Some looks are timeless; some are very forties; she hits both like an arrow through the apple on the head of William Tell's son.
Naturally, she's fascinated by talking to the Strange Old Man:
He starts to tell her a story, though - and then we dissolve? To another story? About other people? What? You think, with dismay, that the "Inner Sanctum" has somehow become "The Mysterious Traveller," another suspense show of the time, where an unnamed passenger related tales of misdeeds and evil.
But no. It all comes together. Takes a while to get there; the movie's just a little over an hour, and could be boiled down into a nice little 50s TV noir.
Everyone connected to the project probably knew it was just something to put on the bill between the newsreel and the A feature. They don't exactly convince you they're trying to make it something better. But they don't slugh off, either. Top ten 100 Mysteries? My, no. Top 25? Probably.
But we've 30+ to go, don't we.