Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 275 – Escape – Crossing Paris

Marcel Ayme Every so often while listening to various crime radio episodes, I come across one that just really holds my attention and surprises me with a fuller, denser episode that makes listening to it a real pleasure. Such was the case when I listened to an episode of Escape called “Crossing Paris” from 1950. It is a strongly character driven story that wasn’t apparently originally intended as a crime-oriented piece, but more fanciful somewhat comedic work of fiction.

The episode was adapted from a short story by an early to mid-twentieth century French writer – Marcel Ayme. The author had a huge following and is well-loved in France today for his stories even though his politics were very anti-French. Much of his work is often classified as Fantasy though the stories are only just so. The fictional story this radio play is based on was actually called La Traversée de Paris when published and was turned into a film of the same name but distributed in the United States as Four Bags Full in 1956 with emphasis on the comedic aspect of the story. The Escape radio version took a more serious tone but with a bit of whimsy also. What struck me about this drama is how careful the dialogue is in driving the story forward along with the strong performances especially by William Conrad as the artistic painter.

If you are a fan of Marcel Ayme’s fiction, you might check out The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls, a delightful French fantasy story that is perhaps his best.

Music under is by Oscar Schuster.

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