Thursday, January 06, 2011

Radio review – BP#29 - “There Shall be No Night” (1953) **

Robert Sherwood isn’t a name one hears a lot nowadays but in his day he was the Man – not only was he a top playwright (The Petrified Forest helped popularise the people-trapped-in-a-hostage-situation genre), he was a gun screenwriter and wrote scripts for FDR. He picked up the Pultizer for this effort, which is set in Finland during the Russian invasion of World War Two – an event many creative leftists choose to ignore, pretending that Russia wasn’t Germany’s ally from 1939 to 1941. To be honest it’s not much of a play – the same old war story about decent liberals stuck in a tough situation when war arrives; there's a husband and wife and a kid who gets caught up in it all. Maybe it seemed fresher in 1940 – I can’t imagine the story ever did, but the "ripped from the headlines" Finland setting. It also suffers from American actors pretending to be Finns. It’s the sort of work you admire more in theory (eg “Good on you, Sherwood, sticking up for the Finns”) than actually watching/listening to it. The husband and wife team of Fredrick March and Florence Eldridge play the leads.

No comments: