May 10-12,  2002

American Cinematheque Presents...

Radio Goes to the Movies -- Crime, Mystery & Suspense!


We’re very pleased to welcome 30 Minutes to Curtain, New Frequency a Theatre of the Mind, and The Los Angeles Radio Drama Network to perform live at the Egyptian Theatre re-creations of classic and modern radio shows.

Members of SPERDVAC get the Cinematheque member ticket price.

Series Compiled by Barry Gerber and Dennis Bartok with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Programs Notes: Barry Gerber

Special Thanks: Barbara Watkins and Bobb Lynes/30 Minutes to Curtain; Matt Johnson and James Napoli/New Frequency a Theatre of the Mind; Tony Palermo/Los Angeles Radio Drama Network; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Michael Schlesinger /COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Cathye Clark/PARAMOUNT PICTURES REPERTORY; Joe Dante.


Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $8 general admission unless noted otherwise.



SCHEDULE (by series)

SCHEDULE (by date)







Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

"I am the Whistler and I know many things for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak." – from the CBS radio show "The Whistler"

Return with us to those thrilling days of yesteryear as the American Cinematheque presents live re-creations of classic and newly written radio programs accompanied by screenings of the films associated with them!

The twenty or so years between the mid-1930’s and mid-1950’s is often called the "Golden Age of American radio." Before television lured away their audience, radio variety, drama and comedy programs flourished and entertained millions. Radio challenged and fed the imagination. Its writers, actors, musicians, sound effects personnel, and engineers transported listeners to the most exciting and fantastic places with nothing more than words and sounds. Radio’s golden age was also an important time for American film: radio and film grew up together and influenced each other in countless ways borrowing stories and plot lines from each other. (Numerous critics have noted the influence of Orson Welles’ pioneering work in radio on his classics CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS.) Radio Goes to the Movies explores the symbiotic relationship between these two giant American entertainment mediums with screenings of SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, THE WHISTLER, HE WALKED BY NIGHT and THE MALTESE FALCON along with presentations of radio shows connected with them.

Click here for photos and more information about the radio re-creations!


Friday, May 10 - 7:30 PM

SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, 1948, Paramount, 89 min. Dir. Anatole Litvak. Lucille Fletcher’s Sorry, Wrong Number, first broadcast on radio’s Suspense anthology series in 1943, is the story of a bedridden invalid terrorized after accidentally overhearing a murder plot on the telephone. The program was so popular it was repeated seven times over the 20 year run of Suspense. The movie, which expands significantly on the radio program’s plot with interesting fore and backstory elements, stars Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster and Ann Richards.

Prior to the screening there will be a live presentation of "Sorry, Wrong Number" Radio Play recreated by 30 Minutes to Curtain, a Los Angeles based live radio drama group! (Approx. 30 min. in length.)



Saturday, May 11

10:30 AM Historic Egyptian Theatre Tour




Saturday, May 11 - 2:00 PM

THE WHISTLER, 1944, Columbia, 59 min. Dir. William Castle. The Whistler was CBS Radio’s attempt to recapture the spirit of its highly successful 1930’s Shadow radio programs. It opened each week with a mysterious whistled tune followed by "I am the Whistler and I know many things for I walk by night …" Eight popular Whistler films were produced. The first of these, shown here, starred Richard Dix, Gloria Stuart (of TITANIC fame) and J. Carroll Naish, and was directed by B-movie master William Castle (THE TINGLER). Film historian Leonard Maltin has hailed the Whistler movies as "One of the most unusual -- and one of the best -- mystery series of the 30’s and 40’s."

Prior to the screening there will be a live presentation of an original 1940’s "The Whistler" Radio play by New Frequency a Theater of the Mind, a group that is at home with both classic and modern radio genres!! (Approx. 30 min. in length.)



Saturday, May 11 - 6:30 PM

HE WALKED BY NIGHT, 1948, 79 min. Dir. Alfred Werker (and Anthony Mann, uncredited). Jack Webb, a major force in the creation of the radio, television and movie franchise Dragnet, first found success on radio from 1946 to 1949 as a hardboiled wise guy in Pat Novak for Hire, a noirish over-the-top private eye program with touches of what can only be called "pre-beatnik atmosphere." Webb transitioned from the tough, but more or less playful Pat Novak to Dragnet’s stoic Joe Friday in a few months. Key to this change was his relatively minor role in the film HE WALKED BY NIGHT, a gripping, semi-documentary style noir starring Richard Basehart and Scott Brady that contained all of the elements of Dragnet right down to the famous "This story is true…. Only the names were changed to protect the innocent." On June 3, 1949, Dragnet premiered on NBC radio.

Prior to the screening there will be a live presentation of an original "Pat Novak for Hire" Radio play by 30 Minutes to Curtain!! (Approx. 30 min. in length.)

Discussion following screening with entertainment historian Michael J. Hayde and Jack Webb associates Herb Ellis, Art Gilmore and Herm Saunders. Michael J. Hayde will also be signing his book My Name’s Friday in the Egyptian Theatre lobby.



Sunday, May 12 - 5:00 PM

THE MALTESE FALCON, 1941, Warner Bros., 100 min. Dir. John Huston.

Based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, this classic mystery gives life to Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) and a masterfully drawn group of characters involved in a dangerous and double-crossing hunt for a bejeweled golden falcon statue. The first-rate cast includes Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, and Huston’s father, Walter.

Following the screening there will be a presentation of a new, original radio play written and directed by Tony Palermo, "Rick Lowell, Private Eye: The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of," inspired by THE MALTESE FALCON!! Here, Rick searches for the Maltese Falcon movie-prop and runs into Nazi agents, crooked dames, snooty art dealers, actors playing English detectives, and dangerous gangsters. (Approx. 45 min. in length.) Following Rick Lowell, two lucky members of the audience will win the Maltese Falcon …!