1950-05-04 The Suicide

The Suicide is a repeated script that was originally presented on 1945-02-15 with the title Suicide Note. The last time a Broadway-like venue was used was for 1947-07-31 Bright New Star and a non-Cole script 1947-11-13 Too Many Angels were in similar settings of failed plays. This time, a handwritten page of draft dialogue from a very bad play was cut to look like a suicide note. Cole pulls the ol' life-insurance-doesn't-pay-for-suicides routine out of his back pocket. This is an average episode with a predictable plot, but generally well-executed.

ADC continuity notes (notes for 1945-02-15 Suicide Note are the same)...
After his play in which his wife starred and which was produced by her boyfriend fails an author is supposedly a suicide, having jumped from his hotel window while his wife was in the lobby talking with some people. He left a corny suicide note which Casey thinks was from a cut scene of his play. Casey gets the dead man's lawyer to tell the widow that he left very little money and that she forfeits the insurance because death was by suicide, As he thought she would, she goes to see the boyfriend and forces him to write a confession of murder after which she plans to kill him and make that too look like suicide; the police break in before she can complete her plans.

Every time I think of a failed Broadway play, I think of Mel Brooks' The Producers.

- Carl Ashby was the author of the play, a businessman who decided to try his hand at writing.
- Lee Gorman is the producer of the play, who decides to close the play after one night; according to Ann Williams, he is a "beautiful hunk of man."
- Nedra Millard is the star of the play... "Nedra" backwards is "Arden." Could Cole have had Eve Arden in mind? Nedra is Ashby's wife. Cole could have been stuck for a name. The actress-singer Nedra Volz was not active in this era https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nedra_Volz but Cole may have heard of her from her big band singing career in the Midwest. She was not well-known.
- Ben Cartwright is Ashby's lawyer (no, not Ben from the TV show of years later).

4:10 Ethelbert says to them "Say, I didn't see you two last night. Where was you?" He says that Ashby is a regular at the Blue Note.

5:40 Casey is told that Ashby has committed suicide. 6:00 Logan says it's an open and shut case. 7:25 Nedra seems to have a perfect alibi.

7:50 Casey sees the suicide note, and the top of the page has been torn off, and the note is not signed. 8:40 He's really suspicious about it.

10:40 Nedra uses almost the same words "all of us make mistakes, don't we... big ones..." as Gorman did at 1:53 "one of those big mistakes we make at one time or another." The "mistakes" line is used at the end about a sports bet Casey makes.

11:15 Casey explains it all to Logan: Nedra married Carl for his money, but she continued to be interested in Lee. They figured a way to get rid of Carl. Carl wanted to write a play, and Nedra and Lee helped him in such a way to ensure it was a flop. The play dealt with a suicide, so they concocted a way for him to draft in longhand some dialogue that would fit neatly near the center of a page that could be contrived to be a suicide note once they trim the paper to remove the various aspects of character identification and stage direction. The ridicule about the play would give reason to the suicide. 13:21 Casey explains that Lee had a key to the apartment and pushed Carl out the window, and then returned to the post-show event by way of the freight elevator.

14:00 Logan explains that the insurance policy Carl had was less than a year old, and would be void if death was by suicide. Logan says that Carl's lawyer says he was not as wealthy as believed. Casey believes that the voided insurance policy was actually part of the plan so no one would suspect Nedra of the murder because there was no financial incentive for it. Casey and the lawyer, Ben Cartwright, meet. The lawyer agrees, at Casey's urging, to tell Nedra that Carl was only worth $10,000 ($110,000 in 2020 dollars) and not $500,000 ($5.5 million in 2020 dollars).

18:48 Nedra meets Lee... neither of them knew about the insurance policy being voided. Now, she will turn on Lee and make it clear that Lee murdered him. 20:40 There's a gun in the room and Nedra has it as she says to Lee: "This gun will tell you what I mean" as she threatens to kill him unless he writes a confession that he was behind everything. Before she has a chance to shoot him, 21:27 Logan shoots the gun from her hand. Casey and Logan had rigged a Dictaphone to record everything they said about the murder. An ad for a 1950 Dictaphone product is at http://file.vintageadbrowser.com/n0kb0wqt4x8wgm.jpg The inventor of the core technology for the first Dictaphones was Alexander Graham Bell.

At the close of the episode, Casey mentions he bet Logan that the Red Sox would win today. They lost, Casey reports. And in real life, they lost, too, 5-4 with Cleveland's Bob Lemon beating the BoSox Mel Parnell. It was a day game, and it was over at about 4:30, they had time to adjust the script in any manner needed to make whatever Casey said be true. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS195005040.shtml  This line was newly added to this script because the original performance of this script was in February of 1945, two months before the baseball season would begin. This adds again to the question as to the locale of Casey, Boston or New York. If it was Boston, Casey would be unhappy if they lost. In New York, the saying has always been "I root for only two baseball teams, the Yankees and whoever is playing the Red Sox."

The AFRS closing is music after the Blue Note epilogue and then "This adventure of Crime Photographer starring Staat [sic] Cotsworth as Casey, came to you through the worldwide facilities of the United States Armed Forces Radio Service, the voice of information and education."

Casey 50-05-04 339 The Suicide AFRS UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://app.degoo.com/share/kTA9PhPtwoabtN
hubiC http://ovh.to/ThtNpit

There were no newspaper clippings related to this episode.

This news item was available, however. The 2020 value of Cole's payments were $275,000. It did not last much longer. Cole was not able to adjust to television writing, and did not have any other outlets for his work. More details in an upcoming post, some of it tragic.

1950-05-04 Atmore AL Advance
Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 7 1950-141