Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: A Murderous Revision
Date: Dec 03 1951

CAST:

The Suspense Team:
HARLOW WILCOX, commercial spokesman
ANNOUNCER
HAP
OPERATOR (1 line)
CBS ANNOUNCER (1 line)

The Characters:
CHRIS TURNER, insane radio writer
KEN AVERY, his producer
LOIS, Ken's daughter
HANK, a friend of Chris'
HARRIET, another friend of Chris'
DORIS (3 lines)
GEORGE (3 lines)

NOTE: SUSPENSE broadcast a different, abbreviated version of this play on July 28, 1957 as "Murder On Mike."

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME

WILCOX:

Auto-Lite and its ninety-six thousand dealers present ...

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE! Tonight Auto-Lite presents, transcribed, "A Murderous Revision," the story about a man who made a recording of a violent death -- starring Mr. Richard Widmark.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

WILCOX:

Hiya, Hap! Meet the team!

HAP:

Where?

WILCOX:

Why, right under your car's hood, Hap. The Auto-Lite electrical system -- the family team of precision-made units including the coil, distributor, starting motor and the other parts that make up the complete Auto-Lite electrical system -- used as original factory equipment on many leading makes of our finest cars, trucks and tractors.

HAP:

What does this team do, Harlow?

WILCOX:

Why, Hap, it goes to work for you every time you press the starting switch ...

SOUND:

ENGINE STARTS

WILCOX:

... sound your horn ...

SOUND:

CAR HORN BEEPS TWICE

WILCOX:

... or play your radio.

MUSIC:

INSTRUMENTAL ON CAR RADIO FADES IN AND OUT BRIEFLY

HAP:

The Auto-Lite electrical system does all that, huh, Harlow?

WILCOX:

Right, Hap. Because all its units are related, like a family team, by Auto-Lite engineering design and manufacturing skill, for the smoothest performance money can buy. So, friends, when your Auto-Lite-equipped car needs replacement parts, insist on Auto-Lite original factory parts. Because, from bumper to tail-light, you're always right - with Auto-Lite.

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME

ANNOUNCER:

And now, with "A Murderous Revision," and the performance of Mr. Richard Widmark, Auto-Lite hopes once again to keep you in ...

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

... SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION, THEN OUT

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

KEN:

(BEHIND DOOR) Yeah?

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CHRIS:

What did you want to see me for?

KEN:

Oh, Chris. Come in. Sit down.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, STEPS IN, CHAIR SCRAPES

KEN:

You, uh, get to hear the show Sunday?

CHRIS:

I don't like to listen to the show.

KEN:

Oh? Why not?

CHRIS:

Because I don't, that's all.

KEN:

You missed a good one. I put some zip in that closing scene. I want you to hear it. Got the playback ready. Hand me that record marked Part Two, will you?

SOUND:

RECORD PICKED UP, HANDED OVER ... SLID OUT OF SLEEVE, PLACED ON PLAYER, ET CETERA, DURING FOLLOWING--

KEN:

Thanks. I don't know, Chris. I don't make you come to rehearsals. You don't have to sit in the control room all day. The least you can do is listen to the show at home. Well, listen to this now.

SOUND: RECORD PLAYER STARTS

DORIS:

(FILTER) George -- honest, I didn't mean it, George.

KEN:

(QUIETLY) Get this, Chris, get this!

GEORGE:

(FILTER) Do you mean to say that you didn't really mean it when you told my brother you didn't love him? You forget, Doris, that I heard you, every word, while I was hiding behind the davenport the night my mother was here.

DORIS:

(FILTER) George, I beg you. Don't do this thing. Put down the gun, George.

GEORGE:

(FILTER) Now this is only what you deserve.

SOUND:

BIG, ARTIFICIAL-SOUNDING GUN SHOT

DORIS:

(FILTER) (OVERACTS -- GASPS, SWOONS)

SOUND:

THUMP-THUMP! AS DORIS FALLS TO THE FLOOR

GEORGE:

(FILTER) You tricked me for the last time, Doris. You tricked me for the last time!

SOUND:

CHIMES AND WIND BLOWS ... SORT OF LIKE THE OPENING TO THE 1930S VERSION OF "LIGHTS OUT" ... THEN OUT ABRUPTLY AS RECORD PLAYER IS SWITCHED OFF

CHRIS:

(ANGRY) What did you change it for? What was wrong with the ending the way it was? Why did you change it?!

KEN:

Now, just take it easy, Chris. I'll tell you why I changed it. Because it was wordy and repetitious. It didn't tell the story. The boys upstairs--

CHRIS:

(WITH CONTEMPT) The boys upstairs?! Yeah, that's just what I thought. The boys upstairs. They do everything but breathe for you. Did it ever occur to you that maybe people are wordy and repetitious?

KEN:

Chris, I'm trying to tell you the scene the way you wrote it ...

KEN & CHRIS:

... just didn't play!

CHRIS:

Yeah, that's right. All the trade clichés -- drag 'em out. It didn't live. It didn't play. It didn't make the right goose bumps come out on your left elbow. How did you ever get into this business? Who ever let you into a radio studio?

KEN:

I'll tell you what's wrong with you. What you need's a good psychiatrist.

SOUND:

CHRIS KICKS CHAIR AWAY AND GRABS KEN BY THE THROAT

CHRIS:

Don't you tell me I need a psychiatrist.

SOUND:

SCUFFLE

KEN:

Let go of me. I said, let go!

SOUND:

KEN BREAKS AWAY FROM CHRIS

KEN:

(CATCHES HIS BREATH) Why, you're nuts.

CHRIS:

Now, you listen to me. For two years now I've turned out a murder a week for you. Week in and week out. A murder a week. I eat murder, I talk murder, I dream murder. And for what?! Every time I turn in a decent script, you chop the heart out of it.

KEN:

Your contract's up next week, Chris. You got only one more script to do. Well, write it and get out!

CHRIS:

You'll get better than a script! You'll get everything you deserve! (MOVING OFF) I'm gonna show you what a real murder sounds like!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

CHRIS:

I'm gonna show you if I have to kill you to do it!

SOUND:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT

MUSIC:

BRIDGE ... THEN OUT

CHRIS:

(COOL AND CALM) Good evening. This is a recording of an actual murder. The first, as far as I know. Not written, not rehearsed. But well-planned. It is respectfully dedicated to Mr. Ken Avery, editor and producer of the radio program "Murder, Please."

MUSIC:

FROM A RECORDING, IN BG

CHRIS:

This is my last show, Mr. Avery. I'm delivering it to you in its entirety -- cast, music, everything. The events and persons are absolutely real. It's gonna be a great show, Mr. Avery. You'll hear everything but the climax.

I'm speaking into a microphone concealed in my desk -- concealed with the other recording equipment I've rented for the occasion. The music you hear is coming from a high fidelity phonograph at my side. This program is produced, edited, directed, narrated, engineered and plotted by Christopher Turner, whose only claim to immortality is this single half hour.

And now, Mr. Avery, the leading characters in order of appearance. The murderer -- Christopher Turner. The catalytic agent -- your daughter, Lois. The victim -- yourself.

And now, please to begin.

MUSIC:

RECORDING OUT ... "MURDER, PLEASE" THEME

CHRIS: Murder, Please!

MUSIC:

"MURDER, PLEASE" THEME UP AND OUT

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED ... ONE RING (FROM CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE), THEN ANSWERED

KEN:

(FILTER) Hello?

CHRIS:

Hello, Ken, this is Chris.

KEN:

(FILTER) Aw, now listen, Chris--

CHRIS:

I hate to bother you at home, but I wanted to apologize for the way I acted. Could you drop over to my office right away?

KEN:

(FILTER) Sorry, Chris. No go. I put up with your little insanities for two years now -- temper tantrums, insults, coming in stewed to the gills. Two years of that was plenty.

CHRIS:

I see. You won't change your mind?

KEN:

(FILTER) Not a chance. Maybe you can find somebody more patient than I am. Good luck.

CHRIS:

Thanks, Ken. Thanks a lot.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP

MUSIC:

SNEAK IN RECORDED MUSIC, CONTINUES IN BG

CHRIS:

Lovely opening scene, Mr. Avery, thank you. You did exactly what I wanted you to do. You just threw away your last chance to save your life. Good work -- an excellent performance. Well, if you won't come up to my office by invitation -- which I suspected you wouldn't -- there's still another way. The telephone book.

MUSIC:

GENTLY OUT

CHRIS:

Listen, Mr. Avery. The sound of the flipping pages.

SOUND:

FLIPPING PHONE BOOK PAGES

CHRIS:

Your daughter's phone number.

SOUND:

MORE FLIPPING

CHRIS:

Ah, here we are.

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED ... RINGS TWICE (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE), ANSWERED

LOIS:

(FILTER) Hello.

CHRIS:

Hello, Lois. It's been a long time. Bet you don't even know who this is.

LOIS:

I don't recognize the voice.

CHRIS:

This is Christopher Turner.

LOIS:

Oh, sure, Mr. Turner. How are you?

CHRIS:

Fine, just fine. Well, how do you like living alone?

LOIS:

It's all right, I guess.

CHRIS:

Rather be living with the folks?

LOIS:

No. Kind of independent this way.

CHRIS:

Yeah. How's the writing coming?

LOIS:

Oh, not so good, Mr. Turner. I've written five scripts so far and every one of them has been rejected. I don't know what's the matter.

CHRIS:

Well, the reason I called was, your dad and I had a talk this afternoon about you. He thought maybe I could pass on a few tips.

LOIS:

Oh, I wouldn't want to bother you.

CHRIS:

Oh, now, this isn't an obligation on my part, Lois. I like to help young people. Say, uh, what are you doing this evening?

LOIS:

Well--

CHRIS:

You see, uh-- Here's the point, Lois. This is the only free night I'll have this week. Things are sort of piling up. And, uh, maybe you're doing some little thing with your writing that I could straighten out in an evening.

LOIS:

Well, all right, Mr. Turner.

CHRIS:

Good. You know where my office is?

LOIS:

I don't think so.

CHRIS:

It's right across the street from the broadcasting studios. The brown building. Room Two-Oh-Eight.

LOIS:

I'll be right over.

CHRIS:

Fine, and, uh, bring your scripts with you, huh?

LOIS:

I will. I certainly appreciate this.

CHRIS:

Not at all. Bye.

LOIS:

Bye.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP PHONE

MUSIC:

SNEAK IN RECORDED MUSIC, CONTINUES IN BG

CHRIS:

"I'll be right over." "And bring your scripts with you." "I certainly appreciate this." "Not at all." You see, that's how people talk, Mr. Avery. Now, let's see. What else? Oh, yes. Sound. Drawer opens.

SOUND:

DESK DRAWER OPENS

CHRIS:

Gun taken out.

SOUND:

GUN BUMPS DRAWER AS IT COMES OUT

CHRIS:

Click of breach.

SOUND:

PISTOL BROKEN OPEN

CHRIS:

Whirl of chamber.

SOUND:

CHAMBER WHIRLS

CHRIS:

Bullets inserted in chamber.

SOUND:

BULLETS INSERTED

CHRIS:

Three, four, five and six.

SOUND:

CHAMBER CLOSES ... BOX OF BULLETS PUT AWAY

CHRIS:

Gun in drawer, drawer closed.

SOUND:

GUN BUMPS DRAWER AS IT GOES BACK IN ... DRAWER CLOSES

CHRIS:

And now we must wait--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

CHRIS:

You see, Mr. Avery? Fate is a better dramatist than either of us. Just when things start getting dull, the phone rings.

SOUND:

RECORD PLAYER STOPS ... PHONE RECEIVER UP

CHRIS:

Hello.

HANK:

(FILTER) Hello, Chris. Hank.

CHRIS:

Oh. What's up?

HANK:

I tried your place all night. I tried your sister's place. Finally, I called your office. I wouldn't let myself believe it, but here you are, slaving away for old man Avery again. Say, when are you gonna tell him to go take a flyin' leap?

CHRIS:

I did that just today.

HANK:

No kiddin'?

CHRIS:

Yes.

HANK:

Well, congratulations. From here on in, nothing but bigger and better things.

CHRIS:

Yeah.

HANK:

Say, there's a rip-roaring poker game goin' on over here. Just room for one more sucker. What do you say?

CHRIS:

No, I can't tonight. I'm doing my last show.

HANK:

Aw, forget it for one night, why don't yuh? Live a little!

CHRIS:

Thanks, Hank. But I can't.

HANK:

I'm coming over and get you away from that typewriter if I have to use force.

CHRIS:

No, I can't, Hank. The show's Sunday.

HANK:

Look, I got a script due tomorrow. You don't see me knockin' myself out. Let 'em wait.

CHRIS:

Listen, Hank. You can't come over here. (POINTED) Don't you get it?

HANK:

(SLOWLY) Oh. Oh, I'm sorry, Chris. Honest. If I'd suspected--Sure thing. Well, take it easy. Call me for lunch or something.

CHRIS:

You bet.

HANK:

Sorry, boy. Bye.

CHRIS:

Bye.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP PHONE

CHRIS:

Whew! That was close. Good scene, though.

MUSIC:

SOMBER ... RECORDED MUSIC, FOR A BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

Lois Avery has just driven up in front of the building. She's getting out of the car, carrying her scripts. She wears a cardigan sweater, tweed skirt, flat shoes. She's young; she's very pretty. A girl with everything to live for. Now she's disappeared into the building. In a moment she'll knock on my door. And then you'll see for yourself how youth resists the threat of death. [X]

And this, Mr. Avery, would be the proper dramatic moment to end Act One.

MUSIC:

TAG TO END ACT ONE ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Auto-Lite is bringing you Mr. Richard Widmark in "A Murderous Revision," tonight's production in Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills -- SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

SOUND:

ENGINE STARTS UP ... THEN IDLES, IN BG

WILCOX:

Hey, Hap! Better turn on your lights!

HAP:

Presto, and they're on.

WILCOX:

Thank you. And, uh, thank Auto-Lite.

HAP:

Why, Harlow?

WILCOX:

Because in your Auto-Lite-equipped car, the lights, as well as the power for your radio and power to crank your motor, are all provided by the Auto-Lite electrical system.

HAP:

It has to be good, huh, Harlow?

WILCOX:

You bet, Hap. And that's why complete Auto-Lite electrical systems are used as original factory equipment on many leading makes of our finest cars, trucks and tractors.

HAP:

And that's good enough for me, Harlow.

WILCOX:

You bet it's good, Hap. And that's why it pays to treat your car's electrical system to a periodic check-up at your authorized Auto-Lite service station or the dealer who services your make of car. You can quickly locate your nearest authorized Auto-Lite service station in the classified section of your telephone directory. Or by calling Western Union by number and asking for Operator Twenty-Five. And, remember, from bumper to tail-light, you're always right - with Auto-Lite!

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME ... IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now, Auto-Lite brings back to our Hollywood sound stage, Mr. Richard Widmark in Elliott Lewis' production of "A Murderous Revision," a tale well-calculated to keep you in SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

FOR A SECOND ACT INTRO, THEN OUT

CHRIS:

Act Two. This is Christopher Turner once again, Mr. Avery, bringing you, by transcription, the first recording of an actual murder ever made specifically for broadcast.

MUSIC:

SNEAK IN RECORDED MUSIC, CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CHRIS:

The setting -- my office.

The music -- recorded.

The time -- night.

The victim -- yourself.

Your daughter has just entered the building.

And so concludes the usual resumé with which we begin the second act of every "Murder, Please" program.

I hear footsteps in the hall. [X] Your cue, Lois. Sound -- knock on door.

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

CHRIS:

Come in.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS-CLOSES, LOIS' FOOTSTEPS IN, UNDER FOLLOWING--

CHRIS:

Hi, Lois. Come on in.

LOIS:

(FADES IN) Thanks. I brought the scripts with me.

CHRIS:

Wonderful. Wonderful. Sit down.

SOUND:

CHAIR SCRAPES

LOIS:

I hope I'm not putting you out. I always tell dad to stop imposing on my behalf, but I guess he'll never learn.

CHRIS:

Now, look, you're here because I want you here, and for no other reason. Cigarette?

LOIS:

No, thanks. (BEAT) This is a nice office.

CHRIS:

It serves. Just a hole in the wall. But quiet. Nothing fancy.

LOIS:

I like it.

CHRIS:

Well, how long have you been scribbling?

LOIS:

Six months, Mr. Turner.

CHRIS:

Let's, uh, just make it "Chris," huh? What sort of things?

LOIS:

Murder mostly. Somebody told me that's what sells best.

CHRIS:

True, true. Well, uh, let's just start talking - 'bout murder. Maybe something interesting'll come out. Question number one -- why do you think people kill?

LOIS:

Oh, lots of reasons, I guess. Money. Love. Revenge.

CHRIS:

Mm mm. Not really. Only for survival. They kill for money only when money means life -- their idea of life. They only kill for love when life depends upon that love. They only kill for revenge when life is intolerable without it. You see?

LOIS:

That's very interesting.

CHRIS:

Could you kill?

LOIS:

I don't think so.

CHRIS:

Well, maybe you could. Here.

SOUND:

DRAWER OPENS ... GUN TAKEN OUT

CHRIS:

See?

SOUND:

DRAWER CLOSES

LOIS:

A gun.

CHRIS:

And loaded.

LOIS:

Please put it away.

CHRIS:

Take it.

LOIS:

No. I'd rather not.

CHRIS:

It's very obedient. It won't fire unless you press the trigger. Take it. That's it. Now point it at me.

LOIS:

Please. I--

CHRIS:

Think now, think. One touch of your finger and you kill me. One little touch. A very delicate instrument, the trigger. There's a sense of power there. Ya feel it?

LOIS:

I'm afraid.

CHRIS:

Fear, yes, but exhilaration, too. Like the second drink.

LOIS:

I feel it, yes.

CHRIS:

Yeah. (BEAT) All right, you can give it back to me now. (CHUCKLES) Well, so much for the murderer. Now, uh, what about the victim? Afraid of death?

LOIS:

Sometimes.

CHRIS:

What is death to you?

LOIS:

Death?

CHRIS:

Mm hm.

LOIS:

I don't know.

CHRIS:

No idea?

LOIS:

Emptiness. Blackness. Nothing.

CHRIS:

Is that so terrible?

LOIS:

Yes, because you really don't know.

CHRIS:

Like the dark?

LOIS:

That's it.

CHRIS:

Do you know any more about death than you do about me?

LOIS:

You?

CHRIS:

Yeah.

LOIS:

Well, I know you work for dad.

CHRIS:

Well, yes, but you've never even spent one hour with me. Once, at lunch, you and your father sat down with me. Yet you come up here alone. How do you know you can trust me?

LOIS:

I suppose I don't, really.

SOUND:

CHRIS PICKS UP GUN

CHRIS:

Look at this.

LOIS:

Please put it down. It makes me terribly nervous.

CHRIS:

Do you have any money?

LOIS:

A little.

CHRIS:

How much?

LOIS:

Ten dollars, maybe. Some change.

CHRIS:

Give it to me.

SOUND:

CRINKLE OF PAPER MONEY

LOIS:

Here.

CHRIS:

Why did you give me the money?

LOIS:

Because you asked me for it.

CHRIS:

No! Because you were hoping I'd put down the gun. And if I'd said a kiss, one kiss, and I'll put down the gun -- what would you do?

LOIS:

I suppose I'd-- I suppose I'd give--

CHRIS:

But a kiss! That would be harder to give, wouldn't it?

LOIS:

Yes.

CHRIS:

Kiss me.

LOIS:

(A PAUSE AS SHE KISSES HIM) There.

CHRIS:

Thank you.

LOIS:

Now, put down the gun. Please. I know it's a lesson in writing and all that, but it scares me.

CHRIS:

No.

LOIS:

But you said you would.

CHRIS:

I said nothing of the kind. And if I had said it, you'd have been foolish to believe me. You can't trust a man with a gun. You feel helpless, don't you?

LOIS:

Yes.

CHRIS:

While you could give me money, there was hope. While you could give me love, there was hope. But, if all I wanted was revenge, there'd be nothing you could do to save yourself.

LOIS:

Nothing.

CHRIS:

And if I told you that right now, right this moment, I'm gonna pull this trigger and blow you to bits -- tell me, what would you say?

LOIS:

I'd try to talk you out of it.

CHRIS:

What would you say?

LOIS:

I wouldn't know what to say.

CHRIS:

Then I'd shoot!

LOIS:

I'd tell you about the electric chair.

CHRIS:

Very little threat to a man about to kill. Later, maybe, when he's running away, then he'd think about consequences, but not now! Now, it's only kill! Now, what else? What else would you say?

LOIS:

I'd beg him.

CHRIS:

He wouldn't listen.

LOIS:

I'd plead with him. I'd say, "Please, don't kill me."

CHRIS:

And if he still wouldn't listen?

LOIS:

(BEAT) Then -- I'd die.

SOUND:

PAUSE ... PHONE RINGS, THREE TIMES ... RECEIVER UP.

CHRIS:

Hello.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Bet you don't know who this is.

CHRIS:

I can't place the voice.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Try.

CHRIS:

I haven't the slightest idea.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Remember San Francisco and the Italian pizza and the cigarette holder?

CHRIS:

Vaguely. Who is this? I hate guessing games.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Harriet.

CHRIS:

I know at least eighteen Harriets. Harriet who?

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Crawford.

CHRIS:

Oh.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) I just came in. I thought maybe you could meet for a drink. I don't know a single, solitary soul in town.

CHRIS:

How did you happen to call here?

HARRIET:

(FILTER) I shouldn't tell, I suppose, but Hank said you were working late at the office.

CHRIS:

Hank, huh?

HARRIET:

(FILTER) He gave me the number, and said to be sure to call.

CHRIS:

(MUTTERS) Bless his heart.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) What was that?

CHRIS:

I said, "Bless his heart"!

HARRIET:

(FILTER, AWKWARD) Yeah. Well, I'll call you tomorrow.

CHRIS:

Yeah, you do that.

HARRIET:

(FILTER) Well, bye.

SOUND:

CHRIS HANGS UP PHONE

LOIS:

Guess I'd better get going.

SOUND:

LOIS RISES, STARTS TO WALK OFF

CHRIS:

Why? We're not even started yet.

LOIS:

Well, if you don't put down that gun, I'm going. I don't like it.

CHRIS:

Sit down. I want to tell you a story.

LOIS:

Now, listen--

CHRIS:

Please. Please sit down.

SOUND:

LOIS WALKS TO CHAIR, SITS

CHRIS:

Now - now, this is just a sample plot. You can have it if you want it. It's about a writer who had great novels in him, great plays -- but he was broke. So, for the sake of a place to stay and a meal to eat, he started turning out radio mysteries. He turned them out until every drop of originality was squeezed out of him. And all the greatness he might have been ate into him because he'd leave nothing to the world, nothing but scripts to be swept up by studio janitors after the broadcast.

Well, the writer made his decision one day. He'd do a last radio play -- a radio play with an actual murder, the only chance he had for permanent survival. And he selected as his victim the man who had ground him into the dust. He selected his editor and producer, Ken Avery.

LOIS:

Please--

CHRIS:

I like you. I - I - I like you very much. I wish this could be happening to almost anyone but you. Get to the phone.

LOIS:

What?

CHRIS:

The telephone.

LOIS:

What for?

CHRIS:

You're gonna call your father.

LOIS:

No. No, I won't do it.

CHRIS:

You'll call your father and you'll tell him to come up to my office. Now, pick up the receiver. No, wait, I'll do it.

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP, PHONE DIALED

CHRIS:

Now, take the phone. Tell him.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

CHRIS:

(WHISPERS) It's ringing; take it.

SOUND:

PHONE ANSWERED

KEN:

(FILTER) Hello. (NO ANSWER) Hello?

LOIS:

Dad?

KEN:

(FILTER) Lois? Lois, what are you calling this time of night for? Something the matter?

LOIS:

No, nothing.

CHRIS:

(WHISPERS) You want him to take you home. You don't feel well.

LOIS:

I--

KEN:

(FILTER) Lois, something's the matter. Where are you? You home?

LOIS:

No. I - I'm at Mr. Turner's.

KEN:

(FILTER) Turner's? His apartment?

LOIS:

His office. I don't feel very well.

CHRIS:

(WHISPERS) Come and take me home.

LOIS:

Come and take me home. I don't feel well.

CHRIS:

Here, give me the phone. (INTO PHONE) Hello, Ken?

KEN:

(FILTER) Yes. Chris?

CHRIS:

Yeah. Lois came up tonight to discuss some scripts she wrote, but she doesn't feel very well. You better come and get her.

KEN:

(FILTER) I'll be right over.

SOUND:

ON FILTER, KEN HANGS UP ... THEN CHRIS HANGS UP

CHRIS:

(TO LOIS) Sit down. We haven't got very long to wait.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS ... RECORDING SWITCHED OFF, THEN BACK ON ... CHRIS STEPS BACK TO MIKE

CHRIS:

Twenty minutes have gone by. I hear the steps in the hall -- the sure, plodding steps of her father, Mr. Ken Avery. The climax, ladies and gentlemen of the listening audience, I address to you. Mr. Avery will never hear this portion of the entertainment.

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

CHRIS:

Come in.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS, KEN STEPS IN

KEN:

Lois, are you--? Well, what is this?

CHRIS:

Sit down. There's a chair reserved for you.

KEN:

Lois, what's been going on here?

CHRIS:

Tell him, Lois.

LOIS:

He's going to kill you. He's going to kill both of us.

CHRIS:

Close the door.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... KEN'S FOOTSTEPS IN

KEN:

Now, Chris, put that thing down. Somebody's liable to get hurt. What's the matter with you? Drinking again?

CHRIS:

Nothing to drink. Very sober. Sit down.

KEN:

Chris, are you crazy?

CHRIS:

Good line. (WITH A CHUCKLE) Perfectly in character. The inane cliché from the mouth of the great producer. You see, Ken, everything is being recorded right now -- your voice, Lois's, mine. Sit down.

KEN:

Recorded? For what?

CHRIS:

For posterity. For the show next week. You'll have the honor of appearing on your own program as the murder victim. Here, let me show ya. Right here in the desk.

SOUND:

CHRIS' FOOTSTEPS TO DESK ... PANEL SLIDES OPEN

CHRIS:

You see? It's a recording machine. I've stop-watched every second. It's been running exactly twenty-five minutes. You always made it a rule to plan the climax for twenty-six thirty so you could have room for a final commercial. Well, that's just what I'm doing. According to my timing, you have about one minute and thirty seconds to live.

KEN:

All right, Chris. That's enough of the phony dramatics. Now, give me that thing before somebody gets hurt.

CHRIS:

Stand back! I wouldn't want to mistime the climax of the show.

KEN:

This won't make a show.

CHRIS:

You won't have much editorial power, Mr. Avery, after a few seconds.

KEN:

There's the agency. They wouldn't put this thing on the air.

CHRIS:

No? Why not?

KEN:

(REALIZES) You planned to kill me.

CHRIS:

From the beginning.

KEN:

Why, there's the trouble, right there, Chris. There's no twist.

CHRIS:

Oh, yes. The twist!

KEN:

Right. The surprise ending. You told the audience to expect the murder to be successful. But our shows have to have some kind of surprise for the audience, Chris. You know that. Now, where's the twist?

CHRIS:

(LAUGHS) Still the editor, right to death's door, huh? All right, Ken, perhaps you can provide the surprise ending that's gonna save your life.

KEN:

I don't have to.

CHRIS:

Oh?

KEN:

You provided the twist yourself. But you didn't know it. And yet the twist was part of the story all the time.

CHRIS:

Where, Mr. Editor Avery?

KEN:

You. You, Chris. You're the twist.

CHRIS:

Me?

KEN:

That's right. You're a flop, Chris. You're so used to dreaming on paper, you can't live any more. You wrote about love because you never had it. You wrote about fortunes and you're still "two bits." You wrote about murder, but you - you haven't got the guts to pull the trigger. Now, give me that gun.

CHRIS:

You think I won't shoot?

KEN:

I know you won't. Give me that gun, you hack.

CHRIS:

(SHAKEN) What did you say?

KEN:

I said, you were a hack. Now give me that gun.

CHRIS:

Stay away!

KEN:

Give me that gun, you hack!

CHRIS:

No, I'm not!

SOUND:

SCUFFLE ... CONTINUES IN BG

LOIS:

Dad!

CHRIS:

Let go. Let go of my hand.

KEN:

Drop it, I said. Drop it!

CHRIS:

Let go!

SOUND:

REALISTIC GUN SHOT ... SCUFFLE ENDS

LOIS:

(GASPS, SHUDDERS)

KEN:

Chris? Chris!

CHRIS:

(EXHALES, BEAT, DYING) You always - liked to - change the ending.

SOUND:

BODY CRUMPLES TO FLOOR

LOIS:

(SHUDDERS) Dad!

KEN:

It's all right, Lois.

LOIS:

(TEARFUL) Dad, take me home.

KEN:

(REALIZES) The records! They're all we have to clear us.

LOIS:

(IN SHOCK) Take me home, please, dad.

KEN:

Soon as I see what's on those records.

SOUND:

STEPS TO DESK, PICKS UP RECORD

KEN:

Oh. Oh, this must be part one. Let's see.

SOUND:

CUES UP RECORD, STARTS MACHINE

CHRIS:

(FILTER) Good evening. This is a recording of an actual murder. The first, as far as I know. Not written, not rehearsed--

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD, THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Presented by Auto-Lite! Tonight's star, Mr. Richard Widmark!

MUSIC:

OUT

WILCOX:

Friends, this is Harlow Wilcox again to remind you that Auto-Lite is the world's largest independent manufacturer of automotive electrical equipment. In twenty-eight plants from coast to coast, Auto-Lite makes over four hundred products for cars, trucks, tractors, planes and boats. These include complete electrical systems; a complete line of ignition-engineered Auto-Lite spark plugs, both standard and resistor types; Auto-Lite batteries, including the famous Auto-Lite Sta-Ful. Auto-Lite also makes automotive wire and cable, bumpers and hubcaps, electric windshield wipers and many more. All are backed by constant Auto-Lite research and are precision-built to highest standards of quality and performance. So, remember, from bumper to tail-light, you're always right - with Auto-Lite.

ANNOUNCER:

Next week on SUSPENSE, our star will be Mr. Victor Mature as a man who made his living as an assassin! A tale we call, "Blackjack to Kill." In weeks to come, we shall also present Mr. John Hodiak and Mr. Herbert Marshall, all on--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME, IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE is produced and transcribed by Elliott Lewis, with music composed by Lucien Moraweck and conducted by Lud Gluskin. "A Murderous Revision" was adapted for SUSPENSE by David Ellis, from a story of S. Lee Pogostin. In tonight's story, Cathy Lewis was heard as Lois, Joseph Kearns as Ken, Charlotte Lawrence as Harriet, and Jerry Hausner as Hank. Tonight's appearance of Richard Widmark was made possible through the kind permission of Twentieth Century-Fox Studios. Mr. Widmark may soon be seen in the Technicolor production "Red Skies of Montana."

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS TWICE, RECEIVER UP

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) For the location of your nearest Auto-Lite service station or your nearest Auto-Lite spark plug or battery dealer, phone Western Union by number and ask for Operator Twenty-Five. Switch to Auto-Lite. Goodnight.

CBS ANNCR:

This is the CBS Radio Network.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME