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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Inner Sanctum -- The Black Seagull with Peter Lorre

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Inner Sanctum (1941-52) aired "The Black Seagull" on March 7, 1943. It stars Peter Lorre as a bereaved widower who has just lost his wife Barbara in a boating accident. Her skull crushed, with her dying breath she promises to return and be with him forever. But is it Lorre's madness or the ghost of Barbara he hears in a cat's meow...or in the cry of a black seagull? Will he convince his friend, the good doctor Griffin, to open her casket? Lorre here gives a heart-wrenching performance and we genuinely sympathize with his desperate longing.

In 1943 the world was at war, with America fighting the Nazis in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific. Here at home the Washington Redskins were once more National Football League champions, Oklahoma was a hit on Broadway, and Jane Eyre and For Whom the Bell Tolls were hits at the box office. Joe Louis was World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and streptomycin was discovered. Though many SF authors and fans were in the armed services, there were some memorable novels published in 1943 in the magazines, later to be published as books. Among these were Fritz Leiber's Gather, Darkness!, Curt Siodmak's Donovan's Brain, C. L. Moore's Judgment Night, The Book of Ptath by A. E. van Vogt, and Perelandra by C. S. Lewis. Astonishing Stories folded in April, and Unknown Worlds in October.

Stephen Vincent Benet and A. Merritt died in 1943. Born that same year were Joe Haldeman, Christopher Priest, James Baen, Cecelia Holland, and Ian Watson.

Play Time: 31:00