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

Inner Sanctum -- "The Black Art" starring Simone Simon

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Inner Sanctum aired "The Black Art" starring the seductive French sex kitten Simone Simon on May 15, 1945. Fans of film came to know her best in two of Val Lewton's classic noir horror films, Cat People (1942) and Curse of the Cat People (1944).

"The Black Art" tells the dark tale of a man wrongly accused of murder on his last day in a local jail before being sent to prison to be executed. He is somehow rescued by a woman with strange powers. Is his savior simply a beautiful rich woman, or an evil being with sharp teeth and a cunning mind with a hidden purpose? And where does he find himself transported after being extricated from his tiny cell? Listen to this weird episode to discover the answers at the same moment our surprised convict does.Think New Orleans and the black arts! Be aware that the sound quality isn't the best--it fades almost to a whisper on a couple of occasions, though not for very long--but isn't enough of a distraction to ruin this fun episode.

The previous week's Inner Sanctum episode was pre-empted for the announcement and news of Victory in Europe Day, and this week's episode would be the last for host Raymond Edward Johnson, who had hosted the show since its inception in 1941 and had become famous for his atrocious and often morbid puns. He left the show to join the army. Elvira (photo top left) is calling Johnson (we imagine) on her 40th birthday (September 17, 2001) to belatedly complain about his departure (which she'd only just learned about 55 years too late). Alas, poor Raymond isn't picking up, as he died on August 15, 2001. Elvira was never known for her brains, now was she?

Simone Simon (photo at right) lived to the ripe old age of 94, passing away at her home in France from natural causes on February 22, 2005.

Play Time: 28:35

{Inspired as always after listening to one of their favorite radio shows, the neighborhood gang found themselves at the corner newsstand/drugstore the next day, only to discover that they already had all of their "must buy" magazines for May. But with jangling coin burning a hole in their pockets they were not to be denied (remember how it was when you were a kid?) and so bought other exciting stories to tide them over until June. It didn't hurt that one of their favorite Weird Tales authors, E. Hoffman Price, had the cover story of the April Speed Adventure Stories, either. Note that this title was on its last legs and would publish only three more issues before calling it a day with the January 1946 issue. Beginning with the July 1934 issue, it saw only 4 hit and miss issues in 1945.}

[Left: Black Mask, May 1945 - Center: The Shadow, May 1945 - Right: Speed Adventure Stories, April 1945]



To view the entire list of weekly Old Time Radio episodes at Tangent Online, click here.