Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bold Venture (1951-1952)

Good morning! One of my favorite things about having a Roku box through which to stream Netflix (such as it is...I miss the days when everything was Criterion releases instead of badly made Korean romantic comedies!) is a channel you can add for free called PUB-D-HUB. This service specializes in theatrically released movies, old commercials, educational films, television shows, and radio programs that have slunk away into public domain after years of mis- and disuse only to find a home in the digital world at PDH. For $2.50 a year-- A YEAR-- in kind of a forced-donation situation, you can have access to even more of the material available through streaming. Being a radio drama nut, this means I spend hours I should be falling asleep, in my bed, getting the pajama pants scared off me by Arch Oboler's Lights Out or CBS's adventure series Escape. It really is an old time radio lovers dream.

One particular gem I've become obsessed with-- Bold Venture, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. You heard right! One of the most romantic Hollywood real-life couples did a fifty seven episode run on radio. And somehow, I didn't know about it!

Bogie and Bacall recording an episode of Lux Radio Theatre in the forties
Here's the description from Wikipedia:

Salty seadog Slate Shannon (Bogart) owns a Cuban hotel sheltering an assortment of treasure hunters, revolutionaries and other shady characters. With his sidekick and ward, the sultry Sailor Duval (Bacall), tagging along, he encounters modern-day pirates and other tough situations while navigating the waters around Havana. Aboard his boat, the Bold Venture, Slate and Sailor experience "adventure, intrigue, mystery and romance in the sultry settings of tropical Havana and the mysterious islands of the Caribbean."
Calypso singer King Moses (Jester Hairston) provided musical bridges by threading plot situations into the lyrics of his songs. Music for the series was by David Rose.

Calypso singer musical bridges (score?!) written by David Rose, Judy Garland's first husband and MGM composer (score, score?!)...it sounds nutty, but it's really pretty adorable. In the episodes I've listened to thus far, there's a lot of barb-tossing back and forth, à la To Have and To Have Not, between Mr. and Mrs. Bogart, then some plot-advancing pirate/kidnapping/underhandedness takes place, then it's up to Slate and Sailor to straighten it out before the forty minute mark. I'm telling you, I love it. Shades of and semi-references to Key Largo, Casablanca, and other classic forties' Bogart pictures abound.

While I go chip away at the stack of homework and at-work work that has piled up around me (ALREADY! And it's only Tuesday!), why don't you take a minute to listen to the first episode? If you like what you hear, there are t-o-n-s of free places to listen to it on the web. Public domain can be a beautiful thing!


Are you an old time radio fan? What programs or genres interest you?

Read A-L-L about the history and background of the show HERE (really, it's more information than you could possibly need, but since when is that a bad thing?).

See you tomorrow!


  1. I am a big fan of “old time radio”. While growing up, my father used to tell me stories about the different shows he would listen to when he was a child – even use to do the Shadow’s “who knows what evil lurks in the heat of men” and proceed right into the eerie laugh. In high school, I used to stay up until 11:00pm so I could listen to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater w/ E.G. Marshall. When we had children, I bought my girls a set of “Let’s Pretend” cassette tapes, which they really enjoyed. Now days it’s getting harder to find radio stations that still play classic radio shows – in my area the only station I can hear that does is AM 740 out of Toronto at 10:00pm.

    Never heard of Bold Adventure – will have to give it a listen, thanks! Oh, you might be interested in this, here is a link of a Complete Broadcast Day of WJSV in 1939 http://archive.org/details/CompleteBroadcastDay

    1. Oh neat! I'll have to try and tackle this 1939 broadcast a little bit at a time, but was a treasure from the golden age of radio! The library here used to have these massive cassette tape sets (as big as an encyclopedia, with up to 20 tapes) of old radio shows like Suspense, The Jack Benny Show, Burns and Allen, and Lights Out Everybody. I've found so many (and more I hadn't heard) of my favorite shows on the internet now and especially on archive.org, it's really the most amazing source for obscure stuff. Thanks for the hot tip!

  2. Now I must find this radio show! Unfortunately, PUB-D-HUB is only for Roku and we use a PS3 for our Netflix. I totally miss the Criterion collection, too. Criterion moved to Hulu, but a lot of it is on Hulu plus and it says they can't guarantee that some of the movies won't have commercials! That's crap. I guess I'll go back to waiting for the DVDs.

    1. I can't decide if I want to try Hulu plus or not-- it would be neat to have the Criterion access, but again, what is with the commercials? Drives me nuts.

    2. Yeah, I don't want there to be ANY commercials if I'm paying. Good news, though, I found Bold Venture on the interwebs, so I, too, can listen to it. Can't wait!

  3. I love radio shows; I listen to them every night as I go to sleep. I knew movie stars appeared on shows all the time, but a 57 episode series, who knew??? Thanks for the heads up - Bogey & Bacall are one of my favorite Hollywood couples!!!

  4. awesome! definitely adding that channel to my roku box!



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