November 16, 2012

Arsenic and Old Lace at the Lansing Public Library

On Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, the Friends of Lansing Library will sponsor a showing of Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) at the Lansing Public Library.

The program will begin at 1 pm in the library’s Community Room.

Admission is free, but patrons must register for the event through the library’s website or by calling (708) 474-2447. The event is sponsored by Friends of Lansing Library.

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue, in Lansing, Illinois. Parking is available at the library. For more information, please contact the library at (708) 474-2447.

In his book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005), Stephen Youngkin details the making of Arsenic and Old Lace. The movie was released in the fall of 1944, but filmed in 1941 on the Warner Brothers lot. Not yet under contract to the studio, Peter Lorre was cast in the film after completing The Maltese Falcon and All Through the Night. Peter would work on several more films before the studio would add him to their stable of contract players – and Peter would enter the most productive period of his career with radio and stage appearances in addition to movies.

November 9, 2012

Rare Lorre Film at SPERDVAC Convention

Peter Lorre fans attending the SPERDVAC convention the weekend of November 9 to 11 will have the opportunity to enjoy a rare treat – a color film of Lorre rehearsing and then broadcasting live the Suspense episode “Nobody Loves Me”, which aired originally on Thursday, August 30, 1945.

The film is among the highlights of the weekend convention, which will include guest speakers and re-creations of old-time radio programs such as The Shadow and Suspense. More information about the convention may be found on the SPERDVAC website.

The convention will be held at the Hacienda Hotel, located at 525 North Sepulveda Blvd. in El Segundo, California, 1 mile south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A special SPERDVAC convention rate of $79 a night has been arranged. Parking fees are $8 for overnight guests, and $4 for daily guests. For more information, please contact the hotel at (310) 615-0015.

The convention begins at 5 pm on Friday, Nov. 9 and ends on Sunday, Nov. 11. Attendees may choose to include Friday and Saturday night dinners, as well as Sunday brunch, in addition to the Saturday daytime program. Tickets for all events will be available at the door.

SPERDVAC – “The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy” – was founded with the intent to preserve old-time radio recordings. Members enjoy access to the SPERDVAC library of old-time radio programs and radio scripts, as well as monthly meetings, and The RadioGram, SPERDVAC’s monthly publication.

Information on joining SPERDVAC can be found on the SPERDVAC website.

“Nobody Loves Me” was Peter Lorre’s sixth and final performance on Suspense. Joining Peter before the microphone were Wally Maher, Bill Johnstone, and host Joseph Kearns, “The Man in Black”. On July 31, 1947, Peter re-created the character “Joe Reeze” on his own radio series, the 13-week summer program Mystery in the Air.

In the pages of the Lorre biography The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, author Stephen Youngkin discusses Peter’s radio career, including interviews with fellow radio actors such as Harry Morgan. A complete-to-date list of Peter Lorre’s radio work can be found in the book’s Appendix. A partial list of available radio programs can be found in the Radio section of the book’s official website.