from Mountain View, CA United States
Listening to Radio Archives' "Harry Lime" episodes were a revelation. Not since I first heard these radio dramas on KGO in 1961 have they sounded so clear. The audio fidelity was amazing. Finally, I could enjoy the wit and fun of the shows without the ear-torturing tin-can fidelity one usually encounters when listening to old time radio. If you want to hear what I mean, listen to the "Harry Lime" episodes on the Criterion Collection's DVDs of "Mr. Adkadan." A miserable experience of muffled fidelity. And Criterion is known for its eye for detail and restoration!
Kudos to Radio Archives! Their quality is terrific! I hope they continue to uncover masters of other classic shows.
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The Lives of Harry Lime
February 19, 2013
This is a review of The Lives of Harry Lime, now running to 4 volumes. This program, produced independently in England, is based on the unsavory character in the film The Third Man. Directed by Carol Reed, the film was a huge international hit and is still extremely popular among cineastes. Harry Lime in the film was a notorious vendor of adulterated penicillin, and his penicillin caused havoc among patients in Vienna. The mise en scene was Vienna during the four-power occupation after World War II. In the film, Lime was a scoundrel, and died on the run in the sewers of Vienna. Orson Welles played Lime beautifully, as a grinning swindler. Because of the fascination of the character, radio producers decided to bring him to the air, but somewhat cleaned up. He still remained a scoundrel, but a likable one. His adventures consist chiefly of efforts to swindle his victims, some decent citizens, some not. Not to make him too likable, Lime always ended up failing to take home the boodle. I suppose not pour encourager les autres. This makes these new adventures somewhat formulaic. But Welles is superb as Lime, and listening to him ham it up is a pleasure. It's a great achievement. The casts of the programs are excellent, no sneering villains. Add to this the excellent sound, and you have--almost--a neverending audio experience. I should add that this is sophisticated entertainment, part of that genre called "international intrigue." If you like this kind of thing, snap up the four albums.