Friday, February 12, 2021

LIGHTS OUT / "Cat's Cradle" - 1951

Well, here we go... In today's dark tale, former local football star (shades of THE BRUTE MAN) George Logan shows up one night at the country home of Bob and Phyllis, former friends of his. George is down on his luck and is obsessed with having never fit in, and holds a grudge against the world. But he does have one talent, weaving a cat's cradle from the string he carries with him at all times, and claims that he can cast spells with it, even ones to commit murder if anyone gets in his way. This one goes downhill fast! 

It stars Martha Scott as Phyllis, Murvyn Vye as George, Larry Kerr as Bob and Klock Ryder as Mr. Woodley. Martha was a popular actress in the forties, then did mainly TV after that, appearing in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and BEN-HUR in the fifties. Murvyn was another very popular actor and appeared on ONE STEP BEYOND and THRILLER. Larry appeared on SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE,  and in THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK and THE LOST MISSILE. Klock (love that name!) only had five acting credits.

Let's get this road on the show!!.. First, Frank Gallop tries to creep us out with his diatribe. And after his (logical/illogical) intro, we can yell... Hey! Who turned the lights out?!!

It all starts with a bang, we hear a crash and Bob runs to help Mr. Woodley out of his truck and into his yard. The old man says that after he nearly ran over a man minutes earlier, and as he was driving away, he felt an invisible wire around his neck and was choking, and that's what caused the accident. Bob and Phyllis don't really know what to make of the claim, and Mr. Woodley leaves saying it's true.

Then old friend George Logan shows up out of nowhere. Bob and Phyllis are a little shocked at his appearance at first but invite him inside.

Bob and Phyllis are happy to see him but he seems detached, because of his feelings of not fitting in. After he's asked what he's been up to...

He pulls out his cat's cradle and starts showing them what he learned in India (I think) and tells them of all the meanings of the patterns.

George gets a little too happy as the more complex patterns become kinda evil in their significance. Bob, who's getting angry at George for his claims, shuts him down and then goes outside for some fresh air...

Outside, Bob sees the newspaper George dropped before he came in and sees the dead owl Phyllis is always complaining about because of its hooting at night.

So, Bob goes back into the house and confronts George about the bird. George says he killed the bird with the cat's cradle for Phyllis, which opens up a whole new can of worms!

After they find out that George has been watching and listening to them through the open windows at night (and saying how much he envied them and that's why he killed the owl for Phyllis), a heated conversation breaks out. Both Bob and Phyllis tell George to get the Hell out, and don't come back!!! EVER!

Well, of course George didn't take kindly to their words and grabs a chair for offense after pulling the table cloth off, along with dinner.

George snaps, he says that he's going to watch Bob die and starts weaving his patterns with the cat's cradle...

OMG!!! The knucklehead wove the wrong freaking pattern by mistake, I guess the one for suicide?!.. Go figure!

And what else?.. Frank plays with our minds one more time just before The Dungeon Janitor turns the lights out on him!


krd said...

LIGHTS OUT, like TALES OF TOMORROW, is another terrific live show from the very early days of tee-vee. Another one is SUSPENSE, also available on DVD. I never get tired of watching these.

Grant said...

I don't know Murvyn Vye from a lot of things, but I like him as the sinister version of Merlin in "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court."

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