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Sam Spade, P.I. (30 min)

Show Description

Sam Spade is Dashiell Hammet’s most famous creation. Set in the 1940’s before computers and the Internet, Sam’s colorful PI character solves crimes, keeping one step ahead of the bad guys. Assorted guest stars will make this re-creation of the classic mystery drama a hit.

Show History

In the 1940’s, Sam Spade was a staple of the airwaves, thanks to The Adventures of Sam Spade, a popular radio show, featuring Howard Duff in the lead role, and sponsored by Wildroot Hair Oil. In fact, a series of single-page comic strip/hair tonic ads appeared in magazines, newspapers and comic books, featuring Spade shilling for Wildroot Hair Oil. (The ads were drawn by Golden Age artist Lou Fine, who later went on to do the Peter Scratch comic strip.)

In fact, the only real sequel to The Maltese Falcon was not produced for either prose or film, though, but for radio. Both The Adventures of Sam Spade and the great mystery anthology show Suspense were both produced by the same man, William Spier. During the first year or two that Sam Spade was on the air, Suspense was an hour show, hosted by Robert Montgomery. To get fans of Suspense listening to Sam Spade, Speir produced a special one-hour Spade episode called “The Khandi Tooth Caper” and aired it on Suspense.

The episode is a direct sequel to The Maltese Falcon, with Spade once again meeting Gutman, Cairo, and another “gunsel.” It explains what happened to the real Falcon, alludes to Brigid O’Shaugnessy’s fate, and sets Spade and the bad guys at odds as they again contend in the search for another quest object, the fabled Khandi Tooth. As an inside joke, host Montgomery, who played Philip Marlowe in the screen version of The Lady in the Lake made a cameo appearance as Marlowe in the episode. Later, the episode was presented as a two-parter on Sam Spade’s own series.


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