Wicked is the Vine is a 1947 radio play by Sumner Locke Elliott that was later adapted for American television.[1]

Wicked is the Vine
Written bySumner Locke Elliott
Date premiered1947
Place premieredLux Radio Theatre
Original languageEnglish

It was inspired by the Lizzie Borden murder.[2]

Plot

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In 1918, two sisters, Sarah and Ellie Vinson, come into conflict. It results in murder..

Radio play

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Elliott wrote the play in Australia for Lux Radio Theatre. It was one of the few original plays they had commissioned. He wrote it while trying to emigrate to the US.

The original production aired in 1947 and starred Brenda Dunrich and Neva Carr Glyn.[3]

One listener wrote in complaining saying the show was "well acted and well produced, we grant, but what a thing to inflict on people trying to escape for one brief hour from the real life tragedies of these troubled times. Open any newspaper any day and you can get your callous murders and your shootings and your wicked people without having to go to the radio plays for it. Wicked Is the Vine gave us two murders and one attempted murder, complete with the horrible sounds of blows on a human head, shots, screams, gaspings for breath, and groans... Truly wicked is the man who chose Wicked Is the Vine."[4]

It received some bad reviews[5] but was also awarded Best Play by the Federation of Commercial Radio Stations.[6]

It was presented again in 1952.

1949 TV adaptation

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It was adapted for US television making it the first Australian play to be screeed on American television.[7][8]

It aired on 30 March 1949 and was directed by Stanley Quin.[9] It starred Ron Randell, an Australian-born actor.[10]

The production was well received and launched Elliott's career in New York as a TV writer.[11] It also led to Randell receiving a number of TV offers.[12]

References

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  1. ^ Vagg, Stephen (September 11, 2022). "Forgotten Australian TV Plays: Australia on US TV – Sumner Locke Elliott's Wicked is the Vine and The Crater". Filmink.
  2. ^ "AUSTRALIAN PENS LUX PLAY". The Examiner. Launceston, Tasmania. 9 August 1947. p. 1 Section: The EXAMINER WEEK–END MAGAZINE SECTION. Retrieved 24 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ "George Hart's Radio Round-Up". The Sun. No. 11, 704 (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 31 July 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "THIS WEEK'S RADIO REVIEW Listeners do a little solid hating". The Argus. No. 31, 494. Melbourne. 9 August 1947. p. 43. Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "ON THE AIR". Smith's Weekly. Vol. XXIX, no. 25. New South Wales. 16 August 1947. p. 20. Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "GEORGE HART'S RADIO NEWS". The Sun. No. 12, 173 (LATE FINAL EXTRA ed.). Sydney. 1 February 1949. p. 10. Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Australian Play To Be Televised". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 October 1948. p. 1. Retrieved 24 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Australians In Television". The Sunday Herald. Sydney. 19 June 1949. p. 8 Supplement: Features. Retrieved 24 March 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Kraft Television Theatre Season 2 at CTVA
  10. ^ "Australians In Television". The Sunday Herald. No. 22. Sydney. 19 June 1949. p. 8 (Features). Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "MUSIC AND THE THEATRE "Radio Is Doomed"As "Rusty Bugles" Author Sees It". The Sunday Herald. No. 50. Sydney. 8 January 1950. p. 6 (Features). Retrieved 18 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ Vagg, Stephen (August 10, 2019). "Unsung Aussie Actors – Ron Randell: A Top Twenty". Filmink.
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