Rex Saunders

Created by Al Feldstein and Johnny Craig

You think of private eyes, you probably picture some rough, tough American dude. Maybe not the most sophisticated guy, but no dummy, right? You think Bogie, Mitchum, maybe Garner or Newman.

You probably don't think Rex Harrison, the charming, erudite and slightly stuffy British film actor best known for such classic films of the sixties as My Fair Lady, Cleopatra, The Agony and the Ecstasy and Doctor Doolittle.

Yet back in 1951, Harrison played private eye REX SAUNDERS in The Private Files of Rex Saunders. Really.

He was already quite a popular personality by then, but no superstar, known for a sort of suave, soft-spokeness -- the epitome of what American defined as a British gentleman. And he didn't change his persona one ioto for the role. He played a globetrotting private who, along with his assistant Alec seemed to find trouble -- and damsels in distress everywhere he went.

By most accounts, this short-lived series was a lost treasure, drawing praise both back then, with the San Mateo Times describing it as "a fairly suspensive affair, well presented, well directed and not too 'horrific' as radio mysteries go," and now, with The Digital Deli lauding it for its writing ("consistently compelling"), its cast ("wonderfully effective") and its direction by OTR legend Himan Brown as "crisp, suspenseful and perfectly timed... the equal of anything. (Brown) ever directed".

RADIO

  • THE PRIVATE FILES OF REX SAUNDERS
    (1951, NBC)
    Created by
    Writers:
    Edward Adamson,
    Directors:
    Himan Brown
    Starring
    Rex Harrison as REX SAUNDERS
    With Leon Janey as Alec
    Also starring Jackson Beck, Alice Frost, Anne Seymour, Arlene Blackburn, Barbara Weeks, Amzie Strickland, Lesley Woods, Jean Ellen, Elspeth Eric
    Announcer: Kenneth Banghart
    Sponsors: RCA Victor

  • "The Lady with Hate in Her Heart" (May 2, 1951)
  • "A Shocking Still Life" (May 9, 1951)
  • "Diamonds Can be Done... To Death" (May 16, 1951)
  • "When You Play the Game... With Death" (May 23, 1951)
  • "High Dividends... Or Shallow Graves" (May 30, 1951)
  • "The Plan in the Killerís Mind" (June 6, 1951)
  • "A Trip to the Death House" (June 13, 1951)
  • "A Murder Deep in the Killerís Mind" (June 20, 1951)
  • "The Most Malignant of Diseases... Namely Murder" (June 27, 1951)
  • "Hidden Thoughts in a Feminine Mind... Concerned with Murder" (July 4, 1951)
  • "When Murder is Along as a Silent Companion" (July 11, 1951)
  • "Unto Death Do Us Part" (July 18, 1951)
  • "Worth More Than Itís Weight in Murder" (July 25, 1951)
  • "When They Track Down... The Human Game" (August 1, 1951)

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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