One of the things I love to speculate about is alternate versions of pop culture. What if they had used William Gibson’s somewhat mental Alien 3 script? What if Terry Gilliam had directed Watchmen? Hell, what if Sylvester Stallone had played Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop? (These things were all possibilities…I didn’t just make up random bits. I mean, yeah…usually I do, but not in these cases.) So Lux Radio Theatre did that from time to time–they would reunite the cast of a recent film to perform a radio adaptation of it. And remember–these days you can actually get a world premiere–a simultaneous world premiere–of a film. Back then? Hell no. You didn’t usually get an America-wide premiere. (I actually need to check and see when the first one was.)
So one of the ways that they promoted the films was this. And here’s two. We get to hear a version of the 1943 Phantom of the Opera–with original cast members Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster–but with Basil Rathbone stepping for Claude Rains. Oh, and your host…is Cecil B. DeMille. And then we go to 1955…where they go back to 1953 and re-cast War of the Worlds with Dana Andrews and Pat Crowley. Enjoy!