Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Broadway is My Beat

Larry Thor
There are two shows in old-time radio that seem to have their own genre; one is Dragnet with it's unempathetic, quick speech patterns where everything seems cold and matter-of-fact and the other is Broadway is My Beat, which employs a rather poetic tinge to murder on the streets of New York City.

The style was created by Elliott Lewis, one of those radio Midas men who always seem to do the right thing in radio. The writers were Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin, both who later wrote hundreds of scripts for successful television shows.

The star of the show is usually Larry Thor (although the first 'Danny Clover' character was actually played by Anthony Ross, but I've never heard any episode with him in the lead.)

The show might start off with a soliloquy like this:
At 10 o'clock of a bright December morning the Broadway music shops open their loud speakers and Broadway wears a scrubbed face, a new haircut and a flashing smile arranged to look appealing and innocent because Broadway is on it's way to con Santa Claus. You get a look at yourelf in a mirror decked with holly and you know you're doing the same thing. So you drop a coin in the box and it feels good inside. And on 46th street, you see patrolman Meshorkovz ad-libbing his way through the crowd. He's got a hand tight on a little guy with gentle and tired blue eyes...
There'll most-likely be a murder soon after and another meandering soliloquy or two. There might be a message about anti-Semintism or juvenile delinquency or drug abuse thrown in as well.

The show is one of the most unique out there. I imagine in the late 1940's and early 1950's it was amazingly different. The formula is all there - I expect good things - but in the end, I just don't care for it. I find that Broadway is my Beat is a strange enigma of radio that I am simply not fond of. It's not the characters or the setting but it's the direction and the scripts that I can't seem to enjoy. You'd think with the team of Lewis, Fine and Friedkin, there would be nothing to dislike.

The show is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, it's just not my cup of tea. I'd probably give it 3 stars out of 5 - but I rarely, if ever, listen to it.


  1. I appreciate your honesty in your review of the show. Still, I disagree with it. I think the show has much entertainment value and the dialog is clever. Is it the best show ever, no. Thor is a 'hard ass' detective, but, often gets his brains knocked out as well. I know that everyone have their own opinions of like and dislike. But for me, this is a good show. Keep your reviews going as I enjoy reading them. Since some of us listen to OTR regularly, it is not often we get to discuss what we think of shows with anyone. Most of my family do not listen to this stuff, although they know we do. So, keep going Jimbo.

  2. Glad you are here reading everyday. I appreciate it.

    Nah, we're not alwys gonna agree (Milton Berle/Broadway is My Beat) but everyone is different. I can't write a review saying I like something I don't and vice versa. (I will admit, I do love panning a show though. hehe)

    Thanks for being there everyday and for all your comments.

  3. I love Broadway is My Beat because it is such a different type of police show because of the dialogue. It is somewhat unnerving to those who prefer the Dragnet-style dramas. But there is something refreshingly unique about it.

  4. It is definitely different. I do believe my appreciate of the show is growing, FWiW. And thanks for the comments...


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