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Resurrection

The Rudy Vallee Hour

Resurrection

Apr 06 1939




CAST:

HOST, Rudy Vallee

ANNOUNCER, Dresser Dahlstead

VOICE





HOST: ... Over the editorial desk of this hour, there sometimes comes a piece of writing so strong, so vivid, and so completely worthy of your best attention that we are extremely proud to present it to you more than once. One of these is "Resurrection" by Horace Brown, a play that we feel is particularly suited for this season and these serious times in which we live. For "Resurrection," we bring back, too, Boris Karloff, who played it so magnificently a year and a half ago. Boris, a fine and sensitive gentleman, is far from being the frightening monster he portrays so vividly on the screen. For him, I have the warmest personal regard as a friend and as an artist. Boris Karloff in "Resurrection," with a richly imaginative musical score written and conducted by Robert Armbruster, brilliant young conductor of "The Chase and Sanborn Hour."


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING-- 


ANNOUNCER: Time, nightfall -- yesterday or today. Scene, a place of crosses, dimly white . . . endless white crosses marching row on row up through a swirling mist to the top of a high hill . . . a hill that is shrouded in torn fragments of cloud, scudding under the chill November sky at dusk. Out of the mist, we hear a voice. . . . 


VOICE: Why am I here . . . this earth-bound clay, mid-thrust 'twixt heaven and hell, is not the answer to eternity. O God, why am I here?


I wander down the world, but I go unseen. No friendly hands reach out to quell the horror of my emptiness. I bend to play with laughing children, and find their laughter stilled. I cup a rose to grasp in hunger at its beauty, and the petals fall away. I cry in vain for understanding.


Once again men talk of war. The sky darkens, and a leaden hail descends. Winged legions thunder through the twilight, East and West, North and South. Hunger and fear and blood walk in silence through the streets of death. I cry aloud for peace, but no one heeds my cry.


Yes, they shut their stupid ears. 


Fools.


Madmen.


Money-changing murderers!


Listen to my words!


Hear me, I say! Hear me and live


They hear me not. They are not worth my tears. They are not worth my pain. Send down your death from the sky, little people. Let your bombs rain down and choke your rotten world to death in gas. Rip the entrails of your children with splinters of steel. Drench the earth with your brother's blood. Let your mother know the twist of bayonet in her breast. Blast and burn, crush and kill, trample down the altars, and dance in hell . . . I care not! You are not worth my tears! You are not worth my pain! 


Then . . . why am I here? . . . Ohhh, some - some distant message beats in my brain, forbidding me the balm of sleep. Some words are there that even yet can save man from himself, if I could remember. But I am betrayed by all the mists of lust and greed and pain that rise around me.


Why have they not let me sleep?


I remember that April afternoon, when I was killed. The world trembled with the shock of barrage, as we struggled over poisoned ground. My comrades were melting away around me, and suddenly I stood alone . . . No fear was in my heart, only gladness, as I embraced the ultimate moment. I was being called to rest.


I felt pain, and yet there was no pain. I stood outside myself, and watched that insane, twisted thing, that had been my home for three and thirty-years leap and writhe in frightful torment. But in this detached part of me there was no pain, and I slept.


Oh, why was I not left alone?


They wakened me with clanging shovels. It was raining. The mud clung to my coffin . . . good, clean, wet mud. I was awake again, and yet I knew that I was dead. As they placed my clay upon a cart, they spoke in coarse voices, and carried me away.


And then I could not sleep. That inner voice kept urging me to wakefulness. My clay did not move, but my soul lived. I was resurrected.


They took me on a boat. I smelled the sea; the fog engulfed me and I almost slept again. But then they came and spoke in hushed voices and asked each other who I was, and no one knew. And I could not tell them for I did not know myself. But it was then I first had knowledge of words to be spoken, if I could but remember.


So they gave me a name. They called me the Unknown Soldier . . . Kings and statesmen came and bowed before me. Archbishops prayed. Soldiers stood rigid at attention. 


And I suffered. I longed to speak, but words would not come. They haunted me, those words. I knew that I had spoken them a long, long time ago . . . There - there comes to me at times a vision of a flatshored sea, and fishermen stand around those shores mending their nets and gossiping. And I see myself coming towards those men. But as I start to speak, my words are lost in the laughter of guns, the chuckle of pain, the grin of death.


Then why am I resurrected, why am I tormented with a thousand hells in one memory unremembered?! Surely there must be compassion somewhere, a tenderness to heal my wounded soul and make me whole again. Surely the rain does not fall, the grass turn green, and man reach upward toward a truth, if there be not some purpose.


That distant message beats again upon my brain, words that saved man once . . . words that may save him now.


I see a hill . . . a stark and lonely hill. I see three crosses, monstrous tall against the stricken sky. I see a man, his arms outspread . . . a young man.


Now I remember . . . now I recall those words I spoke a long, long time ago!


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


VOICE: I said, "Father, forgive them. They know not what they do."


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE ...

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