Retro Radio Memories: Escape – Leiningen Versus The Ants (1947)

A big thanks to Matt Lappie and the rest of the crowd over on the Retroist Facebook Page for the great suggestions for this installment of Retro Radio Memories! Today we are presenting an episode of Escape entitled “Leiningen Versus The Ants” that aired back on the CBS Radio network in 1947 and is based on the short story of the same name by Carl Stephenson that was published by Esquire magazine in December 1938.

The story deals with a plantation owner that stubbornly refuses to yield to a mass of army ants that is devouring everything and anyone in their path. If the story rings a few bells it might be that you have seen the theatrical adaptation from 1954 starring Charlton Heston entitled “The Naked Jungle”.

Escape debuted on July 7, 1947 and lasted until September 25, 1954. It was the go-to high-adventure anthology series in the day and that was even without a sponsor, which resulted in smaller production values as well as frequently having to contend with abrupt schedule shifts, though in 1950 for five months they did sign up Richfield Oil as a sponsor.

In this episode of Escape the part of Leiningen is played by William Conrad (Jake and the Fatman) who would later appear in the Naked Jungle in the part of the Commissioner, he also happened to be a narrator for the Escape series.

So take a moment and let those dishes soak in the sink, pull up a chair and let us travel back to a more simpler time as we enjoy Retro Radio Memories.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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