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Five Minute Mysteries 1947 review

Five Minute Mysteries (1947, United States)


In Old Time Radio times detective shows were one of the most popular ones, but there was a special category for shows that gave the audience chance to solve the mysteries. Five Minute Mysteries were unusual in concept and format - while shows like Ellery Queen were competitions in which audience could have earn money or prizes by solving the complicated mysteries Five Minute Mysteries were much simpler and for a good reason - Five Minute Mysteries were not prime time show, but just something that was used to fill the gaps between other shows.

Each episode was only five minutes long (hence the title), during which the mystery setting was presented, in first part of the mystery we also were given the solution that the detective or policeman that was taking part in this episode has given. For example at the end of first part of the mystery he said "I’m arresting you, Mister X" or "I know you’re lying Mister Y". Then there was a pause that gave the audience chance to solve for themselves why did the detective reached that conclusion based on short story that we heard at the beginning.

That concept of the show was quite interesting, but while some of the mysteries were far too simple (especially when you heard few episodes before the clues were sometimes too obvious), but the worst were the mysteries that even when we were given the reason why detective reached that conclusion it did not make much sense. Still, even taking under consideration the uneven level of quality in some of the episodes it was quite fun to try to solve the cases.