Old Time Radio is an interesting, perhaps even ironic forum in which to explore blindness. Because there are no pictures in Radio, the Listener is forced to create images in his own mind.
The importance of sight is emphasized in the title of the religious program brought to us by the Jewish Theological Seminary. The intent is that we will all be guided by The Eternal Light, but what if we cannot see the light? That is the question faced by the soldier in Alan Sergel's story "And Then There Was Light". Corporal Bernard Levin loses his eyes to a land mine in Europe, but for a time he finds solace in memories of the Temple. In time, he realizes that the only lasting hope he will find is being able to read from a Hebrew Bible written in Braille, but there is no such Bible at the time...
The very first episode of The Author's Playhouse presents "The Country Of The Blind", the classic H. G. Wells (the same author who created "The War of the Worlds", upon which Orson Welles infamous 1938 Halloween broadcast was based). The hero knows the proverb "In the country of the blind the one eyed man is king", but when he finds himself trapped in a country where everyone is blind, he discovers that his site is actually a handicap.
In episode "No Night Too Dark", Will Caulder sends word that he is coming back to his cabin in Cold Water, but he does not send word to his girl. He does not want her to feel sorry for him because he has been struck blind. Shopkeeper Walter Brennan shows him that he can see as well as anyone if he uses the gifts God left him.
Blindness is more than a dramatic device, it is an all too real condition. Yet it is one that the truly determined may overcome to achieve great things. Captains of Industry shows us the rise of Joseph Pulitzer from an immigrant cub reporter to owning two newspapers in St. Louis to finally the New York World. While building his empire, Pulitzer lost the use of his eyes, but still managed to make journalism one of the great defenders of Jeffersonian Democracy.
Academy Award Theater brings us "Pride of the Marines", the story of tough and independent Al Schmid, who fought bravely on Guadalcanal, even after being blinded by a Japanese grenade. The bulk of the story is about his rehabilitation, especially facing the girl he left behind. "Pride of the Marines" is also brought to us on Lux Radio Theater.
In "The Magnificent Obsession", also on Lux Radio Theater, playboy Bob Merrick is injured and then saved by Dr. Phillips' resuscitator, however while the machine is being used to save him it is not available to save the doctor when he has a heart attack. While recovering, Bob gets to know the doctor's widow Helen and is with her when an accident strikes her blind. He becomes obsessed with making things right with Helen, to the point of entering medical school and becoming one of the world's preeminent brain surgeons. The 1937 broadcast features Robert Taylor and Irene Dunn reprising their roles from the 1935 film.
The specter of blindness is familiar fodder for the Soaps, and we hear touching stories from Cecil and Sally, Dr. Christian, Dr. Kildare and Young Widder Brown. The implications of blindness are not lost on children, with episodes about blindness on The Lone Ranger, Hop Harrigan, Challenge of the Yukon and Lassie.
Disk One and Two in the Blind Tales Collection are dramas, soaps, and other genres. Disk Three contains all horror and mystery shows included in Blind Terror Collection. See also: Helen Keller Collection.