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Box Thirteen

Alan Ladd in Box 13 found adventures that did not depend on a new corpse every week. Dan Holiday, retired newspaper man turned fiction writer and adventurer extraordinaire. To gain ideas for his books, he places an ad in the paper "Adventure wanted – will go anywhere, do anything – Box 13."

Box 13

52 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 23 hours, 1 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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26 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from January 09, 1949:

"The Better Man"



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Alan Ladd
All-time favorite Mystery-adventure (1948-49)

"Adventure wanted--
will go anywhere--
do anything--
Box 13.
"

Alan Ladd publicity still.

The theory goes that to write adventure stories, a writer first has to have adventures. The premise is a good one, even if it is not necessarily true. It was good enough for Ellery Queen, but it was fully developed by Alan Ladd who starred as the mystery novelist Dan Holiday in Box 13.

The hook for Box 13 was a classified ad that Holiday took out in the Star-Times newspaper which read: "Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything – write Box 13, Star-Times". Some fans might argue that the concept is closer to the ad used by George Valentine in Let George Do It. Alan Ladd, whose movie career hit its apex in the post-War years, made a name for himself in noir-thrillers and Westerns but had the dashing good looks of an Errol Flynn or Douglas Fairbanks and would have fit in with the pre-Code swash-buckling heroes.

Box 13

Due to stomach problems, Ladd was listed "4-F" by the draft board. He did manage to get into the USAAF's First Motion Picture Unit and stationed at the Walla Walla Army Air Base in Southeast Washington State but was eventually given an honorable medical discharge. After his return to filmmaking, another physical examination upgraded his status to 1A and he seemed to be facing recall to service. By this time. Paramount had built a series of projects around him and the studio pulled strings to have Ladd deferred. He was set for re-induction in May 1945 but just before his time to report there was an announcement that all draftees over the age of 30 would be deferred. Ladd joined several other showbiz figures who benefitted from deferment in volunteering for overseas work with the USO.

Although the War may have been winding down, a good deal of Hollywood's male talent was still in uniform, so Paramount felt it needed Ladd.  He and his agent tried to squeeze more out of the studio because of this, and Ladd was slapped with a suspension just as other leading men were mustering out of the service. 

Since beginning his show business career in Radio (in 1936 he was doing as many as twenty shows each week at KFWB Los Angeles) Ladd had kept a presence on Radio Row, notably in film adaptations for Lux Radio Theatre and Screen Director's Playhouse. A remarkable example was his portrayal of Rick Blaine (Bogey's part) in Lux's adaptation of Casablanca (1942, Warner Bros) on January 24, 1944. While dealing with the studio brass, Ladd got in touch with some of his old gang at KFWB and formed Mayfair Syndication Company, which created Box 13.

At the time, sponsors were beginning to shy away from the popular "hard-boiled" detective format that depended on a grisly murder each week. Sponsors hesitated to have their products associated with a new corpse each week. Box 13 kept the high adventure and "Code of Honor" listeners demanded, but murder was not always part of the mix.

See also The Alan Ladd Collection, Douglas of the World, and Hardboiled Detectives.

Alan Ladd on the microphone.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2021 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

  • Show Rating

    28
    26     2


    COMMENTS

    You don't hear much about Alan Ladd nowadays and yet he had an excellent radio series, Box 13, and many good movies such as Shane, and the fact he started as a radio star in many soap operas. He married a well known talent agent, Sue Carol and she carefully guided his career getting him a contract at Paramount Studies. Together they built a production company, Mayfair Productions, which among many things produced his radio show. Unfortunately he came to a tragic end turning to alcohol and died alone early in life.

    Walter Verified Purchase

    My mother worked at the Donnelley Printing Company in the early 1940s, and her job was to emboss in gold the names of buyers of encyclopedias. Half a century later (she's 94 now), she is still proud of the fact that she's the person who put Alan Ladd's name on his encyclopedia set!

    Dan Verified Purchase

    I loved box 13 and wished it could have been a series or movie.

    Wardell Verified Purchase

    I am concurrently enjoying "Box 13," "Let George Do It," and "Bulldog Drummond." Seems all three shows share the same basic premise: An ad is placed in the paper looking for adventure and offering help to others, by a guy who is either bored or looking for "material." "Box 13" and "George" begin the same way, with the letter being read aloud, beginning with the sender and fading into finishing by the recipient. Of course, "Drummond" started as novels by "Sapper" McNeile and movies starring Ronald Colman, Ray Milland, and others. The novels and films are very entertaining.

    Shelley Verified Purchase

    I've listened to all, Box 13. They were worth the time.

    Ken Verified Purchase

    I prefer box 13 over the others but like them all

    Nate Verified Purchase

    I really enjoy Box 13, even though I find Alan Ladd's acting a bit stilted, but for pure entertainment and a relaxing listen this is one of my go to shows. Whenever I am filling out a form with box numbers, the "Box 13...Box 13..." of the intro come to my mind!

    Peter Verified Purchase

    I listen to Box 13 with Alan Ladd. It was the case about a friend who should have been left millions but his grandpa just left him his house. It was good, I have to listen to more of these

    Bruce Verified Purchase

    That used to be my favorite OTR. At one point I had every episode

    Sam

    it’s too bad it only lasted a year. Would have been a great tv show

    Brice Verified Purchase

    I think the show was produced by Ladd's production company so it must have been his decision to quit.

    Walt Verified Purchase

    I like shows like Box 13, Let George Do It and Rocky Fortune where the protagonist encounters all sorts of unusual people and situation not necessarily crime-related.

    Brett Verified Purchase

    Excellent series. As someone that simply loves the "radio" era 1930-1950's Box 13 has stories that are timeless and yet nostalgic, making me want to relive a simpler time is life.

    Gregory Verified Purchase

    I enjoyed listening to Box 13. The stories were very interesting.

    Eugene Verified Purchase

    That used to be my favorite OTR. At one point I had every episode

    Sam

    it’s too bad it only lasted a year. Would have been a great tv show

    Bruce

    It seems that a show, well I like always is short. Well not all Johnny Dollar

    Sam

    Does anyone know why it didn’t last?

    Sam

    I think the show was produced by Ladd's production company so it must have been his decision to quit.

    Walt Verified Purchase

    I like shows like Box 13, Let George Do It and Rocky Fortune where the protagonist encounters all sorts of unusual people and situation not necessarily crime-related.

    Brett Verified Purchase

    I found out about Let George do it. I really like that. Not a fan of Rocky Fortune

    Bruce Verified Purchase

    Great series, very entertaining, well worth the time to listen to.

    Bryan Verified Purchase

    I'm a relatively new fan of OTR, having discovered Escape on Audible. It made me look into more titles and I discovered this site. I've bought many titles including Box 13. I loved the unique story point of this title which was the way of contacting reporter Alan Ladd through the postal box number 13. Its a shame that more episodes were not made but the ones that were are superb and as with all otrcat prices the value for money is excellent.

    Jason Verified Purchase

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    52 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00. Total playtime 23 hours, 1 min
    52 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 23 hours, 1 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      52 shows - total playtime 23 hours 1 minutes
      1. Box 13 01 First Letter.mp3
      2. Box 13 02 Insurance Fraud.mp3
      3. Box 13 03 Blackmail Is Murder.mp3
      4. Box 13 04 Actors Alibi.mp3
      5. Box 13 05 Extra Extra.mp3
      6. Box 13 06 Shanghaied.mp3
      7. Box 13 07 Short Assignment.mp3
      8. Box 13 08 Double Mothers.mp3
      9. Box 13 09 Book Of Poems.mp3
      10. Box 13 10 Great Torino.mp3
      11. Box 13 11 Suicide Or Murder.mp3
      12. Box 13 12 Triple Cross.mp3
      13. Box 13 13 Damsel In Distress.mp3
      14. Box 13 14 Diamond In Sky.mp3
      15. Box 13 15 Double Right Cross.mp3
      16. Box 13 16 Look Pleasant Please.mp3
      17. Box 13 17 Haunted Artist.mp3
      18. Box 13 18 Sad Night.mp3
      19. Box 13 19 Hot Box.mp3
      20. Box 13 20 Better Man.mp3
      21. Box 13 21 Professor And Puzzle.mp3
      22. Box 13 22 Dowager And Dan Holiday.mp3
      23. Box 13 23 Three To Die.mp3
      24. Box 13 24 Philanthropist.mp3
      25. Box 13 25 Last Will And Nursery Rhyme.mp3
      26. Box 13 26 Delinquents Dilemma.mp3
      27. Box 13 27 Flash Of Light.mp3
      28. Box 13 28 Hare And Hounds.mp3
      29. Box 13 29 Hunt And Peck.mp3
      30. Box 13 30 Death Is Doll.mp3
      31. Box 13 31 One One Three Point Five.mp3
      32. Box 13 32 Dan And Wonderful Lamp.mp3
      33. Box 13 33 Tempest In Casserole.mp3
      34. Box 13 34 Mexican Maze.mp3
      35. Box 13 35 Sealed Instructions.mp3
      36. Box 13 36 Find Me Find Death.mp3
      37. Box 13 37 Much Too Lucky.mp3
      38. Box 13 38 One Of These Four.mp3
      39. Box 13 39 Daytime Nightmare.mp3
      40. Box 13 40 Death Is No Joke.mp3
      41. Box 13 41 Treasure Of Hang Li.mp3
      42. Box 13 42 Design For Danger.mp3
      43. Box 13 43 Dead Man Walks.mp3
      44. Box 13 44 Killer At Large.mp3
      45. Box 13 45 Speed To Burn.mp3
      46. Box 13 46 House Of Darkness.mp3
      47. Box 13 47 Double Trouble.mp3
      48. Box 13 48 Biter Bitten.mp3
      49. Box 13 49 Perfect Crime.mp3
      50. Box 13 50 Archimedes And Roman.mp3
      51. Box 13 51 Clay Pigeon.mp3
      52. Box 13 52 Round Robin.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    52 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00. Total playtime 23 hours, 1 min
    52 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 23 hours, 1 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      52 shows - total playtime 23 hours 1 minutes
      1. Box 13 01 First Letter.mp3
      2. Box 13 02 Insurance Fraud.mp3
      3. Box 13 03 Blackmail Is Murder.mp3
      4. Box 13 04 Actors Alibi.mp3
      5. Box 13 05 Extra Extra.mp3
      6. Box 13 06 Shanghaied.mp3
      7. Box 13 07 Short Assignment.mp3
      8. Box 13 08 Double Mothers.mp3
      9. Box 13 09 Book Of Poems.mp3
      10. Box 13 10 Great Torino.mp3
      11. Box 13 11 Suicide Or Murder.mp3
      12. Box 13 12 Triple Cross.mp3
      13. Box 13 13 Damsel In Distress.mp3
      14. Box 13 14 Diamond In Sky.mp3
      15. Box 13 15 Double Right Cross.mp3
      16. Box 13 16 Look Pleasant Please.mp3
      17. Box 13 17 Haunted Artist.mp3
      18. Box 13 18 Sad Night.mp3
      19. Box 13 19 Hot Box.mp3
      20. Box 13 20 Better Man.mp3
      21. Box 13 21 Professor And Puzzle.mp3
      22. Box 13 22 Dowager And Dan Holiday.mp3
      23. Box 13 23 Three To Die.mp3
      24. Box 13 24 Philanthropist.mp3
      25. Box 13 25 Last Will And Nursery Rhyme.mp3
      26. Box 13 26 Delinquents Dilemma.mp3
      27. Box 13 27 Flash Of Light.mp3
      28. Box 13 28 Hare And Hounds.mp3
      29. Box 13 29 Hunt And Peck.mp3
      30. Box 13 30 Death Is Doll.mp3
      31. Box 13 31 One One Three Point Five.mp3
      32. Box 13 32 Dan And Wonderful Lamp.mp3
      33. Box 13 33 Tempest In Casserole.mp3
      34. Box 13 34 Mexican Maze.mp3
      35. Box 13 35 Sealed Instructions.mp3
      36. Box 13 36 Find Me Find Death.mp3
      37. Box 13 37 Much Too Lucky.mp3
      38. Box 13 38 One Of These Four.mp3
      39. Box 13 39 Daytime Nightmare.mp3
      40. Box 13 40 Death Is No Joke.mp3
      41. Box 13 41 Treasure Of Hang Li.mp3
      42. Box 13 42 Design For Danger.mp3
      43. Box 13 43 Dead Man Walks.mp3
      44. Box 13 44 Killer At Large.mp3
      45. Box 13 45 Speed To Burn.mp3
      46. Box 13 46 House Of Darkness.mp3
      47. Box 13 47 Double Trouble.mp3
      48. Box 13 48 Biter Bitten.mp3
      49. Box 13 49 Perfect Crime.mp3
      50. Box 13 50 Archimedes And Roman.mp3
      51. Box 13 51 Clay Pigeon.mp3
      52. Box 13 52 Round Robin.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    52 recordings on 26 Audio CDs. Total playtime 23 hours, 1 min
    52 recordings on 26 Audio CDs
    total playtime 23 hours, 1 min

    Box 13 Disc A001

    1. Box 13 01 First Letter
    2. Box 13 02 Insurance Fraud

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    Box 13 Disc A002

    1. Box 13 03 Blackmail Is Murder
    2. Box 13 04 Actors Alibi

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    Box 13 Disc A003

    1. Box 13 05 Extra Extra
    2. Box 13 06 Shanghaied

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    Box 13 Disc A004

    1. Box 13 07 Short Assignment
    2. Box 13 08 Double Mothers

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    Box 13 Disc A005

    1. Box 13 09 Book Of Poems
    2. Box 13 10 Great Torino

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    Box 13 Disc A006

    1. Box 13 11 Suicide Or Murder
    2. Box 13 12 Triple Cross

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    Box 13 Disc A007

    1. Box 13 13 Damsel In Distress
    2. Box 13 14 Diamond In Sky

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    Box 13 Disc A008

    1. Box 13 15 Double Right Cross
    2. Box 13 16 Look Pleasant Please

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    Box 13 Disc A009

    1. Box 13 17 Haunted Artist
    2. Box 13 18 Sad Night

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    Box 13 Disc A010

    1. Box 13 19 Hot Box
    2. Box 13 20 Better Man

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    Box 13 Disc A011

    1. Box 13 21 Professor And Puzzle
    2. Box 13 22 Dowager And Dan Holiday

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    Box 13 Disc A012

    1. Box 13 23 Three To Die
    2. Box 13 24 Philanthropist

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    Box 13 Disc A013

    1. Box 13 25 Last Will And Nursery Rhyme
    2. Box 13 26 Delinquents Dilemma

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    Box 13 Disc A014

    1. Box 13 27 Flash Of Light
    2. Box 13 28 Hare And Hounds

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    Box 13 Disc A015

    1. Box 13 29 Hunt And Peck
    2. Box 13 30 Death Is Doll

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    Box 13 Disc A016

    1. Box 13 31 One One Three Point Five
    2. Box 13 32 Dan And Wonderful Lamp

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    Box 13 Disc A017

    1. Box 13 33 Tempest In Casserole
    2. Box 13 34 Mexican Maze

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    Box 13 Disc A018

    1. Box 13 35 Sealed Instructions
    2. Box 13 36 Find Me Find Death

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    Box 13 Disc A019

    1. Box 13 37 Much Too Lucky
    2. Box 13 38 One Of These Four

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    Box 13 Disc A020

    1. Box 13 39 Daytime Nightmare
    2. Box 13 40 Death Is No Joke

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    Box 13 Disc A021

    1. Box 13 41 Treasure Of Hang Li
    2. Box 13 42 Design For Danger

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    Box 13 Disc A022

    1. Box 13 43 Dead Man Walks
    2. Box 13 44 Killer At Large

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    Box 13 Disc A023

    1. Box 13 45 Speed To Burn
    2. Box 13 46 House Of Darkness

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    Box 13 Disc A024

    1. Box 13 47 Double Trouble
    2. Box 13 48 Biter Bitten

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    Box 13 Disc A025

    1. Box 13 49 Perfect Crime
    2. Box 13 50 Archimedes And Roman

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    Box 13 Disc A026

    1. Box 13 51 Clay Pigeon
    2. Box 13 52 Round Robin

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