The Ray Bradbury Theater

The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone

Season 4, Ep 7, Aired 8/18/89
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  • Episode Description
  • When an unsuccessful author comes to murder him, a famous and prolific writer decides to make things easy for him.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Alan Scarfe

    John Oatis Kendall

  • Ray Bradbury

  • Susan Wilson

    Sara Stone

  • Larry Wilcox

  • Lewis Rowe

    Dudley Stone's Publisher

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  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Host: I'm surrounded by file after file of ideas, stories, poems, and fragments of novels put away over some 40 years. I go through them constantly and whichever story, poem, or play cries the loudest to be born gets written. But I've often wondered, if someone said to me "Your stories or your life?", would I save my life or my stories? And so "The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone" was born.

    • Kendall: I did it. It's true. I brought him to slaughter. Dudley Stone, you monster of perfection. You sublime writer. Damn your eyes that saw, your soul that knew, your hands that wrote. Shall I confess? Shall I tell you how I enticed him to destruction and cut short a life?

    • Dudley Stone: Your motive for murdering. Kendall: I have a list. Dudley Stone: Read it. Kendall: You have written too many books. Dudley Stone: True. Kendall: All of them excellent. Dudley Stone: Agreed. Kendall: How do I hate thee? Novels. Not only novels, but poetry. Not only poetry, but essays, huh? Not content with that, stage plays. What more, sure, why not? Screenplays. Lectures on city planning. Transportation. Architecture. Recordings, tapes. Is there no end to you? You are a flood tide, an upheaval, an unnatural force of Nature. You shrink us all to pygmy size. Pissfire ants. No more of it, no more!

    • Dudley Stone: Now you must hear my reasons for letting you do bloody murder. The grand tour. All the books I promised myself to read but never read. All the symphonies yet to be heard. All the films as yet unseen. Spices waiting to be snuffed. Beef joints, ham hocks, waiting to be devoured. Tapestries yet to be woven. Sculptures to be shaped. Paintings waiting to be painted. Sons and daughters to be advised. Grandchildren to be raised. Far countries to be flown over, to be walked through. Hang gliding yet to be tried. Tides yet unswum to be swum. All of it around me, free and vital. Beckoning. Waiting.

    • Dudley Stone: Let me share my secret with you, Mr. Kendall. Writing was never life to me. It was mustard and gall weed. Fidgeting words on paper. Experiencing vast depressions of heart and soul. I was spent, finished, ready to fling the past.

    Notes (1)

    • This episode is based on the short story "The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone" by Ray Bradbury. The story was first published in Charm (July, 1954).

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