A Passenger to Bali


Broadcast on:
November 13, 1938
Based on:
"A Passenger to Bali" by Ellis St. Joseph (1936)
A Passenger to Bali

"Your God is not mine, and my nature is not yours. I am the opposition!"

A Passenger to Bali is something of an anomaly in the Mercury Theatre's work, a little-known novel by a film and television writer, now long out of print. Welles was pre-occupied with his doomed theatrical production of Danton's Death, as well as satisfying his vast hedonistic appetites, and it is remarkable he found time to attend the recording at all.

Regrettably this recording is far from perfect, especially the opening which at times is difficult to listen to. A shame as the story itself is an intriguing one - a passenger makes his way onto a ship, and it slowly becomes clear that there is something extremely sinister about the man and his motives.


The Novel

Little seems to be remembered about Ellis St. Joseph and this novel, and the price of a rare copy was more than I was willing to pay to discover more. The book did inspire an episode of Studio One in Hollywood, itself a production of CBS (perhaps they had bought the rights). Joseph continued his career in film and television writing for, amongst others, the legendary 1960s series of Batman.

Full Cast

Orson Welles (Reverend Dr. Ralph Wilkes), Everett Sloane, Stefan Schnabel, Guy Spaull.

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Mercury Theatre

All eighteen surviving broadcasts from the Mercury Theatre on the Air, free to listen to and download.

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Les Miserables

Welles's interpretation of Hugo's epic tale, which inspired CBS to commission the Mercury Theatre.

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Original scripts, other Welles recordings, further reading and lots more besides.

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"We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone."

Orson Welles