Leiningen Versus the Ants

Delta-vee presents classic Old-Time Radio productions and modern audio dramas, today’s episode: “Leiningen Versus the Ants”. This famous short story by Carl Stephenson is the only surviving bit of his work that is well known. The story was first published in German in 1937, and later translated into English for publication in the December 1938 edition of Esquire. Although little is known generally about the author and his other works, “Leiningen versus the Ants” has inspired no less than four radio adaptations in the CBS anthology series Escape and Suspense, and at least one translation into film as The Naked Jungle, starring Charlton Heston as Leiningen. The 1980s adventure series MacGuyver also features an episode that draws from this source material. The story follows plantation owner Leiningen in his struggle against a horde of South American army ants described as “a force of nature”. This adventure story is typical of a genre popular at the time that pitted rugged individualists against an impersonal and primeval world as yet untamed by the human will. This episode of Escape first aired on August 4, 1949. And now our featured presentation….

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