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->''"Fast-moving dramas designed to freeze you to the edge of your chair!"''\\
--From a 1963 ad in ''Magazine/TVGuide''

''Kraft Suspense Theatre'' was a GenreAnthology that ran for two seasons on Creator/{{NBC}} between October 1963 and July 1965.

[[CaptainObvious Sponsored by Kraft Foods]], the series specialized in "tales of murder, intrigue and mystery". Some episodes were straightforward {{thriller}}s, while others were character-based dramas in which the protagonist had to make a difficult moral choice... or was living with the consequences of a choice s/he'd already made.

''KST'' also had a distinctive AnimatedCreditsOpening; with its threatening, shilhouetted figures and ominous {{Instrumental Theme Tune}}s (one for each season, both provided by a young Music/JohnWilliams), it seems like a prototype for the TitleSequence of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.

The show was fairly popular in its day, and like many anthologies, is a rich source of HeyItsThatGuy (See [[Trivia/KraftSuspenseTheatre the Trivia page]] for details). Still, it's not nearly as well-remembered as competitors such as ''Series/TheTwilightZone'', ''Series/AlfredHitchcockPresents'', or radio's ''Suspense''. One possible reason is confusion over the name; the series obviously couldn't retain the title ''Kraft Suspense Theatre'' in reruns, but it somehow got ''two'' {{Syndication Title}}s, ''Suspense Theatre'' and ''Crisis'' (no relation to [[Series/{{Crisis}} the 2014 series]] with [[SimilarlyNamedWorks the same name]]).

Digital station Antenna TV occasionally runs the series.

''KST'' has [[http://kraft1963.blogspot.com/ a fan blog]] with episode reviews. Also, director Ralph Senensky has posted about the three episodes he worked on ([[http://senensky.com/suspense-theatre/a-hero-for-our-time/ "A Hero for Our Times"]], [[http://senensky.com/suspense-theatre/the-jack-is-high/ "The Jack Is High"]] and [[http://senensky.com/suspense-theatre/the-easter-breach/ "The Easter Breach"]]).

!!Tropes:
* AdamWesting: In "Twixt the Cup and the Lip", Creator/EthelMerman seems to be making fun of her own reputation as a LargeHam.
* TheAlcoholic:
** "The Wine-Dark Sea", which takes place in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles' skid row, has a neighborhood full of them.
** In "A Hero for Our Times", an drunken, elderly janitor is falsely accused of murder.
** Conrad Easter pretends to be a drunk in "That Time in Havana".
* AllForNothing:
** The TwistEnding of the episode [[spoiler:"Four Into Zero". Four men scheme to counterfeit a South American dictatorship's new currency--on the very train that's transporting the plates. They succeed against all odds, only to learn that the dictator (whose portrait is on the currency) has just been assassinated, rendering their funny money worthless.]]
** "The Long Ravine" [[PlayingWithATrope plays with this trope]]. [[spoiler: At first, it seems that the protagonists have lost everything when the episode's villain uses a technicality to take over the gold claim they discovered. However, it turns out that while the vein has about $20,000 worth of gold in it, it'll cost $100,000 to extract it all. NiceJobFixingItVillain.]]
* AlliterativeName: Tom Threepersons from "Threepersons", though nobody ever calls him by both names.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Ralph Harrow from "A Cause of Anger" seems to be an early example of a character with HollywoodAutism and/or UsefulNotes/AspergerSyndrome. He's a TeenGenius who can rattle off trivia on just about any subject, but he has NoSocialSkills... and he flies into unpredictable rages with little or no provocation.
* AnimatedCreditsOpening
* ArmedBlag: Happens in "The Jack Is High".
* AttemptedRape: In "Portrait of an Unknown Man", it's heavily implied that Harvey Farnsworth tried to do this to Ellen Ramsey when they were both teenagers. Ellen's father knows this, but he still wants his daughter to marry Harvey so she'll stay in their little mountain town. Talk about AbusiveParents...
* AxCrazy: Candido Gomez from "Threepersons", who kills a defenseless sympathetic character while doing an EvilLaugh.
* BadassPacifist: Dr. Bert Andrews from "The Gun", a mild-mannered dentist who calms down a mentally disturbed woman who's waving around a loaded shotgun.
* BaldOfAwesome: The beret-wearing French Resistance agent played by Telly Savalas in "The Action of the Tiger".[[spoiler:..until it turns out that he's actually a Gestapo agent, thus making him BaldOfEvil.]]
* BlackmailIsSuchAnUglyWord: Averted in "One Step Down". When sleazy NoTellMotel owner Homer Fargis tries to get money out of wealthy Janet Cord for ''almost'' cheating on her husband, she replies "That's blackmail!"--and he responds with a BluntYes.
* BookEnds: "A Cruel and Unusual Night" begins with Judge Howard R. Stimming (UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's character) finding a man guilty of murder and declaring that he'll pass sentence later. At the end, [[spoiler: Stimming sentences the man to death, despite having almost been killed by someone else he condemned in the interim]].
* BowtiesAreCool: Charlie Raines from "Threepersons" wears one.
* BoxedCrook: The titular safecracker from "The Rise and Fall of Eddie Carew". When he's recruited to rescue a VIP from a locked bank vault, he initially doesn't want to do it, despite the pleadings of both the warden and his own girlfriend, because he's trying to go straight and he's afraid that doing the job will revive all the criminal instincts he's trying to get rid of. Eddie only commits to the job when the warden threatens to revoke his privileges.
* BrattyHalfPint: In "The Kamchatka Incident", one of the plane passengers is a Japanese boy who frequently "shoots" the people around him with his electronic toy gun.
* TheCaper: Episodes such as "The Jack Is High", "Four Into Zero" and "Twixt the Cup and the Lip" focus on amateur criminals who have joined forces to pull off a daring heist.
* UsefulNotes/ColdWar: A plot point in at least three episodes:
** "The Kamchatka Incident" (an American military air transport plane with engine trouble ''and'' a Russian defector on board strays into Soviet airspace)
** "That Time in Havana" (American adventurers searching for a million dollar stash in UsefulNotes/{{Cuba}})
** "The Easter Breach" (a young couple attempts to sneak over the UsefulNotes/BerlinWall)
* CompilationMovie: The series did three two-part episodes, all of which were re-edited into feature films. "The Case Against Paul Ryker" became ''Sgt. Ryker'', "Once Upon a Savage Night" became ''Nightmare in Chicago'', and "In Darkness, Waiting" became ''Strategy of Terror''.
* ConsummateLiar: In "Who Is Jennifer?", the teenage vagrant with a MultipleChoicePast admits that she lies "at the drop of a hat".
* CowardlyLion: Private [=LeRoy=] Brubaker from "Operation Greif". He's a [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic]] LovableRogue who can't stay out of trouble, avoids work and fighting whenever possible, and makes it clear that all he wants is to survive UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in one piece. However, [[spoiler:when he discovers that a Nazi infiltrator is on his way to commit sabotage, he goes after the spy alone and kills him just in time to stop him]].
* DeathSeeker: In "Their Own Executioners", Martin Rosetti insists that he planned to murder his wife because he feels he deserves the electric chair. Martin's lawyer, the terminally ill and clinically depressed Joe Monti, thinks that the killing was ''not'' premeditated, and spends most of the episode trying to get Martin to admit it. [[spoiler:Eventually, Joe's quest renews both mens' will to live.]]
* DidIMentionItsChristmas: "Are There Any More Out There Like You?" takes place at Christmas time to ironically drive home that the protagonist's family is falling apart.
* DirtyCop: Nick Stacy from "Twixt the Cup and the Lip" is an example that's PlayedForLaughs.
* DoesNotLikeGuns: In "Threepersons", Tom Threepersons saw (and did) more of his share of killing during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI ("All I've got is memories of dead men... some that I didn't even know"), so he wants to give up violence. However, circumstances force him to join Harly Clay's Prohibition task force despite his misgivings.
* DramaticHourLong
* DrowningMySorrows: Robert Benson, the protagonist of "The Wine-Dark Sea", is a former math professor who becomes a skid row drunk after accidentally killing his family.
** HesBack: Benson investigates the mysterious death of his friend, whom he thinks was framed for murder by a CorruptCorporateExecutive. [[spoiler:He's right.]] In the process, he overcomes his alcoholism and creates a new life for himself.
* DrowningPit: [[spoiler:A gasoline tanker becomes one for two unfortunate crooks in "The Jack Is High".]]
* EasyAmnesia: In "Doesn't Anyone Know Who I Am?", an executive loses his memory after getting conked on the head during a mugging. [[spoiler:He regains his memory when the sight of another businessman's hat and briefcase remind him who he is.]]
* EccentricMillionaire: Wolfe Hastings from "The Trains of Silence" seems to be this at first. [[spoiler:The truth is much darker: he's mentally ill, and his aide-de-camp has become TheStarscream and is keeping him isolated.]]
* EpisodeOnAPlane: Most of "The Kamchatka Incident".
* EverybodySmokes: What with the show being made in the 60's.
* EvilOldFolks: In this series, elderly general store owners in small rural towns tend to be {{Jerkass}}es with sexual issues. Two examples:
** Hugh Ramsey from "Portait of an Unknown Man". He's a {{Gender Flip}}ped version of MyBelovedSmother, determined to keep his daughter with him in their little mountain town, even if it means marrying her off to a man whom he ''knows'' [[AttemptedRape tried to rape her]] when they were both teenagers. He even slaps her just for saying nice things about the handsome GentleGiant who recently moved into the area.
** Walter "Pop" Tullett from "The Long Ravine". Not only does he take the gold claim the protagonists discovered [[spoiler:but see AllForNothing above]], he makes creepy advances toward the pretty young wife of one of the men.
* ExtremeDoormat:
** Avis Tyler from "A Cruel and Unusual Night". She opposes her husband's plan to kidnap and execute the judge who sentenced him to death, but reluctantly goes along with it due to a combination of love, devotion and a weak-willed nature.
** In "Twixt the Cup and the Lip", Lester Pennell's fiancee accuses him of being one, which motivates him to [[spoiler:steal a valuable scepter that's on display at the museum he works for]] to prove her wrong.
* FatalFamilyPhoto: {{Averted}} in [[spoiler:"The Kamchatka Incident" and "Streetcar, Do You Read Me?"]]. Various characters show their family photos, but EverybodyLives.
* FoolForLove: Both the titular character and his girlfriend Sally [=McClure=] in "The Rise and Fall of Eddie Carew". [[spoiler:Eddie frees a VIP who's trapped inside a bank vault, but he and his partner Pinky Ferguson then flee with all the money. Sally, who's trying to get Eddie to go straight, responds by locking herself inside the vault so that Eddie will have to come back to rescue her. Which he does, leaving Pinky behind.]]
* GentleGiant: David Wolfe from "Portrait of an Unknown Man".
* GoodScarsEvilScars: The title character in "Threepersons" has a facial scar that's never explained, although he might have gotten it during his UsefulNotes/WorldWarI service.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: In "The Action of the Tiger", [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname "Beret"]] sees that Ben Hollister is with LaResistance in occupied UsefulNotes/{{France}} during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, so he gives the American helpful hints on how to evade the Nazis. [[spoiler:This is because "Beret" is actually a Gestapo agent who ''wants'' Hollister to contact the Resistance so he can capture them all. However, after Hollister learns the truth, he realizes that "Beret" actually gave him good advice--which he uses to escape the Nazis and safely return to America.]]
* HollywoodHeartAttack: How George Whitney dies in "One Step Down". He instantly collapses in a motel bathroom, without displaying any symptoms beforehand. The woman he's with even talks to him from the next room for a couple of minutes until she wonders why he's not answering.
* HuntingTheMostDangerousGame: In "The Hunt", a CorruptHick sheriff purposely lets inmates escape from his jail so he and his posse can have fun tracking them down--and killing them.
* InstrumentalThemeTune: As noted, two of them.
* JustFollowingOrders: In "A Cruel and Unusual Night", Judge Stimming defends the death sentence he gave to Sherman Tyler by explaining that he didn't have a choice; after all, he doesn't make the laws, the people do.
** GodwinsLaw: Tyler responds by, yes, comparing Stimming to the Nazis. Not surprisingly, the judge objects.
* JustLikeRobinHood: How gangster Ramon Castillo sees himself in "The Watchman", and how his journalist friend Jack Fleming depicts him.[[spoiler:...for a while.]]
* KillTheCutie: [[spoiler:In "Operation Greif", Marie Ange discovers the Nazi infiltrator posing as a GI smuggling explosives along with blood supplies. Unfortunately, her fate is sealed when the Nazi sees her. He even {{lampshades}} the trope by saying "You're a smart girl, but not lucky."]]
* LatinLover: Mario Robrioz plays this trope for all it's worth in "The Robrioz Ring".
* LieDetector: The subject of "The Machine That Played God". After Peggy Merritt accidentally kills her husband in a car accident, then fails two tests, she convinces herself that the tragedy was a murder/attempted suicide because the lie detector must know more about what's going on inside her that she does herself. {{Justified}} because Peggy is a psychological wreck, and also because she's hiding from the ''real'' truth: [[spoiler:She didn't murder her husband, but she never loved or respected him either.]]
* LineOfSightName: In "Doesn't Anyone Know Who I Am?", the amnesiac businessman protagonist renames himself "George Press" after seeing a stickshift marked "press" in the truck that picks him up after he's mugged.
* LiteraryAllusionTitle
** The title of "The Wine-Dark Sea" is taken from Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Literature/TheIliad'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey''. It's also a DoubleMeaningTitle because it refers to the protagonist's struggle with alcoholism.
** ShoutOutToShakespeare: The title of "The Action of the Tiger" is a quote from ''Theatre/HenryV''.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: "The Deep End" has a prime example. [[spoiler:Angie Powell appears to be no more than the SexySecretary to construction tycoon Sam Kimber. She's actually a sexually repressed religious fanatic who murders two people because she thinks they're corrupting her beloved boss. She winds up in a psycho ward.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: The relationship between Sam Morris and Marta Aviles in "That He Should Weep for Her" starts to turn into this.
* UsefulNotes/TheMexicanRevolution: The titular character in "Threepersons" served as a scout under [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J._Pershing General John J. Pershing]]; this was presumably during the Pancho Villa Expedition, though it's never spelled out.
* MightyWhitey: General John Doe from "Jungle of Fear" is a villainous example. He's a white 19th century American who claims to have been raised in UsefulNotes/{{China}}, although it's more likely that he's a US Navy deserter who jumped ship there to escape hanging for murder. By 1850, he's a general in the Chinese army and the chief adviser to the Emperor's brother, and he plans to make the brother Emperor so he can [[TheManBehindTheMan rule behind the scenes]] as an EvilChancellor.
* MoralDilemma:
** In "A Hero for Our Times", High-powered executive Mason Etheridge witnesses a murder while at [[YourCheatingHeart his mistress' apartment]]. An innocent man (the apartment's janitor, an elderly [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]]) is arrested for the crime, and only Mason can set him free (especially after [[spoiler:the real murderer dies while trying to run him off the road]]). Not only is Mason's marriage at risk, but so is his job: he's just been promoted, and when he confides in his boss, he's told not to throw everything away over a worthless bum like the janitor. What should Mason do? [[spoiler:Mason does the right thing and testifies. Not only does his boss gain new-found respect for him, but his wife (who thought he'd sold out a long time ago) forgives him.]]
** In "Leviathan Five", four scientists and a guard are trapped in an underground lab. There's only enough oxygen for four people, so one of them has to [[HeroicSacrifice die to save the others]]. What now? [[spoiler: When attempts to randomly choose the victim fail, one of the scientists kills the guard. After all four scientists are convicted of murder, the killer confesses to spare his colleagues.]]
* MultipleChoicePast: In "Who Is Jennifer?", one of the main characters is a teenage vagrant who keeps changing her name and background. [[spoiler:We never find out who she really is.]]
* MyBelovedSmother: Lina Rosetti from "Their Own Executioners". She [[ReallyGetsAround Really Got Around]] when she was young, but eventually went to the other extreme and became a repressed Catholic {{fundamentalist}}--which helps explain why her son Martin became a neurotic MommasBoy who killed his wife.
* MyGreatestFailure: During UsefulNotes/TheKoreanWar, Major Will Stanton (VillainProtagonist of "A Lion Amongst Men") was a GeneralRipper who led a group of young recruits into battle before they were ready, getting most of them killed in the process. While he acts as if he holds the soldiers responsible for their own deaths, we eventually learn that he's blamed himself all along.
* {{Narrator}}: The series usually doesn't use one, but "Operation Greif" and "The Kamchatka Incident" are exceptions. A few episodes have {{First Person Peripheral Narrator}}s as well.
* NewOldWest: "The Long Ravine". It's set in ThePresentDay, but it takes place in a small Western town, and the plot revolves around a gold mine and claim jumping.
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Harly Clay from "Threepersons". He can't get over Tom Threepersons being a Native American (he usually calls him "Cherokee", which Tom hates), but invites Tom to join his task force because he respects Tom's abilities. [[spoiler:At the episode's climax, when Tom goes to fight the bad guys on his own, Clay repeatedly tells him that he won't be able to provide backup, but does so anyway in a prime example of ChangedMyMindKid.]]
* ObfuscatingInsanity: "That Time in Havana" features Conrad Easter, an American artist living in Cuba who pretends to be a [[TheAlcoholic drunken]] {{Cloudcuckoolander}}. [[spoiler:He's actually working with an anti-[[UsefulNotes/FidelCastro Castro]] guerrilla cell, and he convinces the protagonists to give their million dollar stash to the rebels.]]
* PoorlyDisguisedPilot: Several, but only two were successful; "The Case Against Paul Ryker", in addition to its theatrical release, became the basis for ''Series/CourtMartial'', and "Rapture at Two-Forty" was [[SpinOff spun off]] into ''Series/RunForYourLife''.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Pete Rugolo's score for "Twixt the Cup and the Lip" incorporates "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in several scenes.
* RecycledInSpace: "Jungle of Fear" is ''Film/{{Casablanca}}'' in 1850 Panama.
* LaResistance: Alluded to in "Operation Greif", when Marie Ange mentions that her brother (who was a member of the resistance) was killed by the Nazis. [[spoiler:She joins him soon enough.]]
* RightWingMilitiaFanatic: In "A Lion Amongst Men", Major Will Stanton is a paranoid bigot who's trying to start a militia, although his only "recruit" is a friend who's clearly just indulging him.
* RussianRoulette: "Threepersons" has a variation. During a barroom confrontation with Federal agent Tom Threepersons, gangster Candido Gomez says he wants "a friendly fight". He takes all but one bullet out of his revolver, then passes it across the bar to the unarmed Threepersons, who stays true to his DoesNotLikeGuns ethos by firing it into the air. Threepersons then gives the gun back to Gomez, who ''does'' fire at him... but it's one of the empty chambers. This goes on until [[spoiler:Threepersons just takes the gun from Gomez before either of them can fire the bullet]].
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: In "Are There Any More Out There Like You?", wealthy Thomas Bollington uses bribery to "pull strings" for his daughter Janet and her friends after they kill a pedestrian while [[DrunkDriver drunk driving]].[[spoiler:..including offering the only witness $1000 not to tell the police that Janet was at the wheel.]]
** [[spoiler:MyGodWhatHaveIDone[=/=]ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules[=/=]ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: However, Bollington eventually realizes that his neglectful parenting is why Janet is so screwed up. He withdraws the bribe offer, knowing it will result in his daughter going to jail, because he realizes that Janet must learn that her actions have consequences.]]
* ShaveAndAHaircut: In "Are There Any More Out There Like You?", one of the college students briefly plays it on his recorder.
* SoundtrackDissonance: "The Deep End" begins with a woman going for a swim while pleasant swing music plays on her radio. When a scuba diver appears and drowns her, the soundtrack switches to the expected "suspense thriller" music... and then back to the swing music after the murder is finished.
* UsefulNotes/SpanishCivilWar: Where Jack Fleming and Ramon Castillo first meet in "The Watchman".
* SpotTheImposter: The plot of "Operation Greif", which is based on an actual [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Nazi]] plot during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in which German spies posed as American soldiers[[note]]and British ones as well, although the story doesn't mention this[[/note]] in order to sabotage the Allied war effort. In the episode, a group of American [=GIs=] realize that one of them is an infiltrator, and both the characters and the audience have to figure out who it is.
* StepfordSmiler: Edna Bollington in "Are There Any More Out There Like You?". Her family is collapsing around her and she doesn't know how to deal with it, so she ignores it and concentrates on fixing the best Christmas dinner ever.
* SurferDude: Played by none other than Creator/JamesCaan in "The Hunt".
* TeensAreMonsters: Rex Andrews from "The Gun". After his pacifist father refuses to shoot a burglar, Rex turns into a GunNut, as well as a sullen {{Delinquent}} who harasses the neighborhood's resident crazy old lady. However, seeing his father disarm the woman after she [[FreakOut freaks out]] and grabs a shotgun leads to a HeelRealization.
* [[TeensAreMonsters Twentysomethings Are Monsters]]: The antagonists of "Are There Any More Out There like You?" are four college seniors who are utterly despicable. It's bad enough that they're all arrogant {{Smug Snake}}s who hold the rest of the world in contempt--but then they're involved in a fatal [[DrunkDriver drunk driving]] accident. They have no sympathy for the victim or remorse for their actions, they obstruct justice by refusing to tell the police which one of them was driving, and all they care about is that their own lives are disrupted as little as possible.
* TookALevelInBadass: What happens to USAAF pilot Ben "Hard Luck" Hollister in "The Action of the Tiger" after his CharacterDevelopment.
* TranslationConvention: In "The Action of the Tiger", most of the dialogue that's supposed to be in French or German is spoken in English.
* TwilightOfTheOldWest: "Threepersons" is set on the Texas/Mexico border circa [[TheRoaringTwenties 1923]], with Prohibition in effect while horses and automobiles share the streets. The heroes go after a gang who's smuggling booze across the border.
* TheUnpronouncable: In "Jungle of Fear", the MightyWhitey character goes by "John Doe" because the Chinese can't pronounce his real name.
* TheUnreveal: The end of "Who Is Jennifer?" [[spoiler: Is the mysterious teenage vagrant really the long-lost daughter of a wealthy widow? We never find out.]]
* UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar: In "The Long Ravine", Chris Sandee is just back from his service. The episode dates from 1965, making the story among the first TV episodes to refer to the war.
* TheVoice: Jack Fleming's analyst in "The Watchman". The character is heard but never seen, and his conversations with Fleming are shot from his point of view.
* WickedCultured: Professor Raymond Shipley from "The Jack Is High". He teaches English lit and woos a stripper by giving her a collection of Creator/{{Sappho}}'s writings. He also recruits a RagtagBunchOfMisfits to [[ArmedBlag rob an armored car]].
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: The setting for at least three episodes ("The Action of the Tiger", "Operation Greif" and "Graffiti"). It also appears briefly in "The Watchman".
* WomanScorned: In "One Step Down", rich widow Harriet Whitney is less upset by the death of her husband than the fact that he was in a NoTellMotel, about to cheat on her. Harriet uses her wealth to search for the mysterious other woman, not realizing that it's her best friend.
* {{Yellowface}}: "Jungle of Fear" has white actors playing the two main Chinese characters. The episode's other Chinese roles were played by Asian actors (including Harold Sakata, ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'''s Odd Job).
* YourCheatingHeart: The source of conflict in "A Hero for Our Times" (in which the protagonist cheats on his wife) and "One Step Down" (where the protagonist had intended to cheat on her husband, but stops due to second thoughts--and her lover suddenly dying on her).
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