Ten Most Memorable Episodes Of Alfred Hitchcock Presents
In Addition To Films, Alfred Hitchcock Hosted A Great Weekly Series
Since it involved a reaction to a pestilence, a classic episode of a bygone series of suspense seemed bizarrely relevant today. It was shown as part of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, televised tales that aired weekly over sixty years ago.
In "Into Thin Air" a woman travels to Paris with her mother, who becomes very ill after checking into a hotel. Her daughter notifies the management, and very soon a doctor arrives.
After she is sent out of the hotel for medicine the doctor needed as treatment, the daughter returns to find the room completely changed with no sign of her mother. A thorough investigation by the distraught woman leaves her clueless about her mother's whereabouts, nor is there even any trace that the latter had even been in the hotel at all.
Once she finally gets to the bottom of it, the authorities inform her that her mother had passed away and that the body had been destroyed. Naturally the daughter asked why, at which point the authorities told her that the cause of death was the bubonic plague.
That episode is just one of the hundred suspenseful tales comprising the catalog of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which for one season was officially called The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Here are my ten favorite episodes from the six year run of the series.
1. Road Hog
After a young farmer is gored by a bull, his father and brothers rush him to the doctor. Along the narrow, muddy road, they get behind a traveling salesman who refuses to allow them to pass. The young man dies before they reach the hospital, where the surgeon informs them that he could have been saved had they arrived just a minute sooner.
2. The Final Escape
Desperate to get out of prison, a man hatches a plan to escape in a coffin. He makes a deal with the prison undertaker that he be placed in the coffin with the next man to die, after which the undertaker would dig him up and be on his way to freedom. Needless to say he realizes that strategy has failed, when he turns to see that the corpse beside him is the undertaker himself.
3. The Crooked Road
Walter Matthau portrays a corrupt patrolman who arrests a couple for trumped up speeding violations, only to find out that the motorists were agents overseeing and recording police misbehavior.
Adapted from a Roald Dahl short story, this tale centers on a man convinced that a poisonous snake has slithered under the covers with him.
5. Beta Delta Gamma
As a college prank a group of young men decide to teach their drunk friend a lesson by sedating a girl, who appears to be dead. The drunken man awakens and, believing he really had killed the girl, decides to bury her.
An ex con, visiting a bar with a was of bills on his way home, gets rolled by a woman who turns out to be the daughter he had not seen in twenty years.
6. Incident in a Small Jail
An innocent motorist is placed in a cell next to a rapist whose cohorts kill the deputy so he can escape, only after forcing the motorists to trade clothes. An enraged mob, unwilling to wait for the justice system to try the rapist, arrive with the intent of hanging the jail's only occupant.
His wife has been raped, and he becomes enraged at the police department's failure to catch the culprit. When his wife points out the rapist while driving down the street, her husband kills the man in an alley. Three blocks later she once again identifies a man as the rapist and then another.
8. Bang, You're Dead
Six year old Bobby had been looking forward to a hunt with Dad, so he seizes a gun from the collection. He loads it just as he would his toy model, and he aims it as he goes through the supermarket with Mom.
9. Man with a Problem
He is on The ledge contemplating a jump because his wife has left him for a man named Steve, so a policeman joins him in an effort to coax him back inside. The cuckolded husband, realizing that this cop is Steve himself, pushes the officer from the ledge.
10. The Right Price
A kidnapper picks the wrong couple to capture, for neither the wife not the husband can stand each other. His threats of killing either one bring only smiles, not ransom agreements.