Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955 series)

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Summary

"Good evening...." An anthology series of (generally non-Lovecraftian) morbid suspense, crime, and thriller dramas, hosted by Alfred Hitchcock, who would introduce and close each grimly ironic episode with dark comedy sketches, while poking gentle (or not-so-gentle) fun at his sponsors. In 1962, the half-hour Alfred Hitchcock Presents changed format, lengthened into The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In 1985, many episodes were re-made, spliced together with colourized versions of Hitchcock's introductions.

Details

  • Release Date: 1955-1962 (Alfred Hitchcock Presents), 1962-1965 (Alfred Hitchcock Hour), 1985-1989 (Alfred Hitchcock Presents remakes); there was also a similar 1957-1958 anthology suspense series by the same production and crew (Suspicion)
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Drama, Comedy (black comedy), occasional Horror and Fantasy, Anthology, black-and-white
  • Runtime: (formatted for either a 30-minute (Alfred Hitchcock Presents) or 1-hour (Alfred Hitchcock Hour) commercial television slot)
  • Starring: (various), host Alfred Hitchcock
  • Director: (various)
  • Writer: (various)
  • Producer/Production Co: CBS, NBC, Revue Studios, Shamley Productions, Universal Television,
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link), (link), (Suspicion)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (equivalent of a TV-PG for mild, off-screen, 1950s TV-friendly Violence and Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • s____ (One Half Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian, at most)

Most of the episodes of Alfred Hitchcock's shows were focused on crime and suspense, with a little comedy tossed in from time to time; very few episodes involved more fantastic elements, and even fewer could be considered even remotely "Lovecraftian". Still, after about ten years, a handful of episodes were produced that might be of some interest to "Lovecraftians", including stories by John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, and Robert Bloch.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (review needed)


Synopsis

  • "And So Died Riabouchinska" (Ep. 1x20) - A detective investigates a murder at a run-down vaudeville theater, and gets a hot lead from the ventriloguist's dummy.... By Ray Bradbury.
  • "The Gentleman from America" (Ep. 1x31) - A rich American visits London and bets 1000 pounds that he can spend the night in a room that is said to be haunted.
  • "The Glass Eye" (Ep. 3x01) - Captivated by the actor's physical beauty, an aging spinster pulls up stakes to follow a ventriloquist and his dummy from performance to performance; finally, the man consents to a much-wanted meeting.
  • "Human Interest Story" (Ep. 4x32) - A newspaperman is assigned to interview a man who claims to be a Martian possessing a human body.... (Remade for the colorized 1980s revival series.)
  • "Special Delivery" (Ep. 5x10) - Mental suggestions and odd behavior have some people believing a special delivery of quick-growing mushroom spores may be an invading life form. By Ray Bradbury.
  • "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" (Ep. 5x13) - In the Civil War, Union soldiers are about to hang a defiant Confederate planter from a bridge, for sabotage. The noose is placed around his neck, but the rope breaks and he plummets from the bridge into a river. Dazed, he swims the rapids downstream, while the soldiers fire at him. He clambers on a river bank, and excitedly starts his journey back to his family plantation. By Ambrose Bierce.
  • "Summer Shade" (Ep. 6x15) - After a family moves into their new home in rural Massachusetts, they become concerned for their 9-year-old daughter's only playmate turns out to be an "imaginary friend" who may be related to a witch who once lived in the house....
  • "Annabel" (Ep. 8x07) - A disturbed man's pyschotic fantasy world ensnares others in a perilous web. By Robert Bloch, starring Dean Stockwell.
  • "A Home Away from Home" (Ep. 9x01) - A patient at a mental hospital kills the head doctor and takes over, replacing the staff with fellow patients. Things get complicated when the niece of the real doctor makes an unexpected visit. By Robert Bloch.
  • "The Magic Shop" (Ep. 9x13) - After a little boy vanishes in a magic shop, he comes back later with supernatural powers and evil intentions.
  • "The Jar" (Ep. 9x17) - A carnival barker sells a jar containing a mysterious, shapeless mass to a disrespected yokel, who uses it to command the awe of his neighbors.... (Remade for the colorized 1980s revival series.)
  • "The Sign of Satan" (Ep. 9x27) - A group of studio executives view a screening of a purported occult ritual involving a mysterious European actor, and fly him to Hollywood to lead their next picture, only to discover that the film was real, and the cult now seeks to kill the actor for betraying their secrecy....
  • "Consider Her Ways" (Ep. 10x11) - A woman awakens from an experiment in astral projection to find herself in the body of a mother in a dystopic distant future. By John Wyndham.
  • "Where the Woodbine Twineth" (Ep. 10x13) - An orphaned girl's playmate turns out to be a menacing "imaginary" friend....
  • "The Monkey's Paw--A Retelling" (Ep. 10x26) - A desperate businessman tests the power of a gypsy woman's monkey paw charm which is said to grant three wishes. His son suffers the consequences. By W.W. Jacobs.
  • "A Voice in the Night (1958 short)" (Suspicion series, 1958) - After shipwreck survivors manage to struggle ashore on a desert island, they discover that the menacing fungus that covers everything on the island begins to grow on them. Based on a William hope Hodgson story.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • An aggressive ratings war with Boris Karloff's Thriller (1960 series) resulted in such heavy losses for Karloff's show in terms of ratings, sponsors, and writing talent, that Thriller collapsed under the pressure and had to be canceled in 1962.


Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO


Keeper Notes