Recap and React: Alfred Hitchcock Presents… episodes 7 – 12

(Image via hulu.com)

SEASON 1, EPISODE 7: “BREAKDOWN”
DIR. ALFRED HITCHCOCK
STARRING JOSEPH COTTEN, RAYMOND BAILEY, MURRAY ALPER AND AARON SPELLING
ORIGINALLY AIRED NOVEMBER 13, 1955
Recap:
William (Joseph Cotten) is the stereotypical “tough guy” businessman. He fires people with no regard as to how it will affect their lives and sees it as a sign of weakness when people show emotion, especially by crying. But when he finds himself in a terrifying predicament, showing his emotions may be the only way to save his own life.
Reaction: This episode was nothing like I expected it to be from reading the quick Netflix premise. Still, it was very intense. It leaves the audience feeling somewhat disturbed, and the predicament that he gets himself into (which I won’t spoil, because I was surprised!) creates a bit of a claustrophobic mood.

SEASON 1, EPISODE 8: “OUR COOK’S TREASURE”
DIR. ROBERT STEVENS
STARRING EVERETT SLOANE, BEULAH BONDI AND OLAN SOULE
ORIGINALLY AIRED NOVEMBER 20, 1955
Recap: Real estate agent Ralph gets sleuth-y when he suspects that the new cook he’s hired to work in his home is wanted for murder. But is she really a killer who could be setting him up as her next victim, or is his paranoia and the media frenzy surrounding an unsolved case getting the best of him?
Reaction: Everett Sloane is great in his role of suspicious Ralph. He doesn’t act stereotypically detective-like, which suits the character since he is, in fact, a real estate agent by profession. The episode is highly entertaining, with a psychological edge (brought out by Sloane’s performance). A lot of information and twists are packed into the very end, leaving the viewer fairly stunned as they digest Hitchcock’s dry humor in the closing wrap-up.

SEASON 1, EPISODE 9: “THE LONG SHOT”
DIR.  ROBERT STEVENSON
STARRING PETER LAWFORD AND JOHN WILLIAMS
ORIGINALLY AIRED NOVEMBER 27, 1955
Recap: This episode follows a racetrack gambler named Charlie who wants to get out of town fast due to his debts. He’s originally from London, but lives in New York City. He accepts a job that takes him across America as a driver for a fellow Londoner who is visiting the states and needs to go to San Francisco. Charlie quickly becomes bored with the trip and works to take advantage of his employer, especially after he finds out just why they are heading to California.
Reaction: “The Long Shot” is highly dramatic. Peter Lawford gives a good performance as the conniving gambler. The viewer is left wondering just what Charlie will do to get money out of his new employer (but not for long, as the question is answered during the episode). The ending is great and completely unexpected as well.

SEASON 1, EPISODE 10: “THE CASE OF MR. PELHAM”
DIR. ALFRED HITCHCOCK
STARRING TOM EWELL, RAYMOND BAILEY AND DIANE BREWSTER
ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 4, 1955
Recap: A man named Albert Pelham discovers a look-alike who has been impersonating him. Pelham becomes determined to track down the imposter and regain control of his life and identity – but could this only come at the price of his sanity?
Reaction: This episode sets the viewer up to think Pelham has simply lost his marbles. It doesn’t give up the fact that there’s an actual imposter right away, which is very effective. Tom Ewell is great in his two conflicting roles, and the episode includes one of Hitchcock’s best outros!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 11: “GUILTY WITNESS”
DIR. ROBERT STEVENS
STARRING JUDITH EVELYN, KATHLEEN MAGUIRE AND JOSEPH MANTELL
ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 11, 1955
Recap: Stanley Crane and his wife become suspicious when a neighbor disappears. They believe that the missing man was abusive to his wife, and that she killed him in revenge.
Reaction: Like many of the episodes, this one starts out pleasant enough – normal, nice citizens are shopping at a normal, nice grocery store. Suspicion quickly arises when the abused wife comes into the store with a black eye. The episode does a good job of setting up conflict in the viewer – are the suspicions justified, or is the couple overreacting? And when the truth is revealed, it’s a big shocker!

SEASON 1, EPISODE 12: “SANTA CLAUS AND THE 10TH AVENUE KID”
DIR. DON WEIS
STARRING BARRY FITZGERALD AND VIRGINIA GREGG
ORIGINALLY AIRED DECEMBER 18, 1955
Recap: An ex-con takes a job as a department store Santa. He hopes to rob his new employer, but may have a change of heart with a local rough-and-tumble chap known as the 10th Avenue Kid shows up at the store.
Reaction: This episode is much more light-hearted than usual. The grumpy Santa is perfectly portrayed, and the 10th Avenue Kid is perfectly unlikable. It’s a fun episode to watch, a perfect choice for an atypical holiday episode.

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