SEASON 1, EPISODE 35: “The Legacy”
DIR. James Neilson
STARRING Leora Dana, Jacques Bergerac
ORIGINALLY AIRED May 27, 1956
Recap: Author Randall Burnside is a well-known author who is spending time among the rich in Palm Beach for the winter. He tells his friends that his next book will be about Prince Burhan from India, a notorious playboy who will soon be arriving in Palm Beach. Upon arrival in Florida, the Prince takes a liking to Irene, which comes as a shock to just about everyone given her plain looks and humble attitude. Things take a turn for the dramatic when Prince Burhan begins to urge Irene to leave her husband… or there will be consequences.
Reaction: The introduction to this episode is awesome, with Hitch stuck in a spider web! It’s kind of incongruous with the rest of the episode, though, since “The Legacy” is more of a society-fluff melodrama than the type of suspense story that would be associated with spider webs. I will admit, this episode is not a favorite of mine. It didn’t grab my attention as much as AHP usually does since a lot of its running time is dedicated to a gossipy older couple who don’t understand the prince’s attraction to Irene.
SEASON 1, EPISODE 36: “Mink”
DIR. Robert Stevenson
STARRING Ruth Hussey
ORIGINALLY AIRED June 3, 1956
Recap: Paula finds herself in trouble with the cops after buying a stolen mink on the recommendation of her hairdresser.
Reaction: I enjoyed this episode a lot. The plot seems kind of silly — just a bunch of drama over a slab of fur — but the episode has a couple bits of witty dialogue and is very fun to watch.
SEASON 1, EPISODE 37: “Decoy”
DIR. Arnold Laven
STARRING Robert Horton, Cara Williams
ORIGINALLY AIRED June 10, 1956
Recap: Gil Larkin has been working with and writing songs with singer Mona Cameron. He soon finds himself falling in love with her. When he learns that Mona is being abused by her husband, Gil decides to confront Mr. Cameron and soon finds himself framed for Mr. Cameron’s death.
Reaction: This is a really good episode. It’s got plenty of suspense and a great twist. Cara Williams’ performance is fantastic. Robert Horton as Gil provides great narration and leads the audience on a tense search to find the true killer of Mona’s husband. He carries the episode well.
SEASON 1, EPISODE 38: “The Creeper”
DIR. Herschel Daugherty
STARRING Constance Ford, Steve Brodie, Harry Townes
ORIGINALLY AIRED June 17, 1956
Recap: A strangler dubbed “The Creeper” or the “East Side Killer” has been terrorizing a New York City neighborhood. Ellen and Steve Grand live in the neighborhood in question, and Ellen is terrified when Steve has to leave on a business trip. She becomes even more paranoid when one of her own neighbors is murdered.
Reaction: The old woman who stands watch on the porch at Ellen and Steve Grand’s apartment building thinks she knows all there is to know about the strangler — “Decent women don’t get themselves murdered,” so no decent woman in the area should be worried about him. Despite this, Ellen is incredibly fearful. The episode is quite suspenseful — is Ellen paranoid or will her greatest fears come to life? The performances in “The Creeper” are all solid, too, which aids in the story’s impact. I was a little bit disappointed with the ending, though — I was kind of hoping that, in an odd twist, Mrs. “Decent women don’t get themselves murdered” would be the killer!
SEASON 1, EPISODE 39: “Momentum”
DIR. Robert Stevens
STARRING Skip Homeier, Joanne Woodward
ORIGINALLY AIRED June 24, 1956
Recap: Richard Paine is a man in dire financial straits. He and his wife will soon be evicted from their apartment, and they can barely afford to feed themselves. Desperate to find a way to stay afloat, Richard decides to steal money from his boss — money that is owed to him anyway. But things don’t exactly go as planned, and Richard finds himself in deeper trouble than he ever expected.
Reaction: Yay, Skippy Homeier and Joanne Woodward! Skip carries the episode in the role of Richard Paine, a man who is willing to do anything to provide financial stability for his wife. Stylistically this is one of my favorite episodes, including voiceover narration from Homeier as a double exposure effect has faded images of him layered with shots of the city’s hustle and bustle during the film’s first couple of minutes. The narration carries on now and then throughout the episode, giving us an insider’s perspective into Richard’s desperation. “Momentum” is a solid crime drama.
This installment of Recap and React marks the end of my Alfred Hitchcock Presents season 1 rewatch… finally! Stay tuned for more AHP, as well as continuations of the R&Rs for I Dream of Jeannie and The Dick Van Dyke Show.