22 November 2013 | raysond
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour-93 well directed episodes from the master of suspense
Even though it lasted three seasons,a lot of classic Hollywood greats and some new and established actors from the past and present came together for this anthology which was television's last attempt to revive great drama stories. And this is what The Alfred Hitchcock Hour did for an astounding 93 episodes,all in classic black and white. Hitchcock actually expanded his half-hour format into a hour long segment with gave it more time for character and story development as well as unexpected twists and surprises within the story lines. "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" originally ran for three seasons on two major television networks. First it aired on CBS-TV for 48 episodes that ran from September 20,1962 until July 3,1964. CBS canceled the series after two seasons,and from there NBC-TV picked up the series for its final season and the remaining 45 episodes that aired from October 5,1964 until May 10,1965. "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" still had the brief introduction from Hitchcock about tonight's story along with the sadistic wit and humor that you came to expect not to mention our narrator telling us the ending-which was wrap up by Hitchcock himself.
The thing about this show is that it expanded its format to a full hour in which the storyline,situations and unexpected plots and twists progress right along,but in the end it was great entertainment. Some of the finest directors were on board for this series for some of its finest episodes ranging from Alf Kjellin, to Joesph H. Newman, Bernard Girard, John Brahm, Joesph Pevney, Jack Smight, Leo Penn, David Friedkin, Leonard Horn, William Witney, Phillip Leacock, to Laslo Benedek, and Jerry Hopper to future Oscar winning directors ranging from Richard Donner, William Friedkin, and Sydney Pollack. Even Alfred Hitchcock directed one episode from this anthology series.
Some of the finest writers team up for astounding episodes ranging from future Oscar winning producer James Bridges to Richard Levinson, William D. Gordon, Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Henry Slesar, David Friedkin, Morton S. Fine, Lukas Heller, to Stanley Kallis, Mann Rubin, Alvin Sargent, William Bast and H.G. Wells.
The actors ranged from newcomers like Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, to Bradford Dillman, Richard Dawson, Claude Akins, Sally Kellerman, William Shatner, Angie Dickinson, Robert Culp, Richard Basehart to Alejandro Rey, Tony Randall, Robert Duvall, James MacArthur to Barbara Eden, Roddy McDowell, Dick York, Fess Parker, Gena Rowlands, Leif Erickson, Jeremy Slate, Elizabeth Montgomery, Hari Rhodes, George C. Scott, Steve McQueen, Cliff Robertson and Ed Nelson to old-timers like Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, John Forsythe and Peter Lorre just to name a few that appear in various episodes.
One episode in particular was in Season 1 of the series that featured Tony Randall and Jayne Mansfield in which Tony Randall delivers a perfect performance as the frustrated ad executive who drinks too much and loses everything he has including his wife in "Hangover"(Season 1:Episode 12 that aired on December 6,1962)which dealt with the subject of alcoholism.
Others favorites episodes were Peter Fonda in "The Return of Verge Likens"(Season 3:Episode 1 that aired October 5,1964),and John Forsythe in "I Saw The Whole Thing"(Season 1:Episode 4-aired October 11,1962),to June Lockhart as a vengeful wife in "The Second Wife"(Season 3:Episode 27-aired April 26,1965). Other favorites included Christopher Lee in "The Sign of Satan"(Season 2:Episode 27-aired May 8,1964),Lillian Gish in "The Body In The Barn"(Season 2:Episode 32-aired July 3,1964),to the hilarious Bob Newhart in "How To Get Rid Of Your Wife"(Season 2:Episode 11-aired December 20,1963);Roddy McDowell and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in "See The Monkey Dance"(Season 3:Episode 5-aired November 9,1964);to Frank Gorshin and Martin Landau in "The Second Verdict"(Season 2:Episode 30-aired May 29,1964),and Arthur Kennedy in "Change of Address"(Season 3:Episode 21-aired October 12,1964).
Two unknown actors Bruce Dern and Robert Redford appear in various episodes of the series and both of these actors would go on to bigger and better things in their careers. One of them would go on to becoming a big time Oscar-winning Hollywood producer and director(namely Robert Redford). Robert Redford appeared in two episodes "A Piece of the Action"(Season 1:Episode 1-aired September 20,1962),and "A Tangled Web" (Season 2:Episode 18-aired January 25,1963). Bruce Dern also appeared in two episodes of the series "A Lonely Place"(Season 3:Episode 6-aired November 16,1964),and "The Night Caller"(Season 2:Episode 15-aired January 31,1964).
The other classic episode of the series featured two well-established actors who were but known for their "rural" comedies.....Pat Buttram,who was a known for starring in Westerns in the 1930's and 1940's as later on as the oily salesman/con artist Mr. Haney on the television series "Green Acres",and George Lindsey,who was known as "Goober" from "The Andy Griffith Show" television series appeared together in a episode title "The Jar"(Season 2:Episode 17-aired February 14,1964). Veteran Hollywood legend Gloria Swanson appeared as a old woman in a haunted house title "Behind The Locked Door"(Season 2:Episode 22-aired March 27,1964),that also starred James MacArthur.
"The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" was next to the last of the great anthology series of the 1960's and it was the last attempt to established this in the age of television. When it was canceled by NBC on May 10,1965 the magic that was this was gone,and in its place came the onslaught of police dramas and espionage shows.