Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The very best intentions pave the road to hell.
Hitchcock his own stand-in.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
A honeymoon scandal treated as clearly as possible, actually a mirror of the event.
The bridegroom’s doppelgänger is a fat man who lends his “whatchamacallit” to the honeymooners’ flat tire, and is outraged when his white suit is smudged.
They meet him again at the hotel, his room next door is full of hammering, he’s made a hole in the wall, there’s ticking, a bomb, he holds a gun on them, he’s overpowered, the bridegroom grabs an overnight bag, the fat man was feigning, opens it up, smashes the mirror inside the lid with his .45, revealing a piece of jewelry.
Swift work from a great cast. A Red Cross billboard stands behind the car in the first scene, there’s a convention at the hotel (California Veterinary Association), their reservation is misplaced, they’re summoned to an office, it’s not the manager but a police detective with a lead on the man who killed the bridegroom’s aunt and stole her jewels, etc., The fat man, Mr. Moon, is also a detective.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
The bitch of a bitch to the writer and his pottery wife.
Hitchcock the jokemeister.
A very haughty millionairess takes a lover, her husband needs “someone to keep my house for me, so to speak.” Personality transfer is his study, he accomplishes this with an old Irishwoman, his wife is now chaste but still not kind, and moreover will not share out the money. He tries it again with another old woman, and so on, “until we get it right.”
Douglas Heyes’ fairy tale is a great part for Larry Hagman exhibiting a range of strength and weakness, against Jeanette Nolan’s comic presentation of the “funny old lady with a kind heart.”
Suzy Parker as the wife gets her end in with a fiery imprecation on the fellow who goes too far by “hiring my domestic servants”, and who is wont to “make me look as hard and shallow as you are yourself.”
Scenes from Frankenstein illuminate the housekeeper’s vision of the events as they are explained to her by the husband, who points out to his wife, “we are married,” to which she replies in a new brogue, “not to my way of thinking.”
The Hand of Borgus Weems
Its late owner was murdered and left it lopped on a windowsill. Now it possesses another man to do the deed of vengeance, governed by his own right hand. It picks a doorbell and finds the fiancée, the attorney and so on. None of this is his doing, his hand acts of itself, he goes to see a doctor to have it removed.
A police detective finds the connection, and is there to witness when the doctor (Ray Milland) takes out a pen to write a prescription and finds to his own amazement that his text is from The Aeneid, “exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor,” or as C. Day Lewis has it, “Rise up from my dead bones, avenger!”
The detective asks if he’s prescribing Virgil.
Two hands, then, crawl along together in the final shot. Superbly directed by John M. Lucas with a harried performance by George Maharis as the man who “deeply, sincerely” loves his fiancée, his hand wants her dead, also a man it tries to run down in the street, suddenly gripping the wheel of his car as he drives.
The Different Ones
A résumé forms the basis of the work, beginning with Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 from the angle of Orwell’s 1984, incorporating much footage from the Truffaut film (skyway, flying police, loudspeaker car). Fellini’s 8½ is adumbrated (the rocket finale) as it tends toward Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with a special sense of Schoenberg’s “I feel the air of another planet...” These are the main lines of construction.
In a time of the future, unspecified but after the “Federal Conformity Act of 1993” (which mainly governs cases of “mental incompetence”), a boy of 17½ lives at home with a black hood over his head, he is an “ugly freak” the neighborhood children mock at below his window. He and his father play chess, the boy is angry and desperate, the father consoling and hopeful. “There must be some place for him,” he tells the Office for Special Urban Problems, part of the government’s Population Department. He’s offered an alternative. “Kill him?” That way of putting it, he is told, “would be a medieval value judgment.” He starts to leave the office, a call comes in, there is a “new procedural” technique, Boreon wants men, a tiny planet of humanoids.
The space flight is accomplished with NASA footage of launch pad and control room, booster separation and lunar landing. This is extensive, unequivocally expressing a mathematical precision awe-inspiring and terribly beautiful. Boreon has a young man anxious for the return leg to Earth, and a gaggle of girls whose physiognomy is a match for the boy’s.
One of the greatest among Serling’s creations, typically making use of earlier material in a new way (from The Twilight Zone, “Eye of the Beholder”). “There are no boys like your son,” says the son to the father, “one of a kind, a classic example of a mistake!”
The loudspeaker car gives out a report from the flying police that “aliens have landed”, curfew at six o’clock. Later this is amended, “the aliens have been identified as friendly,” curfew at nine o’clock.