Help Wanted
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


It will be seen that this is closely related to “A Bullet for Baldwin” and more distantly to “Breakdown”. A man is fired from his job because of his age, he nearly kills the personnel manager in a fit of anger.

He answers an advertisement and is given a peculiar job alone in an office twenty floors up filing confidential reports out of financial journals. His wife needs an operation.

His employer turns up one day to tell him his real job. The reports have been burnt unopened, the employer’s wife has a previous husband thought dead but now blackmailing his wealthy successor. The employee is to receive him in this tiny office, hand him an envelope and push him out the window. The envelope contains a suicide note instead of payment.

A fit of pique over yet another job-wrecker sends the blackmailer out the window by misadventure. The employer, watching from the street, puts a year’s salary in the mail as agreed. Another man walks in through the door demanding payment. The dead man had been soliciting for a charity. The employee goes home for good and all.

The acting is quite fine, but this is a feast for two actors, John Qualen and Lorne Greene as employee and employer, a timid clerk pushed to his limits and a master manipulator who gets his finger tangled in the strings.


The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A very delicately poised joke. He kills the first wife to sustain the shop of objets d’art he does not wish to sell (Gothic, Tuareg, Hittite), the second has the goods on him and dies accidentally.

What a succinct poem, and how drily filmed, with a one-second shot of Psycho’s taxidermy in the spinster heiress’s ancestral home (women are untidy creatures, she even has a cat).

Hitchcock has advice for the ladies, and calls this piece a “propaganda play”.


A Man Greatly Beloved
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A very small analysis from Milne of a little theme in Capra (Meet John Doe), one’s neighbor.

Hitchcock points out that one might grow rusty with a magic trick, even.


Mail Order Prophet
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


The con game that carefully separates the chaff from the wheat is plainly described at the end by a postal inspector, the con man is in jail, yet by the nature of the con it’s quite possible that one person might strike it rich and leave behind a mechanical existence for better climes, which is the allure and mystique of gambling.

Life-or-death stakes, says Hitchcock before and after.


Crack Of Doom
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


The weight of money sways a friendly poker game, one player steels himself against it, by misadventure betting money he doesn’t have on cards he doesn’t hold.

The title comes from his awareness, at the crux, of the real situation.

Saved, he swears off gambling and tells this story to an old college chum “in the club car of a New York-Chicago streamliner.”


Reward to Finder
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A very poor couple come into a small fortune, he finds a wallet full of hundred-dollar bills, no name.

A reward is offered in the newspaper, he feigns to return the wallet and collect no reward. He is the janitor of the building they live in, she discovers he has hidden the wallet in his workroom and storeroom.

She opens a charge account and makes their dismal apartment habitable. The last straw is a fur coat, he puts his foot down, she poisons his coffee, he beats her to death and sits down to drink it. “One thing I got to say about you, Anna, you sure make a good cup of coffee.”

Jo Van Fleet is the suffering wife, Oskar Homolka the miserly husband. “$22.50 for a stupid statue, what’s it good for?”


The Percentage
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A Korean War coward has become a successful mobster, obsessed with the man who covered for him, “I don’t like someone having a percentage on me.” He summons the man from Queens to repair his TV set in Manhattan, and tries to make amends.

No dice, the fellow is happy with his lot, won’t take a penny, not even for the sake of his wife, who makes a play for the mobster.

The obsession takes its toll, his work suffers, his boss strips him of several concessions, no matter. The straying wife calls him over with an idea, throws herself at him, he pays no heed, or hardly any. She was only kidding about the idea. He throttles her.

“We’re even now,” he tells the husband, revealing her infidelity. Say it was a prowler, “make it a good story, like you did for me before.” A policeman takes him away.

The widower visits his old buddy’s wife with the news. They embrace with a kiss.


The Equalizer
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


It isn’t a gun, after all, but the willingness to die and be done with a larger adversary and philanderer.

Hitchcock the TV duffer.


On The Nose
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A compulsive gambler, in the course of a long and very trying day, reluctantly at first but eagerly at last, switches her bet from Pink Angel in the last race to Washington Flyer, in honor of her husband.

Hitchcock the jockey.


Bull In A China Shop
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


Five old ladies in a boarding house, dying to meet the Irish detective across the way.

Hitchcock the toreador.


The Safe Place
Alfred Hitchcock Presents


A monstrous construction on the older man who robs the younger and kills him for the wherewithal.

Girls look for a man who will gamble on them, you see.

Hitchcock the chief surgeon oversees a lady sawn in half.


The Mission


The town drunk, Charlie Trent, is a scout, he once led soldiers into an ambush. Hoss is looking after him a little one day when an Army troop passes through, transporting gold across the desert to a fort. The scout they hired knows he’s needed, won’t leave the saloon before he’s ready. The captain hires Trent, whose reputation still has force.

North and south are Indian tribes, the desert is the only way. The dismissed scout, Cutter, had planned to lose the troop in the desert and come back alone, while his gang stole the gold. Now he won’t have any explaining to do.

Each well Trent finds is “pisoned”. The third is guarded by Cutter and his gang. Trent and Hoss go ahead and are captured, send a false signal and bring on the soldiers in a flanking maneuver.

Henry Hull has the job of Trent in the desert, low, flat and wide, summoning all his wits to find water. Neilson contributes adroit compositions with the zoom lens to compress a scene. Peter Whitney is mighty good as Cutter.


Moon Pilot


The only thing duller and madder than Federal agents and Air Force generals (it’s their top secret status) is beat girls, which is why the tale is laid in San Francisco.

The astronaut is among the former types, the girl he meets is reckoned among the latter at first, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The amazing double satire was applauded by Time (“sacred cows”), whereas the Government was defended by Bosley Crowther.




Nut kills ex-wife go-go dancer in Las Vegas, continues spree to L.A. after a girl chum.

Baudelaire wrote the finish.