Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock presents several short stories. The stories are invariably surprising, often containing elements of horror, comedy, suspense, and the supernatural. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
[Hitchcock arrives for his introduction dressed in a safari outfit and pith helmet]
Himself - Host:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to darkest Hollywood. Night brings a stillness to the jungle. It is so quiet, you can hear a name drop. The savage beasts have already begun gathering at the water holes to quench their thirst. Now one should be especially alert. The vicious table-hopper is on the prowl, and the spotted back-biter may lurk behind a potted palm. To take me through this most savage of...
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I am a massive Hitchcock fan and would argue that his creative peak in features was in the mid-late 50's, ironically just at the time he commenced production of this short-form series bearing his imprimatur, even if he only had time to personally direct a handful of episodes. Of the first four episodes I've watched from series 1, I've been impressed by their coherence, consistency and diversity, for instance one was set in the wild west, a genre you can hardly imagine the Master covering in his own work. Snappily scripted, plotted and edited, these short programmes prefigure the likes of "Twilight Zone" in the 60's and "Tales Of The Unexpected" in the 70's. The production values are high as is the acting talent involved; famously this is how Hitch discovered Vera Miles, who was to feature in two of his features in the years ahead as well as a penchant for a low budget, black and white shoot which would result in a certain movie centring on a psychologically disturbed motel owner, the title of which escapes me. All the episodes benefit from acerbic intros and outros by the man himself, playing up to his curmudgeonly persona while the sinisterly jocular theme music still conjures up that famous pencil-profile image which he would fill over the titles. I think it's great that a top Hollywood director in his prime could make time to adapt so well to the TV market as Hitchcock did here. These programmes are fun, pithy and entertaining and still worth watching today.
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