IMDb > "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany creditsepisode listepisodes castepisode ratings... by rating... by votes
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsmessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summaryplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]
Index 24 reviews in total 

39 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A Sneaky Revolutionary

9/10
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
18 December 2006

1950's television was pretty bland by almost any yardstick. That's not to say that certain series, such as the early Gunsmoke, were not daring and edgy in their own way. Or that the early I Love Lucy did not have its hilarious moments. However the governing concepts were unadventurous at best, or just plain dull, at worst. After all, no matter how good some of the episodes, bringing law and order to the Old West or following the humorous escapades of a zany housewife were not exactly novel concepts in TV programming.

Two series, however, did come along to challenge convention. The Twilight Zone, at decade's end, attacked frontally with huge doses of imagination and exotic story-lines that often overwhelmed viewers, thereby opening American living-rooms to the expanding world of unthought-of possibilities. It was, and remains, a classic appreciated by young and old alike. However, the other ground-breaking series did not attack frontally. Instead, in true stealthy fashion, it snuck past the guardians of Good Taste and Morality, otherwise known as the department of Standards and Practices. That's probably because each episode was introduced by a funny-looking fat guy with a British accent, who came out to crack a few bad jokes and abuse the sponsors. Who could suspect that what followed such a slow-talking Humpty-Dumpty would subtly undermine some of TV's most entrenched conventions.

Yet that's exactly what the Hitchcock half-hours did. Perhaps the most subversive change lay in the series's really sneaky treatment of wrong-doers. To that point, convention insisted that culprits be apprehended on screen, the better to teach the audience that Crime Doesn't Pay. And while that may have conveyed a comforting societal message, it also made for a very predictable and boring climax to even the best stories. What the Hitchcock show did that was slyly revolutionary was to transpose the comeuppance from the story to Hitchcock's often humorous epilogue. There the audience would learn that the culprit was duly punished and that justice had once again prevailed, apparently enough to keep the censors of the day at bay. So the story-line might end on screen with a grotesque murder, while only later would the audience be told by Hitchcock that justice had indeed caught up. Maybe that seems like just a minor change. But in fact, it was highly significant. For now the audience could follow plot developments, without knowing how the story itself would end, while the deadening element of predictability was transferred to the easily ignored epilogue. It was a truly ground-breaking event in the evolution of TV.

All in all, that element of uncertainty made for the kind of programming that continues to entertain, even into today's super-charged era of technicolor and relaxed censorship. It also accounts largely for why Hitchcock Presents remains one of the few series from that long-ago time to still be re-run. There were other sly subversive wrinkles such as the black humor that sometimes accompanied the most heinous crimes. Or the subtle insistence that murder often begins at home. In fact, the series as a whole managed to mirror much of Hitchcock's movie-making personality, which suggests the producers (Norman Lloyd and Joan Harrison) were very protective of what the Hitchcock brand name implied. Anyway, like any other series, some episodes were better than others, but only rarely did one really disappoint. In fact, the high quality remained surprisingly steady throughout the half-hour run, before dropping off noticeably during the over-stretched hour-long version.

Some of my favorites: "Mr. Pelham" (good semi sc-fi); "The Creeper" (suspense & fine acting); "The Glass Eye" ( well-done horror); "Back for Christmas" (typical Hitchcock irony); "Poison" (you'll sweat a bucket load); "Design for Loving" (off-beat premise well executed); "Human Interest Story" (Hitchcock meets the Twilight Zone); "Special Delivery" (truly spooky); "Specialty of the House" (It ain't Mc Donalds); "Breakdown" (Why don't they hear me?), and anything with the deliciously repulsive Robert Emhardt.

I'm sure there are many others not so fresh in my memory. Anyway, in my book, a big thanks is due Alfred Hitchcock for doing something no other movie heavy-weight of the time was willing to do. He risked his big league reputation by squeezing into millions of little black boxes once a week for seven years to bring the audience outstanding entertainment. His snooty peers may have sneered, but generations of grateful viewers have since proved him right.

Was the above review useful to you?

26 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Mix

Author: telegonus from brighton, ma
3 December 2002

A delightful mix of suspense and humor, the serious and the absurd, Alfred Hitchcock Presents may be the best filmed anthology of all. The half-hour show ran seven seasons, the hour-longs lasted for three. I prefer the shorter shows, which have more punch and variety, and also seem more energetic and original. Aided by producers Joan Harrison and Norman Lloyd, Hitchcock owned the show through his production company, yet actually had little to do with the series, of which he directed only a small number of episodes. But Harrison and Lloyd knew Hitch and his tastes quite well, and the Hitchcock shows reflected his interests and preoccupations. He also delivered the droll introductions, which are still a joy to watch, becoming somewhat of a celebrity as a result. Drawing on such disparate sources as Ray Bradbury and John Collier, Ambrose Bierce and Guy de Maupassant, the show drew on some of the most gifted actors (if not biggest stars) in the business. They are best viewed without commercial interruption, one after the other. Their dry mood and subtle humor is still charming after all these years.

Was the above review useful to you?

21 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Great Quality & Great Variety

Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
22 June 2001

For those who like classic television, it doesn't come any better than "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". Although he did not direct every episode by himself, his stamp is on every program. Almost every episode is of high quality, with clever and creative stories combined with writing and acting that ranges from good to outstanding. There is also terrific variety - you never know whether a given episode will be serious or light-hearted, whether there will be a happy ending or a tragic one. Each show keeps you guessing, and most have a twist at the end, many of them quite memorable. There are also a lot of big stars who appear in one or more episodes, as well as some young actors who would become stars, and the ones that don't have anyone famous generally have a pretty good set of character actors. If all that weren't enough, you have Hitchcock himself introducing each episode with some hilarious remarks - often making fun of TV commercials - and often in humorous settings that have a connection to the upcoming episode.

Episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" are well worth the trouble to find, whether you are fortunate enough to find broadcasts of them or whether you need to track down some videos of selected episodes.

Was the above review useful to you?

17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Without a doubt...the best series

10/10
Author: MarieGabrielle from United States
11 October 2007

You can catch this on 'Chiller' channel in many areas....via satellite. This classic series from 1955-1965 features the most varied suspense, horror and curious human behavior, as Hitchcock was so adept at portraying.

Better than some of the Twilight Zone stories as there is less science fiction, more study of human behavior, psychology and murder. A few of the more intriguing vignettes come to mind. One episode involves a murderer and his wife Jocelyn, who believed to be dead, mysteriously returns to the scene of the crime, a seaside village. Another episode is with Margaret Natwick and Hurd Hatfield ("The Picture of Dorian Gray" lead). He plays a scheming nephew attempting to gain his inheritance through murder of his elderly aunt. There is a twist.

As only Hitchcock can, there is suspense to the end of the story, keeping the audience guessing. Hitchcock once said the element of horror is not the actual blood and gore, but the suspense and mystery leading up to it. The finest director we have seen, and this series is a do not miss. Highly recommended. 10/10.

Was the above review useful to you?

14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the best TV series of all time, and one of the Master's greatest achievements!!!!!

Author: verna55 from cincinnati, ohio
28 September 2000

Truly a classic, this long-running TV series(1955-65) was way ahead of its time. Its host, Alfred Hitchcock presented stories in this weekly, half-hour dramatic/suspense anthology that virtually no other program would even dream of presenting. Like many of Hitch's films, the stories presented frequently dealt with murder and deception, sometimes on a humerous level. Anyone expecting the show to end with the conventional happy ending would fare better to tune into another television program. In addition to hosting the show, Hitchcock directed several episodes of the series as well.

Was the above review useful to you?

11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Loved this show as a kid!

Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
4 September 2005

I was introduced to Hitchcock as a kid at 11 in 1985 for the short-live colorized version back on NBC, five years after his passing. But I am kind of an old-fashioned person myself. And love it being in black & white. Even though the show was way ahead of its time and the scripts were good and the acting was superb. It made Alfred Hitchcock a star as he climbed from behind the scenes to center stage. He was the main reason for the show's success! Thanks to his jokes and puns. Hitchcock's wit and charm carried the show. And proved he wasn't just being "serious!" Hope that Nick At Night or TV Land will unleash this baby one day. In Black & White because I love the original. The original is the original.

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Hitchcock, the Greatest

Author: danny-418 from Reykjavík, Iceland
16 June 2008

When it premiered on CBS on October 2, 1955, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was an instant hit destined for long-term popularity. The series' original half-hour anthology format provided a perfect showcase for stories of mystery, suspense, and the macabre that reflected Hitchcock's established persona. Every Sunday at 9:30 p.m., the series began with the familiar theme of Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" (which would thereafter be inextricably linked with Hitchcock), and as Hitchcock's trademark profile sketch was overshadowed by the familiar silhouette of Hitchcock himself, the weekly "play" opened and closed with the series' most popular feature: As a good-natured host whose inimitable presence made him a global celebrity, Hitchcock delivered droll, dryly sardonic introductions and epilogues to each week's episode, flawlessly written by James Allardyce and frequently taking polite pot-shots at CBS sponsors, or skirting around broadcast standards (which demanded that no crime could go unpunished) by humorously explaining how the show's killers and criminals were always brought to justice... though always with a nod and a wink to the viewer. This knowing complicity was Hitchcock's pact with his audience, and the secret to his (and the series') long-term success. It's also what attracted a stable of talented writers whose tele plays, both original and adapted, maintained a high standard of excellence. Hitchcock directed four of the first season's 39 episodes, including the premiere episode "Revenge" (a fan favorite, with future Psycho costar Vera Miles) and the season highlight "Breakdown," with Joseph Cotten as a car-accident victim, paralyzed and motionless, who's nearly left for dead; it's a perfect example of visual and narrative economy, executed with a master's touch. (The fourth episode, "Don't Come Back Alive," is also a popular favorite, with the kind of sinister twist that became a series trademark.) Robert Stevenson directed the majority of the remaining episodes with similar skill, serving tightly plotted tales (selected by associate producers Joan Harrison and Norman Lloyd) by such literary greats as Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Cornell Woolrich, Dorothy L. Sayers, and John Collier. Adding to the series' prestige was a weekly roster of new and seasoned stars, with first-season appearances by Cloris Leachman, Darren McGavin, Everett Sloane, Peter Lawford, Charles Bronson, Barry Fitzgerald, John Cassavetes, Joanne Woodward, Thelma Ritter, and a host of Hollywood's best-known character players. With such stellar talent on weekly display, Alfred Hitchcock Presents paved the way for Thriller, The Twilight Zone, and other series that maximized the anthology format's storytelling potential.

Packed onto three double-sided DVDs, these 39 episodes hold up remarkably well, and while some prints show the wear and tear of syndication, they look and sound surprisingly good (although audio compression will cause many viewers to turn up the volume). The 15-minute bonus featurette, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back" is perfunctory at best, but it's nice to see new anecdotal interviews with Norman Lloyd, assistant director Hilton Green, and Hitchcock's daughter Pat (a frequent performer on these episodes), who survived to see their popular series benefit from the archival convenience of DVD.

Starring: Alred Hitchcock (Host) Director: Robert Stevens.

Was the above review useful to you?

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

even if you've only seen a few episodes, it's still great

10/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
13 August 2007

I've only seen a few episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", but just those few identify it as a great show. The opening with his shadow approaching his outline gives a hint of suspense, but when we see the Master of Suspense offering a slight explanation of what's about to happen, there's no turning back.

One can see that Hitch - who would have turned 108 yesterday - occasionally used the show to introduce his movies, and did a really clever job with it: one episode featured a woman stealing money (remember in which movie that happened?). Another episode was set on a train (now where did we see a train?) All in all, I would call this the perfect way that any director could get involved in TV, and who else could do it except Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock? You just gotta see it to really get a feel for it. But when you do watch it, just be prepared for what sorts of things you're about to see.

Was the above review useful to you?

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Series That Was Revolutionary For Its Time: Still Is Today

Author: rcj5365 from Durham, North Carolina
9 October 2009

Television in the 1950's,was pretty bland by almost any yardstick. During that period,you had the opportunity to see either detective dramas,and family comedies not to mention all of the above. That's not to say that certain series,such as the early Gunsmoke were not daring and edgy in their own way. Or that the early Ozzie and Harriet or the early I Love Lucy did not have its hilarious moments. After all, not matter how good some of the episodes were,either the adventures of a typical suburban family,bringing law and order to the Old West or following the humorous escapades of a zany housewife were not exactly novel concepts in television programming. Even the typical variety show had some flaws in them too,but sometimes was rarely notice.

Two series,however did come along to challenge convertion. The Twilight Zone,by the end of the decade,attacked frontally with huge doses of imagination and exotic story lines that often overwhelmed viewers,thereby opening America's living rooms to the expanding world of unthought not to mention unheard of possibilities. It was an original,and it remains to this day a standard classic appreciated by one and all. However,the ground breaking series did not attack frontally. Instead in true fashion,it snuck past the guardians of Good Taste and Morality,otherwise known as the Department of Standards and Practices. This was during the opening of each episode was introduced by a chubby guy with a British accent who could give a brilliant introduction while cracking a few bad jokes and abuse the sponsors. This is what Alfred Hitchcock's half-hour anthology series did.

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" made its premiere on CBS-TV on October 2, 1955,and from the opening sequence became an instant hit that stayed on the network for seven seasons(CBS-TV from 1955 to 1960,and later went to NBC-TV for its final two seasons from 1960 until 1962,all in classic black and white). A total of 270 episodes were produced for this half-hour series that was produced by Norman Lloyd and Joan Harrison,under Hitchcock's production company,Shamley Productions for Revue Studios/MCA-TV-Universal. Hitchcock himself was not only a master showman,but he was an original in which each week was for its time slyly revolutionary-to transpose within the comeuppance from the story to Hitchcock's often humorous epilogue. There the audience would learn that the culprit was punished and that justice have once again prevailed,apparently to keep the censors at bay. The storyline might end up on screen with a gruesome murder while only later would the audience be told by Hitchcock that justice had indeed caught up with the suspect of the crime. Maybe that seems like a minor change,but in fact was highly innovative not to mention significant. For now the audience could follow the plot developments,without knowing how the story itself would end,while the deadening element of predictability was transferred to the easily ignored epilogue. For its time,it was truly ground-breaking event in the history of television. And still holds that title today,and it continues to entertain,and remains one of the few television series of long ago to still be.

Two episodes,both directed by Hitchcock himself are consider the best out of the entire series: "The Case of Mr. Pelham" with Tom Ewell,and "Lamb to the Slaughter" with Barbara Bel Geddes,were simply brilliant along with "The Glass Eye","Breakdown","Special Delivery",are just to name a few.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

No hitches

8/10
Author: jc-osms from United Kingdom
1 December 2012

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.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
External reviews Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history