The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 1, Episode 5

Captive Audience (18 Oct. 1962)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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A mystery novelist sends a series of weird audiotapes to his publisher. On the first tape, the author boasts that the publisher won't be able to discern if the story he narrates is the ... See full summary »



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Title: Captive Audience (18 Oct 1962)

Captive Audience (18 Oct 1962) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Warren Barrow
Janet West
Arnold Moss ...
Victor Hartman
Tom Keller
Roland Winters ...
Ivar West
Sara Shane ...
Helen Barrow (as Sarah Shane)
Bart Burns ...
Geraldine Wall ...
Mrs. Hurley
Renee Godfrey ...
Hartman's Secretary
Don Matheson ...
Jack Pierson
Cosmo Sardo ...
The Croupier
Barbara Dane ...
The Folk Singer


A mystery novelist sends a series of weird audiotapes to his publisher. On the first tape, the author boasts that the publisher won't be able to discern if the story he narrates is the history of an imminent murder - or a mere fantasy. The author tells of his brief marriage ending when his wife was killed after he lost control of their car. They were kissing, making up after an argument over his wife's staying out all night with a rich old man, the same evening the author was briefly with the man's alluring, young wife Janet. Janet made a pass at the author, who immediately cut the evening short. The author says he fell into a severe depression, declined a needed brain operation, moved from France to San Francisco where he changed his name, then became a mystery writer. The tapes relate how the author eventually ran into Janet , and though she's still married, dived into an affair. When she and the author begin to plan her husband's murder, the publisher calls in another of his ... Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

18 October 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Don Matheson's first ever appearance in television or films. See more »


When Barrow's Band-Aid is noticed, he says of the supposedly fictional would-be killer, "He cut it on the safety catch of his revolver." But we saw in previous scenes that the weapon was an automatic pistol, not a revolver. See more »


I'm On My Way
Written by Diane Hildebrand and Dominic Frontiere
Performed by Barbara Dane
See more »

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User Reviews

Mystery writer lives out the plot of his story
7 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode deals with a mystery writer (James Mason) who sends a tape copy of a developing story to a publisher. As the publisher and a fellow worker listen to the tapes, they begin to realize that the story teller may be providing a plot based more on fact than fiction. The mystery writer becomes involved with a married woman (Angie Dickinson) and she later tries to get her lover to kill her husband. After hesitating on the murder for hire plot, he realizes that he has been used. The publisher and the fellow worker attempt to notify the woman that her lover is out to get her. But they are too late. The mystery writer is arrested, but is left with no true ending to the story.

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