|Index||4 reviews in total|
It's not structured or paced like a TV show which I guess might make it
less exciting and typical for this series but those, I think are
assets. The stand out performance and writing is of the GI father's
character and Kim Hunter is terrific as well. There is one montage
scene of a boat on the ocean that is beautiful and suggestive of the
powers of belief/memory it's really startlingly good. The director
Laszlo Benedick is under-rated and does one of his many good jobs with
this borderline horror/ noirish show.
This montage and maybe the whole episode is simple in terms of elements but perfectly done. The final sequence is also very well done with a couple of beautiful and haunting dolly shots leading to the memorable final. The show could go in several directions but the one it does go in is the most powerful.
The show is well tracked with music from other episodes and really does suggest the power of loss and of suggestion. The tension builds as the characters and story deepens, lots of nice touches all around.
Also features one of the best sight gag Hitchcock wrap around segments of the whole series. You won't even be sure of how they did it. It's not the funniest wrap around, but visually the opening shot of Hitch is unforgettable.
Adelaide (Hunter) is a calculating little phony with a spiritualist
con-game. Worse, she scans newspapers for men listed as MIA's during
WWII. Then she contacts bereaved families and sets up spirit contact
sessions. And that's after her confederate Robert (Lyons) poses as a
war department official telling families their loved one is dead. It's
a particularly nasty rip-off and a long way from Hunter's gamin roles
of the 40's.
The acting's first-rate, while the séance sessions are imaginative. However, given the preternatural subject matter, the filming lacks needed atmosphere that would have unified an often patchy screenplay. No one in the screenplay appears in particular danger, so the premise generates more interest than suspense. But the characters are vividly drawn so the audience is rapidly drawn in. The screenplay is spotty at times e.g. did wealthy Edward (Larkin) marry Adelaide or not. Nonetheless, the upshot's deliciously ironic and well worthy of the series trademark.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** It's June 1944 the hight of WWII and thousands of US
servicemen are getting killed as well as missing in action in the
fighting that's raging across the European and Pacific Theaters of war.
It's con artist and phony medium Adelaide Winters,Kim Hunter, and her
partner Robert McBain, Gene Lyons, who are making a mint in conning the
loved ones of those fallen and missing in action servicemen into
thinking that they can get in touch with their departing souls and
getting rich by doing it.
Checking out the casualties list of the local newspapers both Adelaide & McBain come across the name of USAAF pilot John Porter who's missing in action where his plane was lost over France during the D-Day invasion. Seeing that John's dad Edward Porter,John Lrakin, lives in the rich part of town Adelaide tries to get in touch as well as con him out of his money in telling the widower that she can somehow pick up his son's John, if he's in fact dead, vibes from the other side. At first skeptical of what Adelaide is telling him, that she can somehow contact the dead, Larkin soon becomes a true believer with the elaborate sound system,imitating or faking John's voice, that her partner in crime Robert McBlain secretly set up in the Larkin Mansion!
Adelaide does such a good job in fooling Larkin into thinking that she can contact his dead son that he falls in love with her and wants her to be his wife in order to keep the family,Larkin & Son, together! This spells disaster in Adelaide's partner Robert McBain mind knowing that she's headed into dangerous ground with Larkin quickly losing his grip on reality and her taking full advantage of it!
***SPOILERS*** Now fully believing in the after-life Larkin wants to join his beloved son, as well as first wife,in the world beyond and what's to take Adelaide along with him: If you know what I mean! Finally seeing what her partner Robert McBain told her that she went too far in convincing Larkin that there's life after death Adelaide now tries to convince the by now crazed and deranged madman that the whole thing about his son John contacting him, through her, was all a joke or fraud. But by then there was no turning around with Larkin determined to join his son John as well as take her the future Mrs.Edward Larkin, as well as John's step-mom, along with him!
This episode of the "Hitchcock Hour" certainly is unusual in MANY
aspects: it revives the old subject of séances and mediums that had
lost its popularity at least 20 years ago - and it gives a WHOLE new
touch to it, like only Hitch knew how...
We know from the beginning that the 'evil' Adelaide Winters is simply another one of those con artists, playing the medium with great talent and success in order to 'help' grieving widows and parents communicate with their husbands or sons who died in the War (the episode is set in 1944); she feels, although she's collecting quite a good share of money from her 'séances', that she's really helping those people overcome their grief. And then she offers her services to a rich widower whose son has been reported missing - with the aim, of course, to marry him and his fortune; much to the anger of her jealous assistant and lover. BUT as the séances go on and become more and more realistic, the whole affair takes a TOTALLY different and unexpected turn...
Throughout those 50 minutes of running time, you'll hardly be able to take a breath - the atmosphere is so dense and danger literally in the air, and the performances are simply great; with first and foremost, of course, Kim Hunter in the title role. Of all the episodes of the "Hitchcock Hour" that I've seen so far, this is surely one of the best and most suspenseful!
|Plot summary||Ratings||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|