The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 1, Episode 8

House Guest (8 Nov. 1962)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 100 users  
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An oily hero quickly makes himself unwelcome - even harder to dispose of, until he crashes his hosts' car & mashes a neighbor's wife. The unemployed stranger saved the life of a young boy, ... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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Title: House Guest (08 Nov 1962)

House Guest (08 Nov 1962) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Himself - Host
Macdonald Carey ...
John Mitchell (as MacDonald Carey)
...
Ray Roscoe
...
Sally Mitchell
Adele Mara ...
Eve Sherston
...
George Sherston
Robert Armstrong ...
Captain Charles Faulkner
Linda Rand ...
Kira - The Maid
William Hellinger ...
The Workman
...
Tony Mitchell (as Billy Mumy)
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Storyline

An oily hero quickly makes himself unwelcome - even harder to dispose of, until he crashes his hosts' car & mashes a neighbor's wife. The unemployed stranger saved the life of a young boy, whose grateful parents welcomed the recently discharged vet into their seaside home. Written by David Stevens

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TV-PG
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Release Date:

8 November 1962 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
poorly directed, just OK episode
28 August 2013 | by (French Polynesia) – See all my reviews

It is uniformly well acted--as is most always the case with this series but if you remove that there isn't much left. It's not bad but it's not real credible either.

The opening beach scene which involves an almost drowning is really badly directed. There are several shots where Billy Mumy is obviously making himself sink and rise in water that isn't in really moving--he's supposed to be caught in waves. There is also an almost Karate movie zoom in. The whole thing gets off on the wrong foot. Later there is some very soap operaish blocking of actors facing the camera and not each other and posing awkwardly on furniture to avoid having to shoot more coverage. Crosland was a TV veteran director but this is poor work.

Billy Mumy vanishes from the story about 2/3rds of the way through which is odd as his relationship with the HOUSE GUEST character could have lead to some real drama. There are some things that are like Hitchcock's film SHADOW OF A DOUBT in this episode, but what makes that great are missing here, other than a good performance by that film's male hero.

So there is no dramatic pay off to the relationships of Mummy and Sterling's characters instead it all becomes rather a preposterous series of events and too many characters and then it wraps things up too neatly. The final lines are also terrible. Was it that this was all supposed to be played as more of a black comedy--though it wouldn't have been a very funny one, maybe it was, as Slesar is one of the writers, adapting a novel, perhaps this was his intention but a rewrite and the way the whole thing is performed and done it seems like it's supposed to be a dramatic crime drama. So it ends up just being kind of dull but not terrible.

There is one nice optical effect in the middle of the show that stands out because there is no style at all to the rest of it. Robert Armstrong is fun to see and the cast is strong but this one can probably be skipped pretty easily. Lyn Murray's original music score doesn't bring much to the table. This episode would rank as one of producer Joan Harrison's semi-dudes for the series.


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