The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 3, Episode 29

Off Season (10 May 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
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A trigger happy ex-cop gets a job as an unarmed deputy, but still has some very violent tendencies.

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(teleplay), (short story)
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Title: Off Season (10 May 1965)

Off Season (10 May 1965) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Himself - Host
...
Johnny Kendall
...
Milt Woodman
Tom Drake ...
Sheriff Dade
Indus Arthur ...
Sandy Evans
Dodie Heath ...
Irma Dade (as Dody Heath)
Fred Draper ...
Dr. Hornbeck (as Frederick P. Draper)
Duncan McLeod ...
The Bartender
Jimmy Joyce ...
Sgt. Racin
Harry Hines ...
The Thief
Jim Drum ...
Al
William O'Connell ...
Art Summers
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Storyline

After shooting an unarmed bum, Johnny Kendall is asked to resign from the police force, due to an excessive display of anger, and an itchy trigger finger. Deciding to leave town for awhile, his girlfriend Sandy tags along faithfully. In a new town, Johnny is assigned as a deputy watching over vacant summer vacation homes. Johnny soon meets up with Milt Woodman, the former deputy, who was apparently fired for fooling around with a girl in one of the vacant homes. Milt expresses a dislike toward Johnny, and in retaliation, starts showing an interest in Sandy. Directed by William Friedkin ("The Exorcist"). The last show of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" TV series. Written by alfiehitchie

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10 May 1965 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

One of the filming locations was the Bates Motel from Psycho (1960), also featuring John Gavin. Also scripted by original PSYCHO author Robert Bloch. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The End Of the Road
17 April 2011 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Off Season was the final episode of Alfred Hitchcock's hour long anthology series, marking the end of ten years of the master of suspense being a weekly fixture on television. The show was directed by a young up and coming William Friedkin, who, a few years later would go on to fame and fortune as a director of such feature films as The Boys In the Band, The French Connection and The Exorcist. Robert Bloch, whose novel, Psycho, provided Hitchcock the basis of his best known film, wrote the script. John Gavin, who played a major role in Psycho, is on hand in Off Season as a cop with trigger finger issues who is honorably discharged from a city police force when he kills an unarmed wino after a petty theft. There is a key character in the story named Milt Woodman, whose name for some reason suggests (to me anyway) a play on the name of Hitchcock's agent, long time padrone and at the time the head of Universal studios, Lew Wasserman.

As cop Gavin moves from city to country he takes up residence with his gal-pal (separate cabins, of course, to please the censors) on the set that a few years earlier served as the basis for the Bates motel in Psycho. Gavin gets a job as a cop in a small town, but he isn't allowed to carry a firearm, which clearly bothers him. His boss is friendly and avuncular, gal-pal works in a local eatery. All seems fine but for Gavin's basic jealousy, a meanness at the core of his personality which he doesn't understand but the viewer catches a few glimpses of along the way; and the picture ain't a pretty one. The episode is above average for the series and what puts it over is John Gavin's performance as its troubled central character. It isn't easy to sustain interest in someone as unappealing as this nasty piece of work in uniform; and Gavin's nicely etched portrayal of a not very nice person is low key and masterful.

With the motel set, the presence of Gavin and Bloch's script one can't help but compare Off Season to Psycho. There's even an eccentric, somewhat seedy owner of the motel who talks funny. The actor who portrays him is neither young nor attractive, thus he doesn't, on the surface anyway, channel Anthony Perkins' Norman Bates. But there he is; make of him what you will. Just as Psycho's Marion Crane was in flight from a crime when she fled Phoenix for California to visit her boyfriend, played by Gavin, Gavin's cop is also on the run, in a manner of speaking, though technically exculpated for his killing of the wino he carries his guilt with him, though one senses that he isn't aware of it. As far as he's concerned, Gavin got a raw deal from his superiors in the police department. This episode is more character than plot driven, which makes it unusual for the Hitchcock show. Its ending, unlike that of Psycho, feels almost logical. Overall, this is a pretty good farewell for an excellent television series.


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