The Photographer and the Undertaker is a sharply written episode from the final Hitchcock season, doesn't quite do it for me, as its attempts to be lighthearted and cynical/mod/sophisticated, while right for the time (1965) don't feel right on this particular show. Nor does the performance of Jack Cassidy as the photographer who just also happens to be a hit-man, come off. He's too slick for the part, conveys neither the requisite foxiness (how else could the character get away with living such an outrageous double life?) nor brains. I can see someone like Darren McGavin doing much better.
As the undertaker, who is, more appropriately, in the same line of work on the side, the dour, soulful looking Harry Townes is a much better fit, and I wish he or rather his character had more screen time. Alfred Ryder is excellent in a vaguely defined role as a kind of middleman between the hit men and the big boys of the "organization". Better still, is the gorgeous Jocelyn Lane as Cassidy's much younger girlfriend, whom he hopes to marry. Alas, her stern, moralistic father doesn't approve of the racy photographer who, besides which, doesn't have a large enough bank account to please the old man. The photographer comes up with an ingenious scheme to fix this problem.
The story would have worked better as a half-hour, in my opinion. The viewer learns more than he needs to know about the major characters, and the sting in the tail ending would have been a lot funnier with a faster pace, less padding.
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