The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 1, Episode 1

A Piece of the Action (20 Sep. 1962)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Professional gambler Duke Marsden (Gig Young) bitterly treads in his father's footsteps, which led to tragedy. Duke's wife is cold and aristocratic, fed up with his habits. Duke's appalled ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Duke Marsden
Alice Marsden
Gene Evans ...
Ed Krutcher
Chuck Marsden
Nick Dennis ...
Allie Saxon
Roger De Koven ...
Kreg Martin ...
Jack Sahakian ...
Ralph Smiley ...
Dee J. Thompson ...


Professional gambler Duke Marsden (Gig Young) bitterly treads in his father's footsteps, which led to tragedy. Duke's wife is cold and aristocratic, fed up with his habits. Duke's appalled when his younger brother (Robert Redford) a law student, catches the fever too - does he have Duke's ability or their father's luck ? Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

20 September 1962 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Version of Street of Chance (1930) See more »

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"A Piece of the Action" (1962) features a young Robert Redford
27 July 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Before he became a household name, Robert Redford paid his dues with a lengthy television career and had some memorable performances. "A Piece of the Action" with Gig Young was one of them. Young plays Duke Marsden, a successful businessman with one bad habit: he's an addictive gambler. Like his father, Duke, can't pull himself away from a card game or a wager and his family life begins to suffer for it. His wife Alice, played by attractive Martha Hyer, is beginning to get fed up with him, but she hangs on to the hope that Duke will change. That scenario isn't "in the cards" because (like trying to give up cigarettes) Duke has "quit" many times, but always seems to go back. Enter his younger brother Chuck (Redford) who's straight out of college. He's already an addictive gambler himself and has spent more time with bookies and card-sharks than he ever did in a classroom. Duke's "do what I say and not what I do" advice falls on deaf ears as his brother continues the "family tradition" and gets himself involved with the wrong crowd with tragic results.

Directed by Hitchcock veteran Bernard Girard, "A Piece of the Action" is well-written (by Oliver Garrett and Alfred Hayes) and the acting is first-rate, particularly by its stars Young and Redford. Although there's really no "family resemblance," the two have a lot of chemistry between them and they're highly convincing as brothers. Gene Evans plays the heavy and is effective as a henchman/gambler who collects his earnings the old-fashioned way (i.e. at the point of a gun). Martha Hyer provides nice support as Young's put-upon wife who's running out of patience.

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