The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 3, Episode 13

Where the Woodbine Twineth (11 Jan. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 125 users  
Reviews: 12 user

After Eva Snyder becomes an orphan, she comes to live with the elderly Mississippi riverboat Captain King Snyder and his old maid daughter Nell. While the Captain is piloting his boat, Nell... See full summary »

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(teleplay), (short story)
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Title: Where the Woodbine Twineth (11 Jan 1965)

Where the Woodbine Twineth (11 Jan 1965) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Himself - Host
Margaret Leighton ...
Nell Snyder
Carl Benton Reid ...
Capt. King Snyder
...
Suse
Joel Fluellen ...
Jessie
E.J. André ...
The Preacher (as E.J. Andre)
Lila Perry ...
Numa
Eileen Baral ...
Eva Snyder
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Storyline

After Eva Snyder becomes an orphan, she comes to live with the elderly Mississippi riverboat Captain King Snyder and his old maid daughter Nell. While the Captain is piloting his boat, Nell finds it difficult to govern Eva, who constantly talks to imaginary friends whom Eva believes are real, including Mingo and her father Mr. Peppercorn. When the Captain returns, he presents Eva with a gift--a black doll named Numa. Nell hears Eva chatting and playing with Numa, but suspects that it is a child from the neighborhood. Eva warns that if Nell takes Numa away, Eva will trade places with Numa and go to the idyllic place "Where the Woodbine Twineth." When Nell puts Numa on top of the player piano, Eva steals Numa away, and the piano mysteriously plays by itself. Nell finds Eva in the backyard with a black girl playmate, and Nell chases the girl away, warning her to never return. Then Eva disappears. When Nell finds a doll in Numa's box that looks exactly like Eva, she tearfully realizes ... Written by Lew Amack

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11 January 1965 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Haunting
26 January 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Superior Hitchcock fare. Excellent script makes good use of hour format, something the other 60-minute episodes by and large could not do. Are little Eva's playmates real or not. She seems so convinced and convincing. Suspense builds nicely, helped along by an exquisite performance from Margaret Leighton as the anguished aunt. Watch the subtle progression of facial expressions as she moves from normalcy to genuine trauma over the obsessive state of her young niece. Little Eileen Baral, on whom the episode turns, is wonderfully natural, with no hint of artificial emotion-- I suspect that when a child actor performs this well, a lot of credit must go to the director (here, Alf Kjellin). There's a really creepy undertone to the story that could have been heightened by a more Gothic approach, instead of the straightforward, high-key lighting which drains the visuals of the kind of shadowy atmosphere that would complement the script. Still and all, it's a haunting 60 minutes, one that's likely to stay with you. And for those who care, I suspect there's an allegory about race relations in the Jim Crow South lurking somewhere in the subtext.


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