Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 20

And So Died Riabouchinska (12 Feb. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 318 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 2 critic

While investigating a murder in a theater, Detective Krovitch uncovers a strange web of tensions revolving around ventriloquist John Fabian and his female dummy.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
...
...
Claire Carleton ...
Lowell Gilmore ...
Charles Cantor ...
Zander
Harry Tyler ...
Dan Sill
Iris Adrian ...
Macey
William Haade ...
Stagehand (as Bill Haade)
...
Riabouchinska (voice)
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Storyline

A dead man is found in the basement of a theater, and a detective comes to investigate. He learn that the deceased had been seen near the theater asking for Fabian, the ventriloquist. As the detective questions Fabian in his dressing room, a voice comes from the box in which Fabian's female dummy is stored. When the dummy, Riabouchinska, continues to talk, the detective is annoyed, thinking that the ventriloquist is trying to be funny. But the detective humors him and 'talks' to the dummy, and he soon learns about a web of tensions involving Fabian, his wife, and his manager. Much of the tension concerns the dummy - and there is also a connection with the dead man. Written by Snow Leopard

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12 February 1956 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Mel Dinelli originally adapted Ray Bradbury's short story for the radio series Suspense. When he wrote the teleplay for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he based it off his radio play, rather than the original short story. See more »

Quotes

Himself - Host: Good evening. This misty bit of ectoplasm forming on the inside of your television screen is one Alfred Hitchcock, coming to you tonight from across that great barrier that divides the quick from the dead: the Atlantic Ocean. I have materialized tonight for the express purpose of warning you; that during tonight's seance, you will witness a playlet entitled "And So Died Riabouchinska". But first, I would like to make an announcement to those of you who can't stay until the end... the butler did...
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User Reviews

Interesting Ray Bradbury Story Highlighted By Claude Rains's Fine Performance
6 March 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" features an interesting Ray Bradbury story of murder and psychology, plus a fine performance by Claude Rains. The theater setting and the troubled main character make it a very good fit for the series, and the story is adapted efficiently into the show's format.

The story starts with a murder at a theater, with the investigation centering around Fabian, a ventriloquist played by Rains. Fabian displays an excessive attachment to his female dummy ('Riabouchinska'), and it quickly becomes obvious that he has something verging on a split personality, speaking truthfully only through the dummy. It's a weird and intriguing situation, and it is also interesting to see a young Charles Bronson as the detective who has to make sense of it all.

Bradbury's imaginative and thought-provoking stories do not necessarily lend themselves easily to screen adaptations, but this one overcomes the challenges pretty well. Rains has just the right approach and screen persona to make the challenging character work convincingly, and in particular it is worth watching him closely during the scenes when the dummy 'talks'. The somber story and the disturbed central character fit together well.


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