Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 5, Episode 18

Backward, Turn Backward (31 Jan. 1960)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 72 users  
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Matt Thompson is bludgeoned to death with a pipe wrench and suspicion immediately falls on 59 year-old Phil Canby. The wrench belonged to Canby and he was there that evening fixing a leaky ... See full summary »



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Title: Backward, Turn Backward (31 Jan 1960)

Backward, Turn Backward (31 Jan 1960) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Tom Tully ...
Phil Canby
Phyllis Love ...
Sue Thompson
Alan Baxter ...
Sheriff Andy Willetts
Paul Maxwell ...
Rebecca Welles ...
Betty Murray
Peggy Converse ...
Mrs. Lyons
Mr. Harris
David Carlile
Mark Erickson


Matt Thompson is bludgeoned to death with a pipe wrench and suspicion immediately falls on 59 year-old Phil Canby. The wrench belonged to Canby and he was there that evening fixing a leaky sink. The real problem however is that Canby is in love with Thompson's 19 year-old daughter, Sue, and they plan on getting married; everyone knew Matt Thompson was violently opposed to their relationship. Canby maintains his innocence throughout and the local Sheriff, who finds it very hard to believe that the mild mannered Canby would do such a thing, investigates. In the end, the true culprit is revealed. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

31 January 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

"Backward, Turn Backward" is compelling Hitchcock episode
16 October 2013 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

The 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "Backward, Turn Backward" is one of the more compelling and thought-provoking entries in the series. It explores very much a taboo subject for its time (i.e. an older man having conjugal relations with a much younger woman). Tom Tully is accused of killing the father of his teenage lover and all the evidence points to him. The murder weapon has been found and the motive is clear. Tully killed the man because he was dead set against the relationship and was doing everything in his power to stop it. Now the fellow is just plain dead. However, the town sheriff (Alan Baxter) is not quite convinced despite the fact that the murderer (Tully) has already been deemed guilty-as-hell and convicted in the eyes of everyone. He does some digging and soon arrives at a different conclusion. Since the screen time for the show is only about 23 minutes, it doesn't take too long for this to happen. This episode was handled by the prolific Stuart Rosenberg who ended up directing many of Paul Newman's better movies including "Cool Hand Luke." Actress Phyllis Love is Tully's young love interest and although she's already 35, she's able to effectively play a 19-year-old with surprising ease. No nonsense Alan Baxter is excellent as the skeptical sheriff and Tom Tully matches him with a superb performance as the accused man. Tully unfortunately contracted a very serious infection while touring with Bob Hope in Vietnam that cut his life short. He inadvertently became a casualty of the war and should be remembered for his patriotism.

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