Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 6, Episode 23

Incident in a Small Jail (21 Mar. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 95 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

A suspected serial killer in put in a jail house with a salesman, while a lynch mob waits outside.



(short story)
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Title: Incident in a Small Jail (21 Mar 1961)

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Leon Gorwald
The Mechanic
Ronald Nicholas ...
Sandy (as Ron Nicholas)
Myron Healey ...
Crahan Denton ...
William Challee ...
Joan Dupuis ...
The Girl


Leon Gorwald is a traveling salesman who stops in a small town to buy gas. He crosses the street against the light and a local policeman starts writing him a ticket for jaywalking. Gorwald tries to bribe the officer and is promptly arrested and put in a jail cell awaiting the return of the local judge. In the meantime, the local sheriff has arrested a stranger for murdering a local girl. Things get desperate when a local mob decide to lynch the stranger, but by now he has overpowered the sheriff and forced Gorwald to change clothes. The mob drags Gorwald away but things turn out OK for him, in more ways than one. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

21 March 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A murder suspect never once protests his innocence, which he logically should have done given the fact that he really was innocent. See more »


Leon Gorwald: Sheriff, please, you've gotta let me out of here! You can't keep me locked up!
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User Reviews

One of the Best of the Later Entries
18 June 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Superior Hitchcock, with one of the most chilling final frames of the entire series. Nerdy traveling salesman Gorwald (Fiedler) fudges a pedestrian crossing. But instead of just reprimanding him, big overbearing cop (Healy) ends up jailing the inoffensive little guy who's just trying to get to the next town. When a young girl is brutally murdered and the suspect (Jaeckel) put in an adjoining cell, events begin to spiral out of control, becoming every person's nightmare.

The expertly cast Fiedler turns in an ace performance as the hapless victim of the fates-- we can't help but identify with him. Ditto, the rest of the performers in this unusually well acted episode. Also, director Lloyd keeps things moving and the suspense on high in ways that get the most out of Henry Slesar's tight, ironical script. (Note how Gorwald tries to bribe the cops— a significant development.) In fact, Slesar, along with Fredric Brown, is responsible for many of the best story ideas of the series. Fortunately, this is one of them. It's an episode I don't think you'll forget—after 4 decades, I haven't.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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