Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 5

Into Thin Air (30 Oct. 1955)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
6.8
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When a young woman leaves her ill mother in a Paris hotel room and comes back later, she finds her mother is missing, and all the hotel's employees deny she and her mother were ever there.

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Title: Into Thin Air (30 Oct 1955)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
...
Diana Winthrop (as Pat Hitchcock)
Geoffrey Toone ...
Basil Farnham
...
Sir Everett
Maurice Marsac ...
Clerk
Mary Forbes ...
Mrs. Winthrop
Ann Codee ...
Doctor's Wife
Gerry Gaylor ...
Maid
John Mylong ...
Doctor
Albert D'Arno ...
Bellhop (as Albert d'Arno)
Peter Camlin ...
Porter
Jack Chefe ...
Detective
Michael Hadlow ...
Maris
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Storyline

Diana Winthrop and her mother arrive in Paris, where a World Exposition is taking place. Mrs. Winthrop had started to feel very tired during the journey, so after they check into their hotel, Diana calls for a doctor. After examining Mrs. Winthrop, the doctor sends Diana in his carriage to his own home, where his wife prepares a medication. A number of things seem odd to Diana, but things become much more worrisome when she returns to the hotel. The desk clerk does not remember her, her signature has disappeared from the hotel register, someone else is occupying her room, and her mother has completely disappeared. Written by Snow Leopard

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30 October 1955 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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References The Lady Vanishes (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'm not going out of my mind"
31 January 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

No, you're not the only person who noticed similarities between "Into Thin Air" (Season 1, Episode 5) and Hitchcock's own 'The Lady Vanishes (1938).' Indeed, Hitch himself openly acknowledges the mutual source for both works, humbly referring to the director of the latter in the third person. This episode, directed by Don Medford, is certainly inferior to its cinematic counterpart, but it effectively creates a sense of paranoid mystery from a familiar story. Daughter Patricia Hitchcock, who had previously appeared in small roles in 'Stage Fright (1950)' and 'Strangers on a Train (1951),' is given the lead role – she does a fair job, but certainly wasn't the next Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly. Pat Hitchcock has a slightly-whiny voice that she shows off when asked to sound panicked, the sort of hysterical performance that wasn't uncommon among actresses in the 1940s. Her father, of course, seems rather proud of the effort, and mischievously remarks "incidentally, I thought the little leading lady was rather good, didn't you?"

When Diana Winthrop (Hitchcock) books herself and her sick mother (Mary Forbes) into a Paris hotel, she doesn't give a second thought to her own mental health. However, after being sent away to collect some medicine for her mother, Diana returns to find that her mother is missing, and, worse still, nobody in the hotel claims to remember her. Beginning to doubt her sanity, she seeks help from the British embassy, but they have a hard time taking her word over that of half a dozen hotel employees and a sign-in register from which the name Winthrop has disappeared. The story fits snugly into the half-hour time-slot, though the conclusion is not as satisfying as it might have been. "Into Thin Air,' just like 'The Lady Vanishes,' toys with the intriguing question of how one can maintain confidence in their own sanity if everybody is scheming against them. After all, as Orwell put it, perhaps a lunatic is simply a minority of one.


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