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When Carl Spann's wife Elsa is assaulted by an unknown attacker, he drives his still-incoherent wife around town, hoping she can point him out, so he can kill him.



(teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell), (story)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Carl Spann
Elsa Spann
Mrs. Fergusen
Ray Montgomery ...
Man in Grey Suit
Police Lieutenant
John Daheim ...
Cop (as John Day)
Lillian O'Malley ...
Hotel Maid
Police Lieutenant


Carl and Elsa Spann have moved into a trailer park in California, after Elsa suffered a nervous breakdown. She is adjusting well to a more peaceful lifestyle, after her rigorous training as a ballerina. But then Carl comes home from work to find Elsa shocked and traumatized after a man assaulted her in the trailer. The police investigate, but find little to go on. Carl becomes increasingly angry about what has happened, and he is determined to kill the man responsible, if he can find him. Written by Snow Leopard

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Release Date:

2 October 1955 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remade in 1985 with Linda Purl and David Clennon. See more »


When Carl and Elsa leave the trailer after she is attacked and are driving in the city, they pass by the same "See's Candy Store" twice in quick succession. See more »


Alfred Hitchcock - Host: You see: crime does not pay. Not even on television. You must have a sponsor. Here is ours, after which I'll return.
See more »


Featured in Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

An Indictment of the Human Belief That We Can Ever Be Certain of Anything, Ever.
1 August 2009 | by (Cincinnati, OH, United States) – See all my reviews

A married couple played by Ralph Meeker and Vera Miles have moved into a trailer park in California, after she apparently suffered a nervous breakdown. She is adjusting well to a more mellow life, after her strict schooling as a ballerina. Meeker sees Miles' ballet dancing as fantasy and playing, wehre he is a practical work force type, an engineer.

But then he comes home from work to find her terror-stricken and mortified after, evidently, a man assaulted her in the trailer. The police investigate, but find but a few generic details to go on. Meeker spirals into swelling rage about what has happened, and he is obstinate in his resolution to kill the man accountable, if he can find him. Yet this story is not only playing on the violent in the mind of the spectator, us, pertaining to the murder, but in the assault on his wife, too.

The exposition not directly heading to the story's turning point, Alfred Hitchcock knew how to tell a story without having to tell us anything. Rape. Murder. Uncertainty. The dialogue is never corroborated or denied by the visual text, which is why there is such great tension owing to the incomprehensible eyewitness testimony of Miles, who pre-Psycho here shows us how riveting she can be in terrified close-up. There is even an interesting moment of fleeting lesbian undertones, yet the moment is not placed for such reasons.

The first episode ever of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, directed by the master himself, half an hour long, aired at 9:30 on CBS on a 1955 Sunday night, is not just a little thriller yarn watered down for the new medium; it is an indictment of the human belief that we can ever be certain of anything, ever. It is a commentary on appearance profiling in a decade when that probably was not something of which your average viewer could claim to be innocent.

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