Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 21

Safe Conduct (19 Feb. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 261 users  
Reviews: 5 user

An American journalist meets a soccer star while traveling behind the Iron Curtain, but then is arrested as a suspected smuggler.

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(as Justus Addiss)

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(teleplay)
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Title: Safe Conduct (19 Feb 1956)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
...
Mary Prescott
...
Jan Gubak
...
Professor / Captain Greisham
...
Officer (as Peter Van Eyck)
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Train Conductor
Konstantin Shayne ...
Customs Officer
Ralph Manza ...
Waiter
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Storyline

American journalist Mary Prescott is returning from a trip to a Communist state behind the Iron Curtain, traveling with a letter of safe conduct from that nation's President. Riding on the same train is Jan Gubak, captain of the country's soccer team and a national hero. Gubak visits the journalist in her compartment, asks her to dinner, and later persuades her to take a watch across the border for him, telling her that he plans to sell it to pay for an operation for his sister. She is then shocked when, at the border, Gubak himself reports her as a smuggler. She undergoes interrogation, while trying to determine whether there is anyone she can trust. Written by Snow Leopard

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19 February 1956 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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This is the first time that Werner Klemperer and John Banner appeared together, either in television or film. See more »

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User Reviews

Well-Crafted Intrigue & Atmosphere
6 March 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" features a well-crafted story of intrigue and atmosphere. The Cold War setting is central to the story, and it would probably have given the show even more of an impact in its own era, but the quality of the writing and acting allow the suspense and mystery to hold up quite well, even though the tensions it depicts are now only a matter of history.

The story has Claire Trevor as an American journalist, traveling in an unspecified Communist country, and meeting the nation's soccer hero on the train. They both become involved in a story of smuggling, interrogation, and suspicion, which features a number of nice twists and turns. Trevor and Jacques Bergerac are well-cast and give good performances, with Trevor as the forthright American and Bergerac as a patriot who must maintain a more dangerous balance between his position and his real feelings.

A lot of little things add up to make it enjoyable to watch. The Communist officials are portrayed in a very human way, not as stereotypes. The childlike joy that some of the soldiers show while discussing soccer contrasts with their anxious efficiency in investigating the smuggling accusations that arise. The settings likewise are simple but effective, creating a believable atmosphere.

The exposition scene is, perhaps of necessity, rather lengthy, but it is handled well by the stars. More importantly, the finale ties everything up neatly and in a way that lends some extra substance to the story as a whole.


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