Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 18

Shopping for Death (29 Jan. 1956)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 350 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Two retired insurance salesmen confront an aggressive, hostile woman in hopes of saving her from a disaster.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Mrs. Shrike
Robert H. Harris ...
Clarence Fox (as Robert Harris)
Elmer Shore
Michael Ross ...
Albert Shrike (as Mike Ross)
Alfred Linder
Charlotte Knight
Lee Erickson
Jack Tesler
Leola Wendorff ...
(as Laiola Wendorff)
Ralph Montgomery
Bob Morgan


Two retired insurance salesmen have been visiting the scenes of accidents and crimes, feeling that they have a responsibility to learn why such things happen. One of them has found an aggressive, hostile woman whom he considers to be a prime candidate for a personal disaster. On a blisteringly hot day, the two follow her as she does some shopping, and watch as she antagonizes several persons. After some discussion, they decide to take a chance on helping her, and they go up to her apartment to talk to her. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

29 January 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although it is supposed to be 89 degrees and hot and humid, when the two salesmen are outside of the butcher shop, you can see the breath coming from the mouth one of the salesmen as if it is very cold. See more »


Himself - Host: You needn't sit there staring. We're not going to show you anymore. In fact, I'm not even going to tell you what happened. Television audiences are becoming entirely too dependent. You expect us to do everything for you.
[he holds up his hands and flexes his fingers; they squeak and creak loudly, as the door did]
Himself - Host: This oil is terribly difficult to get rid of. Look, while I'm working on this, please listen closely to the following and do exactly what they tell you.
See more »


Version of The Ray Bradbury Theatre: Touched with Fire (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

More Van Fleet Than Story
17 January 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Looks to me like the material was chosen because of the distinguished author, Ray Bradbury, and the recent Oscar-winning actress Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden, 1955). In my book, it's not a very good episode. Two retired insurance men try to apply their expertise to help an angry slum dweller (Van Fleet) during an urban heat wave. The trouble is the plot is slender, and Van Fleet goes way over the top in making Mrs. Shrike hateful. With Shrike's out-of-control attitude, it's hard to see how she could survive even one day in a tough neighborhood. It's a showcase role, but overwhelms the story itself. Reviewer Hitchcoc is right: the episode is talky, too talky. At the same time, the expected payoff is too mild for a series that specialized in strong payoffs. On the other hand, the entry is well produced—the sets effectively suggest an over-heated urban slum. And the cast does feature two series favorites, Harris and Qualen. However, the sum total is memorable only for the chew marks Van Fleet leaves on the scenery.

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