Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1, Episode 13

The Cheney Vase (25 Dec. 1955)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 434 users  
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When Lyle Endicott is fired from his job at an art museum, he comes up with a plan to take advantage of a trusting invalid whom he befriended at the museum.

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Title: The Cheney Vase (25 Dec 1955)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Patricia Collinge ...
Martha Cheney
...
Himself - Host
...
Lyle Endicott
...
Pamela Waring
...
Herbert Koether
Kathryn Card ...
Bella
...
Ruby Boyenton
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Storyline

Lyle Endicott is a smooth manipulator, but he's not smooth enough to save his job at a Manhattan art museum. And his talent doesn't seem to have gotten him anywhere in life. "Why not just once can something go right for me?" he wonders. Luck finally seems to shine on him when he overhears his boss, Mr. Koether, talking to one of the museum's patrons, Martha Cheney, an invalid who uses a wheelchair. She and Koether call each other by their first names, but their friendship isn't enough to persuade Miss Cheney to sell him the famous Cheney vase. Lyle realizes the heirloom is worth a lot of money -- money that can be his if he manages to insinuate himself into the old woman's life. Written by J. Spurlin

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25 December 1955 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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[first lines]
Homer Koether: I don't intend to discuss it any further. I want you to leave the museum this afternoon.
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OK, but a bit rushed
6 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This early Hitchcock episode stars a young Darren McGavin in a decent Shatner-type toupee as an out-of-work museum assistant and all-around cad and hustler. He befriends an old woman (Collinge, who steals the show) and talks his way into becoming her caretaker. She owns an antique vase worth a pretty penny for its day, which he intends to steal and sell. He turns the old lady into a prisoner in her own home as he plots the theft. OK episode, nothing particularly special about it, and the half hour format makes the episode feel rushed. For instance, while the bad guy has a very sexy blonde girlfriend with whom he intends to run away with (Jones), he replaces the old lady's longtime maid with an even sexier blonde maid (Lee) Unfortunately, we learn nothing about her, other than she is loyal to our heel. I thought for a moment he was going to doublecross the girlfriend and run off with the maid, but this element is not developed. Maybe he planned to run off with both. I know I would have. A clever ending and Collinge's savvy performance make this one worth a look. Just don't expect the superior production and expanded script values that would come some years later with many of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes.


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