Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 6, Episode 4

The Contest for Aaron Gold (18 Oct. 1960)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 73 users  
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Bernie Samuelson is a ceramic arts teacher at a children's summer camp. From the very first day, he notices that young Aaron Gold has a real talent for sculpture. Aaron much prefers ... See full summary »

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Title: The Contest for Aaron Gold (18 Oct 1960)

The Contest for Aaron Gold (18 Oct 1960) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Himself - Host
...
Aaron Gold
...
Bernie Samuelson
Frank Maxwell ...
Mr. Stern
William Thourlby ...
Lefty James
...
Herbert Gold
Buddy Lewis ...
Angelo
Michael Adam Lloyd ...
Boy
Robin Warga ...
Boy
Philip Phillips ...
Henry (as Phil Phillips)
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Storyline

Bernie Samuelson is a ceramic arts teacher at a children's summer camp. From the very first day, he notices that young Aaron Gold has a real talent for sculpture. Aaron much prefers ceramics to swimming classes but when the camp Director criticizes Bernie for Aaron's lateness at swimming, Bernie promises not to hold him back. After a few weeks though, Bernie lets Aaron skip swimming and then learns that Aaron is has yet to complete any of the camp activities. As parents' day approaches, the Director flies into a rage when he realizes Aaron has yet to complete his sculpture. When Aaron's Dad shows up, things become a little clearer. Written by garykmcd

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18 October 1960 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Interesting Departure
17 April 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Odd choice for a series built on suspense, chills, and mayhem. There's none of that here, although the ending manages some characteristic irony. Nonetheless, there's more depth than in the average entry, no doubt because the screenplay is based on a story by respected literary writer Phillip Roth. Sydney Pollack plays an earnest ceramics teacher hired by gung- ho Frank Maxwell to teach ceramics to boys at an exclusive summer camp. Naturally, 10- year old boys are more interested in the outdoors than sitting at a table mushing around with clay. Thus, Pollack's work is cut out for him. He's frustrated until student Barry Gordon shows both dedication and talent in fashioning an artistic one-armed warrior. The trouble is that Gordon's not interested in the vigorous camp activities that camp owner Maxwell prizes. That puts Pollack in a difficult position since he accommodates the talented boy, at the same time Maxwell threatens to fire him for it. So what does Pollack do—nurture talent or keep his job.

The story's really about enforcing unthinking conformity. Maxwell runs the camp like a petty tyrant, insisting on his own regime regardless of individual differences. That may be the only way to run a boy's camp, but it comes at a price for gifted boys like Gordon. It also comes at the expense of a personal reality, that only becomes apparent at entry's end when both Pollack and Maxwell are taught a lesson about imposing conformity in all situations. The story's probably not every Hitchcock fan's cup of tea. Nonetheless, it remains a worthwhile half-hour, superbly acted by the three principals, demonstrating that director-actor Pollack was as good in front of the camera as he was behind.


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