Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 2, Episode 24

The Cream of the Jest (10 Mar. 1957)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 164 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Broken-down actor Charles Gresham,with a weakness for booze, demands that playwright Wayne Campbell give him a part. When Campbell refuses, Gresham resorts to blackmail.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
...
Charles Gresham
...
Wayne Campbell
...
Nick Roper
Joan Banks ...
Lee
...
Jerry the Bartender
Don Garrett ...
Pete
Carol Shannon ...
Mrs. Campbell
Thomas Martin ...
Hood
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Storyline

Charles Hanover Gresham is a broken-down old actor whose bar tab is so steep the bartender won't even serve him another drink. Gresham learns that the playwright, Wayne Campbell, is auditioning actors for a new play. He begs Campbell for a part, but his old colleague has no use for this unreliable has-been. Gresham resorts to blackmail. Since Campbell won't give him a part, he demands an "annuity" or he'll reveal Campbell's secret past. Campbell has another idea. Written by J. Spurlin

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10 March 1957 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry the Bartender: [to a customer] Thank you.
Charles Gresham: Hello, Jerry. How fresh and dewy you look.
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User Reviews

 
Contrived, but interesting
24 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, the story is contrived and unrealistic, but it isn't dull.

It's great to see Claude Rains, who plays an out of work,, drunken actor. He first begs and later blackmails a playwright friend from the olden days (who is younger and American...they cover that up in one line of dialog). We get to see a wide range from Rains in a short episode: drunk, desperate, ingratiating, menacing and pathetic.

The first twist isn't hard to predict, and I suppose we're expected to see it. There's a second twist that isn't much, but the whole setup is improbable. Still, I will grant the series a certain amount of license in that regard.


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