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Episode really functions as a showcase for Bel Geddes, and may have
been connected in some fashion to her key role in Hitch's Vertigo, also
(1958). Be that as it may, it's well acted, yet also a very slender
30-minutes with not much payoff, at least by series standards.
Lucia (Bel Geddes) relives her affair with the handsome Allen (Rennie) while in a sleepy daze. The daze is meaningful since she and Allen are drawn together by their mutual love of fog and the 'unexpected' that it represents. It's evident that each finds in the other what's missing in their prior romantic commitmentshe's married, she's engaged. And indeed, the fog and the unexpected do play a key role in the story, which climaxes with her coming out of the sleepy daze.
In passingwhoever did the story synopsis on IMDb apparently wasn't paying attention since they got the ending all wrong!
This is a story of unrequited love. It's about a couple of people who are trapped in a situation which prevents them from ultimately joining together. MIchael Rennie is married and despite all his efforts to attain a divorce to marry his true love, it just doesn't work out. That's simple enough, but now throw in the fog. The fog is a metaphor in this episode and it masks everything. However, what it masks is even more startling. Whenever the couple gets together they are affected by the fog. Sometimes it hides them from the truth. Sometimes it causes serious danger. Sometimes it is the precursor to sadness. When we get to the conclusion, the fog is explained. This is an interesting script and one that stands out a bit more than others. I have to admit, I never had a clue where this was going.
In this ep of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", Hitch is seen taking water out of a rowboat he is sitting in. It's held up by some stilts. The actual story concerns Barbara Bel Geddes, a young woman engaged to someone who seems more interested in making money than her. At the engagement party, she meets Michael Rennie and they both seem enchanted by each other at first sight. But it turns out he's married...The two stars are quite compelling to watch as they trade their innermost thoughts despite the circumstances of their pairing. Of course, this being a Hitchcock show, there's a twist that makes this quite tragic but also beautiful in spite of that. Really, I don't want to say anymore except that I recommend "The Foghorn" as a quite very good ep of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
First, I must admit I am a great admirer of Barbara Bel Geddes. I think it's her peaceful voice. I have been watching every episode of this Hitchcock series and, so far, this is my favorite story. A tale of two lovers, perfectly matched, but forbidden to consummate their love because of a previous marriage and a spouse unwilling to release her husband. The relationship, however, prevails almost flowing with poignancy. There is the inevitable and tragic happening which we do not fully understand until the very end (typical for Hitchcock stories). I agree with a previous commentator who notes the inaccuracy of the synopsis. However, I disagree with his/her saying the "payoff" was inadequate. I found the ending a fascinating and unexpected twist.
It occurs to me after watching a dozen or so episodes from the boxed
set that some of them aren't what anyone would call inspired. I don't
mean this one necessarily, but some others are pretty flat.
This episode isn't uninteresting. Barbara Belgeddes is always appealing in a winsome way, not quite Hollywood gorgeous but intimating good breeding. Sounds like she went to Bryn Mawr or someplace.
She's engaged to a dull bulb but drops him when she meets Michael Rennie at a formal ball. He waltzes her around and takes her out on the balcony for a chat in the fog. She's in his thrall as this tall, handsome man goes on about sailing to The Fortunate Isles.
She drops her fiancé and has an affair with the married Rennie. They frequently meet in a Chinese restaurant and go sailing. On one of their trips they are rammed in the fog by a freighter, Rennie is killed, and Begeddes survives -- beyond which medical discretion forbids me to go.
I don't know why the writers of this series sometimes seemed so sloppy. The city in which the story takes place -- fog, fog horns, Chinatown -- is obviously San Francisco and Belgeddes even makes a reference to Angels Island (presumably "Angel" Island). But why not invest a slender, half-hour drama like this with a sense of place? Name some streets. Introduce some local color. At least name the CITY. Have the loving couple stand at the foot of Telegraph Hill looking up at the phallic Coit Tower and have Michael Rennie observe off-handedly, "Did you know, my dear, that the name of Coit Tower has absolutely nothing to do with coitus?" Why not pluck the low-hanging fruit?
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