Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 3, Episode 2

Mail Order Prophet (13 Oct. 1957)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 167 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

One day, Ronald Grimes receives a letter from a Mr. Christianai who says he can predict the future. The letter correctly predicts the outcome of an upcoming election. More letters follow ... See full summary »

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Title: Mail Order Prophet (13 Oct 1957)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Himself - Host
...
Ronald J. Grimes
...
George Benedict
Judson Pratt ...
Postmaster
Barbara Townsend ...
Secretary
Ken Christy ...
Boss
Linda Watkins ...
Barroom Customer
Victor Romito ...
Tony - Waiter
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Storyline

One day, Ronald Grimes receives a letter from a Mr. Christianai who says he can predict the future. The letter correctly predicts the outcome of an upcoming election. More letters follow and through gambling, Grimes acquires a large amount of money. A final letter from Christianai asks for a contribution. Grimes gives it quite willingly. Later Grimes finds out that Christiani was a fraud. He was really a con man who sent out thousands of letters, half of them predicting one kind of outcome, and the other half predicting another. Grimes was lucky; he got the right predictions time after time. Written by Anonymous

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13 October 1957 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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An Interesting Departure
24 October 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A departure for the series. It's basically a gimmick plot that manages a good dose of suspense, but without the usual hint of Hitchcock mayhem or dark deeds.

Marshall and Klugman are two self-described "cogs' in a faceless corporate machine. They dream of riches, independence, and telling-off their cranky boss. But the way they meekly submit, you figure they'll remain just pipe dreams. Then Marshall starts getting anonymous letters making predictions that prove uncannily accurate. Soon, he's making bets based on the predictions that pay off, and his dreams begin to look real. So what's the deal here. Who's the anonymous "prophet", and does he have the kind of psychic powers he appears to have. He better because Marshall is now "borrowing" from company funds

These two fine actors help carry the story, but it's also a clever script. Note the bar scene with its humorous overtones, the regimented desks on the office floor, or the final scene so hugely ironical and satisfying. There's also a subtle subtext contrasting the wisdom of belief with that of skepticism working its way through. No, it may not be typical Hitchcock, but the gimmick does keep you guessing.


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