Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 7, Episode 39

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1962)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 207 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A magician takes a simple-minded runaway under his wing. But the magician's wife has a sinister idea for the manipulable young man.


(as Josef Leytes)


(teleplay), (story)
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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
David J. Stewart ...
Larry Kert ...


The Great Sadini finds a young man passed out from hunger on the carnival grounds and takes him inside to his trailer. The boy, Hugo, proves to be simple. His first thought on waking is that he is dead and that Sadini and his wife are the devil and an angel. He's nearly right -- but he has the roles reversed. Sadini's compassion prompts him to take the kid under his wing and teach him about magic. The wife's cold heart leads her to beg the manipulable boy to commit murder. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nearly became a "lost episode" when a sponsor deemed it unsuitable. It was subsequently never given a network airing, and it was not seen by television viewers until the series got sold into syndication. See more »


[first lines]
Sadini: Hey, wake up. This is no place to sleep. Come on, wake up. You'll freeze to death.
See more »


References Fantasia (1940) See more »


The Blue Danube (An der schönen blauen Donau, Op. 314)
Written by Johann Strauß
  • carnival music heard at the beginning of the story

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User Reviews

Once banned, still entertaining
25 February 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Originally banned from television as being too controversial/violent, THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE is today a perfectly serviceable TV horror episode. It's a low budget outing with a small cast, set in a fairground, following many of the same themes as feature-length movies like CIRCUS OF HORRORS and BERSERK. The most interesting thing is that the teleplay is adapted from a Robert Bloch short story by the author himself, so we know we're in for twists and turns, deliciously dark humour and plenty of ghoulish hijinks.

The story is familiar: an adulteress femme fatale decides to bump off her husband, only things go wrong. The acting isn't up to much. Diana Dors is perfect as the cold murderess, but Brandon De Wilde camps it up a lot as the guy escaped from a mental home. Everything hangs on the twist ending, which is gruesome without showing anything and reminds us of Bloch's black comedy. I also loved Hitchcock's closing remarks, which are the epitome of dark humour.

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