Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 2, Episode 6

Toby (4 Nov. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 201 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

New York, 1910. Bookkeeper Al Birch expects the arrival of his sweetheart Edwina from 20 years ago. When she arrives, she is still every bit the lady. But she doesn't come alone.

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Title: Toby (04 Nov 1956)

Toby (04 Nov 1956) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
...
Edwina Freel
Robert H. Harris ...
Albert Birch
George Mathews ...
Mac McGurk
...
Mrs. Foster the landlady
...
Marie McGurk
Penny Santon ...
Italian Tenant
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Storyline

New York, 1910. In a poor neighborhood, a heat wave is making everyone weary and truculent. Meanwhile, Mr. Birch is renting a basement flat for his fiancée, Edwina. She was his sweetheart twenty years ago; now, thanks to a newspaper advertisement she placed, the two have found each other again. He wants everything to be perfect for her arrival, which means, among other things, a dozen roses. She loved roses. It strikes him as a bad sign when he breaks the vase the roses were to go in. The first real sign of trouble is seeing Edwina herself. She's still a beautiful woman and every bit the lady she always was. But she doesn't come alone. She arrives with a bundle in a baby blanket. This first shock gives way to more unpleasant surprises and mysterious behavior from the woman he hopes, at long last, to marry. Written by J. Spurlin

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4 November 1956 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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[first lines]
Mrs. Foster: So, well, then he says he wants new dishes in the cupboards. "New dishes," I says. "Mr. Birch, look, I don't put new dishes in my furnished flats." But no, he insists, "She's got to have new dishes when she moves in."
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User Reviews

 
Good Supporting Characters in a Flawed Episode
2 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a series such as this, not every episode hits the spot, and this is one of those.

A new tenant (Edwina, Jessica Tandy) arrives in an unsalubrious New York apartment block, and back into the life of one of the tenants (Albert, Robert Harris) after 20 years. But what is she hiding?

The supporting cast are good throughout - they set the scene very well, play likable characters and also provide the main impetus that moves the plot along, but the problem is really with the script. We aren't given enough insight into either of the main characters. Although we can sympathise with Albert, there is nothing perilous or threatening to provide tension. We never get to see things from Edwina's point of view, so it's difficult to care about her either.

As for the final revelation, I'm afraid that this was one of the two I'd considered from early on, so was a bit of a let-down.

All in all, not a completely unenjoyable ride, but definitely one of the lesser offerings in a great series.


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