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Charlie Hill is mesmerized by a strange jar at a carnival sideshow. He buys it from the owner, but his wife Thedy Sue is frightened and wants it thrown out. The townspeople come from miles to see it and Charlie becomes a local celebrity.


Norman Lloyd


Ray Bradbury (short story), James Bridges (teleplay)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Pat Buttram ... Charlie Hill
Collin Wilcox Paxton ... Thedy Sue Hill (as Collin Wilcox)
William Marshall ... Jahdoo
Jane Darwell ... Granny Carnation
Carl Benton Reid ... Gramps Medknowe
James Best ... Tom Carmody
George Lindsey ... Juke Marmer
Jocelyn Brando ... Emma Jane
Slim Pickens ... Clem Carter
Alice Backes Alice Backes ... Mrs. Tridden
Sam Reese Sam Reese ... Milt Marshall
Marlene De Lamater Marlene De Lamater ... Eva Ann (as Marlene DeLamater)
Billy Barty ... The Barker


A carnival barker sells a jar containing a mysterious, hairy, octopus-like mass to Charlie Hill of Wilder's Hollow for $12.25. He shows it to his wife Thedy, who hates it. Soon everyone from miles around comes to look at the jar and wonder what is inside. Trudy and her paramour, Tom Carmody, conspire with Jahdoo, paying him $1 to steal the jar and shatter it at Heron Swamp. Charlie hurries to the swamp, but gets trapped in quicksand. Jahdoo speculates on the contents of the jar before rescuing Charlie and returning the jar. When Charlie gets home, Thedy tries to break the jar with a spoon. Charlie grabs the spoon and nearly attacks Thedy with it, so she runs away. When she comes back, she says that she visited the carnival, and the carny boss told her the jar is full of junk--wire, clay, paper, cotton, yarn, inner tube, doll's eyes, and silk. Thedy says she will tell everyone, but Charlie likes his new popularity. Written by Lewis O. Amack

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Release Date:

14 February 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The carnival side show sign reads: "The Magic Jar... What Is It?" See more »


Version of The Ray Bradbury Theatre: The Jar (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

The best episode of all, for those who like a big helping of horror.
27 August 2006 | by rixrexSee all my reviews

This is arguably the best of all of the hour-long Hitchcock episodes, and I would qualify that statement as relevant to those of us who are both Hitchcock and horror film fans. You know you are one if you think Psycho is Hitch's best film, but if you prefer the suspense and melodrama of, say, North by Northwest, then you'd probably rate this episode a wee bit lower. Fans of EC horror, and the old Creepy and Eerie mags of the 60s, will relish this great adaptation of a Ray Bradbury October Country story. The sets and atmosphere are claustrophobic and suffocating, like the JAR itself. You'll think you're watching Twilight Zone if you're not careful.

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