6 user 2 critic

Mail Order Prophet 

Clerk Ronald Grimes starts receiving letters from a mysterious Mr. Christiani that seemingly predict the future.


James Neilson


Robert C. Dennis (teleplay), Antony Ferry (story)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
E.G. Marshall ... Ronald J. Grimes
Jack Klugman ... George Benedict
Judson Pratt ... Postmaster
Barbara Townsend Barbara Townsend ... Secretary
Ken Christy Ken Christy ... Boss
Linda Watkins ... Barroom Customer
Victor Romito Victor Romito ... Tony - Waiter


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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

13 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Alfred Hitchcock's greeting is, "Oh hello, fellow speculators" instead of his usual "Good evening." See more »


Spoofed in Mathnet: The Case of the Swami Scam (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

An Interesting Departure
24 October 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee 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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