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spotter52

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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I just discovered the channel MeTV which is airing episodes of Hitch's two television series (Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour). The first episode I watched starred Barbara Bel Geddes (Midge in Vertigo) as a woman who murders her cheating husband with a leg of lamb then cooks it and serves it to the police investigating the murder thus destroying the murder weapon. Very Hitchcockian. It was fun to see Ms Bel Geddes in a dark role although these shows are laced with tongue in cheek humor. There are several episodes airing almost every day so I've set my DVR to record them all. Hitch's on-camera intro's and wrap ups are one of the best parts of these shows and I remember them fondly from back in the day watching as a young boy.

 

Post Script: This was one of two episodes directed by Hitch himself that were nominated for Emmy awards. He only directed 17 episodes of the long running series.

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I've been enjoying revisiting Hitch's TV shows from the 50's-60's and now that I'm more knowledgeable about his style and traits I'm able to pick up on more things in the TV episodes than in previous viewings.

 

Of general interest is that actor Norman Lloyd was credited as producer on most (if not all) episodes (also directed some) and Joan Harrison was the main producer credited on all episodes.

 

One of the hour long episodes "Change of Address" takes place at a Malibu beach house. In it Phyllis Thaxter (playing the wife who hates the house her husband just moved them into) is looking out the window when a sea gull comes crashing into it shattering the glass and falls dead on the beach below. Shades of "The Birds" which came out 18 mo. before this episode. The episode also had music by Bernard Herrmann and was released only a few months after "Marnie" which as we all know was the last film that Herrmann collaborated on with Hitch.

 

I've seen evidence of many of Hitchcock's traits in these shows but one that recurs frequently is the faltering marriage often accompanied by infidelity. And of course humor. Almost all of these shows liberally mix humor (albeit of a dark nature) with suspense and murder.

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