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Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One
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This knowing complicity was Hitchcock's pact with his audience, and the secret to his (and the series') long-term success. It's also what attracted a stable of talented writers whose teleplays, both original and adapted, maintained a high standard of excellence. Hitchcock directed four of the first season's 39 episodes, including the premiere episode "Revenge" (a fan favorite, with future Psycho costar Vera Miles) and the season highlight "Breakdown," with Joseph Cotten as a car-accident victim, paralyzed and motionless, who's nearly left for dead; it's a perfect example of visual and narrative economy, executed with a master's touch. (The fourth episode, "Don't Come Back Alive," is also a popular favorite, with the kind of sinister twist that became a series trademark.) Robert Stevenson directed the majority of the remaining episodes with similar skill, serving tightly plotted tales (selected by associate producers Joan Harrison and Norman Lloyd) by such literary greats as Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Cornell Woolrich, Dorothy L. Sayers, and John Collier. Adding to the series' prestige was a weekly roster of new and seasoned stars, with first-season appearances by Cloris Leachman, Darren McGavin, Everett Sloane, Peter Lawford, Charles Bronson, Barry Fitzgerald, John Cassavetes, Joanne Woodward, Thelma Ritter, and a host of Hollywood's best-known character players. With such stellar talent on weekly display, Alfred Hitchcock Presents paved the way for Thriller, The Twilight Zone, and other series that maximized the anthology format's storytelling potential.
Packed onto three double-sided DVDs, these 39 episodes hold up remarkably well, and while some prints show the wear and tear of syndication, they look and sound surprisingly good (although audio compression will cause many viewers to turn up the volume). The 15-minute bonus featurette, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back" is perfunctory at best, but it's nice to see new anecdotal interviews with Norman Lloyd, assistant director Hilton Green, and Hitchcock's daughter Pat (a frequent performer on these episodes), who survived to see their popular series benefit from the archival convenience of DVD. --Jeff Shannon
Top Customer Reviews
Premiered on October 1st, 1955, this wonderful series ran for seven seasons, and afterwards for another 3 seasons as "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour". This set contains the first 39 episodes of Season 1, told by the `Master of Suspense', Alfred Hitchcock. The episodes include:
03. Triggers in Leash
04. Don't Come Back Alive
05. Into Thin Air (aka The Vanishing Lady)
08. Our Cook's a Treasure
09. The Long Shot
10. The Case of Mr. Pelham
11. Guilty Witness
12. Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid
13. The Cheney Vase
14. A Bullet for Baldwin
15. The Big Switch
16. You Got to Have Luck
17. The Older Sister
18. Shopping for Death
19. The Derelicts
20. And So Died Riabouchinska
21. Safe Conduct
22. Place of Shadows
23. Back for Christmas
24. The Perfect Murder
25. There Was an Old Woman
27. Help Wanted
28. Portrait of Jocelyn
29. The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby
30. Never Again
31. The Gentleman from America
32. The Babysitter
33. The Belfry
34. The Hidden Thing
35. The Legacy
37. The Decoy
38. The Creeper
39.Read more ›
The one constant element throughout the series is the presence of Alfred Hitchcock with his dry, macabre sense of humor. This show made the well-respected film director a huge TV personality of the 50s and 60s. It was part of his deal with CBS that he would direct many of the episodes but as it turned out he directed only 17 segments during the series entire run.
Many well-known actors from film and television made appearances on the show during it's run. In this season one set you can expect to see Aunt Bea (Frances Bavier), John Forsythe, Cloris Leachman, Joseph Cotten, Peter Lawford, Barry Fitzgerald, Carolyn Jones, John Cassavetes, Charles Bronson, Claude Rains and many others. There was also a bit of nepotism afoot as Pat Hichcock made numerous appearances on her dad's show. Fortunately, she was a pretty good actress.
The episodes are based on great short stories by writers such as Alexander Woollcott, Ambrose Bierce, Cornell Woolrich, Frederic Brown, Henry Slesar, H.H. Munro (aka Saki), John Cheever, John Collier, John Wyndham, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch and Roald Dahl. Yes, that's the same Roald Dahl who wrote those entertaining children's stories (you've heard of Willy Wonka, I presume). He wrote one of the series most famous episodes "Lamb to the Slaughter."
I have read that Hitchcock actually filmed two openings and closings for each episode.Read more ›
Example: "Salvage" ends with Gene Barry shooting Nancy Gates. After he pulls the trigger, the next scene on the DVD is Hitchcock saying (after the usual comedy), "We'll be back next week." Then the end credits roll. I knew something was missing, so I went back to my 10-year-old VHS recording (syndicated TV version) of this episode and played it. There, Hitch does indeed come back BETWEEN the end of the show and the farewell till next week outro. It's about 30 seconds of footage with Hitch explaining, "He would have gotten away with murder, but ..." This is CRUCIAL footage! And since it's included in the syndicated TV version, Universal can't say it isn't included on the DVD because the footage is "lost."
Sigh. Why can't Universal get it right? Double-sided discs are one thing; releasing edited shows is another. What, exactly, is the problem?
Hitchcock himself directed four of the 39 episodes of the first season. There is a book, authorized through Universal, entitled THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS COMPANION by Martin Grams and Patrik Wikstrom, with a foreward by Patricia Hitchcock, Hitchcock's daughter. This book was published two years ago and is 660 pages thick and highly detailed covering everything you could want to know about the program.
This book is also available on Amazon so when you buy Season One of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, I recommend you buy the book as a companion piece. My only question is whether the DVD will feature the alternative openings Hitchcock filmed. You see, the program became so popular that three different openings and closings were filmed for most of the episodes. One in English, one in French (Hitchcock could speak French), and the other also in English but instead of making fun of the sponsors, he made fun of the Americans cause when the show aired in Britain, those alternative openings and closings were aired overseas. I only hope Universal features the alternative versions. Thankfully the book I described lists those alternatives.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Droll yet amusing Hitchcock presents season 1 of his classic series. Wish that the original openings and closings could have been incorporated into the episodes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by BRIAN
The quality of the film is excellent, but the reproduction is faulty generally after the fourth show on each disc, front and back. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cornelius Gerber
This was bought as a gift. ALL THE DISC ARE DUPLICATES OF THE 1ST DISC. Just.found this out and now too late to return. This is THREE times this has happened. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I loved staying up late to watch the re-runs of these shows when I was growing up. Each show has some type of tense dramatic moment, which is sometimes frightening and sometimes... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Scott Rolph
You can't go wrong with any Alfred Hitchcock collection! I had forgotten how much I missed watching him on television! I would recommend this for Hitchcock fans!Published 7 months ago by Lynn Belitz
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|I'm looking for an episode: it might not be Alfred Hitchcock||
Hey, Laurel. I doubt you'll ever see this given your post is two and a half years old, but I recall the episode you refer to and if I'm remembering correctly it was from the first or second season of Night Gallery, Rod Serling's follow-up series to Twilight Zone. Don't know if they're out on... Read More
Nov 25, 2009 by Kane Andersen | See all 11 posts
|Alfred Hitchcock Presents compared to Twilight Zone?||
The two series are alike in terms of both often having "twist" endings. However, whereas the TZ stories are always based in science fiction or the fantastic, the AHP stories are mystery and crime stories. (Not that AHP did not occasionally have episodes that indulged in the... Read More
Dec 12, 2007 by Amazon Customer | See all 8 posts
I'm looking for the same info. This set was issued in 2005. In the 2013 printings, could they possibly STILL have issues with discs freezing up?
Jun 24, 2013 by DolphinBlue | See all 2 posts
|Alfred Hitchcock Hour on DvD||
They are playing them on the encore mystery channel right now I have about half of them on my dvr.
Dec 14, 2011 by Tri-Dent Raider | See all 3 posts
|alfred hitchcock presents season two||
"As good as television gets" ... I agree 100%. Let's hope the 10/17 release date turns out to be accurate. Any way to encourage Universal on this if the release of season 2 is "up in the air"? I've heard that some sort of feedback on Amazon is forwarded to the studios to... Read More
Jul 30, 2006 by joedriver252 | See all 3 posts
|Not the best of many anthology by any means||Be the first to reply|
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