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Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One

4.2 out of 5 stars 229 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Join the legendary "Master of Suspense," Alfred Hitchcock, in all 39 original episodes of the first season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the Emmy Award-winning murder-mystery series that, in the words of Hitchcock himself, "brought murder back into the home - where it belongs." This spectacular collection includes exclusive never-before-available bonus features, including in-depth interviews with Alfred Hitchcock's daughter, Pat, and associate producer Norman Lloyd. Join stellar guest stars including Cloris Leachman, Charles Bronson, Claude Rains, Lorne Greene, Joanne Woodward, Vera Miles and more in over 16 hours of the most captivating, intriguing, suspenseful television ever aired.


When it premiered on CBS on October 2, 1955, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was an instant hit destined for long-term popularity. The series' original half-hour anthology format provided a perfect showcase for stories of mystery, suspense, and the macabre that reflected Hitchcock's established persona. Every Sunday at 9:30 p.m., the series began with the familiar theme of Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" (which would thereafter be inextricably linked with Hitchcock), and as Hitchcock's trademark profile sketch was overshadowed by the familiar silhouette of Hitchcock himself, the weekly "play" opened and closed with the series' most popular feature: As a good-natured host whose inimitable presence made him a global celebrity, Hitchcock delivered droll, dryly sardonic introductions and epilogues to each week's episode, flawlessly written by James Allardyce and frequently taking polite pot-shots at CBS sponsors, or skirting around broadcast standards (which demanded that no crime could go unpunished) by humorously explaining how the show's killers and criminals were always brought to justice... though always with a nod and a wink to the viewer.

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

Special Features

Disc 3:
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back

  • Product Details

    • Format: Box set, Dolby, Full Screen, Black & White, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
    • Number of discs: 3
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
    • Run Time: 1003 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B000AL733G
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,125 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Raj on July 30, 2005
    Format: DVD
    After releasing only selected episodes in volumes (4 episodes in 1 DVD), it is good to see that Universal Home Entertainment is finally releasing this show in season box sets (and hope that they continue to release the remaining seasons in the future).

    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:

    01. Revenge

    02. Premonition

    03. Triggers in Leash

    04. Don't Come Back Alive

    05. Into Thin Air (aka The Vanishing Lady)

    06. Salvage

    07. Breakdown

    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

    26. Whodunit?

    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

    36. Mink

    37. The Decoy

    38. The Creeper

    Read more ›
    3 Comments 388 of 399 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    I haven't seen "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" since it was last shown on TV Land quite a few years back. This show is one of the best anthology series ever and deserves to be shown and enjoyed. Thankfully Universal has seen fit to release season one on DVD. All 39 episodes (yes, 39!) of this incredible show.

    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 ›
    Comment 201 of 213 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    It's very hard for me to type this, because I thought this was going to be a stellar set -- but alas some episodes are indeed edited.

    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?
    8 Comments 185 of 199 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    First of all I want to state that ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS is a superbly entertaing program. Hitchcock himself did not want to host his own television program until 1955, when Lew Wasserman, then head of Universal Studios (then known as Universal International), convinced Hitchcock to market his name and his movies by hosting his own television series. Thus ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS was born.

    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.
    Comment 63 of 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    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
    Defective disks!!!
    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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