Alfred Hitchcock Presents

 (841)
8.5195613+
This classic Emmy-winning anthology series created by Alfred Hitchcock features pulse-pounding suspense and delightfully twisting mysteries. Employing deceptively simple ironic twists and macabre bits of plotting, these half hour masterworks consistently thrill and entertain. Academy Award winners Jessica Tandy and Joanne Woodward are just two of the dozens of screen legends featured in the riveting episodes.
Starring
Alfred HitchcockHarry TylerJohn Williams
Genres
ComedySuspenseHorrorDramaUnscripted
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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  1. 1. Revenge
    October 1, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A man takes the law into his own hands when his mentally unstable wife claims she has been attacked by a mysterious man in a gray suit.
  2. 2. Premonition
    October 8, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A young man has a disturbing premonition and returns home to discover his father has been dead for years and no one told him. With John Forsythe and Cloris Leachman.
  3. 3. Triggers in Leash
    October 15, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A clever tavern owner tries to prevent a shoot-out from taking place in her restaurant.
  4. 4. Don't Come Back Alive
    October 22, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A married couple plan to scam their life insurance by having the wife fake her own disappearance.
  5. 5. Into Thin Air
    October 29, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A young woman and her mother check into a hotel in Paris. Soon after the mother disappears without a trace. Pat Hitchcock, Alfred's daughter, guest stars.
  6. 6. Salvage
    November 5, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A gangland big shot and ex-con conceives a diabolical plot to avenge the homicide of his younger brother.
  7. 7. Breakdown
    November 12, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A cruel businessman is left for dead after a car accident renders him completely paralyzed. Joseph Cotton guest stars. Hitchcock directs.
  8. 8. Our Cook's A Treasure
    November 19, 1955
    26min
    7+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A wealthy man suspects he may have hired a serial killer as his new cook.
  9. 9. The Long Shot
    November 26, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A gambler attempts to scam a man who has hired him to tell him stories about London. Except the man isn't what he seems.
  10. 10. The Case of Mr. Pelham
    December 3, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A businessman discovers that a look-alike is impersonating him around town and trying to assume his identity.
  11. 11. Guilty Witness
    December 10, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Neighborhood snoops suspect a wife has murdered her husband, with whom she frequently quarreled.
  12. 12. Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid
    December 17, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    An ex-convict department store Santa has his heart set on robbery until he meets and befriends a juvenile delinquent he hopes to reform.
  13. 13. The Cheney Vase
    December 24, 1955
    25min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A dishonest ex-curator covets a priceless vase that has been in the Cheney family for generations.
  14. 14. A Bullet For Baldwin
    December 31, 1955
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    After a loyal clerk is fired, he kills his boss out of desperation. And then the boss shows up to work, unharmed, on Monday morning?
  15. 15. The Big Switch
    January 7, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A gunman, bent on homicide, buys an airtight alibi in an ironic tale of fateful circumstance.
  16. 16. You Got to Have Luck
    January 14, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    An escaped convict hides in a farmhouse where he holds a woman hostage--only there is something peculiar about the woman.
  17. 17. The Older Sister
    January 21, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A reporter discovers the truth about the Lizzie Borden case.
  18. 18. Shopping for Death
    January 28, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Famed writer Ray Bradbury pens this episode about two retired salesmen who propose that most murders occur in hot weather.
  19. 19. The Derelicts
    February 4, 1956
    25min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A man with strapped finances is blackmailed after a bum witnesses him murder an old business partner.
  20. 20. And So Died Riabouchinska
    February 11, 1956
    25min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Academy Award nominee Claude Rains guest stars as a ventriloquist who has a somewhat unnatural relationship with his marionette.
  21. 21. Safe Conduct
    February 18, 1956
    25min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A reporter crosses back into the West after interviewing an Iron Curtain dictator when a man she meets tries to smuggle something in her cleared luggage.
  22. 22. Place of Shadows
    February 25, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A man hunts down two swindlers who have taken all of his money and ruined his life.
  23. 23. Back for Christmas
    February 25, 1956
    25min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Alfred Hitchcock directs this chilling tale of a man who murders his wife only to be caught by the nature and generosity of her Christmas present to him.
  24. 24. The Perfect Murder
    March 11, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Two scheming brothers attempt to murder their aunt for her fortune.
  25. 25. There Was An Old Woman
    March 17, 1956
    26min
    13+
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A couple, desperate for cash, plan to rob a senile, old woman. Charles Bronson guest stars.
Show all 39 episodes

More details

Directors
Robert StevensPaul HenreidHerschel DaughertyNorman LloydAlfred HitchcockArthur HillerAlan Crosland Jr.James NeilsonJustus AddissJohn Brahm
Season year
1956
Network
Chiller
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

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Top reviews from the United States

Amy LynnReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Alfred Hitchcock Presents- The Complete First Season
Verified purchase
This is the Complete First Season of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The set contains all original 39 episodes from the first season of this Award Winning Murder Mystery series. All 16 hours of this brilliant show on 3 discs in a well packaged set. You will be sure to enjoy this one.

Episodes:

Disc one -

1. "Revenge"- A woman gets attacked in her home. Her husband seeks revenge on his bride's attacker. When he finds the attacker and gets his revenge he ends up finding out more than he bargained for.
2. "Premonition"- A traveling man returns to his home town after being struck by a terrible Premonition. Nothing seems normal upon his return. His family is acting strangely and he is looking for his father. His family is hesitant to tell him the facts about his father and he sets out on a mission to find out the truth and what the truth turns out to be will shock you.
3."Triggers in Leash"- 2 gunmen are hell bent on settling a dispute.. in a cook's house. As she cooks them dinner they draw their guns and begin a battle to see who will kill who first before the clock strikes midnight.
4."Don't Come Back Alive"- Frank and Mildred are struggling to pay the bills and keep a roof over their head. They need money and want to live a good life. They realize they have a 25,000 dollar policy but in order to cash in one of them has to die. This plan also means one of them would have to disappear for 7 years in order to collect. They make the decision, Mildred disappears then an ironic twist of events leads to the worst.
5."Into Thin Air"- Diana and her mother arrive in Paris during the World Expedition. Her mother starts to feel ill so they take up in a fancy hotel for the night. A mysterious doctor shows up and sends Diana off to get medicine for her mother. When Diana arrives back her mother has vanished "Into Thin Air" and the hotel concierge are completely denying she was ever at the hotel. Diana has to try to solve the mystery and find her mother before it's too late.
6."Salvage"- A story of a prisoner named Dan who's just been released. While in Prison, his brother was killed because of details that a woman named Lois gave to police. Dan catches up with Lois and instead of killing her makes her dreams come true. You will see what his motive for this was in the end.
7."Breakdown"- Mr. Callew, An arrogant businessman is resting on the beach along with a colleague/friend. While relaxing he receives a phone call from a recently fired employee who's life has now been destroyed because of him. Mr. Callew shows no remorse. He later ends up running off the road at a construction site ahead. His eyes are open, he's stuck behind the wheel yet his conscious is still operating. He can hear, he can see, he can feel, or can he? He desperately tries to let the people who come by know he's alive, or is he?
8."Our Cook's Treasure"- After having breakfast with his wife and a new cook Ralph starts to have indigestion. He gets sick and eventually he starts to think he's being poisoned. He brings a sample of his cocoa to a Dr. Later he reads of a housekeeper who poisons their employers and is still at large. Then things start to click.
9."The Long Shot"- Charlie Raymond is a gambler who's deep in debt. He ends up reading a newspaper advertisment asking for a londoner who is willing to accompany a British visitor on a trip. The man he meets asks a lot of questions.
10."The Case of Mr. Pelham"- Mr. Pelham consults a doctor after some troubling incidents. Acquaintances claim to have seen him in places he could not have been. They come to the conclusion there may be another man with a resemblence to Pelham. In actuality it's a man who's deliberately impersonating him.
11."Guilty Witness"- Stanley Crane is working at his grocery store when his upstairs neighbor comes in with a bruised face. She seems to have been beaten up. The same night Stanley and his wife hear fight. This time it's different though. One of them is dead and now they have to prove it to the investigator.
12."Santa Claus and the 10th Avenue Kid"- Story of Harold, a thief who has done time and is now out on parole. He gets a job as a department store Santa Claus. At first he isn't happy but soon sacrifices himself to make a kid's wish come true.
13."The Cheney Vase"- Lyle is a smooth talker yet he can't seem to save his job at a Manhatten Art Museum. He finally gets lucky. An old woman comes in the Museum and he hears about a vase. He seems this as his opportunity, goes to the woman's house and invades her life.
14."A Bullet for Baldwin"- A fired office worker ends up shooting his boss to death. He goes back to his home and waits to be arrested. Instead everyone acts like nothing happened the next day.

Disc Two-

15."The Big Switch"- It's the 1920's and Gangster Sam Dunleavy has just returned to town. He is visited by his childhood friend. Sam has a falling out with a girlfriend and plans on killing her. Despite being warned not to, he tries to go through with it. Then a series of unexpected events occur.
16."You Got to Have Luck"- An escaped convict invades a woman's house after her husband leaves for work. From there he gives her orders and thinks he's home free until an ironic twist at the end sends him back to the slammer.
17."The Older Sister"- A story taking place one year after the acquittal of the Lizzie Borden murders. This short story is centered around Mr. and Mrs. Borden's murder and an investigator trying to solve the mystery of the Borden murder's.
18."Shopping for Death"- Two retired insurance salesman take it upon themselves to try to help rescue people they think are close to death. They approach an out of control woman and try to get her help before she ends up dead too.
19."The Derelicts"- Mr. Sloane lends Ralph money he needs to develop an invention in return for half of the profits. When Mr. Sloane comes to collect his money it turns out Ralph spent all of it on his attractive materialistic wife.
Ralph panics and ends up killing Mr. Sloane. He thinks he's home free. But there's one problem- The murder was witnessed by a vagrant and now he wants a piece of the good life or Ralph will pay in more ways than one.
20."And So Died Riabouchinska"- When a dead man is found in a theatre a detective is hired to investigate. He learns the dead man had a connection to Fabian, a ventriloquist. As the detective is questioning the man the female dummy begins to talk. As the detective humors the ventriliquist he soon finds out the truth about the murders.
21."Safe Conduct"- Mary Prescott is returning from a trip behind the Iron Curtain traveling with a letter of safe conduct from the President. She soon encounters the Captain of a soccer team from that country. He asks her out to dinner and asks her to take a watch across the border for him. He ends up reporting her as a smuggler.
22."Place of Shadows"- A Priest, a young man, a snowstorm and revenge.
23."Back for Christmas"- Herbert is digging a hole in the basement. His wife thinks it's for a wine cellar but it's really for her soon to be dead body.
24."The Perfect Murder"- Two brothers plan to kill their aunt after finding out that they won't get any inheritance until she dies.
25."There Was an Old Woman"- An elderly woman has a conversation with a milkman and ends up telling him a relative of hers has passed away. After this, the milkman has a conversation about the woman's eccentric nature and wealth with the customer. THey plan to rob her, but when they get there the woman seems insane and they are in for more than they bargained for.
26."Whodunit"- A recently dead writer appears before an Angel in heaven. After hearing unpleasant news about the real cause of his death, the angel decides to let him go back and live one more day so he can find out who ended up killing him.
27."Help Wanted"- An aging man being let go from his job. His new employer has an unexpected assignment for him.
28."Portrait of Jocelyn"- Mark Halliday and his Mrs. are getting a new painting. The painting isn't what they expect. Soon the truth about the painting and Mr. Halliday is revealed.

Disc Three-

29."The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby"- Mr. Appleby is going out of business. A representitive shows up and tells him he must pay his bills or else. His wife has some money, he decides to kill her and make it look like an accident. He soon ends up meeting a woman and she is also wealthy but she knows all about Mr. Appleby.
30."Never Again"- A distressed woman with a hangover tries to piece together clues of what happened the night before. She's in a hospital, She's injured and trying to figure out what happened.
31."The Gentleman from America"- Setting- 1940, surrounding a rich american named Latimer and a gambler named Sir Stephen. These 2 end up having a conversation. A ghost haunts Sir Sephen's home. Soon Sir Stephen makes a bet that Latimer can't make it through the night.
32."The Baby Sitter"- A detective goes to question a babysitter about the murder of a girl who she had been working with. Turns out the babysitter didn't like the girl very much. They think she may have something to do with it.
33."The Belfry"- Clint is in love and wants to marry the county's schoolteacher. He ends up building a house for them. Ellie dosen't seem to be interested in him though. She's already engaged to another man. Clint is enraged and ends up killing Ellie's fiance with an ax. As he's being hunted he hides in the belltower.
34."The Hidden Thing"- After seeing his fiance hit and killed by a driver a young man is devastated. He soon ends up getting a visit from a man who also went through something similar and they end up using memory recall to help him.
35."The Legacy"- Author visits Palm beach and meets some old friends. While there he is writing a book. Has to do with a married socialite's affair and a Prince.
36."Mink"- A story about a woman and a stolen mink coat.
37."Decoy"- A man is in love with a singer who is being abused by her husband. He decides to take action and ends up getting framed for the husband's murder.
38."The Creeper"- A Strangler's on the loose in New York. Ellen is scared and wants a new lock for her apartment. A locksmith arrives. While he's there her friend Steve calls and tells her the Creeper is using a job as a locksmith to get into people's homes.
39."Momentum"- Dick is forced to work for half his pay, dosen't want to and decides to resort to murder.
Special Feature- Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back

Other special features include A Piece on the history of Alfred Hitchcock's television show featuring all new interviews with Pat Hitchcock- Alfred's daughter, Norman Lloyd, Producer, Director & Actor Plus Hilton Green, Assistant Director.

The set contains both Spanish and English subtitles and is worth every penny if you're interested in some classic and wonderfully directed pieces of TV history. Every episode is great, both in plot and directing. Enjoy.
28 people found this helpful
Joseph TorciviaReviewed in the United States on September 7, 2010
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Great Show - That Comes with a "Hitch"!
Verified purchase
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season One

(Released: 2005 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
Another Looong DVD Review by Joe Torcivia

It boasts one of the most famous openings in television history. The classical piece "Funeral March of a Marionette" plays, as the drawn outline of a rotund man fades into view. A dark silhouette, fitting the outlined profile, slowly walks into frame, matching it contour for contour. The camera pans over to our host, who greets us with a simultaneously familiar and chilling: "Good Eve-ven-ing!"

It is ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, one of those underappreciated television gems that has become more a part of our culture than most folks realize. AHP continues to demonstrate its brilliance through the courtesy of DVD, the first such collection is the subject of this review.

Renowned director Alfred Hitchcock both introduces and offers a coda to each of his weekly tales of mystery, suspense, and usually murder - the grizzly detail of which often seems to surpass the perceived norms of 1950s TV. Mr. Hitchcock employs top-notch actors, writers and directors for his television "plays" (as he calls them) and sometimes directs certain choice episodes himself.

The "plays" themselves are fun to watch, and deliver the best suspense the era had to offer. But Alfred Hitchcock really puts them "over the top" with the innovative ways he leads into and out of the stories - and introduces commercial messages.

Sample this typical Hitchcock introduction, taken from the episode: "A Bullet for Baldwin". (We open with Hitchcock seated at a desk.)

"Good Eve-ven-ing! I hope you'll excuse me if I appear a trifle excited, but I've just come into possession of a cure for insomnia. [He produces FIVE BULLETS and stands them up on the desk, neatly in a row.] It comes in capsule form. For best results, they must be taken internally. [He produces a GUN.] Here is the handy applicator.

"It is an amazingly simple device. An idiot can operate it - and, indeed, many do. These objects play an important part in tonight's tale. It is called `A Bullet for Baldwin'."

As is our custom in these reviews, we'll break it into CONS and PROS.

The CONS:

Disc One: In what I hope is strictly my own experience, The Adventure of Disc One is one of those quirky happenings that Mr. Hitchcock would no doubt appreciate. Episode Four "Don't Come Back Alive" froze little more than halfway through. It would then skip forward a bit and resume without incident. This happened in exactly the same way on multiple players.

Amazon was excellent in quickly delivering a duplicate of the set, and leaving me a generous amount of time to return the original defective one.

My first impulse was to immediately play "Don't Come Back Alive" to see what I missed. To my surprise, the same flaw manifested itself - only EARLIER in the episode - and skipped to a LATER POINT before resuming!

Now, this wasn't necessarily a bad thing, as the "freeze" perfectly coincided with a commercial break fade-out (making the fade-out just seem longer than usual, and the flaw somehow "neater"). I considered keeping this one, and sending back the original - even though I was missing more of the episode.

Then, I found an ADDITIONAL such flaw on the SAME DISC in Episode # 5 "Into Thin Air" - which just happens to be one of the best of the set! So, I flurry-watched every episode of the ORIGINAL SET, and sent back the replacement - which, sadly, was more flawed than the original.

Chapter Skipping: In short, there is none. At any point in an episode, pressing "Forward Chapter Skip" will take you past the end of the episode and back to the menu. Compare with a comparable half-hour show like TWILIGHT ZONE, which will have three chapters per episode, and one each for "Rod Serling's Next Week Preview", and End Credits. But, the worst is yet to come, in the form of...

Spoilers and Inaccuracies: When selecting "Play" for each episode, an "Episode Summary" screen appears, offering a description of the story before allowing the "Play" option. This is a nice idea, but for two quibbles. These summaries - all too often, alas - either give away the endings... or are inaccurate in describing the story. WARNING: Do not read this material until AFTER viewing the episode in question.

One of these gives away the ending to the best mystery story of the set! How could Universal's quality control allow this?! A major detriment to the enjoyment of this fine set.

The PROS:

The Players: A stellar list of names, often appearing multiple times over the season: (In order of first appearance) Ralph Meeker, Vera Miles, John Forsythe, Cloris Leachman, Warren Stevens, Percy Helton, Ellen Corby, Gene Barry, Darren McGavin, Robert Emhardt, Patricia Hitchcock, Alan Napier, Elisha Cook Jr., Joseph Cotton, Everett Sloane, Olan Soule, Peter Lawford, John Williams, Robert F. Simon, Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur Space, Carolyn Jones, John Qualen, Sebastian Cabot, John Cassavetes, Jo Van Fleet, Robert H, Harris, Michael Ansara, Robert Foulk, Cyril Delevanti, Claude Rains, Charles Bronson, Werner Klemperer and John Banner (In the same episode!), Sean McClory, Claude Akins, Estelle Winwood, Amanda Blake, Lorne Greene, Biff McGuire, Alan Hewitt, Frank Gorshin (very brief cameo), Harry Townes, Skip Homeier, and Joanne Woodward. With Paul Frees in an uncredited role as a radio announcer in the final episode.

How's THAT for a cast list!

The Episodes: 39 glorious episodes of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, from the 1955-1956 television season! Highlights include:

"Revenge": The series premiere, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Never take the law into your own hands!

"Triggers in Leash": A tense confrontation between western gunfighters Gene Barry and Darren McGavin breaks out - over breakfast!

"Into Thin Air": Alfie's daughter, Pat Hitchcock, stars as a frightened young British woman whose mother disappears during a stopover in Paris. Mother disappears without a trace - and everyone denies having ever seen her. Hitchcock acknowledges the familial connection at episode's end: "Oh, incidentally, I thought the little leading lady was rather good... didn't you!"

"Don't Come Back Alive": Yes, the one with the "skip" in it. A scheming older man almost gets away with murdering his wife. Wonderful ending moment!

"Breakdown": Hitchcock directs Joseph Cotton in what may be one of the most incredible dramatic television presentations of the era! Paralyzed, pinned in an auto wreck, and unable to speak, Cotton is presumed dead by all who encounter him! His frantic thoughts, communicated only to the audience, prove otherwise. Unforgettable!

"A Bullet for Baldwin": A meek office clerk shoots and kills the boss (Sebastian Cabot) that fired him. The next day, the boss is back at his desk, with no one the wiser.

"The Older Sister": The "real" story of Lizzie Borden. Did she REALLY "take an axe, etc..."?

"Whodunit": An angel (formerly a pompous old mystery writer) requests that he relive his last hours on Earth, to learn who murdered him. Naturally, he gets more than he bargained for.

"Never Again" The unexpected can happen when you drink! So, don't drink!

"The Gentleman from America" Two nearly bankrupt Britishers bet a bragging wealthy American that he can't (...wait for it) spend the night in an old haunted house! How many times, and in how many different ways, was this plot done! Well done here, though!

"The Belfry": A murderer hides in the bell tower of an old schoolhouse, waiting for the moment to kill the teacher who spurned his affections.

"The Creeper": Second best episode after "Breakdown"! Young blonde women in a New York City neighborhood are being murdered by a killer dubbed "The Creeper". Our story focuses on a housewife's efforts to cope with the situation. A SUPERB mystery that presents at least five suspects in its 25 minutes of play.

BEWARE: The "Episode Summary" that displays before the episode plays GIVES AWAY THE IDENTITY OF THE KILLER!!! You are warned to just blow past this display before watching "The Creeper"!

Oh, and don't look this one up on IMDB either. They give it away, too!

Extra Features: "ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: A Look Back", a 14:44 documentary on the series and Alfred Hitchcock.

Overall:

I love this set and its contents... BUT, while the CONS do not outweigh the PROS, they are too severe to ignore. Again, I hope I am more-or-less alone in my experiences with disc flaws, but I doubt it.

Give it a try... but, like any character in one of Hitchcock's television plays, be wary!

It will please you to know that all the "CONS" have been rectified in the SEASON TWO set... and, hopefully, beyond.
10 people found this helpful
David Von PeinReviewed in the United States on October 18, 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars
Overall, A Very Good TV-On-DVD Boxed Set .... Definitely Worth The Small Sum Of Cash I Shelled Out To Buy It!
Verified purchase
"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" first aired on network TV on October 2, 1955, when television was quite young indeed. This anthology drama/suspense series was very popular and was on the air for seven seasons (spanning 268 black-and-white episodes), with the series ending in June 1962. One of those episodes never actually aired in prime-time ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice", which was released on VHS videotape by "GoodTimes Home Video" in 1998).

Mr. Hitchcock, in September of 1962, then turned his half-hour series into "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour", which had a pretty successful TV run all its own (3 seasons and 93 hour-long dramas).

Universal Studios Home Entertainment released "Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season One" as a 3-Disc DVD set on October 4th, 2005 (coinciding almost perfectly with the 50th anniversary of the show's debut). It's nice to have all 39 of these teleplays from Mr. Hitchcock's first TV endeavor available in one compact DVD collection.

Some buyers of this set are far from pleased with the quality of the DVD transfers (and the double-sided DVD-18 software itself, which gives some players fits it seems). But, in my own personal opinion, I don't think there are enough serious gripes with this Hitchcock set to warrant not purchasing it.

I haven't experienced a single "freeze up" on the DVDs either (as yet). Every episode has played perfectly all the way through on my Panasonic player.

The episodes look very nice on these DVDs (especially for a program that is now a half-century old). The program entitled "Breakdown" has some major "vertical-line" problems and dirt blemishes in some portions of the show (mainly during the opening titles and the Hitchcock intro, which look fairly bad), but even that episode clears up nicely for the bulk of the story. A fine ep. too, featuring the great Joseph Cotten.

Other episodes I've watched seem to be very good in overall video quality. The audio, in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English only), sounds a bit harsh, particularly the opening theme music. But that's not a big deal, IMO. Dialogue comes through well, however.

Classy DVD packaging too. A nice "two-toned" kind of cover, with raised lettering for the show title; plus some nice black-and-white pics on the interior parts of the Digipak that's used to house the three DVDs.

The droll witticisms of Mr. Hitchcock are fun to experience at the beginning and end of each show. The ending to "The Case Of Mr. Pelham", where Hitch has to do a little acting himself, is one of my favorites. ("Bubble gum in his pocket indeed!") :)

I'm not thrilled, though, about the fact that a few portions of Mr. Hitchcock's intros and epilogues (aka "lead-ins" and "lead-outs") have been trimmed off of these episodes for the DVD release. Some of this editing was no doubt done for continuity sake, to eliminate the references by Hitchcock to the upcoming sponsor's message. I wish, however, that every second of each program had been included on these discs, but I'm not exactly ready to slash my wrists with a dull razor either due to a few missing seconds here and there.

The aforementioned "Mr. Pelham" episode, starring Tom Ewell, is one of my all-time favorite "AHP" programs during this first (or any other) season of the series. And it looks absolutely sensational on this DVD. Gorgeous video quality on that one.

When perusing the complete roster of shows contained in this first-season AHP set, I've found quite a few really top-flight episodes (that I hadn't realized were all aired during the very first year of Hitchcock's series before getting this DVD collection). Such as:

>> "Premonition", with John Forsythe and Cloris Leachman.
>> "The Cheney Vase", featuring Carolyn Jones and Darren McGavin.
>> "Back For Christmas", starring John Williams.
>> "The Creeper", with Constance Ford.

"The Creeper" really gives off some eerie vibes. It's "creepy" alright, and showcases the fine acting abilities of Constance Ford, Reta Shaw, Steve Brodie, and Harry Townes. And when Percy Helton is also tossed into the cast mix, you know you're in for a frightful time. Mr Helton, who popped up in guest roles on many TV shows of the 1950s and 1960s, radiates a kind of built-in unnerving eeriness that makes him perfect as "George" in the "Creeper" episode. Helton, who reminds me a lot of Peter Lorre, doesn't usually play villains in his TV appearances, however -- he just gives you the impression that he might turn out to be one whenever he shows up.

Helton, who died in 1971, appeared in a great number of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episodes, including several in this first season alone. Helton might also be remembered as the drunken Santa Claus at the beginning of the original "Miracle On 34th Street" (1947) -- which only proves my point that he's not usually a villain on screen. :-)

Here now is a quick "Pros" and "Cons" breakdown of this "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season One" DVD boxed set:

PROS:

>> 39 (almost) uncut episodes on three DVDs, packed in a handsome, slender, easy-to-store Digipak case.

>> Very good picture quality (everything considered).

>> "Play All Episodes" option is here.

>> English and Spanish subtitles are included.

>> A nice little bonus featurette is also included ("Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back"), featuring interviews with Pat Hitchcock, Norman Lloyd, and Hilton Green. Laurent Bouzereau produced this 2005 DVD supplement, which is fairly short (at 14:44), but quite fun to watch. English and Spanish subtitles are available for this featurette, too.

>> A handy quick-reference "Episode List" is provided on all sides of all three discs, which lists the episode titles for all 39 shows in the DVD set and the corresponding disc side where each program can be found. (An episode guide is also available on the inner Digipak case, which is even a faster method of locating a particular episode, because that entire guide is printed all on one case flap. Whereas the "List" on the actual DVDs takes up three different Menu screens.)

>> Easy-to-navigate, non-animated Menu design.

CONS:

>> Some of the prologues/epilogues have been edited/trimmed.

>> No Chapter Breaks at all for any of the episodes.

>> Some episode descriptions on the DVD Menus are way too detailed, giving away crucial plot points of the story.

>> Looped "Hitchcock Theme" music plays continuously on Main Menu screen. It's pretty shrill-sounding here too. (Having it play just once and then quit would have been much better. Or, better still, just have the Menu totally silent to begin with.)

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In the final "All-Things-Considered" analysis -- I think these Hitchcock TV episodes are terrific and, for the most part, look just great on these discs. Even with a few edits here and there, I'm still enjoying watching these programs that were aired right smack in the middle of the so-called "Golden Age Of Television". And after seeing many of these wonderfully-written episodes, it's easy to see why such a "Golden Age" tag has been attached to TV shows from that 1950s era.

Even though this DVD set is not 100% perfection, I certainly don't want to deprive myself of these 39 Hitchcock TV gems. Do you?
25 people found this helpful
Joey HirschReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good Evening and Goodnight...Murder, Greed, Lust, and a nigh-fatal Dose of Irony
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Maids poisoning overbearing housemasters, heirs itching to get their hands on the the fortunes of their wealthy relatives, philandering wives and husbands killing in passion, only to find out too late that they read the situation all wrong. The stories in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," were already pretty much old hat by the time the show went on air, but it hardly mattered, as the talents of the cast, writers, and Hitch himself meant every week the audience was treated to standard potboilers elevated to high art.

Each tale is a masterclass on storytelling and construction, how to hold an audience in suspense, keep them scared, make them guess wrong, and how to leave them satisfied with an unanticipated turn of the tale at the very end. The players themselves were a diverse and talented lot, equally capable of turning in hammier, over-the-top histrionics and understated performances as subtle as a summer breeze, whichever the story called for. Darren McGavin of "A Christmas Story" fame makes a couple memorable appearances, playing against type as a Western heavy with an Irish brogue in one episode, and later as a cynical schemer after an old woman's precious artworks in another. Charles Bronson contributes a pair of even more surprising turns in separate episodes, although the one in which he plays a detective grilling a loony ventriloquist deserves special mention; rarely, if ever, have you seen stone-faced Charlie deliver so much dialogue.

And then of course there are the famous bumpers, the little segments at the beginning and end of the show in which Hitchcock bids you the viewer Good Evening and Goodnight. His entire essence is boiled down in those precious few seconds. You see him as at once both charming and mordant, comical and more than a touch macabre. I saw these episodes as a child, but having the attention span of a gnat in those days, on this go-round I could remember little but the pomp of the opening and closing theme, along with the iconic image of Hitchcock stepping forward in profile to stand in his own drawn silhouette. It's nice to go back now and discover that quality as well as nostalgia accounts for all those good memories. Highest recommendation, both for those craving entertainment and interested, as artists (screenwriters, actors, etc.) in how to deliver it in superlative, concise form.
Stephen H. WoodReviewed in the United States on November 17, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
A macabre feast for Hitchcock fans
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Watching the immense season one of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS is like coming upon a treasure chest of lost Alfred Hitchcock masterpieces in miniature. Herein are 25 minute tales of murder, infidelity, more murder, the macabre, ironic twist endings, and still more murder. There is so much here that it seems like several seasons, not just one 39 episode season. It has taken me two months to get through the three disk set.

I don't even know where to begin, maybe with the key players. Vera Miles and Ralph Meeker as a married couple, a never-better John Qualen in at least three of the very best (especially "Help Wanted" with Lorne Greene), Pat Hitchcock (Hitch's daughter) in two of the best (that vanishing hotel is a lulu), John Forsythe in a town that seems haunted, Claude Rains as an eerie ventriloquist, several blackmailers and husbands who fake wives' deaths to collect on insurance policies they do not get, Charles Bronson, Cloris Leachman, gamblers (including Gene Barry) who run out of luck, Everett Sloane and Sidney Blackmer in several delicious gems as men whose murdered wives come back from the dead; the list goes on. The casting throughout, perhaps by associate producer Joan Harrison, is world-class.

The crew is great, including B&W photography, art direction on the Universal back lot and detailed interiors that belie low production costs, and sharp editing. The directors include the versatile Robert Stevenson (MARY POPPINS) and Hitchcock himself on a few playlets. Hitchcock is seemingly the producer on all 39 teleplays here, all of them with witty and acid introductions and closings with him.

But it is the writing that should get the highest praise here--the suspenseful and ironic plotting, superb dialogue, and surprise endings. Note, especially, how graphic violence is mostly off-screen, including at intermission fade-outs. There are no bloodbaths here, or in most of Hitchcock's theatrical masterpieces. Your mind only thinks there is. The TV writers include Francis Cockrell, Ray Bradbury, and Robert C. Dennis. Their work is magnificent on these spine-tingling little tales of the macabre. The talented actors could not do their jobs without the words to say. ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (Season One) gets my highest recommendation for fans of the macabre and the supernatural. You will definitely lose sleep over most of these stories. Good eve-ning.
8 people found this helpful
Ryan SimsReviewed in the United States on May 1, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most watch This Season 1 of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESEN9
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I enjoyed every DVD of this Season 1.MUST WATCH THIS, You'll Love every Episode!!
Howard LeeReviewed in the United States on March 19, 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars
Another Comment on the Quality of Hitchcock DVDs
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I received this as a gift during Christmas, and have just recently begun watching them. The series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," is superb. Each episode holds up well, and have terrific twist endings. As other reviewers have cited, DO NOT read the plot synopses written before each episode begins, as some of them DO reveal the ending. (What bonehead at Universal decided to do that?) Hence, my 4-star rating.

But unlike many of the other reviews, (which I am sure are accurate, given Universal's track record) - I find the quality of the discs to be fine. I'm already onto my third disc, and have not had a single problem with any skipping, freezing, or jumping back to menus. (I own a Denon DVD player)

The quality of the prints is also fine - and although not as perfect as the Twilight Zone Definitive Collections, these prints aren't awful. They're sharp, but they're not perfectly clean. The audio is compressed, and sounds peculiar for some of the episodes on my home theater - but otherwise clean and understandable.

The price is terrific considering the amount of shows included, in comparison to the pricey Twilight discs, and other DVDs. We're talking 39 EPISODES. And it's cheaper to get the DVDs instead of even downloading all of these off of Apple's Itunes for the video Ipod. (It'll currently run you $55 for the entire season on Apple)

Ultimately, it sounds like it's a gamble -- you either have a fine boxed set, or a bad one. Let's hope Universal is reading these comments, and they don't make the same mistake if/when they come out with Season 2. I for one am keeping my fingers crossed that they will!! Alfred Hitchcock remains one of the finest directors and hosts ever. It would be such a shame if all of the reviewer complaints prevented any further boxed editions from being issued.
3 people found this helpful
Brian ReavesReviewed in the United States on February 7, 2006
4.0 out of 5 stars
A great series with a tiny flaw in presentation
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Being a fan of Hitchcock, I pre-ordered this as soon as I could. When I got it, I started watching immediately, but I noticed a kind of dumb move on the part of the studio. One of the key things about Hitchcock is the plot twist at the end of the show that comes from nowhere and sets things in a whole new direction. When you choose "Episode Index" and then choose the episode you want to see, an episode summary comes up. The summary tells the entire episode, right down to the plot twist! I read the first two or three thinking it was just an error, but then found it gave everything away. Now I just save reading those for AFTER I've watched the episode so the suspense isn't ruined. I know they probably pulled those descriptions from a book somewhere, but it would have been nice if they'd trimmed them down or put some kind of warning on there of spoilers.

Other than that, it's a great series. Not every show is a winner, but there are some great moments in here. Ray Bradbury even wrote the script for an episode ("Shopping for Death"), though it's unfortunately not one of the better ones. Hitch himself directed a couple, and they show his flair for the cinematic.

If you're a fan of Hitch's work, you're going to want to buy this set and the ones that follow. Just watch out for those summaries! Save the surprise for the show itself!
8 people found this helpful
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