Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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"Good evening...."

Genre Anthology television series presented by famed thriller director Alfred Hitchcock. The original run was from 1955 to 1962 (half-hour episodes) and 1963 to 1965 (hour-long episodes, as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour), totaling over 200 episodes (of which fewer than two dozen were directed by Hitchcock himself).

Each episode was a self-contained mystery/thriller story, with Hitchcock appearing before and after to make introductory and closing remarks. Writers who either wrote episodes or had stories adapted for the series include Ambrose Bierce, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Roald Dahl, Avram Davidson, Evan Hunter, Don Marquis, Richard Matheson, AA Milne, Ellis Peters, Dorothy L. Sayers and Cornell Woolrich.

Notably for the time, Hitchcock would openly mock the concept of commercials (as opposed to the actual products themselves) in his remarks with statements such as "Join us next week as we present another fine selection of exciting and informative commercials. Oh, and if there's time, we'll also try to squeeze in a story between them."

A Revival, The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents, ran from 1985 to 1989; it featured new stories (and some newly-filmed remakes of old episodes) introduced by recycled (and colorized) footage of Hitchcock.


Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour provide examples of:

Hitchcock: ...but before that, please enjoy tonight's first presentation. It is an adaptation of a Japanese Noh drama, as performed by a cast of Madison Avenue Yes Men.

  • Long Runners
  • Magic 8-Ball: Possibly not magic, but a giant 8-Ball is Hitch's prop of choice in the intro to "The Money". At the end he walks behind it.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: In "Crack Of Doom", the hero, betting with borrowed money wins the big pot... but was only able to bluff successfully because he misread his Jack hold card as a Queen and really thought he had the winning hand.
  • Moral Guardians: If an episode ended with the killer still at large, Hitchcock was obliged to claim in his closing remarks that of course they were brought to justice soon afterward.
    • As an example for the most famous episode "Lamb to the Slaughter", the woman tries to kill her second husband using the same method, but is caught when she fails to note the freezer had been unplugged and the meat is as soft as jelly.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Happens in "Annabel," though arguably begins as Death of the Hypotenuse.
  • Mummies At the Dinner Table: "Annabel" again.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the '80s revival episodes was called "South By Southwest", featuring an actor who gets into trouble while auditioning for a remake of Hitch's classic North by Northwest.
  • Nosy Neighbor: "Mr Blanchard's Secret" featuring a female version of Rear Window's Jimmy Stewart character, whose husband just wants her to Come Back to Bed, Honey.
  • Not Now, Kiddo
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: While fishing during the intro of "The Last Escape", Hitch catches a Mermaid. Unfortunately by the third break, she is gone.

Hitchcock: I suppose you're wondering what happened to my catch. The Game Warden insisted I through her back in, because her measurements didn't meet requirements. In order to keep them, they must measure at least 36-22-15, and of course it is quite difficult to know where to take the last measurement.

  • Poker: "Crack of Doom".
  • Product Placement: At the end of "None Are So Blind", as the Theme Music starts up and the camera starts to turn away from him, Hitchcock says "Just a moment... if you would prefer your stories without my comments, might I suggest this new magazine", as he holds up a copy of his Alfred Hitchcock Magazine.
  • Puppet Permutation: Hitch's wrap-up to the episode "And So Died Riabouchinska".

Hitchcock: Tonight's story reminds me of my days in Vaudeville. I did an act called "Dr Speewack and His Puppets". I never did care for Dr Speewack... he always thought he was so much better than the rest of us.

Alfred Hitchcock "Ah! Man's best friend! And a dog!"

Hitchcock: And now, a word from the people who make this show possible. That is, when they aren't making it impossible.

Hitchcock (after shooting an arrow off stage): Oh, dear me, my eyes aren't what they used to be. I even missed the boy, that time.

  • Zeerust: For the most part averted. Unlike competing shows The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock did not want science fiction or fantasy episodes. However, one episode - "The Blessington Method" - takes place on July 13th 1980, and looks about like what someone from the 50s/60s would imagine that far-off date to be like, including an average lifespan that's increased to 125, Grace being started "Our Father, who art in Space....", and just a faint hint of Raygun Gothic. At least they didn't have the characters wear Space Clothes.