Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season One

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Alfred Hitchcock as Himself - Host
Harry Tyler as Train Ticket Agent / Manager
Patricia Hitchcock as Nancy Mason / Saleslady
John Williams as Inspector Davidson / Inspector Brent
Russell Collins as Alvin Moss / Johnny
Arthur Gould-Porter as Mr. Moen / Arthur Chaundry

Special Features:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back--A piece on the history of Alfred Hitchcock's television show, featuring all new interviews with Pat Hitchcock (daughter of Alfred Hitchcock/actress), Norman Lloyd (producer/director/actor), and Hilton Green (assistant director)

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Spanish Subtitles

Synopsis:
The first season of this series originally aired in 1955. The following is the description from the DVD cover:

"Join "The Master of Suspense", if you dare, for over 16 hours of award-winning murder, mystery and suspense in Season One of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on DVD. Golden Globe winner for Television Achievement, this legendary series will intrigue and captivate you as you explore all 39 original episodes.

Hosted by Alfred Hitchcock, Season One is packed with star-studded guest appearances including Cloris Leachman, Charles Bronson, Claude Rains, Lorne Greene, Joanne Woodward, Vera Miles and many more.

This highly collectible set also includes the documentary "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back" containing exclusive interviews with Alfred Hitchcock's daughter, Pat Hitchcock (who appears in three Season One episodes), Associate Producer/Director Norman Lloyd and Assistant Director Hilton Green. So grab a cup of hot chocolate and dim the lights as Mr. Hitchcock wishes you a welcoming "Good Evening"...to murder!"

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season One is not rated.

The Series:
If you're a fan of suspense or mystery, then you already know this series is worth checking out. Alfred Hitchcock Presents featured a wide variety of tales where characters were put into harrowing situations. I used to watch the 1985 version of this series and enjoyed it quite a bit. It inspired me to go back and watch its predecessor from the 50's. The episodes vary widely as far as suspense and shock value. For example, one episode features a woman who is framed for stealing a mink stole. It's not exactly classic material. However, another episode features a woman who kills her husband, cooks the body, and feeds it to the policemen investigating his disappearance. I never expected to see cannibalism on TV in the 1950's! So you can see that there's something here that will appeal to everyone's tastes…so to speak.

The series also made Alfred Hitchcock a globally recognized face. Not only was his unique profile prominently featured in the opening, but his amusing introductions and conclusions to each episode added an element of black comedy to the series and made him endearing to audiences. If Walt Disney was the face of family entertainment, Alfred Hitchcock was the face of suspense. The series also featured a lot of cameos by familiar faces as listed above. You'll find the following episodes included on the DVD set:

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
39. Momentum

I should note that many Hitchcock fans have complained that the episodes have been slightly edited from how they originally aired. They also still features scratches and pops from the original prints. This may disturb the most avid Hitchcock fans, but most casual fans won't even notice. So if you like mystery or suspense and you're sick of what's on TV today, this is a perfect alternative for you that's well worth checking out.

The Extras:
There is only one bonus feature included on this DVD. It is a 15 minute documentary entitled "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: A Look Back". It features interviews with Pat Hitchcock (daughter of Alfred Hitchcock/actress), Norman Lloyd (producer/director/actor), and Hilton Green (assistant director). The featurette was produced by Laurent Bouzereau who has done many excellent documentaries for Steven Spielberg's films. It details the origin of the series, how Alfred Hitchcock was first approached to do it, how he enjoyed doing the opening introductions, and more. They also talk about the origin of the theme music, how Alfred chose which episodes to direct, and other interesting bits of trivia. Whether you're a Hitchcock fan or not, this is worth checking out.

The Bottom Line:
If you're a fan or suspense, mystery, or Hitchcock, then this is a DVD set well worth adding to your collection.

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