Alfred Hitchcock Presents


Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Infobox Television
show_name = Alfred Hitchcock Presents


caption = Screen shot of opening sequence of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
genre = Drama / Mystery / Melodrama
creator = Alfred Hitchcock
director =
theme_music_composer = Charles Gounod
opentheme = "Funeral March of a Marionette"
endtheme = "Funeral March of a Marionette"
composer =
country = USA
language = English
num_seasons = 14
num_episodes = 456
list_episodes = List of Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes
executive_producer =
producer =
asst_producer =
editor =
location =
camera =
runtime = 30 minutes (seasons 1-7)
60 minutes (seasons 8-10)
network = CBS (1955-1964)
NBC (1964-1965)
picture_format = Black-and-white
audio_format = Monaural sound
first_aired = October 2, 1955
last_aired = May 10, 1965
related = "The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents"
website =
imdb_id = 0047708
tv_com_id = 238

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" is an anthology television series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured both mysteries and melodramas. By the premiere of the show on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades.

"Time" magazine named it one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". [ [http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1651341_1659188_1651398,00.html The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME] ]

History

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents" is well known for its title sequence. The camera fades in on a simple line-drawing caricature of Hitchcock's rotund profile. As the program's theme music, Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette", plays, Hitchcock himself appears in silhouette from the right edge of the screen, and then walks to center screen to eclipse the caricature. He then always says "Good evening", giving the greeting a rather sinister inflection. [ [http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/alfred-hitchcock-presents/100020 TV Guide] ]

The drawing was the work of Hitchcock himself. [http://www.mysterynet.com/hitchcock/ahp.shtml Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV Show] ] He began his career in the 1920's as an illustrator for silent movie intertitle cards. The sequence has been parodied countless times in films and on television. The caricature and the use of Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" as theme music have become indelibly associated with Hitchcock in popular culture.

Hitchcock appears again after the title sequence and drolly introduces the story from a mostly-empty studio or from the set of the current episode. At least two versions of the opening were shot for every episode. A version intended for the American audience would often spoof a recent popular commercial or poke fun at the sponsor, leading into the commercial. An alternative version for European audiences would instead include jokes at the expense of Americans in general. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047708/trivia IMDB trivia] ] For later seasons, opening remarks were also filmed with Hitchcock speaking in French and German for the show's international presentations, reflecting his real-life fluency in both languages.

Hitchcock would close the show in much the same way as it was opened, but now to tie up loose ends rather than joke. He told "TV Guide" that his reassurances that the criminal had been apprehended were "a necessary gesture to morality..."

Originally 30 minutes per episode, in 1962 the show was extended to a full hour and retitled "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour". [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055657/ "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"] at IMDB] Hitchcock himself only directed 17 of the 270 filmed episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and only one of the hour-long episodes, "I Saw the Whole Thing" with John Forsythe.

The last new episode aired on June 26, 1965, but the series continued to be popular in syndication for decades. The first season was released on DVD in 2005, the second season in 2006, and the third in October 2007; it is also available on Hulu, the iTunes Store, and on NBC's website.

Reruns

Retro Television Network recently (July 2008) as well as Chiller began airing both the 30 and 60 minute series. The frequency and times broadcast vary by affiliate and can be obained at [http://www.rtnville.com/affiliates.html the network website] . They were last seen about five years ago on the cable network TV Land.

1985 revival

In 1985, the National Broadcasting Company aired a new TV-movie based upon the series, combining newly-filmed stories with colorized footage of Hitchcock from the original series introducing each segment. The movie was a huge ratings success, and sparked a brief revival of the anthology series genre that included a new version of "The Twilight Zone" amongst others. "The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents" series debuted in the fall of 1985 and retained the same format as the movie - newly filmed stories (a mixture of original works and updated remakes of original series episodes) with colorized introductions by Hitchcock. The new series lasted only two seasons before NBC cancelled it, but it was then produced for two more years by USA Network (which is now co-owned with NBC under NBC Universal).

Guest stars and other actors

A large number of notable actors appeared on the series, including Ed Asner, Mary Astor, Gene Barry, Ed Begley, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, Dabney Coleman, Joseph Cotten, Robert Culp, Bette Davis, Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall, Peter Falk, John Forsythe, Anne Francis, Cedric Hardwicke, Lou Jacobi, Carolyn Jones, Brian Keith, Jack Klugman, Peter Lawford, Cloris Leachman, Peter Lorre, E. G. Marshall, Walter Matthau, Darren McGavin, Steve McQueen, Vera Miles, Vic Morrow, Jeanette Nolan, Vincent Price, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, William Shatner, Jessica Tandy, Dick Van Dyke, Dennis Weaver, Joanne Woodward and Fay Wray.

Actors appearing in the most number of episodes include Patricia Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock's daughter), Dick York, Robert Horton, John Williams, Robert H. Harris, Claude Rains, Barbara Baxley, Ray Teal, Percy Helton, Mildred Dunnock and Alan Napier.

Episodes

:"See List of Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes and List of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes for more details."

"Alfred Hitchcock Presents", 30 minutes long, aired weekly at 9:30 on CBS on Sunday nights from 1955 to 1960, and then at 8:30 on NBC on Tuesday nights from 1960 to 1962. [ [http://www.tv.com/alfred-hitchcock-presents/show/238/summary.html Alfred Hitchcock Presents] at TV.com] It was followed by "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour", which lasted for three seasons, September 1962 to June 1965, adding another 93 episodes to the 270 already produced for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".

Two episodes, both directed by Hitchcock himself, were nominated for Emmy Awards: "The Case of Mr. Pelham" (1955) with Tom Ewell and "Lamb to the Slaughter" (1958) with Barbara Bel Geddes. The third season opener "The Glass Eye" (1957) won an Emmy Award for director Robert Stevens. An episode of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" titled "An Unlocked Window" (1965) earned an Edgar Award for writer James Bridges in 1966.

One 1961 episode ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice") was not initially broadcast by NBC because the FCC felt that the ending was too gruesome. The plot has a magician's assistant performing a "sawing a woman in half" trick, not knowing it's a gimmick, and he cuts the unconscious woman in half. The episode has since been shown in syndication. It has been parodied by Penn and Teller on their cable show "".

DVD releases

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the first three seasons of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" on DVD in Region 1.

References

Further reading

* Martin, Jr. Grams: "The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion". OTR Pub, 2001, (Paperback: ISBN 0970331010)

External links

* [http://hitchcockpresentsdvd.com/ Hitchcock Presents DVD Official Universal Studios Site]
*imdb title|id=0047708|title=Alfred Hitchcock Presents


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