Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Three
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The Master of Suspense returns with all 39 Primetime Emmy Award-Nominated Season Three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents! Filled with tales or murder, madness, intrigue and suspense, this unforgettable series was renowned for its riveting storytelling and compelling characters. It's no mystery why it featured some of television's most illustrious guest stars, including William Shatner, Jessica Tandy, Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Joseph Cotton, Fay Wray, Hume Cronyn and many more! Nominated for an astounding 15 Emmys, this beloved series is an essential for every DVD collection!
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By season #3, ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS had really hit its stride. This DVD set is a terrific package of some of the finest programming the Golden Age of Televison ever produced. The first two years of the show are also available in complete season box sets.
For a fine bargain-priced compilation of Hitch's British-era movies, try the ULTIMATE HITCHCOCK COLLECTION. It offers 18 vintage titles as well as two TV episodes.
This program list is sequential by airdate. Included on it are 1 to 10 viewer poll ratings, titles and the most prominent actors for each episode.
(9.1) (.#1) The Glass Eye (10/6/57) - Billy Barty/William Shatner/Jessica Tandy
(8.6) (.#2) The Mail Order Prophet (10/13/57) - Jack Klugman/E.G. Marshall
(8.3) (.#3) The Perfect Crime (10/20/57) - Vincent Price/James Gregory
(8.6) (.#4) Heart of Gold (10/27/57) - Daryl Hickman/Nehemiah Persoff/Mildred Dunnock
(9.0) (.#5) Silent Witness (11/3/57) - Don Taylor/Patricia Hitchcock
(8.9) (.#6) Reward To Finder (11/10/57) - Oskar Homolka/Jo Van Fleet/Claude Akins
(9.0) (.#7) Enough Rope For Two (11/17/57) - Steven Hill/Jean Hagen/Steve Brodie
(8.6) (.#8) The Last Request (11/24/57) - Harry Guardino/Cara Williams/Hugh Marlowe
(9.0) (.#9) The Young One (12/1/57) - Carol Lynley/Vince Edwards/Jeanette Nolan
(8.8) (#10) The Diplomatic Corpse (12/8/57) - Peter Lorre/George Peppard/Mary Scott
(8.8) (#11) The Deadly (12/15/57) - Phyllis Thaxter/Craig Stevens/Frank Gerstle
(8.8) (#12) Miss Paisley's Cat (12/22/57) - Dorothy Stickney/Raymond Bailey
(8.8) (#13) Night of the Execution (12/29/57) - Vinton Haworth/Pat Hingle
(8.8) (#14) The Percentage (1/5/58) - Don Keefer/Walter Woolf King/Carole Mathews
(8.8) (#15) Together (1/12/58) - Joseph Cotten/Florence MacAfee/Christine White
(8.3) (#16) Sylvia (1/19/58) - Ann Todd/Phillip Reed/John McIntire/Raymond Bailey
(8.8) (#17) The Motive (1/26/58) - Skip Homeier/Carl Betz/Kay Stewart
(8.3) (#18) Miss Bracegirdle Does Her Duty (2/2/58) - Mildred Natwick/Gavin Muir
(8.4) (#19) The Equalizer (2/9/58) - Leif Erickson/Martin Balsam/Norma Crane
(???) (#20) On the Nose (2/15/58) - Jan Sterling/Carl Betz/Holly Bane
(8.9) (#21) Guest for Breakfast (2/23/58) - Joan Tetzel/Scott McKay/Richard Shepard
(8.2) (#22) The Return of the Hero (3/2/58) - Jacques Bergerac/Susan Kohner
(8.7) (#23) The Right Kind of House (3/9/58) - Jeanette Nolan/James Drury/Robert Emhardt
(8.5) (#24) The Foghorn (3/16/58) - Barbara Bel Geddes/Michael Rennie
(???) (#25) Flight to the East (3/23/58) - Gary Merrill/Harvey Stephans
(7.4) (#26) Bull in a China Shop (3/30/58) - Dennis Morgan/Estelle Winwood/Ellen Corby
(8.6) (#27) Disappearing Trick (4/6/58) - Robert Horton/Raymond Bailey/Jack Albertson
(9.0) (#28) Lamb to the Slaughter (4/13/58) - Barbara Bel Geddes/Harold J. Stone
(???) (#29) Fatal Figures (4/20/58) - John McGiver/Vivian Nathan
(???) (#30) Death Sentence (4/27/57) - James Best/Steve Brodie/Frank Gerstle
(???) (#31) The Festive Season (5/4/58) - Richard Waring/Carmen Mathews
(7.6) (#32) Listen, Listen! (5/11/58) - James Westmoreland/Adam Williams/Kitty Kelly
(9.0) (#33) Post Mortem (5/18/58) - Steve Forrest/Joanna Cook Moore/James Gregory
(8.0) (#34) The Crocodile Case (5/25/58) - Denholm Elliot/Patricia Hitchcock
(7.9) (#35) Dip in the Pool (6/1/58) - Keenan Wynn/Fay Wray
(???) (#36) The Safe Place (6/8/58) - Robert H. Harris/Jerry Paris
(8.2) (#37) The Canary Sedan (6/15/58) - Jessica Tandy/Gavin Muir
(???) (#38) The Impromptu Murder (6/22/58) - Hume Cronyn/Doris Lloyd
(8.8) (#39) Little White Frock (6/29/58) - Herbert Marshall/Tom Helmore/Julie Adams
Coincidentally (well, probably not), all three of the above-mentioned episodes were directed by Mr. Hitchcock himself, which tends to make this writer think that when Hitch himself is at the helm, a certain extra "something" is added to that particular program. It's hard to define what it is, though. It seems to be a special "Hitch Quality" that raises the level of the episode a notch or two.
The list of guest stars that put in appearances in this third season of "AHP" is fairly impressive indeed, including one of the "masters of horror", Vincent Price, who (as usual) is very good in "The Perfect Crime".
And what better guest star could there possibly be for an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" than Mr. Price? Vincent's very presence in a TV show or motion picture conjures up in the viewer's mind ample thoughts of suspense, mystery, and murder, which makes him made to order for Mr. Hitchcock's television series.
Other familiar faces that can be found in this third-season collection are:
Joseph Cotten, Jack Klugman, Mildred Natwick, William Shatner, Jeanette Nolan, E.G. Marshall, Herbert Marshall, Vince Edwards, Michael Rennie, Jessica Tandy, Barbara Bel Geddes, Fay Wray, Steve Forrest, Claude Akins, Hume Cronyn, James Gregory, Gary Merrill, Carol Lynley, Joanna Moore, Pat Hingle, Jerry Paris, Keenan Wynn, Jack Albertson, Martin Balsam, plus (like Vincent Price) another one of Hollywood's all-time top kings of fright -- Peter Lorre, who shows up in the episode "The Diplomatic Corpse", which co-stars George Peppard.
We'll also find Lorre popping up in a very intriguing and creepy 5th-season "Hitchcock Presents" episode when Universal releases that boxed box in the future (knock wood) -- which is an episode that definitely makes my "Top 10" list of all-time AHP faves, "Man From The South".
Universal Studios Home Entertainment delivers "Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Three" in a 5-Disc DVD set, with single-sided discs, Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio, and the appropriate video (screen) shape of 1.33:1 (Full-Frame). The B&W picture and the sound are pretty darn good here too, in my opinion.
Like each of the first two seasons, there are 39 total shows in AHP-3. These episodes, which were originally seen on CBS-TV way back in 1957 and 1958, appear to be full and uncut on these DVDs, with running times that average about 26 minutes per show.
English subtitles are provided....and a "Play All" option is available from either the Main Menu on each DVD or via the "Episode Index" Sub-Menu on each of the five discs. Chapter breaks have been inserted into each episode too (four chapter stops per program). No bonus supplements are included in this set.
The DVD packaging consists of a three-panel "Digipak" inner case that holds the five discs, plus an outer box for the folding Digipak to comfortably slide into.
Each of the disc-holding panels sports a third-season publicity photo (revealed when the DVDs are removed from their respective trays), including a playful pose of a wide-eyed Vincent Price in the process of strangling Mr. Hitchcock.
And just in case anyone is keeping track of such things, I'll add this trivial packaging note: this set's inner case slides out from its outer slipcase box on the left-hand side (when looking at the front of the box, that is), which is the same design as Season #2, and it definitely feels backwards to me. I think the DVD innards should slide out on the right-hand side. But, it's not exactly worth throwing a fit over.
Anyway, just thought I'd mention it, for those keeping a "box" score at home. (BTW, the inner portion of the Season-One "AHP" DVD set slides out from the right-hand side of the case, just the opposite from Seasons 2 and 3. I guess Universal just likes to keep us guessing as to which end will be open on its DVD cases.) ~wink~
Another minor gripe I have with this third-season packaging is the fact that the text written on both of the spines of the box is too dark and totally unreadable when looking at the box from certain angles. I think Universal should have used lighter-colored lettering on the black spines, like they did for the first two Hitchcock season sets.
SOME FINAL "AHP" THOUGHTS:
With Universal's release of this third Hitchcock season on DVD on October 9, 2007, it now means that, up to the date of this review, 117 episodes of this spooky black-and-white television series (which ran for 7 seasons) have been digitally preserved on the DVD format. And a lot of good Hitchcock-flavored stories can be found within those first three full-season collections.
So, I'd positively recommend picking up a copy of "ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: SEASON THREE". And I'd also recommend something else too -- after purchasing this DVD set, I'd strongly suggest that you immediately dispose of any and all legs of lamb that you happen to have in the freezer. (Just so your spouse won't feel tempted, you see. No sense in taking any chances.) ;)
David Von Pein
This is one of my favorite anthology programs, just as fun as The Twilight Zone. A bit more macabre, definitely.
The first 3 seasons were just marvelous, and I devoured them with great relish, and happily looked forward to the many upcoming seasons, to be released, I thought, on DVD. Well....it's autumn (same time of year that the first three seasons were released on DVD), and Season Four ain't nowhere to be seen. Was it too good to last? Or are WE the ones this time, who are victims of a Hitchcockian plot? Is this the perverse twist at the end of OUR story?
Alfred Hitchcock truly was the first director as celebrity. It began with the cameos, his droll sense of humor and a business deal (the opportunity to host his own TV program and make lots of money). The third season of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" remains one of the pinnacle years for the program. Although Hitch only directed three episodes, all three are classic Hitch.
Produced by Norman Lloyd (who appeared in Hitchcock's "Saboteur" and "Spellbound")and long time Hitchcock associate Joan Harrison, the series works like the best short stories--involving you in the suspense story at hand often with a droll, witty sense of humor.
The third season varies in quality but overall looks pretty good in its first ever complete presentation on DVD (there was a single disc of the TV shows available in the first Universal Hitchcock box set). It's a pity there aren't any extras or commentary tracks (particularly on the best episodes such as "Lamb to the Slaughter")but the show is presented at an affordable price. We get all 39 episodes on five discs.
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