'Alfred Hitchcock Presents': THR's 1955 Review

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Photofest

"Hitchcock, if he delivers several dramas like this, will drive the TV audience nuts."

In fall, 1955, CBS debuted Alfred Hitchcock Presents as a half-hour program from 9:30 pm to 10 pm beginning in October. The Hollywood Reporter's original review of the first episode is below: 

Hitchcock, the master of suspense, brought a brilliantly acted, neatly directed drama to the TV screens for the first in his series, that had everything except an ending.

We’re still wondering what it was all about because the story certainly gave no hint. The rumor is that the sponsor or agency demanded certain censorable lines and situations cut from the story, which was done.

But whether this is true or not, something happened to make the bigger mystery than what was contained in the plot — what happened to the ending? In this one Vera Miles plays a girl recovering from a nervous breakdown who is attacked by an unknown assailant while her husband, Ralph Meeker, is at work. 

The husband, searching for the culprit, has him pointed out by his wife. After she points him out and Meeker beats him up, she points out someone else. That’s it. That Hitchcock, if he delivers several dramas like this, will drive the TV audience nuts.

Introductions by Hitchcock are very clever and his segues into the Bristol Myers commercials are entertaining. This series looks like with good stories (with endings) it could be a humdinger.  — Leo Guild

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