Alfred Hitchcock Presents
|Alfred Hitchcock Presents|
|Also known as||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962–65)|
|Created by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Presented by||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Theme music composer||Charles Gounod|
|Opening theme||"Funeral March of a Marionette"|
|Composer(s)||Stanley Wilson (music supervisor)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||361 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Alfred Hitchcock|
|Editor(s)||Edward W. Williams|
|Location(s)||Universal Studios, California|
|Running time||25-26 minutes (Seasons 1–7)
49-50 minutes (Seasons 8–10)
|Production company(s)||Revue Studios
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||Black-and-white 4:3|
|Audio format||Monaural sound|
|Original run||October 2, 1955– May 10, 1965|
|Related shows||The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents|
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades. Time magazine named Alfred Hitchcock Presents one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME".
A series of literary anthologies with the running title Alfred Hitchcock Presents: were issued to capitalize on the success of the television series. One volume, devoted to stories that censors wouldn't allow to be adapted for the tv series, was entitled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do On TV—though eventually several of the stories collected were adapted.
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 for a Marionette", plays, Hitchcock appears in silhouette from the right edge of the screen, and then walks to center screen to eclipse the caricature. He then almost always says "Good evening." (The theme music for the show was suggested by Hitchcock’s long-time musical collaborator, Bernard Herrmann.)
The caricature drawing 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; his monologues were written especially for him by James B. Allardice. 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. For later seasons, opening remarks were also filmed with Hitchcock speaking in French and German for the show's international presentations.
Hitchcock closed the show in much the same way as it opened, but mainly to tie up loose ends rather than joke. He told TV Guide[where?] that his reassurances that the criminal had been apprehended were "a necessary gesture to morality."
Originally 25 minutes per episode, the series was expanded to 50 minutes in 1962 and retitled The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Hitchcock directed 17 of the 268 filmed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and one of the 50 minutes episodes, "I Saw the Whole Thing" with John Forsythe. The last new episode aired on June 26, 1965, and the series continued to be popular in syndication for decades.
1985 revival 
In 1985, NBC aired a new TV movie based upon the series, combining newly-filmed stories with colorized footage of Hitchcock from the original series to introduce 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 one season 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 
Actors appearing in the most episodes include Patricia Hitchcock (Alfred Hitchcock's daughter), Dick York, Robert Horton, James Gleason, John Williams, Robert H. Harris, Russell Collins, Claude Rains, Barbara Baxley, Ray Teal, Percy Helton, Phyllis Thaxter, Carmen Mathews, Mildred Dunnock and Alan Napier.
Many notable actors appeared on the series as well.
Broadcast history 
- Sunday at 9:30-10 p.m. on CBS: October 2, 1955—September 1960
- Tuesday at 8:30-9 p.m. on NBC: September 1960—September 1962
- Thursday at 10-11 p.m. on CBS: September—December 1962
- Friday at 9:30-10:30 p.m.on CBS: January— September 1963
- Friday at 10-11 p.m. on CBS: September 1963—September 1964
- Monday at 10-11 p.m. on NBC: October 1964—September 1965
- See List of Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes and List of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes for more details.
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 25 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. It was followed by The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, which lasted for three seasons, September 1962 to June 1965, adding another 93 episodes to the 268 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.
Among the most famous episodes remains writer Roald Dahl's "Man from the South" (1960) starring Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre, in which a man bets his finger that he can start his lighter ten times in a row. This episode was ranked #41 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.
The 1962 episode "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was not initially broadcast by NBC because the sponsor felt that the ending was too gruesome. The plot has a magician's helper performing a "sawing a woman in half" trick. Not knowing it is a gimmick, the helper 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 Penn and Teller: Bullshit!.
Cameo appearance 
Alfred Hitchcock regularly made cameo appearances in his films. However, only once did he appear in an installment of his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television show (aside from his personal introductions and closings). The one cameo was in the 1958 episode of the third season titled "Dip in the Pool". At 5:15 minutes into the episode, Hitchcock appears on the cover of a magazine being read by Mr. Renshaw (Philip Bourneuf).
DVD releases 
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has released the first three seasons of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on DVD in Regions 1 and 2. Season 4 was released in Region 1 on November 24, 2009., & Season 5 was released in Region 1 on January 3, 2012, after more than two years between this release and the fourth season.
|DVD Title||Episodes||Release Dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season One||39||October 4, 2005||February 20, 2006||July 15, 2009|
|Season Two||39||October 17, 2006||March 26, 2007||November 17, 2009|
|Season Three||39||October 9, 2007||April 14, 2008||May 17, 2010|
|Season Four||36||November 24, 2009||TBA||September 29, 2010|
|Season Five||38||January 3, 2012||TBA||May 18, 2011|
|Season Six||38||TBA||TBA||November 16, 2011|
|Season Seven||38||TBA||TBA||February 20, 2013|
|DVD Title||Episodes||Region 4|
|Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete First Season||32||May 22, 2013|
|Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete Second Season||32||May 22, 2013|
|Alfred Hitchcock Hour: The Complete Third Season||29||May 22, 2013|
- Poniewozik, James (September 6, 2007). "All-Time 100 TV Shows". Time.com. Time Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- As recounted by Norman Lloyd in a radio interview on KUSC’s “The Evening Program with Jim Svejda”, 22 June 2012.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2003 (Eighth Edition)). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows. Ballentine Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
- "Special Collectors' Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997.
- Lambert, David (September 1, 2009). "Alfred Hitchcock Presents - 4th Season Announced: Date, Cost, Extras, Box Art and Menus". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- Lambert, David (October 11, 2011). "Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Date, Cost, and Details from Universal for 'Season 5' DVD Sets". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
Further reading 
- Grams, Martin, Jr., The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion. OTR Pub, 2001 (Paperback: ISBN 0-9703310-1-0)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents at the Internet Movie Database
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents at TV.com
- Hitchcock Presents DVD Official Universal Studios Site