Alfred Hitchcock Presents Volume 3
Universal
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted March 10, 2001
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
NOTE: At the present time the Alfred Hitchcock Presents DVDs are only available with the Best of Hitchcock boxed sets.

THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
While not as tight as his feature films, Alfred Hitchcock's TV shows had a certain flair and wit that marked them as the work of a great director. This third volume of his shows contains a better selection than the previous release.

Poison
A man on a Malaysian plantation believes that a venomous snake sits on his chest, just below his blanket. His friend doesn't believe him, but as the man grows more and more panicked, calls a doctor. This tense drama is clearly walled in by budgetary restraints (the camera barely leaves the one room) but builds nicely and ends in a typical Hitchcock reversal. As with most of his shows the ending here is really abrupt.

The Perfect Crime
A match made in heaven? Vincent Price costars in this episode, although he isn't really able to cut loose as a famous detective and collector of evidence in his quest to crack the perfect crime.

Dip in the Pool
Interestingly, this episode takes certain elements from Hitchcock's early film Rich & Strange, like the idea of crass tourists on a lavish cruise. A gambling man finds a bet he can't miss: bidding on what the distance traveled for the day will be. His plans, of course, don't go the way he expects.

One More Mile to Go
This episode starts out startlingly good: We watch through a window as man and woman argue, their voices totally muted. The man kills the woman and then goes about the task of bundling her and stuffing her in the trunk. After an almost totally silent first half (the sort of visual storytelling that Hitchcock loved best) a faulty taillight attracts a cop who can't keep his mouth shut.

VIDEO:
The video is good, ranging from crisp and clean to a little soft. For a black and white TV show almost 50 years old, however, it looks fine.

AUDIO:
The sound is a bit rough at times. It is 2.0 Mono and the voices are clearly recorded with somewhat primitive equipment. Still, it's not bad. A Spanish track and English and Spanish subtitles are also included.

EXTRAS:
There are no extras.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Again, I think that four episodes with no extras is a paltry amount to include on one disc (especially since you can expect repackaging of these discs in the near future), but this collection is better than Volume 2. While Hitchcock may have made his biggest contribution in the cinema, his TV work can't be totally ignored.

More Alfred Hitchcock Presents:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Vol. 2
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Vol. 4

Other Hitchcock reviews:
Jamaica Inn / Rich and Strange
The Trouble with Harry
Topaz
Family Plot

Gil Jawetz is a graphic designer, video director, and t-shirt designer. He lives in Brooklyn.

E-mail Gil at buskerdog@yahoo.com


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