Alfred Hitchcock Presents

 

 

Hitchcock's silhouette became one of his trademarks; the outline caricature was drawn by Hitchcock himself.

 

The Series

Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a half-hour anthology series, hosted by the famous film director. A mixture of crime, horror and weird tales, it seems an obvious place for Bradbury's stories to find a home. In 1963 it changed to a one-hour format, and was renamed The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. In the 1980s there was a revival, complete with introductions by a colorised Hitch.

Bradbury Episodes

Bradbury wrote four scripts for the series, and a fifth script was based on one of his stories.

 

 

Episode 18: "Shopping For Death" (29 Jan 1956)
Directed by Robert Stevens

This episode was adapted by Bradbury from his June 1954 Maclean's magazine short story (collected as "Touched with Fire" in The October Country). The story concerns two old men who set out to prove their theory that murders and hot weather are correlated. Bradbury would dramatise the story again in The Ray Bradbury Theater.

 

Cast:
Mr. Foxe
-
Robert H. Harris
Mrs. Shrike
-
Jo Van Fleet
Mr. Shaw
-
John Qualen
Mr. Shrike
-
Mike Ross
with
  Michael Ansara

 

 

   
Episode 20: "And So Died Riabouchinska" (12 Feb 1956)
Directed by Robert Stevenson

This episode was scripted by Mel Dinelli, based on Bradbury's June 1952 The Saint magazine short story (collected in The Machineries of Joy). The story concerns a ventriloquist with an unusually close relationship with his dummy.

Mel Dinelli had previously adapted the story for the CBS radio series Suspense (13 November 1947).

 

Cast:
Detective Krovitch
-
Charles Bronson
John Fabian
-
Claude Rains
Stagehand
-
Bill Haade
with
  Lowell Gilmore
    Claire Carleton
    Charles Cantor

 

 

   
Episode 123: "Design For Loving" (9 Nov 1958)
Directed by Robert Stevens

This episode was scripted by Bradbury, based on his March 1949 Startling Stories tale "Marionettes, Inc." (collected in The Illustrated Man). The story concerns a man who buys a robot replica of himself to take care of his wife while he goes off on his own. Bradbury would dramatise the story again for The Ray Bradbury Theater.

 

Cast:
Anne
-
Barbara Baxley
Charles Braling
-
Norman Lloyd
Lydia
-
Marian Seldes
Tom
-
Elliott Reid

 

 

Episode 163: "Special Delivery" (29 Nov 1959)
Directed by Norman Lloyd

This episode was scripted by Bradbury. It is notable for being the first appearance of what would later be published as "Come into my Cellar" (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1962; collected in S is for Space), also known as "Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!" (collected in The Machineries of Joy). The story concerns a boy ordering strange mushrooms, which turn out to be part of a devious alien plot to take over the earth.

Bradbury here uses a line from Shakespeare that would come back to haunt us a couple of years later: Roger recites "by the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes."

 

Cast:
Hugh Fortnam
-
Steve Dunne
Cynthia Fortnam
-
Beatrice Straight
Tom Fortnam
-
Peter Lazer
Mrs. Goodbody
-
Ethel Shutta
Roger
-
Frank Maxwell
with
 
Michael Burns
   

CeCe Whitney

   

 

 

Episode 246: "The Faith Of Aaron Menefee" (30 Jan 1962)
Directed by Norman Lloyd
This episode was scripted by Bradbury, based on a 1957 story by Stanley Ellin. The story concerns a man who (Aaron Menefee) has designs on a faith-healer's daughter; he must prove his belief in the faith-healer's powers before he can win her hand in marriage.
Cast:
Aaron Menefee
-
Andrew Prine
Dr. Buckles
-
Robert Armstrong
Rev. Otis Jones
-
Sidney Blackmer
Emily Jones
-
Maggie Pierce
Brother Fish
-
Olan Soule
Woman
-
Gail Bonney
Vern Byers
-

Don Hammer

 

Information source:
Grams, M. Jr. & Wikstrom, P. (2001) The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion. Churchville, Maryland: OTR Publishing

Norman Lloyd
on Ray Bradbury

Producer of the Hitchcock series, and director of several of the Bradbury adaptations, Norman Lloyd has also had a long and distinguished acting career. He said this of Ray Bradbury:

I did many, many shows with Ray. You may think I'm a bore because I say everybody's wonderful...but Ray is great.

First of all, he looks like one of the characters from his Martian stories. Ray looks like a Martian - and if anyone is a Martian, it's Ray!

He's constantly creative, constantly dreaming up ideas, constantly promoting his ideas. I'm proud to say that he said this once at a tribute lunch given to me... "We had the most wonderful collaboration between him and Joan Harrison and myself."

... And the material that I got from Ray...was just wonderful. He adapted a story for me once, somebody else's, but for the most part they were all his stories.

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Page updated 10 August, 2009