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Classic Review: Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 1 Ep. 1: Revenge

Vera Miles and Ralph Meeker in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Revenge

With Alfred Hitchcock Presents being reshown on Sky Arts in the UK I thought it was time to check out the series and see how it holds up considering it began in 1955. This episode in particular, Revenge, opened the series and was originally shown on October 2nd 1955. It follows husband and wife Carl (Ralph Meeker) and Elsa (Vera Miles) Spann and is based on the short story “Revenge” by Samuel Blas.

The Spann’s have recently moved to a trailer park home following Elsa having a breakdown. They hope these new surroundings will help Elsa relax and get back to her old self. Unfortunately one morning when Carl is out shopping Elsa is apparently attacked and traumatized by an intruder in a grey suit.

The Police (Ray Teal) are Elsa’s doctor (John Gallaudet) are called. the Doctor suggests to Carl that he take Elsa on a vacation. As they leave and drive into the nearby town Elsa points out a man as her attacker (Ray Montgomery). Seeking revenge, Carl follows the man and kills him in a rage at his hotel room.

As he returns to the car and drives on, Elsa suddenly identifies another man as her attacker. Carl suddenly realises he may have murdered an innocent man just as Police sirens are heard in the background.

In the epilogue, Hitchcock informs the audience that Elsa has been taken away to a mental hospital while Carl is tried, convicted and sentenced to prison for taking the law into his own hands.

Verdict: 7/10. A solid episode that served well as a series opener, especially to those unfamiliar with Hitchcock. Personally I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Carla and Elsa post murder to help establish her mental state and his realisation at what has been happening and what he has done. The fact that the initial attack may have never even happened could also have been suggested more. Hitchcock would remake this episode in his 1985 series.

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