Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 26, 2012



In 1985 there was a new color edition of Alfred Hitchcock Presents which used Hitchcock's original introductions -- colorized -- for remakes of some classic episodes, although not always the episode they were originally used for. Later on the program featured some all-new material. The most memorable episodes were do-overs of "An Unlocked Window" [with Annette O'Toole and an excellent Bruce Davison]; "Final Escape" [starring Season Hubley in a lead role sex-switch]; Cornell Woolrich's "4 O'clock"; "Man on the Ledge" with Mark Hammill; and "Pen Pal" with a fine Jean Simmons in the role originally played by Katherine Squire. Many of the new episodes were pretty bad, but there were a few exceptions: "Twist," which had a lot of them in a tale of adultery and murder; "Kadinsky's Vault" with Eli Wallach as a book store owner with a secret; and the diabolical "Final Twist" with Martin Landau as the nasty boss of a fed-up special effects crew. I'm not certain if "The Impatient Patient" [with E. G. Marshall as a dying patient in a war with an overbearing hospital employee]; "Murder Party" [with David McCallum] or "Tragedy Tonight" [a woman's sister has acting exercises that lead to tragedy] were remakes or new material, but all of them were interesting. Some of the remakes were vastly inferior to the originals, such as "The Creeper;" and the all-time worst new episode featured a hapless Patrick Wayne in a dreadful spoof of North by Northwest.

Verdict: Too many unmemorable episodes to make this a classic, but not without interest. **1/2.

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