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

Thursday, April 19, 2012


THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS COMPANION. Martin Grams, Jr. and Patrik Wikstrom. OTR Publishing; 2001.

This is a thick entertaining, informative reference work that pertains to all things Hitchcock and television, but also has sections on Hitchcock's anthologies of mystery stories, other suspense shows of the period, Psycho and lots more. There is an entry for every single episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and the color remake Alfred Hitchcock Presents done in the 80's with cast and credits, production notes, plot synopses, and comments from cast members, director/actor Norman Lloyd, and other people who worked on the shows. There are lots of notes, interesting factoids, and a wealth of material for the Hitchcock-TV fan. Not to quibble, but the book, as good as it is, sometimes reads like a rough draft that was not only not proof-read, but wasn't even edited by the authors, let alone a copy editor. But while this is occasionally distracting, it doesn't really take away from the book's readability and value. I have to thank the authors for one thing. Thanks to them I'm finally getting to read Ethel Lina White's short story "An Unlocked Window," the basis for one of the best Hitchcock Hour episodes. [I mean, I even emailed the late author's agent in England to try to find a copy of this story, but Grams and Wikstrom provide the names of not one but two anthologies it appears in -- which the agent apparently wasn't aware of!]

Verdict: Despite flaws and some awkward syntax, the book is a treasure trove of info and an obvious labor of love. ***1/2.

No comments: