Alfred Hitchcock Presents/Hour (1955)
The British have always looked at acting a little differently than americans. In America actors like to label the dramatic arts. Classify them in categories and follow them like a caste system that makes victorian England look like Andy Taylor’s Mayberry. And at the bottom of that pecking order is horror followed closely by science fiction and fantasy. But in britain actors have a more enlightened approach which is summed up in one sentence. A job’s a job. I believe this outlook also extends to the debate on whether television is a lesser medium than cinema.

Obviously we know how Alfred Hitchcock felt on the subject. This prolific series had a little something for everyone. One week it would be a straight forward murder, the next it would be a tale with a twisted ending. Either one began with Hitchcock dryly conversing about what we were about to see and showing polite disdain toward the american advertising industry. (How dare the networks require his stories to be cut up like so much winter lumber.) Nonetheless, the program flourished and appeased its viewer ship for a decade lasting 361 episodes.

Lamb to the Slaughter - One of the most original ways to get away with murder. But you have to admit, CSI or CSI: Miami would have had this woman in cuffs in no time flat.

Man from the South and The Jar - Both these stories are classics in their own right. With jarring, yes even disturbing endings, one wonders how they every got on air in the first place.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985)
Two decades after the original series ended, a new version begin. Some of the most famous stories were redone in glorious color. (With a colorized Hitchcock to boot.) They were also more graphic with more blood in some episodes than all the Hitchcock movies combined. Still, this series did have its share of gems.

Man from the South and The Jar - Worthy updates to two of my favorite stories from the original series. The Jar is a little more gory than the original but it’s heart is in the right place.