1963: (Laurence Harvey in a 25-minute TV film done for the Hitchcock Presents series: a chicken farm owner does neatly away with a rather tiresome girl friend; he makes her into chicken feed; macabre, amusing, typically Hitchcockian.)
THE CRYSTAL TRENCH (1959; d: Alfred Hitchcock).
1963: (James Donald and Patricia Owens in a 25-minute TV film done for the Hitchcock Presents series: a sad, slightly bizarre story (period) about a young wife’s devotion to her young husband who is killed climbing a mountain; weird, moving, and gently cynical.)
MRS. BIXBY AND THE COLONEL’S COAT (1960; d: Alfred Hitchcock).
1963: (Audrey Meadows and Les Tremayne in an amusing, ironic story of an unfaithful wife, the mink coat she gets from her lover and her efforts to keep the coat without the husband’s suspecting; she is outsmarted, though: her husband has a mistress. Witty, cynical, and very accurately done.)
THE HORSEPLAYER (1961; d: Alfred Hitchcock).
1963: (Claude Rains and Ed Gardiner in a 25-minute TV film done for the Hitchcock Presents series: amusing, ironic little story about a priest and a gambler, and the way in which they assist each other, though the priest gets more out of it in the end.)
BANG! YOU’RE DEAD (1961; d: Alfred Hitchcock).
1963: (A 25-minute TV film done for the Hitchcock Presents series: a little boy finds a toy guy, loads it up, and runs out to play war --- but the gun is real and so are the bullets: frighteningly tense, nerve-wracking little thriller, brilliantly done by the master at his gutsiest.)
2013: This short masterpiece could serve as a perfect illustration of why our nation needs stricter gun laws: it has terrifying reverberations in today’s climate, and would make an exceptional piece of gun control propaganda.
1963: Exceptional (One of Hitchcock’s finest films --- a masterpiece of character and terror --- a terrifying vision of Judgment Day, in which thousands of birds attack a small coastal community, driving all its inhabitants away, taking over the world; stunningly directed, edited, photographed, well played and written. A major work.)
Added 1966: (The film’s only failings lie with the script, which does not draw deeply-conceived characters, and in the casting, which has not personable enough players; but it remains a daring and chilling film, beautifully conceived.)
1963: Good (Likeable, if not particularly distinguished, silent Hitchcock: a pastoral comedy, well acted and extremely competent on every level, though in no way inspired like the Master’s “The Lodger”. Interesting mainly from an historical viewpoint, and as an example of Hitchcock’s early slickness and objectivity of approach.)
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