The Good

The DVD quality of the picture, the sound and the storytelling of the shows is superb.

The Bad

No descriptions inside this 3 disc set of what each episode is about.

While not as good as “The Twilight Zone”, Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One is a very well crafted show. Giving us 39 episodes that examine the human mind, this show is every bit as cerebral as it is action oriented. And that right there is where Hitchcock’s genius really manifested itself. These murder mystery tales are given to us in ways we can explain, ways we can’t explain but the fact of the matter is that they happen. He will show a character doing something, he will show a look from someone that “judges” what the character is doing and this all says so much while never saying anything.

I really enjoyed watching this show. I had gotten a chance to see it when I was younger and I even watched some of the updated “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” shows that aired in 1985. I thought they were so well done (both the originals and the updated versions), that imagine my joy at seeing some shows I remembered from 1985, in their original form in 2005. Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One is really great TV.

Features

Alfred Hitchcock Presents - A Look Back

Featuring the remembrances of Pat Hitchcock (Alfred’s daughter), Norman Lloyd (the shows Producer) and Hilton Green (the Assistant Director). Mixed with well shot talking head footage, photos and clips from the show this is a very nice, albeit “by the numbers,” featurette. What really struck me was the fun that Alfred Hitchcock seemed to be having with the show. Especially, during the “bookend” scenes when he would make jokes about the show’s sponsors or talk about how much he liked his daughter in one of the episodes. This was just another example, I feel, of genius at work.

Video

Full Frame - 1.33:1. This show pushes the black and white of film noir to the hilt. However, what I really loved about it was that it was everyday life, the perfect look on the surface (and the 1950s really plays into this) mixed with a very seedy underbelly. This show, especially the theme music that accompanies it, seems to be blissfully reveling in the debauchery of man. Hitchcock never judged his characters. He really showed what objectivity was in that he presented these everyday people and gave them just enough rope to hang themselves.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Subtitled in English and Spanish. As these shows are in mono and they are from 1955, I think that I can forgive that I had to turn up my TV a bit louder than normal. The sound on these shows is working every second to build the stories and the suspense. What might seem like something that’s casually said, oftentimes ends up being the difference between life and death. This said, the music seemed to be used sparingly. You have the opening theme song and then the music that is employed is really for the effect of what is happening on screen. Sure, it helps the viewer understand things and maybe it even guides their thoughts or emotions. However, this is Alfred Hitchcock and he did invent a lot of this stuff... I think you get my point.

Package

A very dark and ominous shot of Alfred Hitchcock graces this front cover. Hands have been added so that he can hold the title card for this DVD. The back features a photo of Hitchcock coming out of a “Jack In the Box.” There is a description of the show, a “Special Features” listing and some technical specs. The three discs that make up this set fold out with each disc having it’s own plastic tray. There are more pictures of Hitchcock and the show inside as well. My only problem with this packaging is that it indexes out each episode so that we know what discs they are on, but it doesn’t give us a description of each episode so we can pick and choose what we wish to watch. Other than that, this box set is pretty darn perfect.

Final Word

To be honest, I knew when I was given Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One, that I was going to like it. I had already seen a bunch of the episodes (and his films) and if you have been following my other reviews of his work, than you are probably aware that I am big fan and think very highly of his filmmaking abilities. I loved everything about this show. The way it looked, the time it was made, the stories, the acting, etc... . I would love to see TV return to the simplicity of really good storytelling without so much self conscious acting. Today they have merged the technical with the performance, and as a result you have people acting for the camera as opposed to acting for an audience.

I’d recommend Alfred Hitchcock Presents - Season One to anybody who wants 39 episodes of the master doing some of his best work. Lets not forget however that there were other writers and directors on this show. Great job, all.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents was released .