Picks and Pans Review: Alfred Hitchcock Presents
NBC (Sunday, May 5, 9 p.m. ET)
To see what's wrong with TV today—chief ly the sin of predictability—take a look back at the work of an imaginative genius, Alfred Hitchcock. NBC has remade four of the 350 or so TV mysteries Hitch presented between '55 and '65. One, The Man From the South, is inspiring in its inventiveness, giving you more tension and sweaty-palmed fear than any thousand miles of TV chase scenes. This segment stars John Huston, Steven (Thief of Hearts) Bauer and Melanie (Body Double) Griffith, with short appearances by two of Hitch's leading ladies: Kim (Vertigo) Novak and Tippi (The Birds) Hedren. It's about a gambler; to say more would ruin the many surprises. But here is a half hour of spectacular entertainment. The rest isn't so great. One more segment is good: Bang! You're Dead, starring darling child actor Bianca Rose as a kid with a gun, maintains plenty of tension. But the other two segments—Incident in a Small Jail, starring Ned Beatty, and An Unlocked Window, starring Annette O'Toole—drag. Make sure to watch the best parts. You can ignore the rest—except then you'd miss a bonus: Through the mysteries of computers, four of Hitch's own droll intros that were shot in black and white now appear in impressive color.
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