(1955-65, CBS, NBC)
ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS (and later, THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, when the format changed to 60 minutes) was a very popular American television anthology series that was hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; which bounced back and forth between CBS and NBC during its amazing ten year run. It featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries, often featuring a "Gotcha!" twist at the end, and boasted a stellar list of talent, both behind and in front of the cameras.
Although he did direct several episodes, Hitchcock, by then a well known film director, had relatively little to do with the show's production, save for his appearances as the show's host at the beginning and end of every episode, but his droll, tongue in cheek intros tied the shows --which could vary widely thematically -- nicely together.
The show was so popular it inspired a string of printed collections with the running title Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Again, much like the show (and the children's mystery series of books, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, for that matter), Hitchcock himself had very little to do with it -- it was mostly a licensing deal.
But I digress...
The point is, Alfred Hitchcock Presents was a very, very good show, and it even featured a few pretty good private eye stories, as well as several episodes that involved various writers and/or source material that ought to be familiar to P.I. fans.
I've tried to list them below, but this is just a preliminary list. If you come across one I've missed, please let me know.
A semi-retired mobster suspects his young wife of cheating on him and hires first Cutter, a private eye, and then a hitman to deal with the problem.
The highlight is Lorre's portrayal of a scheming Tijuana P.I. hired by a young American couple to find the body of elderly relation which has disappeared.
Ballinger won an Edgar Award for his adaptation.
An obseessed man who has hired forty detectives to track down his wife's killer turns to Chicago P.I. Mike Tyre, hoping forty-one's the charm.
An unscrupulous private eye, Phil Ames, gets involved in a nasty child custody battle between the adfoptive parents and the girl's alcoholic birth mother.
A con artist and a woman hatch a plot to murder her rich husband, but Moss, a private eye, seems to have discovered their scheme.
A man wants a divorce but his wife won't grant him one, so he hires a private detective (Arte Johnson)to get the goods on her, convinced she's cheating on him with a movie star..
In Brighton, England, Frute, an rather incompetent private investigator, is hired to tail a wife suspected of cheating on her jealous husband, Captain Morgan, witrh unintended consequences. Filmed on location. the original play was written by John Mortimer, the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey.
Foyle, a private eye hired to follow a crooked real estate agent by his wife, inadvertently witnessing a payoff.
With the help of a cabbie, a recently recovered amnesiac tracks down his wife, only to discover she's married Carlin, the private detective she'd hired to find her missing husband three years ago.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Promotional photograph for Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1956, taken by Gene Trindl.
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