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The Life Work of Juan Diaz 

A dishonest graveyard owner exhumes body of a poor Mexican woman's husband, but she makes it work to her children's benefit.


Norman Lloyd


Ray Bradbury (story and teleplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Alejandro Rey ... Juan Diaz
Frank Silvera ... Alejandro
Pina Pellicer ... Maria Diaz
Valentin de Vargas ... Ricardo, Chief of Police (as Valentin De Vargas)
Larry Domasin Larry Domasin ... Jorge Diaz
Alex Montoya Alex Montoya ... Ignacia, The Coffin Maker
Hinton Pope Hinton Pope ... The Man
Audrey Swanson Audrey Swanson ... 2nd Woman
Gale Lindsey Gale Lindsey ... The 1st Woman
Mark Miranda ... 1st Boy
Suzanne Barnes Suzanne Barnes ... The 3rd Woman
Concepcion Sandoval Concepcion Sandoval ... The 1st Child
Yolanda Alonzo Yolanda Alonzo ... The 2nd Child
Vincent Arias Vincent Arias ... 2nd Boy


Young Juan Diaz gives cemetery caretaker Alejandro 40 pesos to rent a burial plot. He soon falls fatally ill, and warns his wife, Maria, to not let Alejandro cheat her out of the two-year lease for which he paid. One year later, Alejandro asks Maria for more money, or he will disinter Juan's mummy and place it in the catacomb. Maria and her son Jorge sneak into the catacomb, and frighten Alejandro as they walk Juan's mummy out of the cemetery. Alejandro asks Ricardo, the Chief of Police and Maria's brother-in-law, to confiscate Juan's mummy from the Diaz home, but Ricardo refuses. Maria puts Juan's mummy on display as a tourist attraction. Written by Lewis Amack

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Release Date:

26 October 1964 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The sign outside the Diaz home reads: "The Juan Diaz Museum See the Mummy 10 Centavos" See more »

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User Reviews

Superb/Standout Episode
11 January 2007 | by myemail333999See all my reviews

A real treat for series' fans! The keeper of the graveyard is actor Frank Silvera who convincingly plays his part to the hilt. His domain is both atmospheric and eerie. His friends are the mummified bodies of dead "tenants" whose rented burial plots are in arrears, so he unearths them and lines their corpses along the walls of his catacomb, deep below the graveyard. He brags that it takes only "one year in the dry earth" to produce his companions.

A scene to keep you on the edge of your seat is when Juan Diaz's son and wife venture into the depths of darkness to put into action their scheme of revenge. Photographed in shadows and back-lit silhouettes, this scene exemplifies the beauty of black and white photography, and it's perfectly edited to create intense, cinematic suspense.

Even though this episode is filmed on a Universal sound stage with a few back lot locales thrown in for good measure, the art department did a convincing job in its depiction of a poor, Mexican village.

Definitely one of the TEN BEST episodes in the series.

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