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Shopping for Death 

Two retired insurance salesmen confront an aggressive, hostile woman in hopes of saving her from a disaster.


Robert Stevens


Ray Bradbury (story and teleplay)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Jo Van Fleet ... Mrs. Shrike
Robert H. Harris ... Clarence Fox (as Robert Harris)
John Qualen ... Elmer Shore
Michael Ross ... Albert Shrike (as Mike Ross)
Michael Ansara ... Butcher
Alfred Linder Alfred Linder
Charlotte Knight Charlotte Knight
Lee Erickson Lee Erickson
Jack Tesler Jack Tesler
Leola Wendorff ... (as Laiola Wendorff)
Ralph Montgomery Ralph Montgomery
Bob Morgan Bob Morgan


Two retired insurance salesmen have been visiting the scenes of accidents and crimes, feeling that they have a responsibility to learn why such things happen. One of them has found an aggressive, hostile woman whom he considers to be a prime candidate for a personal disaster. On a blisteringly hot day, the two follow her as she does some shopping, and watch as she antagonizes everyone she comes in contact with. After some discussion, they decide to take a chance on helping her, and they go up to her apartment to talk to her. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

29 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the opening scenes, following the two men observing different accidents, some of the crowd scenes, including those witnessing the unconvincing "man" falling from a roof, are from an extremely old film, perhaps even a silent; the clothes they are wearing look from about 1928 vintage, though this story is a contemporary (1956) one. See more »


The two retired salesmen get two drinks from the street vendor but never pay. See more »


Albert Shrike: What was that hanging from his belt in the back?
Elmer Shore: A longshoreman's hook! What temperature is it now?
Albert Shrike: [reads the thermometer] 92 degrees Fahrenheit!
See more »


Version of The Ray Bradbury Theatre: Touched with Fire (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

More Van Fleet Than Story
17 January 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Looks to me like the material was chosen because of the distinguished author, Ray Bradbury, and the recent Oscar-winning actress Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden, 1955). In my book, it's not a very good episode. Two retired insurance men try to apply their expertise to help an angry slum dweller (Van Fleet) during an urban heat wave. The trouble is the plot is slender, and Van Fleet goes way over the top in making Mrs. Shrike hateful. With Shrike's out-of-control attitude, it's hard to see how she could survive even one day in a tough neighborhood. It's a showcase role, but overwhelms the story itself. Reviewer Hitchcoc is right: the episode is talky, too talky. At the same time, the expected payoff is too mild for a series that specialized in strong payoffs. On the other hand, the entry is well produced—the sets effectively suggest an over-heated urban slum. And the cast does feature two series favorites, Harris and Qualen. However, the sum total is memorable only for the chew marks Van Fleet leaves on the scenery.

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