7.7/10
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12 user 3 critic

The Case of Mr. Pelham 

A series of troubling incidents lead Mr. Pelham to believe that he has a double who is deliberately impersonating him.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Francis M. Cockrell (teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell), Anthony Armstrong (story)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Tom Ewell ... Albert Pelham
Raymond Bailey ... Dr. Harley
Justice Watson Justice Watson ... Henry Peterson
Kirby Smith Kirby Smith ... Tom Mason
Kay Stewart Kay Stewart ... Miss Clement
John Compton ... Vincent
Jan Arvan ... Harry
Norman Willis ... Bartender
Tim Graham ... Lawyer
Richard Collier ... Bartender
Diane Brewster ... Secretary
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Storyline

Mr. Pelham consults a doctor about a series of troubling incidents. Recently a number of his acquaintances have claimed to have seen him in places where he could not have been. The doctor suggests that there must be another man with a strong resemblance to Pelham. But it soon becomes obvious that the other man is also deliberately impersonating him - even to the point of using Pelham's apartment as his own. Written by Snow Leopard

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first supernatural theme in the series. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Himself - Host: [introduction] Good evening. Due to circumstances beyond our control, tragedy will not strike tonight. I'm dreadfully sorry, perhaps some other time. However, I've just witnessed a sneak preview of this evening's story and I found it simply frightening. Sometimes, death is not the worst that can befall a man. And I don't refer to torture or any type of violence. I mean the quiet, little insidious devices that can drive a man out of his mind, like putting bubble gum in someone's coat...
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Connections

Version of The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

genre: uneasiness
4 November 2009 | by RResendeSee all my reviews

I have been feeding on these small adventures. Even though i had obviously heard about this show, i had never tried it. Right now i have seen a handful of episodes, and incidentally i've been hitting many directed by Hitchcock. This is such one. After having seen these episodes, i consider that they deserve individual commentary, even though it sounds reasonable to consider this a "show". I mean, quite beyond the immortal generic, the Hitchcock sketch that Alfred himself drew, and the by now inseparable soundtrack, we have a feel to every episode (at least those i've seen so far) that binds them together. I'm still not able to properly define what that is, but apparently, and generally speaking, every episode tries to play with the basic notions of the mystery genre (Hitch's cinematic home), mixed with nonsense and the bizarre. It doesn't press so hard on these two aspects as Twilight Zone, but it so far i reckon in it higher visual interest, or wasn't the patron of this show AH. In any case, the episodes are uneven among them, and quite different in their conception, different writers, different directors, different actors. So i look at them as short films, part of a larger universe where they exist together.

This Mr Pelham is a very good and balanced example of the different genres they use. Maybe that's why i'm starting my comments here. Hitch's direction is quite low-key. It's competent, of course, fully detached from any ordinary television values - which 50 years ago probably didn't exist so rooted on people's minds as they do today - but apart from some dolly shots, exquisitely executed, the camera work is normal. Those dolly shots are actually remarkable, so check them, they usually start a scene, with a certain framing, that indicates a certain environment, and that framing is corrected through camera movement to make us find something that matters, like when Ewell gets the first time in the club, the camera adjusts our focus to Ewell, and puts us in the action. This subtlety is remarkable.

But the interest is in the narrative, the story itself. I have the feeling the idea here was deceiving us into believing we were watching a criminal identity swap case, only to make us fall into the awkwardness of the inexplicable. In the end, we really don't know what that was all about, and may be led to mistrust what we see. Who was the real Pelham? Who was the real Hitchcock, in the end? Like this is a kind of short "being malkovich".

It works, it's not fascinating beyond the taste of the mood, but it's good. Ewell... i don't know how could he be the man peaking under Monroe's skirt. His acting is so noisy and denounced it aches. Hitch's interventions are priceless.

My opinion: 3/5

http://www.7eyes.wordpress.com


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