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Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Breakdown (Review)

As part of the “For the Love of Film” blogathon, I’ll be taking a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s contributions to his celebrated anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I’ll be looking at some of the episodes of the classic show that he directed. The “For the Love of Film” blogathon this year is raising money to keep one of Hitchcock’s earlier works, The White Shadow (which he wrote, edited, designed and assistant-directed), available on-line and streaming for free. It’s a very worthwhile cause and you can donate here.

Breakdown is an interesting concept, but one that feels like it has been adapted into the wrong medium. Most of the story centres around an executive who survives a car crash, paralysed. We are treated to his inner monologue as various people come along and interact with him. Adapted by Francis M. Cockrell and Louis Pollock from the latter’s short story, I can’t help but feel the concept might have worked better as a radio play than in television. Still, the idea is solid, and Joseph Cotton gives a nice central performance. It just feels a bit clunky for a television adaptation.

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