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Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Mrs. Bixby & The Colonel’s Coat (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.

As has been our custom, we shall present homy little stories of an unusual nature. We shall continue to give the little man, or woman, his due. When crime is occasionally dealt with, it will be crime as practiced by ordinary people, like the fellow next door. I think that, by Spring, a large number of you will be thinking of moving.

– Hitchcock’s introduction

Mrs. Bixby & The Colonel’s Coat is, in effect, one joke. It’s a single joke extended over a half-an-hour, with a punchline appearing mere minutes before the end credits. While that might make the episode feel a little insubstantial, it is a Roald Dahl joke, which means that it is never boring. The set-up, the characters and the world around them is a wonderfully fascinating and darkly comic place. It’s no wonder that Dahl and Hitchcock seemed to work together so well. I suspect that they shared a similar sense of humour.

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