Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MAN FROM THE SOUTH - Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960)

This is just one of the many Alfred Hitchcock paperbacks I've had in my library since High School, so I guess it's about time we paid a little tribute to the man!

I watched a movie on Netflix not long ago from 1995 called "Four Rooms" that was a series of four vignettes in a hotel, and the trials and tribulations of the bellhop dealing with all the outrageous scenarios, and the last one was directed by Quentin Tarantino. They kept referencing an Alfred Hitchcock movie that starred Steve McQueen and Peter Lorre, and I was like, I've never heard of this movie! I did some searching and found out it wasn't a movie, but an episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" from the year 1960!

There are only five guys in history named Alfred worthy of mentioning in this abbreviated format! Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Nobel, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Weird Alfred Yankovic, and Alfred E. Neuman!

I can't remember exactly where I found this right now, but I think it was on Youtube!  This was season 5, episode 15! Netflix only streams the first three seasons for some reasons!

Las Vegas, vintage 1960 style, when Bingo still ruled, and the strip was just a pipe dream!


This is a bizarre little tale indeed! Imagine Steve McQueen as the same kid that was in "The Blob," two years later, after recovering from that bad scene, and now just another hard luck Charlie down on his luck in Vegas!

Neile Adams is his down and out counterpart! They both need some luck in their life!

If it appears that Steve and Neile's characters get along perfectly, it's because in real life they were man and wife at this point in their careers! Cute couple!

These two hit it off, and seem to be getting along famously when......................

.........Suddenly Peter Lorre shows up and makes Steve McQueen an offer, a challenge, a bet as it were!! Two of my favorite actors together! What a great surprise for me!

Peter will give Steve the keys to his brand new car if he can flip and light his Zippo lighter 10 times in a row! It's just that simple!

"And what's the catch?" Well, if he tries and fails, then Peter gets to chop off his little finger! Even back then, 'what ever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!'

So they all go up to Peter's room with Tyler (Attack Of The Giant Leeches) McVey, a guy they also met in the bar, trailing along as the witness to this whole sordid affair! Peter gets his meat cleaver ready!

The way Peter has got Steve's hand all tied down, you get the feeling he's done this before!!

ONE......................!

..............NINE!!!!!

Just in the nick of..., Katherine (The Rocket, The Veil, Mike Hammer, Johnny Midnight) Squire as Peter's wife bursts onto the scene, and completely interrupts Peter's little fun game!

She explains to the rest of the group that he's played this stupid game before, and that the car is not ever his, it's hers, so if you win the bet, you still lose, because he has nothing! It appears that Peter is totally whipped!

But the closing shot shows that despite her authoritarian presence, she has also played the game before and came out on the losing end! I'm figuring there must be a lot of solo digits laying around Vegas somewhere! It would make for a good scavenger hunt!!

Unless my luck changes, I'll be back on Saturday with more from the ultimate Master of the Macabre! Until then, "I'll be lurking for you......"

4 comments:

Grant said...

Even though I haven't seen one of them in a long while, there are two other versions of this story. One was in the pilot for that 1985 reworking of this show, and had John Huston as the "Man from the South" character. The other was on "Tales of the Unexpected" and had Jose Ferrer playing him. Each one of those actors was very good, of course (even though Peter Lorre's version is the "definitive" one for most people).

MDG14450 said...

In the 80s or 90s, one of the networks tried to revive Alfred Hitchcock Presents colorizing his openings and re-shooting the stories with new casts. This was one of the first--if not the first--one done.

Eegah!! said...

I'd like to see a colourized version!

joel burns said...

Hehe... The story was written by Roald Dahl!

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