Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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The horror director’s television series, which ran from for ten years from 1955, helped shape the modern TV crime drama. So, ultimately, Hitch can be thanked for Miami Vice, and blamed for David Caruso’s consistently terrible one-liners on CSI: Miami. You know the kind—he says them while taking off his Matrix-esque sunglasses right before The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” opens the title credits with Roger Daltry’s manic “YEEAAAAAAHHH!!”. Anyway, Hitchcock’s series was much better made than Jerry Bruckheimer’s franchise, although obviously not as flashy.

The half-hour show featured many well-known actors, including Joseph Cotten, Bette Davis, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes, Walter Matthau, Steve McQueen, Burt Reynolds, Robert Redford and William Shatner. Yep, that William Shatner. Only about a third of the episodes were directed by Hitch himself, but all feature a sardonic opening monologue from the director in the style of William Castle, and an epilogue that functions mostly to wrap up plot lines, as the brief running time gave the writers little opportunity for narrative digression. The first season is available now from madman.co.nz in a deluxe six-disc set.

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