Alfred Hitchcock's second directorial effort for his popular suspense anthology is one of the series' best ever episodes. Joseph Cotten stars as William Callew, a hard-nosed and hard-hearted businessman who holds in contempt such human failings as sentiment, pity, and tears. While racing to keep an appointment in New York, Callew is involved in a spectacular car accident. Awakening, he finds that he is completely paralyzed, unable to move or speak -- though we hear his every thought on the soundtrack. Everyone who comes across Callew assumes that he is dead, including the police and the coroner...and as the episode draws to its conclusion, the horrified Callew is being wheeled into the autopsy room of the morgue! "Breakdown" was re-filmed for the 1985 revival of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with John Heard in the Joseph Cotten role.
by Hal Erickson synopsis