Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cream of the Jest (1957)

Sub-Genres - Anthology Series [TV]  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Elderly actor Charles Gresham (Claude Rains) spends more of his time in barrooms than backstage, but he is always on the lookout for the role that will make him a star. He finally gets that opportunity by blackmailing producer Wayne Campbell (James Gregory) into casting him as the lead in Campbell's new play. Ironically, Gresham has been cast as a blackmailer -- and he intends to give the performance of his life for the entertainment of a potential backer named Nick Roper (Paul Picerni). Without giving away the ending, it can be noted that the operative word in the previous sentence is "life."