The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: A Home Away from Home (1963)

Run Time - 60 min.  |  
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The ninth season of Alfred Hitchcock's popular TV suspense anthology opens with a chilling little character study by Robert Bloch, who seems to have drawn his inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. Ray Milland stars as mad doctor Fenwick, an inmate of the Norton Sanitarium. In order to prove his theory that "role-playing" is the perfect therapy for the insane, Fenwick murders the head of the sanitarium, locks up the rest of the staff, and releases the other patients, allowing them to roam about impersonating a variety of "normal" people pursuing normal careers. But Fenwick's theory blows up in his face thanks to two unforeseen events: the arrival of the niece (Claire Griswold) of the murdered sanitarium head and the grim determination of one of the lunatics to play his new "role" to the hilt.