Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 03 (1957)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

The third season of the suspense anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents broke with tradition by opening up with an episode not directed by series creator-host Alfred Hitchcock. Instead, Robert Stevens helmed the brilliant "The Glass Eye," which not only earned an Emmy award for Stevens but also provided an early opportunity for a 27-year-old Canadian actor named William Shatner. However, Hitchcock was amply represented via his directorial work on three other episodes this season. "The Perfect Crime" stands as the one and only collaboration between Hitch and horror-film icon Vincent Price. "A Dip in the Pool," starring Keenan Wynn as a luckless gambler, is one of several playlets based on the works of Roald Dahl. And the best Hitchcock-directed episode of the third season is another Dahl derivation, the unforgettable "Lamb to the Slaughter," wherein harried housewife Barbara Bel Geddes literally cooks up a novel method to dispose of the weapon she uses to bludgeon her husband to death. (Outside the realm of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Hitchcock also contributed this season to a new hour-long anthology, Suspicion.) The remaining third-season installments boast an impressive array of directorial talent. Actor Paul Henreid held the reins for such episodes as "The Silent Witness," "Impromptu Murder," and "The Diplomatic Corpse," the last-named featuring Henreid's Casablanca co-star Peter Lorre. Arthur Hiller, whose later film credits included The Out-of-Towners, Love Story, and Silver Streak, called the shots on such superior third-season Alfred Hitchcock entries as "Post Mortem." And "The Young One," an episode designed to showcase new leading lady Carol Lynley, was directed by none other than Robert Altman. Alfred Hitchcock Presents wrapped up its third season as America's second most popular TV anthology (General Electric Theater was first), ranking in 12th place in the overall ratings.