Saturday Frights: Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Arthur (1959)

Saturday Frights: Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Arthur (1959)

Friends, I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods but here at the Retroist Vault it is storming fiercely. Which is a horrible time to try and drive all the way back home but it does lend itself to staying put and watching classic television. Case in point this episode of the popular and long running Alfred Hitchcock Presents which is entitled Arthur. An episode I should add was directed by none other than Alfred Hitchcock himself, airing on CBS back on September 27th, 1959.

Interestingly enough, of the 361 episodes over 10 seasons – Hitchcock would direct 17 of them himself. Two of those episode were nominated for an Emmy and those were The Case of Mr. Pelham and Lamb to the Slaughter – although Hitchcock lost out to The Magical World of Disney and Alcoa Theatre. However in 2007, Time magazine named it one of The 100 Best TV Show of All Time and since the series has been in near continuous syndication over the years, I doubt ol’ Hitch was too upset over the Emmy loss.

The plot of Arthur revolves around Arthur Williams, a New Zealand poultry farmer, an accomplished one at that. As he explains in his introduction – breaking the fourth wall… he also happens to be a murderer. The rest of the episode acts as a flashback, letting us see the events that lead Arthur to not only calmly become such a fiend but take pride in his accomplishment at that.

Laurence Harvey of Night Gallery and The Manchurian Canidate fame plays Arthur and it’s a masterful performance too. Filled with a suave and debonair attitude, you can’t help but find yourself enjoying his dark deeds and attitude. Also featured in Arthur is Hazel Court (The Curse of Frankenstein, Danger Man) as well as Patrick Macnee of Avengers and Battlestar Galactica acclaim.

So set aside 30 minutes for yourself, friends – grab your favorite beverage and snack. Turn down the lights if you are able and join us on Saturday Frights as we pay a visit to New Zealand and drop in for a chat with Arthur!


Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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