Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hitchcock's Birthday Bash: Guest Blogger Kate-Gabrielle on "Breakdown"

OH MY GOSH! Kate(actually doesn't have a hyphen in her name)Gabrielle of Silents and Talkies and NUMEROUS other amazing sites has written a guest post on THE most brilliant Alfred Hitchcock Presents....EVER! Her review is excellent...I want to go watch it again for the zillionth time. AND she posted links to where YOU can join in on the brilliance! *sigh* I love this episode/this post so much.

If I were forced at gunpoint to name my favorite of Alfred Hitchcock's directorial endeavors, I would have to include the seventh episode of his anthology tv series. Now, I wasn't necessarily forced at gunpoint to tell you this, but I did promise Millie I'd write a post, so po-tay-to, po-tah-to ;-D

The episode is "Breakdown" starring Joseph Cotten, and it's one of the most unforgettable 26 minutes I've ever spent watching television. It's a tour-de-force in acting and directing, since almost the entire thing is a series of static shots of Joseph Cotten lying paralyzed, and the plot really only moves forward through his voiced-over thoughts.

The plot seems really simple.. Joseph Cotton is a business executive with ice-water in his veins. But after a freak-accident leaves him completely immobilized and trapped in his car, he finally becomes human. Appears simple, but it's really a heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat suspenseful drama that will stick with you forever.

The plot probably wouldn't have worked as a two hour long movie, but the caliber of the story, acting, direction and writing are definitely the same as any of Hitchcock's feature length films. In fact, they are so superior that I'd say this television episode lands in my top five Hitchcock favorites. And in a portfolio that includes North by Northwest, Vertigo, The 39 Steps, Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window I think that speaks volumes about how extraordinary this little mini movie really is!

It's Hitchcock in one of my favorite forms-- experimental. His forays into the avant-garde are always a delightful treat.. whether it's the Dali dream sequence in Spellbound, the shower scene in Psycho or his documentary-style "The Wrong Man," Hitchcock-as-artist is always a joy to behold. The man was a genius, and this episode is just further proof.

Well, it's about time you quit reading me blabber on about how great it is, and just watch it for yourself! It's available in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents Season 1 box set, or, more conveniently (and immediately), on Hulu and YouTube .

Ok, what are you doing still reading this?? Did you not read the last paragraph? GO! Watch it! I am virtually holding you at gunpoint. Now scram!!

Thanks so much, dahling! This post is beyond Wowzie Kazam!



kate gabrielle said...

Thanks for posting this Millie!! And again, I'm really sorry I submitted it so close to the deadline!

Millie said...


SHEESH! You're starting to annoy me! ;-D

I am OVERJOYED to get this post! And, I didn't give a deadline. AND, I'm pretty sure I posted my post for you...AFTER you needed it. So yeah.

Kalli said...

Anything with Joseph Cotten in it, I'll watch! Nice post.

Mercurie said...

Breakdown is a great episode. And Alfred Hitchcock Presents has so many great episodes. My favourite is Sorcerer's Apprentice, the one that was so frightening NBC refused to air it!


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