The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Season 2 Episode 13

The Magic Shop

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 10, 1964 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
16 votes
  • A man tells the story of his young son who turns into a monster after visiting a magic shop with a mysterious man running the shop.

    This episode is one of the unusual ones where its more of a ghost story than a typical Hitchcock type tale. One of the problems but there is one good ghost story to see and thats, Where the Woodbine twinith". Unfortunately this episode is a rip off episode to the better tale of, "Its a good life" about the boy that can wish away people to the cornfield done by the Twilight Zone and Billy Mumy. This tale is about a rather obnoxious boy, from the start, who, on his birthday, wants to spend his money at a mysterious magic shop in town that no one else sees. The father takes the boy there and the son eventually disappears with the magician behind the magic box. Once the boy returns home, after many missing nights, he is turned into this evil, mean, nasty boy who is truly evil. I will not comment on the ending but its safe to say that you really dont care about the parents or the kid, for that matter. Its a really bad episode from the get go. If you like these kind of tales, see "Its a good Life" from the Twilight Zone. Its miles better and the boy in that one is TRULY EVIL to the core. Much better acted than the Magic Shop. Skip it if you can!
  • A young boy frustrated by his strict parents finds a special magic shop where he can unleash his fantasies and revenge.

    I didn't think this was a ripoff of the Twilight Zone. There are a couple of notable difference between this episodes and the Billy Mumy episode "It's a good life". The boy isn't annoying at all. He's actually likable compared to the boy in Zone. Since this episode was an hour long we do get a lot of character depth. For instance, the boy's parents while well intentioned are much too strict and rigid. The boy likes to do and explore certain things but everything he does, his parents show disapproval (like when he asks to get a dog and they decide against it even though later he does get a dog). Likewise, the start of the episode is in part because the parents don't want to get the boy a puppy so the boy is now focused on the magic shop.

    So actually this episode is criticizing parenting in general. The boy's frustrations are something that any kid with strict parents can relate to. Actually I found the boy more likable than the parents. The parents don't seem to have a clue really as to how to be good parents sure they provide for their son but when the time comes to let have fun and independence they look down upon it. Hell there are closeminded really.

    No better evidence of this is when the Dad destroys the magic shop looking for his son whose having fun teleporting from one place to another inside it.

    This boy is a classic example of parents can cramp a kid's development thus leading the kid to do destructive things which he does when he gets the powers of the magic shop. Actually the boy isn't the only one to see the magic shop, there's a scene where another boy wants to go inside the magic shop too.

    There are a couple of nifty effects here like the parents where the boy kills a living pot of flowers with his own hands. Later on he sets of a fire to a nosy neighbor. Another cool scene is when the Dad tries to choke the daylights out of the magic shop owner and he turns into a mannequin right in front of him.

    I liked this episode a lot, I would strongly recommend it if you're a fan of the Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock hour.