The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

Season 3 Episode 13

Where the Woodbine Twineth

0
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Jan 11, 1965 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

8.3
out of 10
Average
25 votes
  • I finally found it

    7.5
    Judging by most of the reviews I've seen, this episode made an indelible impression on a lot of people when they watched it as children. You can count me among that number. However, I didn't see the entire episode or even most of it. At best, I only saw a couple minutes, and yet that was sufficient to stick with me to this day. Since the advent of the internet, I've made attempts to track down whatever it was I saw, looking through the episode descriptions of various older anthology series. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour was one I never considered, however, since I wasn't aware that it ever delved into the supernatural.



    I could not have been more than three at the time. What I remember watching is this: A woman finds her little girl sitting in front of the davenport, talking to her "imaginary friends," most of whom have unusual sounding names. When the woman looks under the davenport, there's nobody there, and the distraught little girl accuses the woman of chasing her friends away. At that point, my Mom turned off the TV, probably fearing it was too frightening for me. She may have been right; the little girl's performance was unnerving, and at that age, I was easily scared; I was even freaked out by certain stuff I saw on Sesame Street (ie, Kermit chasing Grover while wearing fake teeth).



    Despite the danger to my tender young psyche, I sort of wish my Mom had let me watch the entire thing. In a way, the damage had already been done; that one scene was eerily intense enough that it never left me, and I spent many years not knowing what I'd seen and wondering what happened next. I'm not sure if those decades of uncertainty were any better than the risk of an even greater childhood trauma.



    One thing seems pretty certain. If I had seen the rest of the episode when I was little, it would definitely have made a much bigger impact on me than it did when I finally managed to watch it last night.



    I was so excited to have stumbled upon the thing that I'd been trying to find for so long. I turned off the lights and prepared to be creeped out. But I'm not quite as easily frightened these days, and I suppose nothing could match over three decades' worth of expectations.



    The ending is good, though while it might have emotionally scarred the three year old me for life, watching it now, I just found it rather predictable and not nearly as upsetting as the ending to some other episodes of this show I've seen. Some reviews I've read elsewhere suggest that voodoo is at play here- one person even referred to the doll the girl receives as a voodoo doll. Why? Because it's black? Seems like a somewhat racist assumption. I thought it was kind of cool that this little white girl would become enamored of a black doll, though I don't for a second think it was a colorblind choice; rather, when the ending comes, the racial difference helps make things abundantly clear that something magical has occurred. Anyway, if voodoo folklore involves wee folk who live under furniture and ride on frogs, this is the first I've heard of it.



    Speaking of which, if this had been a half hour episode, all the stuff about the little people that only the girl could see- the part I remembered- could have easily been cut out without it affecting the rest of the plot. Also, what's with the disagreement the servants have about the ham she asked him to get from the smoke house? She insists she told him, but he insists he would have remembered. It can't be there for no reason, but it's never explained either. All of it hints at something strange going on, and is supposedly tied together in a way the audience isn't meant to fully understand, but the story feels a bit padded or disjointed as a result.



    It's often been said that what is left up to the imagination is scarier than what you are actually shown. That's definitely true in this case. Thinking about the brief snippet I saw as an impressionable child was far creepier than seeing the episode in full as a jaded adult.
  • A older woman must take care of a young girl whoes parents are dead. The girl is very unusual and kindof quiet. She eventually starts talking to imaginary people and creatures that are in the house. Is something wrong with this kid or are there ghosts?

    8.0
    This is a very unusual Hitchcock episode because this is a TRUE ghost story. From the get go we notice that there is something very uneasy about this little blond girl. At night we start to hear strange other voices behind the closed doors where this young girl plays and has fun. Eventually the young girl tells elders that she plays with a doll in her box and they take turns being the doll. This is so scary and puts you on edge all the way to the end. A creepy episode with a sad ending but well worth the ride we take.
  • A young girl Eva (Eileen Baral)develops imaginary friends. These imaginary friends as her Aunt sees it might be driving Eva mad.

    8.2
    Memorable episode. This episodes resembles more of a Twilight Zone episode than an Alfred Hitchcock episode for it's touch of the supernatural at the end.

    Eileen Baral plays an orphan named Eva living with her aunt. Eva develops unusual behavior by making up imaginary friends. At first her Aunt doesn't mind but when these friends start ihfluencing her behavior in bad fashion , Aunt Nell (played beautifully by Margaret Leighton) intervene.

    This episode is well acted. The girl Eileen Baral really makes you wonder about this child. At first you think she's an innocent girl going through a phase but at certain points you get the impression that she might be going mad.

    In a way this episode is hinting at parent/child relationships. Her aunt cannot believe or humor her child by believing in her imaginary friends. Eva starts to dislike her more and more and runs away. The twist at the end is a bit expected but it was well done.

    This is a great episode.
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