Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 1 Episode 23

Back for Christmas

2
Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Mar 04, 1956 on CBS
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

A man tired of having his life mapped out and directed by his overbearing wife plans to get rid of her.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Herbert Carpenter buries his murdered wife in the cellar and leaves for America - but will he be "back for Christmas" after all?

    10
    One of the most beautifully-made of all the episodes in this long-running series, and even an improvement on the brilliant John Collier story it's based on - there, Carpenter kills his wife because he's got another woman in the US, but here, he gives no reason and we don't need one; we see, briefly, quite enough of his "well-ordered" marriage to know that his "perfect" wife is a bossy shrew who's made his life a quiet hell for decades and never realised it. The understated wit of the direction finds perfect on-screen expression in the acting of John Williams - he doesn't want much from life, only the freedom to be untidy, casual - and unmarried.moreless
  • An Alfred Hitchcock Directed Episode!

    10
    This episode has Alfred Hitchcock directing, which wasn't a common occurance for the TV show. This show was made during the height of Hitchcock's movie career. It is a wonderful little story about a British man whose wife is accompanying him to the United States as he writes for the movies. She is very particular about everything and drives him crazy with her fastidiousness and attention to details he doesn't care about. She is determined to have them return by Christmas and always is punctual to a fault. The husband digs the floor of their basement up claiming to want to finish it so that it can become a wine cellar. She doesn't realize it is to become her grave and believes that it would be best finished professionally. The husband does kill her but finds himself still imprisoned by her fastidiousness and punctuality even in death. I couldn't help wondering if it was a humorous reflection on his wife and his move to the United States in the late 30s.moreless
  • In poor taste.

    1.2
    In extremely Poor taste due to its framework of Christmas. John Williams is a fine actor, so it's Not his fault but rather the fault of the script. That is, it's too tasteless to put Christmas in such an evil light. To make it even more trashy, the man's Wife was such a benign and kindly lady that she did Not deserve such a cruel fate at all. So it was poetic-justice that her Christmas Gift to him would prove to be the husband's Undoing.moreless
Isobel Elsom

Isobel Elsom

Hermione Carpenter

Guest Star

Gavin Muir

Gavin Muir

Mr. Wallingford

Guest Star

Lillian Kemble-Cooper

Lillian Kemble-Cooper

Mrs. Sinclair

Guest Star

John Williams (II)

John Williams (II)

Herbert Carpenter

Recurring Role

Arthur Gould-Porter

Arthur Gould-Porter

Major Sinclair

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • [Closing Narration]
      Host: [holding the shrunken head] That concludes our sideshow. We shall be back next week to [looks at the bottom of the shrunken head] 'Made in Texas by Texans with New Yorkers.' I think I better be trotting off. I've just decided to have my hair Sanforized. Good Night.

    • [Opening Narration]
      Host: [examining a shrunken head] Oh, good evening ladies and gentlemen especially the ladies [pointing to the shrunken head]. Now you see what might happen if you fall asleep under the dryer. Shrunken heads are a hobby of mine. Collecting them, of course, not making them. It takes too long to make one. First, you must wait until the original owner of the head dies. I haven't the patience for that. As you have no doubt already guessed, tonight's story has nothing whatsoever to do with shrunken heads. It is called 'Back for Christmas'.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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