Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 1 Episode 18

Shopping for Death

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Jan 29, 1956 on CBS
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Episode Summary

Shopping for Death

Two former insurance salesmen try to use their knowledge of accident statistics to save the accident prone and others in danger of dying.

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  • When it's unendurably hot - but not quite hot enough to be exhausting - do people become murderous?

    Ray Bradbury's theory that a temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit is dangerous, and that more murders are committed at that temperature than at any other time, had been voiced before this - not only in his original short story, but in the dialogue of the 1953 science-fiction movie "It Came From Outer Space", which Bradbury was involved in writing. Here, the two elderly bachelors who have devised this theory watch in horror as the slatternly Mrs. Shrike (a nod to Nathanael West?) is driven by her irritation with the heat to become more and more annoying, and they just know someone will want to murder her. She's not just "an accident waiting to happen" - she's a born victim, for all her aggressiveness.moreless
Jo Van Fleet

Jo Van Fleet

Mrs. Shrike

Guest Star

John Qualen

John Qualen

Mr. Shaw

Guest Star

Michael Ross (I)

Michael Ross (I)

Mr. Shrike

Guest Star

Robert H. Harris

Robert H. Harris

Mr. Foxe

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When the two salesmen are standing outside the butcher shop talking, you can see their breath in the air -- even though supposedly it's pushing 90 degrees and humid.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Clarence: Do you see how much she needs our help?
      Albert : She certainly does. But let's get away. She's a destroyer, she is!
      Clarence: No, Albert. Not a destroyer. She wants to be destroyed, begs to be murdered. If we don't help her, her name will make the obituaries.

    • Clarence: More murders are committed at 92 degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature!

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (Oils a quiet door hinge with something that makes the door creak) There, that's better. Much better. The least we can do is to provide the proper atmosphere. This is truly an extraordinary item. Loud, squeaking fluid. It is also excellent at making old shutters bang. And on dark nights one can spray it in the air in case the wind isn't whistling loud enough. It's very practical, too. It can make old shoes squeak like new again. Now that we have established our mood, I should like to tell you that tonight's story is by Ray Bradbury and is known by the provocative title of "Shopping For Death".

    • Alfred Hitchcock: You needn't sit there staring. We're not going to show you anymore. In fact, I'm not even going to tell you what happened. Television audiences are becoming entirely too dependent. You expect us to do everything for you. This oil is terribly difficult to get rid of. Next week at this same time, I hope to see you again. Good night.

  • NOTES (2)