Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 1 Episode 10

The Case of Mr. Pelham

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Dec 04, 1955 on CBS
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Albert Pelham is slowly being replaced at home and at work by a double.

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  • Are there really two Mr. Pelhams? Or is it a case of split personality? Or might there be another, more alarming, explanation?

    In about twenty minutes, Alfred Hitchcock presents the breakdown of a smug modern man - someone so sure of himself (and of the cosy little world in which he has unthinkingly revolved all his life) that a comeuppance of sorts seems merited. This famous story is presented, in this version, as essentially a dark comedy - with an end-twist rather nastier than we expect. This works immeasurably better than the full-length feature film based on the same source which appeared in 1970 (retitled "The Man Who Haunted Himself"). Tom Ewell, the epitome of urban self-doubt (he'd just starred in "The Seven Year Itch"), is excellent as the rapidly-unhinging bourgeois, whose alter ego is all the more alarming for remaining unseen until...moreless
  • Another great one.

    What more can you say than has been written? Hitchcock was truly one of the best.

    This episode with Tom Ewell has a very ironic ending.

    You will be glued to the TV set watching this gem.

    The following below is filler, since this site requires reviews of 100 words or more.

    This is one of the reasons why I like to watch ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS.

    It's too bad the show isn't on a leading TV network anymore, now that the so-called "classic" TV LAND network decided to ditch most of the "oldies" and play mostly a crappy blend of 70s and 80s TV shows.

    Bring back the good times, TV LAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!moreless
Tom Ewell

Tom Ewell

Albert Pelham

Guest Star

Jan Arvan

Jan Arvan


Guest Star

Kirby Smith

Kirby Smith

Tom Mason

Guest Star

Raymond Bailey

Raymond Bailey

Dr. Harley

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • [Closing Narration]
      Hitchcock's Double: [struggling with orderlies] But I'm Alfred Hitchcock, I am. I can prove it.
      Orderly: Sure. Sure. Everybody is!
      Hitchcock's Double: I am, I insist. [as they take him away, camera pans left to another Hitchcock]
      Hitchcock: An outstanding hoax. He carried off the impersonation brilliantly except for one thing. Bubblegum in his pocket. Indeed. Alfred Hitchcock wouldn't be caught dead with bubblegum in his pocket [sound of gunshot]... Poor chap. Do excuse me. I need a moment to pull myself together.

    • Pelman: Why? Why did this have to happen to me? Why?
      Pelman's Double: No reason. It just did you see.
      Pelman: I've know for several days that there's an agency more than human here. Tell me, what is it? Whom do you represent? Who are you?
      Pelman's Double: Why, Mr. Pelham, of course. You're mad, you know.

    • Pelman: No. I don't think, he's trying to persecute me, Doctor. In fact, I can think of no reason at all for him to do what he's doing. I have the feeling that he's trying to... to move into my life, to crowd closer and closer to me, so that one day he is where I was... standing in my shoes, my clothes, my life. And I... am gone. Vanished.

    • Pelman: You see, what I need to know is could a man actually be in one place, doing one thing, and still, in his mind, be elsewhere doing something else? But so vividly, with such detail, that this is the real, the living part of his life to him? Do you think?

    • [Opening Narration]
      Hitchcock: Good Evening. Due to circumstances beyond our control. Tragedy will not strike tonight. I'm dreadfully sorry. Perhaps some other time. However, I've just witnessed a sneak preview of this evening's story and I found it simply frightening. Sometimes death is not the worst that can befall a man. And I don't refer to torture or any type of violence. I mean the quiet little insidious devices that can drive a man out of his mind. Like putting bubblegum in someone's coat pocket. Tonight's little frolic is called 'The Case of Mr. Pelham'.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Anthony Armstrong's very imaginative story garnered many copy-cat stories over the years including two written by Rod Serling for the original Twilight Zone: Mirror Image (2/26/60) and Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room (10/14/60). And, most famously perhaps, Harlan Ellison's novella "Shatterday" which was adapted as the first episode of the revised Twilight Zone on 9/27/85.

    • This story was also the basis of a British film of 1970, "The Man Who Haunted Himself", directed by Basil Dearden.

    • This episode is based on the short story "The Case of Mr. Pelham" by Anthony Armstrong (pseudonym for George Anthony Armstrong Willis). This story was first published in Esquire (1940).

    • 1955 Emmy Nomination: This episode garnered Alfred Hitchcock an emmy nomination for Best Director (Film Series).