Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 1 Episode 13

The Cheney Vase

3
Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Dec 25, 1955 on CBS
7.7
out of 10
User Rating
42 votes
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Episode Summary

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An elderly invalid has only one preoccupation in life. She wants to protect a priceless vase that has been in her family for generations. Lyle Endicott, a dishonest ex-museum curator, wants the vase.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Always be wary of kindly-seeming old ladies who appear to be helpless. The villainous Lyle learns the wisdom of this Hitchcockian lesson, but too late.

    9.5
    One of those stories in which someone who seems to be defenceless proves to be a rather different kind of person than was always supposed. Here, the charming, kindly, wheelchair-bound Mrs. Cheney shows herself, finally, as far more devious than anyone has ever imagined, whilst the villainous Lyle - and, oh, how reptilian Darren McGavin makes him! - ends up considerably less than the commanding villain he has seemed. This episode doesn't quite wrap itself up as neatly as it should because of the demands of TV programming - ideally, it ought to be a minute or two longer, so that the twist in its tail is less rushed - but, in all other respects, it's a beauty.moreless
Carolyn Jones

Carolyn Jones

Pamela Waring

Guest Star

Darren McGavin

Darren McGavin

Lyle Endicott

Guest Star

Patricia Collinge

Patricia Collinge

Martha Cheney

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (closing narration) And so another American primitive was born. Thinking our audience might be interested in obtaining a memento of tonight's story, we asked, uh, Grandma Cheney to whip up a few thousand more vases. And we're prepared to make an amazing offer on a strictly first-come-first-served basis. Listen closely. This will not be repeated. If you wish one of these lovely vases, just send us your name and address together with $45,000 in cash. Please do not send stamps or coins. And now our sponsor wishes to tell you of an equally amazing opportunity for your benefit. After which I'll be back.

    • Martha: If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to be alone for a while.
      Lyle: No. I wouldn't think of leaving you now. (runs a whittling knife along one of her carved statues) You need someone to take care of you.

    • Lyle: Why is it wrong? She's got that vase hidden away somewhere, what good is it doing her?
      Pamela: I know, Lyle, but she's a helpless old woman! I do wish you'd give up the idea.
      Lyle: Maybe Koether might know where it is.
      Pamela: He doesn't.
      Lyle: Are you positive?
      Pamela: Yes!
      Lyle: She's got it hidden away in her house somewhere. I may have to strangle her, but I'll get it.

    • Opening Narration
      Alfred Hitchcock: Oh, oh good evening. (holding a miniature figure of a human which he's about to inject with a needle) I was just about to send greetings to an old friend. I'm sure modern, civilized methods of homicide are more efficient, but I don't care for them. I abhor violence. That is why on this program we use shooting, stabbing, and gallivanting only when they are absolutely essential to the plot…or when the whim strikes. Tonight's play begins in a museum, and is called "The Cheney Vase." That's all I intend to tell you. You'll have to figure the rest out for yourself.

    • Closing Narration
      Alfred Hitchcock: And so another American primitive was born. Thinking our audience might be interested in a parting memento of tonight's story, we asked Grandma Cheney to whip up a few thousand more vases, and we're prepared to make an immediate offer on a strictly first-come, first-served basis. Listen closely. This will not be repeated. If you wish one of these lovely vases, just send us your name and address, along with forty-five thousand dollars in cash. Please do not send stamps or coins. (scene fades out and back in, and only one vase is left) Next week we'll show you- (Hitchcock knocks over the remaining vase, and then picks it up) Please don't be alarmed – it's plastic. Next week, we'll return with another story. Good night.

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