Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 2 Episode 24

The Cream of the Jest

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Mar 10, 1957 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • An old, penniless actor tries to blackmail a newly-successful playwright into giving him a star part.

    The story is only so-so, but this segment, like the previous season's "And So Died Riabouchinska" is worth watching just for its star, Claude Rains. This great actor - whom John Gielgud regarded as a mentor - was heading for his seventies when he did this, and TV work was, by that time, beginning to take up more of his time than either stage work or films. As the old has-been actor whose desperation leads him to attempt blackmail against a distinctly dubious writer, Rains catches exactly the seediness under the suave veneer, and also the self-disgust and fatalism of this once-proud old man. He's heading for death and knows it - and that's "the cream of the jest", for him.