THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR
"Forecast: Low Clouds and Coastal Fog"
Original air date Jan 18, 1963
Directed by Charles Haas
Written by Lee Erwin
Alfred Hitchcock as Host
Inger Stevens as Karen Wilson
Dan O'Herlihy as Simon Carter
Chris Robinson as Rick
Peter Brown as Ed
Richard Jaeckel as Tommy
Simon Scott as Stan Wilson
Christopher Dark as Sanchez
Russ Thorson as Geary
Robert Millar as Mitch
Greg Morris as the doctor
This is a woman alone and in danger story. Inger Stevens is Karen Wilson, a woman left alone in a fogbound beach house by her husband who's working on a big business deal in San Francisco. She's in danger, but from whom?
The first night she's left alone because her husband Stan is in San Francisco on business. When a strange man knocks on the door, she won't let him in. He's out of gas and doesn't want to leave his girl alone in the car while he walks to the gas station. She slams the door in his face. Later, she hears a scream and then a car racing off.
The next morning her neighbor Simon Carter, a mystery writer, comes over. He both flirts with her and tells her no woman alone would have let a strange man into her house. They take coffee on the veranda where Karen spots three friends - surfers. Carter's not thrilled when Karen invites the three surfer boys and she invites them over as she apparently does often. When Carter leaves, the sound of his car reminds Karen of what she heard after the scream the night before.
The wholesome surf boys persuade her to go surfing to take her mind off her fears.
Karen's husband isn't thrilled to find her surfing when he comes in having driven half the night to respond to her panicked call. (The surfing scenes are not too convincing.) Stan has to leave her again almost immediately but she thinks she'll be fine in daylight. He shows her how to use the gun he keeps in a drawer and promises to call if he's not going to make it home for the night.
She goes to the hospital to see how the injured woman is doing. As she leaves, the man (Sanchez) again berates her for refusing to help. Shortly thereafter, the woman dies. Sanchez looking vengeful, breaks into Karen's beach house through the kitchen door and hides upstairs while she's on the phone with Stan who says he's fogged in again.
The surfer boys (actually not boys, more like surf bums) check the whole house while Ed guards Karen. Sanchez manages to elude them and they find an unlocked door where Carter apparently exited. Rick makes a phone call and tells Karen the police are on their way. She's now convinced Carter is the guilty party. As Sanchez listens from the top of the stairs, the surfers engage Karen in conversation that gets more and more weird.
Too late Karen realizes that these boys are seriously deranged and looking for kicks wherever they can get them. Ed starts turning off lights. His only explanation is that the light "hurts my big blue eyes." (As this is a black and white show, Peter's hazel eyes could be as blue as he wanted.) Rick tells her they were lucky the woman from the previous night died without speaking. They won't take any chances this time. They'll burn down the house after they're finished.
As the boys grab Karen, a shot rings out and Ed is winged. The stranger has grabbed Karen's gun and knows how to use it. Tom begs for his life and gets kicked in the head as the stranger rushes after Rick. Carter tackles Rick on the beach. Sanchez comes very close to shooting, but decides to let the police take care of it. Karen looks like a woman who will never be comfortable alone again.
NiteOwl Review: The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (previously the half hour Alfred Hitchcock Presents) was a long-running (1955-1965 with a one-year revival in 1985) anthology series which presented stories fitting Hitchcock's dark sense of drama and/or humor. Most stories contained some kind of twist of fate which let justice be visited on someone who deserved it. But even if the victim was deserving of their fate, the killer inevitably came to justice, sometimes only in Hitchcock's personally delivered postscript at the end. In the instant story, the unlikely suspect was Karen's husband - so some of us suspected him of muddying the waters so as to kill his wife without suspicion. Others thought Sanchez, seemingly cleared and righteously indignant, might turn out to be the killer. The writer friend was too obvious and therefore not our choice. And those surfer boys seemed so wholesome and friendly. Peter made a good transformation from wholesome, carefree beach bum to threatening psycho. He seemed more sweetly innocent than the others to start with and the contrast was more startling.
Cast Note: Greg Morris had a small part here as the unnamed doctor. In 1966, he became part of the cast of Misson Impossible as tecno-genius Barney Collier. He later spent two years in VEGA$ as a police lieutenant. Peter did guest shots on both shows.
Still later, she's awakened when the police arrive with the stranger. They found his girl about a mile down the beach, badly injured. They're checking his story about having come to her house for help. He's angry and accusatory over her failure to help. Karen immediately phones her husband in a panic and he agrees to rent a car and come home. The airport is fogged in so he can't fly.
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