Alfred Hitchcock was a staple in the film and television industry, directing and writing both movies and television shows, the best of which being the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show. With each episode being its own story, this television show presents the dark sides of humans, while integrating suspense, horror, science fiction, and unexpected endings into an addictive series you cannot miss. Check out our list of the twenty best Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, and see if some of your favorites end up on the list.
Is Alfred Hitchcock Presents Like The Twilight Zone?
Both of these anthology TV series consist of short stories focused on suspense, horror, supernatural situations, psychological thrills, science fiction, ironic twists, and unexpected endings, making them quite similar. Though Alfred Hitchcock Presents does go lighter on the horror aspect than the Twilight Zone does.
How Many Episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Did They Make?
There are 268 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents spread over the seven seasons that the original show aired. Of course, there are spin-offs such as the 1985-1989 series titled the same, and the Alfred Hitchcock Hour which was a longer version of the show. During his prime Hitchcock dominated the film industry, and it only makes sense that over 200 episodes were made for his show.
Where to Stream Alfred Hitchcock Presents
You can watch all seven seasons of the original series on Peacock with a subscription. You can also watch the Alfred Hitchcock Hour on Peacock, making this streaming service the home of all things Hitchcock.
What Episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Were Directed by Alfred Hitchcock?
Alfred Hitchcock directed 17 episodes himself of the hit show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which are listed below:
- “Revenge” – October 2, 1955 (Season 1)
- “Breakdown” – November 13, 1955 (Season 1)
- “The Case of Mr. Pelham” – December 4, 1955 (Season 1)
- “Back for Christmas” – March 4, 1956 (Season 1)
- “Wet Saturday” – September 30, 1956 (Season 2)
- “Mr. Blanchard’s Secret” – December 23, 1956 (Season 2)
- “One More Mile to Go” – April 7, 1957 (Season 2)
- “The Perfect Crime” – October 20, 1957 (Season 3)
- “Lamb to the Slaughter” – April 13, 1958 (Season 3)
- “Dip in the Pool” – June 1, 1958 (Season 3)
- “Poison” – October 5, 1958 (Season 4)
- “Banquo’s Chair” – May 3, 1959 (Season 4)
- “Arthur” – September 27, 1959 (Season 5)
- “The Crystal Trench” – October 4, 1959 (Season 5)
- “Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat” – September 27, 1960 (Season 6)
- “The Horse Player” – March 14, 1961 (Season 6)
- “Bang! You’re Dead” – October 17, 1961 (Season 7)
20 Best Alfred Hitchcock Presents Episodes
20. “Man from the South,” Season 5, Episode 15
An out-of-luck gambler stars in “Man from the South,” when he gets approached by a man with an unusual bet. If the gambler can ignite his lighter ten times in a row, the man will give the gambler his convertible. If the lighter fails however, the gambler must give up the little finger of his hand. The gambler manages to ignite the lighter seven times before a woman comes over claiming to be the man’s wife and that the convertible is hers. As she reaches for the car keys, the gambler notices she only has one finger and a thumb on her left hand.
19. “Crack of Doom,” Season 2, Episode 9
The main character of this episode, Mason Bridges, refuses his friends’ requests to play penny-ante in the next car of a New-York-Chicago streamliner. When pressed Mason tells them the story of when he unwittingly became a thief. He used to be an office manager and an unpleasant business associate gave him $10,000 to put in the company safe, then invited him to a no-limit game of poker, which leads him to the brink of ruin.
18. “Mail Order Prophet,” Season 3, Episode 2
Ronald Grimes gets a letter in the mail from a man called Mr. Christianai who claims to predict the future, and the contents of the letter correctly predict an election outcome. As more letters continue to flow in, Grimes earns a large amount of money through gambling for these prophetic outcomes. The last letter that comes in asks Grimes for a contribution and he willingly gives it. Turns out Christianai was actually a con man that sent out thousands of letters, and Grimes just happened to get the right answer each time.
17. “The Doubtful Doctor,” Season 6, Episode 2
Ralph Jones is sitting in a psychiatrist’s office and recalls a disturbing memory. One day he got in a fight with his wife and wished to be single again. He was transported back to his bachelor days but everything went wrong, including Jones losing all of his money to a boy for a pack of baseball cards. Jones jumped in a river, and then awakened in present day. When questioned by the psychiatrist, Jones pulls out a pack of wet baseball cards from his pocket.
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16. “Beta Delta Gamma,” Season 7, Episode 6
Two frat boys, Mark and Alan, and partying at a beachfront frat house. Both boys drink too much and pass out, and Alan’s frat brothers decide to pull a prank on them. Injecting Mark with a substance to appear dead, they place a bloody weapon in Alan’s hand to trick Alan into thinking he killed Mark. When Alan wakes up, he believes the prank so well he decides to cover up the “murder” and buries Mark’s body on the beach. When the prank is revealed and Alan tries to return to the grave, the high tide has washed away any trace of Mark’s grave.
15. “The Glass Eye,” Season 3, Episode 1
This frame story is sure to give you the creeps at the end. As he cleans out his dead sister Julia’s apartment, Jim comes across a glass eye and tells his wife the story of how it came to be there. Julia had fallen in love with a ventriloquist named Max and after many letters he agrees to meet with her. In the hotel room that they meet in, Max is sitting in the dark with his dummy George. When Julia tries to touch Max though his body falls to the floor and a glass eye rolls towards her, as the dummy is actually Max while the real ventriloquist is George.
14. “Banquo’s Chair,” Season 4, Episode 29
Miss Ferguson has been murdered and a Scotland Yard detective must figure out what happened to her, and at the top of his list is getting lead suspect John Bedford to confess. The detective plans a hoax and hires actress May Thorpe to play the ghost of Ferguson. Everything goes to plan as the ghost appears and gets Bedford to confess, but later Thorpe arrives and apologizes for being late and asks if she’s too late to give her performance of the ghost.
13. “Poison,” Season 4, Episode 1
Harry Pope, an alcoholic plantation owner wakes up with a deadly snake lying on his chest. Freaked out, he calls for help and Timber Woods arrives and gets a doctor. Woods tries to knock out the snake with chloroform under the blankets, but when the blankets are pulled away there is no snake. Angry, the doctor leaves and Woods laughs at poor Harry as he jumps onto the bed. That’s when the snake appears behind the pillow and bites Woods right in the face.
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12. “Dip in the Pool,” Season 3, Episode 35
Gambling goes a little too far in this chilling episode. William is a compulsive gambler that goes on a cruise, and later enters a betting pool to guess the number of miles the ship will travel in 24 hours. As the ship slows for an upcoming storm, William gets an idea as they ship speeds back up. By throwing himself off the ship, it will have to slow again and he’ll have better chances of winning. He finds a witness and pitches himself off the deck, but the witness never says a word as she is mentally ill.
11. “The Festive Season,” Season 3, Episode 31
Charlie and his sister Celia have been carrying on a feud for years. Charlie believes that Celia has killed his wife, and when a family lawyer comes on Christmas Eve to try and have the two reconcile, he discovers the feud is as strong as ever. Oh, and they are also planning each other’s murder.
10. “The Case of Mr. Pelham,” Season 1, Episode 10
This episode is a real dive into individuality, and the insanity that will follow if that is taken away. Mr. Pelham believes that someone is impersonating him and decides to take action by changing his bank signature. The double manages to duplicate the new signature and Pelham finally gets the chance to confront the double. When the imposter insists HE is the real Pelham though, Pelham is almost convinced and subsequently goes insane.
9. “Bang! You’re Dead,” Season 7, Episode 2
Six-year-old Jackie cannot wait for his Uncle Rick to arrive from Africa and give him a surprise gift. When Uncle Rick arrives, Jackie cannot wait and digs through Rick’s bags and finds a loaded gun. Jackie thinks it is his new toy and goes outside to play with it, fake shooting various people before going home and asking the maid to play with him. After frantically chasing Jackie around, his parents and Uncle Rick arrive just in time to deflect the bullet Jackie shots at the maid.
8. “The Perfect Crime,” Season 3, Episode 3
Charles, an arrogant detective, prides himself on never having a single mistake in his career. Keeping mementos of each case solved, there is one open space for “The Perfect Crime.” One day a defense lawyer confronts Courtney and tells him that the detective helped convict and innocent man who has since been executed. Angered, Courtney kills the lawyer and bakes him into a vase in a pottery kiln, and places the now-finished vase on his shelf for the perfect crime.
7. “Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat,” Season 6, Episode 1
Nothing is better than having a sardonic twist ending, and this episode gives that and more. Mrs. Bixby is having an affair with a Colonel, who decides to stop seeing her and gives Mrs. Bixby an expensive mink coat. Since she doesn’t want her husband to know the origins of the mink coat, Mrs. Bixby pawns it and tells the pawnbroker not to write a description on the ticket, which she later shows her husband claiming she found it. Telling him to turn it in and see what it is, Mrs. Bixby is floored when he returns with a cheap mink neckpiece. That’s when she sees her husband’s secretary dressed in the Colonel’s mink coat.
6. “Back for Christmas,” Season 1, Episode 23
Herbert and Hermione Carpenter are planning to leave England for a brief stay in America, but Herbert secretly plans to stay there while Hermione wants to come home for Christmas. Before leaving England, Herbert kills his wife and buries her in the basement, later leaving for America. He then receives a letter from England addressed to his wife about her Christmas gift to her husband – a wine cellar – which the construction requires an excavation of the Carpenters’ basement.
5. “Arthur,” Season 5, Episode 1
Arthur, a chicken farmer, is fed up with his gold-digging girlfriend and wants to be a bachelor again. His solution is simple: strangle and kill his girlfriend. As the police come around suspecting Arthur, they cannot seem to find a body. After the case has cooled, Arthur gives the officers a gift for all their troubles, which happen to be plump chickens that were given a special feed made up partially of his girlfriend’s body.
4. “One More Mile To Go,” Season 2, Episode 28
After accidentally killing his wife with a rod during an argument, Sam Jacoby decides to dump her body in a lake. He places the body in the trunk of his car and starts driving towards the lake, but gets stopped by a police officer about a burned out taillight. The officer eventually tells Sam to follow him to the station where they can open up the trunk and change the bulb for him.
3. “Breakdown,” Season 1, Episode 7
Sometimes your greatest weakness ends up saving you, and this is what William realizes at the end of this episode. William believes that show emotion is a sign of horrible weakness, but later gets into a car accident and is completely paralyzed. Everyone who looks upon William’s body believe that he’s dead and he’s sent to the morgue where a coroner rules him dead. In complete hopelessness William begins to cry and only then is he saved from being cut open.
2. “Revenge,” Season 1, Episode 1
After having a nervous breakdown while performing, ballerina Elsa gives up her career to live in a trailer park with her husband Carl. One night Carl comes home to the house in disarray, which Elsa claims to have been done by a man who almost killed her. Instead of calling the police, Carl aims to get revenge and puts Elsa in the car and drives her around. She points at a man, claiming he is the one and Carl kills him, but then Elsa points to another man and says he was the one. As the police converge on Carl, he realizes Elsa has gone mad, and he just killed an innocent man.
1. “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Season 3, Episode 28
The most popular episode was written by Roald Dahl, and has a fantastically ironic ending that is gruesome and funny at the same time. Mary is a devoted wife who is angry when her husband, the police chief, asks for a divorce after finding another woman. She strikes him with a frozen lamb leg and kills him, later calling the police with an alibi that she was shopping when her husband was killed. The police search the house for a murder weapon, and end up getting frustrated and sit down for a meal with Mary. The main dish? Lamb leg.
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What Is the Most Popular Episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents?
The most popular episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents was written by Roald Dahl and titled “Lamb to the Slaughter.” I’ve read this short story before and I love how oblivious the police officers are, and how resourceful Mary Maloney is with her husband and her explanation to the cops.
Mary Maloney is the main character of this episode, a devoted wife that is heartbroken and angry when her husband (the police chief) comes home one day and announces he wants a divorce and is in love with another women. Mary in her anger kills him with a frozen leg of lamb, and then calls the police with an alibi that she was out shopping when the murder occurred. The police are stumped, and are frustrated that they cannot find the murder weapon as they eat lamb that Mary has prepared. I don’t think I’ve ever read another murder story where the police are eating the murder weapon.
What Is the Scariest Alfred Hitchcock Presents Episode?
The scariest Alfred Hitchcock episode is actually from the Alfred Hitchcock Hour edition titled “The Jar.” Playing on the imagination of what you cannot see or figure out, in this episode the main character Charlie Hill is mesmerized by a mysterious jar at a carnival sideshow. He buys it from the owner even though his wife Thedy is frightened by the strange contents and wants to get rid of it. Townspeople from all over come to see this jar and Charlie becomes a celebrity, drunk on the power of popularity while his wife becomes even more freaked out.
The reason why this episode is so popular to viewers is that they let their imagination run wild about what’s in the jar, just like the townspeople. It also shows the danger of popularity and having power over others, with Charlie wanting to do everything to keep the jar even at the expense of his wife.
When Did Alfred Hitchcock Presents Air?
- Season 1: October 2nd, 1955 to June 24th, 1956 (39 episodes)
- Season 2: September 30th, 1956 to June 23rd, 1957 (39 episodes)
- Season 3: October 6, 1957 to June 29th, 1958 (39 episodes)
- Season 4: October 5th, 1958 to June 21, 1959 (36 episodes)
- Season 5: September 27th, 1959 to September 25, 1960 (38 episodes)
- Season 6: September 27th, 1960 to July 4th, 1961 (38 episodes)
- Season 7: October 10th, 1961 to June 26th, 1962 (39 episodes)
Was Robert Redford on Alfred Hitchcock Presents?
Robert Redford appeared on one episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and two episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. For Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Redford was cast as Charlie Marx in “The Right Kind of Medicine” that aired on December 19, 1961. For The Alfred Hitchcock Hour he played Chuck Marsden in “A Piece of the Action” that aired on September 20, 1962; and he played David Chesterman in “A Tangled Web” that aired on January 25, 1963.
What Other Famous Stars Appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents Episodes?
There have been many famous actors that have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, such as Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Robert Duvall, Walter Matthau, George Segal, Thelma Ritter, Joan Fontaine, Burt Reynolds, Vera Miles, and many others. He even had notable writers for the episodes, including famed author Roald Dahl who wrote six episodes for the show.
What Is the Best Alfred Hitchcock Presents Episode According to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes?
According to IMDB ratings, the best Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode comes from season 5 titled “Man from the South” in 1960. The episode received a score of 8.6/10 from IMDB, and is about an unpleasant little man that hopes to use a young man’s wish to pressure the young man into accepting a macabre bet in a Las Vegas casino.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the best Alfred Hitchcock Presents season is the first one, with a critics review of 100% and an audience review of 88%. The moral lessons and dark atmosphere of the first season ring well with critics, but the whole show itself dominated American television sets for all of the years the show was aired.
Is Alfred Hitchcock Presents Worth Watching?
If you enjoy shows that explore the inner workings of humans, both the good and the bad, and placing them into science fiction and realistic settings you will enjoy Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Even if you are not a huge fan of mystery and horror, Alfred Hitchcock is a huge presence in the film industry which makes his shows classics that everyone should at least try to watch.
Dive into Alfred Hitchcock’s world with our twenty best Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes, and maybe you’ll end up watching the rest of the 268 episodes.
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