Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Forgotten TV: THE 5:48 on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and on THREE BY CHEEVER on PBS





This classic Cheever story has been done on TV at least twice. It was an episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS in the 1960s and then as part of THREE BY CHEEVER on PBS in 1979. The story is good enough that it could easily be made again.

A callous executive has an affair with his secretary. He knows she's a bit unstable but when he cruely dumps her, he finds out just how unstable when she shows up on the 5:48, his train back to suburbia. Zachary Scott and Phyllis Thaxter starred in the AH version. Here it is Laurence Luckinbill and Mary Beth Hurt.

Cheever's story is as dark as any noir. I tried to find a clip but was unable to do. HULU has all the AHs for free if you want to look for it.

Although my favorite Cheever adaptation remains THE SWIMMER with Burt Lancaster, THE 5:48 is an excellent runnerup.

***John informs us in the comments, that this episode of AHP is from Season Six and probably can be found on you tube, not Hulu. 

11 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - Oh, I loved the Alfred Hitchcock series - thanks for the reminder :-)

George said...

I saw THE 5:48 on PBS when it was first broadcast in 1978. It was terrific! Some TV shows you forget right away and others stay with you forever. THE 5:48 is one of those forever episodes for me.

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw most of the Alfred Hitchcock stuff later so probably saw this. I don't remember.

John said...

I've seen the Hitchcock episode with Phyllis Thaxter turning in in one of her all time best performances. It's very modern acting for 1960s TV.

And a slight correction: Hulu has *most* of the Hitchcock episodes, not all. Only 148 episodes of the first four seasons. "The Five Forty-Eight" was from season six and is not at Hulu. YouTube is the best source for Hitchcock TV episodes, especially the later seasons and the episodes from when the series changed its name to THE AH HOUR.

Todd Mason said...

Details:
GREAT PERFORMANCES: THREE CHEEVER STORIES #3: THE FIVE-FORTY-EIGHT

NETWORK: PBS
DATE: November 7, 1979 Wednesday 9:00 PM
RUNNING TIME: 0:59:08
COLOR/B&W: Color
CATALOG ID: T81:0868
GENRE: Drama
SERIES RUN [for GREAT PERFORMANCES]: PBS - TV series, 1974 -

- See more at: http://www.paleycenter.org/collection/item/?q=the&p=275&item=T81:0868#sthash.YCyndnKK.dpuf

Todd Mason said...

CREDITS

Jac Venza........ Executive Producer
Peter Weinberg........ Producer
J. Stephen Fairchild........ Associate Producer
Noam Yerushalmi........ Associate Producer
James Ivory........ Director
Terrence McNally........ Writer
John Cheever........ Writer
Jonathan Tunick........ Composer
Laurence Luckinbill........ Cast
Laurinda Barrett........ Cast
Philip Scher........ Cast
Kathy Keeney........ Cast
Mary Beth Hurt........ Cast
Jon De Vries........ Cast
Nicholas Luckinbill........ Cast
John Harkins........ Cast
Dale Hodges........ Cast

- See more at: http://www.paleycenter.org/collection/item/?q=the&p=275&item=T81:0868#sthash.YCyndnKK.Tbg0racF.dpuf

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Mason said...

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 6, Episode 5
The Five-Forty-Eight (25 Oct. 1960)

Full Cast & Crew

Directed by John Brahm

Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)
Charlotte Armstrong ... (teleplay)
John Cheever ... (story)

Cast (in credits order)
Alfred Hitchcock ...
Himself - Host
Phyllis Thaxter ...
Miss Dent
Zachary Scott ...
Mr. Blake
Irene Windust ...
Mrs. Compton
Raymond Bailey ...
Mr. Watkins
Penny Edwards ...
Miss Smith
Charles Davis ...
Mr. Johnson
Phil Gordon ...
Bartender
Joseph Hamilton ...
Train Conductor

Todd Mason said...

So, clearly, the two anthology series were willing to turn to the merest hacks for this job...Charlotte Armstrong and Terence McNally...(that's a joke, folks, as Kenny Delmar might note today). James Ivory might not've done too much US tv, either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Saw McNally but did not catch Armstrong!

Todd Mason said...

Or, even, Terrence McN. And Ivory apparently didn't do Any other US tv.