💥 SPOILER ALERT!
*FINAL VOW: s1e5 aired Oct 25, 1962- Carol Lynley and Isobel Elsom
Carol Lynley Bio:
Carol was born Carol Anne Jones on Feb. 13, 1942, in New York City. Lynley worked as a model and in television from her teen years and performed on numerous early live dramatic television shows. After appearing in the 1958 Broadway play, she delivered a moving performance in the controversial screen version of Blue Denim in 1959, co-starring cutie Brandon De Wilde. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer! She then co-starred with Clifton Webb and Jane Wyman in Holiday For Lovers (1959).
Afterward, she appeared in a variety of popular films, Return to Peyton Place (1961), and Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) with Jack Lemmon. Carol Lynley appeared in the Otto Preminger film The Cardinal (1963). She was also in The Stripper (1963), and Shock Treatment 1964 where she plays a very disturbed young girl with hyper-sexual tendencies. In the same year, she played Maggie Williams in The Pleasure Seekers. Lynley also took the role of Jean Harlow in the biopic Harlow (1965).
Her performance as Ann Lake is superb playing a mother who claims her little girl has vanished after dropping her off at her school in Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing (1965). She also appeared in the very dark and twisted The Shuttered Room (1965) co-starring Gig Young. The film is based on a story by horror writer August Derleth. In the same year, she played Maggie Williams in The Pleasure Seekers. Lynley also took the role of Jean Harlow in the biopic Harlow (1965).
Lynley appeared in Once You Kiss a Stranger… (1969) and In the pilot episode that launched the iconic television series “The Night Stalker” (1972), the cult chiller directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, Lynely plays the character of Gail Foster, who was portrayed as the girlfriend of Darren McGavin’s journalist of the bizarre and the occult. As the stalwart reporter investigating the uncanny and supernatural, Carl Kolchak, often puts Gail through the wringer. This groundbreaking classic television series developed by Dan Curtis went on to inspire popular shows like “The X Files”.
Carol Lynley appeared in various television shows, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, It Takes a Thief, Night Gallery, The Invaders, Kojak, The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Journey to the Unknown, The Sixth Sense, The Magician, The Evil Touch, Quincy M.E. and Police Woman.
ISOBEL ELSOM BIO:
As Mrs. Eynsford- Hill in My Fair Lady 1964.
British actress Isobel Elsom embodied the epitome of pretentious, grande dame vanity in her acting roles, fashioning her persona as the elegant society woman and piqued upper-class sophisticates in both comedies and drama, with character names like Charlotte Chattle, Genevieve Clivieden-Banks, Auntie Loo-Loo, and Mrs. Eynsford- Hill in My Fair Lady 1964. Elsom was also well-disposed to playing head nuns.
She began her prolific career on stage making her debut in the chorus of a London production of “The Quaker Girl” in 1911 and her Broadway debut in “The Ghost Train” in 1926, and went on to appear in supporting roles in both silent and talking pictures in England and Hollywood that spanned over 50 years. She maintained her leading status with early British talkies in films such as The Other Woman in 1931, Stranglehold in 1931, The Crooked Lady in 1932, The Thirteenth Candle in 1933, and The Primrose Path in 1934.
Elsom moved on to the New York stage in such plays as The Mulberry Bush (1927), People Don’t Do Such Things (1927), The Silver Box (1928), The Behavior of Mrs. Crane (1928) and The Outsider (1928).
Having settled in America in the 1930s, she established herself as a great character actress with one of her most notable Broadway roles, that of retired actress Leonora Fiske for whom Flora Robson kept house in Ladies in Retirement. Miss Elsom also appeared in Charles Vidor’s film adaptation of the play in 1941 starring Ida Lupino as Ellen Creed, the one Creed sister who is not veritably insane like sisters Elsa Lanchester and Edith Barrett.
Throughout her career, Miss Elsom appeared in numerous Hollywood films, including the supernatural drama Between Two Worlds 1944 with John Garfield, Paul Henreid, and Sydney Greenstreet, Edmund Goulding’s Of Human Bondage 1946 starring Eleanor Parker and The Two Mrs. Carrolls 1947 starring Humphrey Bogart.
Isobel Elsom would swing between doing film and acting on the Broadway stage for the following two decades in productions of Hand in Glove (1944), The Innocents (1950), Romeo and Juliet as Lady Capulet) (1951), The Climate in Eden (1952), The Burning Glass (1954), and The First Gentleman (1957).
Image from the Chaplin Archives, Monsieur Verdoux 1947.
Elsom commanded the screen as the intended victim Marie Grosnay in the offbeat black comedy Monsieur Verdoux 1947 with Charlie Chaplin, Love From a Stranger 1947, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 1947, in The Paradine Case in 1947, playing the Governess in The Secret Garden 1949, as Mother Superior in The Miracle 1959 starring Kim Stanley, and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing with William Holden and Jennifer Jones.
She made her foray into television in the early 1950s in such shows as The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre, Kraft Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Suspense, Climax!, Studio 57, Playhouse 90, and in 8 episodes of Robert Montgomery Presents. She was not only cast as Reverend Mother in Final Vow for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour she plays Sister Marie Theresa in season 1 episode The Dark Pool. And she plays John William’s shrewish wife in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Back for Christmas.
Sister Pamela-“Sorry Sister Jem, I have only myself to blame.”
Sister Jem-“You’re not thinking of… what we spoke of the other day?”
Sister Pamela-“I haven’t been thinking of anything Sister. I’ve tried not to think.”
Sister Jem-“Have you prayed?”
Sister Pamela-“Sister… I’ve prayed for humility and obedience. But there was no answer in my heart Sister Jem… only silence! If I truly belonged here wouldn’t I know wouldn’t I feel it inside?
Sister Jem- “You must give yourself time child. These things can’t be hurried.”
Sister Pamela (Lynley) –“I wish to leave the order reverend mother.”
Reverend Mother (Isobel Elsom) – “You can’t know what you’re saying.”
Sister Pamela –“I know Reverend Mother.”
Reverend Mother –“But you’re not a child sister Pamela. You mustn’t respond to trouble like a child.”
Sister Pamela –“I’ve thought about it reverend mother, I’ve thought and I’ve prayed.”
Reverend Mother –“When a child is naughty it wants to run away from home- but your home is with God. You cannot run away from him.”
Sister Pamela –“I’m not running away from God. I wish to leave the order, Reverend Mother. I’m not suited I’ve known it for some time. Mr. Downey was right about me.”
Reverend Mother –“Why should anything that Mr. Downey says effect you?”
Sister Pamela –“Because he knew the truth. Some people retreat to God, not advance toward him and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve hidden myself away from the world for what I know to be selfish reasons.”
Reverend Mother –“But is that so bad sister?”
Sister Pamela –“I haven’t been honest not with myself, not with you, and not with God.”
Cinematographer John L. Russell’s camerawork – sets up the solitary landscape of Final Vow.
On the eve of her taking her final vows, Sister Pamela suffers a crisis of confidence and faith feeling like she is merely hiding from the outside world. And soon finds herself in the deep end as she tumbles unwisely into the sleazy circle of violent thugs who stole it.
Doe-eyed and guileless Lynley puts forth the purity of a young novitiate who has lived an insulated life now, in search of answers is suddenly confronted with evil resembling a violent low-life, thereby from the safekeeping of the convent, Pamela begins her harrowing descent into Hell.
While gentle and wide-eyed in manner, Lynley still conveys a miraculous balance of fortitude and grace when holding her own in a hostile environment. An unravished bride of Christ, Sister Pamela learns along her journey outside the sanctuary beyond the walls of the convent, how this story warns of how men treat women.
During her lunch break at work, Jimmy (Gulagher) grabs her wrists looking for a wedding ring, insulting her by mocking her prudish ways, and finally manhandling her suggestively at the party. He also knocks his girlfriend Bess around. And worst and most dangerous of all, he assaults and threatens to kill her at the pawnshop, even after he realizes that she’s a nun.
The episode opens with a solemn meal at a convent, as Sister Pamela drops a pitcher of milk that smashes on the floor and unsettles everyone at the table, especially Pamela who is a coiled spring. Like the fragmented glass pitcher, Pamela’s innocence is yet to be shattered when she enters the outside world.
Sister Gem (Charity Grace) –“Oh Sister, not tears again, you’ve cried a whole river these past weeks.” Pamela- Sister Gem, I only have myself to blame.”
Note: The wonderful Charity Grace was a very busy character actress on television. You might recognize her as one of the Morrison sisters on The Andy Griffith Show episode Alcohol and Old Lace where she and her sister run a secret moonshine still operation. It’s one of the most hilarious episodes of the series, especially getting to watch Barney Fife muster such zeal in busting up the still with his axe ‘Pow, pow, pow!’
The older Sister Jem consoles Sister Pamela through her doubts and The Reverend Mother Isobel Elsom believes that Sister Pamela Wiley’s crisis will disappear in time.
At the request of the Reverend Mother, Sister Pamela is sent to see Sister Lydia in the infirmary, who tells her that she too, once had the same uncertainty as a young novice.
Sister Lydia tasks Sister Pamela with a very special mission to meet the once young hooligan now a reformed gangster, William Michael Downey (R.G. Armstrong) from the early days of parochial school – the failed protégé of the Abbess sister Lydia. Sister Lydia never stopped writing to him for over thirty years. She asks Pamela to go in her place in order to “I want you to see what faith and prayer will do.”
Downey has invited Sister Lydia to his mansion after thirty years of silence to give her a very special statue of St Francis to the convent. It’s a gesture of thanks and a very sacred piece of art.
Sister Jem accompanies Sister Pamela by train to Downey’s opulent penthouse that commands a spectacular view of the city.
“I suppose you think her prayers have helped me.” “Yes, I do.”Have all your prayers been successful too?”
She admires his art collection. Downey makes a joke, “Funny isn’t it, an old heathen like me.”
While the old gal Sister Jem is out like a light on the balcony in an almost fairytale-like slumber. Lyn Murray’s music underscores Gem’s sleep momentarily with an almost childlike lullaby hinting that her drowse is otherworldly. Sister Pamela and Downey begin a heated dialogue about faith and prayer. And though he wears a classy suit, it cannot disguise his coarse, boorish, and unpolished nature. She rebukes him – “Prayers aren’t business deals.” Still, his words strike at the heart of Sister Pamela’s conflict that she has been living in isolation at the convent in order to hide from the world. Downey is like the serpent’s temptation of Eve, who sows the seed of doubt in Pamela that the convent is not a place of ceremony and service for her but a convenient refuge from life.
Downey enlightens Sister Pamela about the history of the St. Francis statue which is five centuries old, which lived at the Medici Palace and was created by the Italian Renaissance artist Donatello. He hands over the statue of St. Francis to Sister Pamela so that she can take give it to his benefactress Sister Lydia. “I hope this’ll make it up to her.”
Now at the train station, a young man emerges out of the hum of the crowd and offers to help the sisters with their suitcases, one which holds the irreplaceable icon. He quickly vanishes. The sisters go to the police and Pamela notices petty crook Jimmy Bresson in the lineup, who runs a slick little scheme lifting luggage from unsuspecting travelers.
But Jimmy has an alibi for his whereabouts claiming he was with his girlfriend at the time of the theft. Pamela takes note of his job and his girlfriend’s address and will later track him down at the Gramercy Appliance Co.
Sister Pamela returns to the convent and confesses to Reverend Mother that the theft of the statue is a sign that she cannot be trusted and that it is time to leave the order and stop hiding from the world for selfish reasons. The statue was valuable because-“It was a reward for a lifetime of work.”
The Reverend Mother tells her to take hold of herself but that she’ll have a place there if she should return.
Determined to recover the priceless statue, the guilt-ridden Pamela leaves the convent. She applies for a job at the Gramercy Appliance Co as a typist where she can follow Jimmy who works in the shipping department, and moves into a modest apartment. Then she injects herself into the small group of friends in order to get closer to Jimmy Bresson.
Jimmy -“Princess you’re a nice kid, you gotta relax, you gotta have fun, you gotta have some games, and I know the rules, I’m just the guy to show ya.”
As Pamela eats her lunch by herself on the loading dock, Jimmy begins to make the moves on her and invites her to a party, which she agrees to. But Jimmy’s girlfriend Bess (Carmen Phillips) gets jealous when he pays too much attention to the lovely Pamela, when he tries to persuade her to come with him, she decides to stay with Bess.
While inside the apartment Bess leaves the room for a moment and Pamela soon finds a pawn ticket from Wormer Pawn Ship. Bess tells Pamela that Jimmy does his business out of the shop.
Under the guise of looking for religious statues, Wormer shows her the stolen statue of St. Francis and asks $20 for it, but calls Jimmy to come because he becomes suspicious of Pamela.
Jimmy shows up and finally recognizes her from the train station, realizing that she’s a nun.
After roughing her up he and Wormer conspire to do away with her. Though Wormer is superstitious and tells Jimmy that it is “bad luck–robbing a nun.” Before they kill Pamela Jimmy shoves her into the back room and tells Wormer to call Mike the Broker to appraise the value of the statue.
Unbeknownst to them, Mike turns out to be Downey who signals to Pamela to keep quiet. He tells Jimmy and Wormer that the religious relic is a piece of junk. Downey clarifies to the bumbling pair of thugs that what has no material value can be priceless to the religious who consider the objects to be blessed and convinces them to let Pamela go. Downey gives her the statue and tells her to go and throws Wormer the $20.
Escaping her ordeal, she hurries out into the bright light of day breaking free of the darkness. Out into the open streets holding onto the small treasure with her life when Downey pulls up and drives her back to the convent. He expresses regret for the things he said to her and sees that she is not hiding from the world at all. “Sister I said some rough things to you that day you came to see me. I just wanted you to know I was wrong. You’re not hiding from anything.”
As he leaves she journeys back inside the convent with her quest in hand, her questions answered, and faith in herself restored.
* Final Vow was directed by Norman Lloyd and written by Henry Slesar and was first broadcast on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour on CBS on Thursday, October 25, 1962.
* Lyn Murray’s evocative arrangement is heard frequently throughout the series. Including Hitchcock’s feature-length crime thriller, To Catch a Thief (1955), he scored 35 episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour including The Paragon and What Really Happened.
*RIDE THE NIGHTMARE s1e11- Gena Rowlands aired Nov. 29, 1962
GENA ROWLAND’S BIO
The alchemy of Gena Rowland’s acting style is how she integrates her craft with an indescribable beauty and presence that is reminiscent of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Before the emotionally distilled and complex actress emerged as an icon, Gena Rowlands set out with her husband John Cassavetes to create a new naturalistic landscape of independent American movies in the 1970s, that inspired generations of filmmakers. She began showing the attractive pull of her strength in dramatic teleplays for early television programming.
Shows like Robert Montgomery Presents, Ponds Theater Armstrong Circle Theatre Studio One The United States Steel Hour Goodyear Playhouse General Electric Theater, and of course Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. She had a regular stint on the television police procedural series, 87th Precinct playing cop Robert Lansing’s deaf wife. In 1975 she starred alongside Peter Falk (One of Cassavete’s inner sanctum of actors along with Ben Gazzara) in Columbo’s season 4 episode Playback.
In feature films, she was cast as Jerry Bondi in Lonely Are the Brave in 1962, in Cassavetes’ A Child is Waiting in 1963, and in Gordon Douglas’ Tony Rome 1967 starring friend Frank Sinatra and Richard Conte.
Working since the mid-1950s Rowlands began to give shades of the forceful performances to come in the three episodes of Hitchcock’s series, in particular, The Lonely Hours playing off veteran stage actress Nancy Kelly.
Gena Rowlands was nominated for two Academy Awards for her performances in director/actor husband John Cassavetes’ films. In 1974 for A Woman Under the Influence and in 1980 for her gutsy portrait of one tough broad in Gloria 1980.
She was also nominated for eight Golden Globes having won two, and eight Emmys winning three. On November 14th, Gena Rowlands was finally given an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards ceremony.
“With her bold bone structure and the curtain of her wheat=gold Jackie O coif, Gena Rowlands is the classic Hollywood icon that got away…. Had she been born into the Studio ear of the 1930s or 1940s, one suspects that she would have sured up a career running across the grand roles, from the tough boots molls through to the stoic others and peppery femme fatales. She has the angular hardness which typifies the best of them in that period- one can imagine her, as easily as Crawford, Davis, Stanwyck or Bacall.” -bfi.org.uk
“I’d never seen anyone that beautiful with a certain gravitas. It was particularly unique in that time, when many women were trying to be girlish, affecting a superficial, ‘I’m a pretty girl’ attitude. It seemed to be the best way to succeed, but Gena did none of that. There was a directness—not that she wasn’t fun and didn’t smolder—but it came from a place that was both genuine and deep.” – Mia Farrow
Director Sidney Lumet in an interview with critic James Grissom, said: “The highest compliment I can pay to her—to anyone—is that the talent frightens me, making me aware of the lack of it in so many and the power that accrues to those who have it and use it well. And the talent educates and illuminates. She is admirable, which can be said of only a few of us.”
In Faces 1968, nominated for 3 Oscars, Rowlands plays prostitute Jeannie with director Cassavetes with something like steel and fearlessness behind her eyes asserting a challenge to try and reach her after being crushed by men. Rowland manifests a performance ‘aching with wordless solitude’ (Ebert)
In the visual poem about loneliness and the feeling of isolation, Minnie & Moskowitz 1971 stars Rowland as the edgy blonde Minnie who perceptively flickers with co-star Seymour Cassel and displays her captivating sensuality under Cyclopean sunglasses.
Rowlands garnered her first Oscar nomination for her unforgettable performance as Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence 1974 co-starring Peter Falk who is in the grips of Mabel’s mental illness.
“It left me exhausted and depressed-feeling. Some of the time, when you’re walking out there where the air is thin, you just hope you can walk back again.” -Gena Rowlands
As Myrtle Gordon, Rowlands gives another masterful performance in Cassavetes’ Opening Night portraying a successful stage actress rehearsing a production of The Second Woman in New Haven, whose life is turned upside down after she witnesses a 17-year-old fan’s death outside the theater. She captures the restless energy that imbues the behind-the-scenes world of the theater and the ‘dreary perspective of Myrtle’s uninspiring production she stars in.’ (Chris Wiegand- The Guardian).
“All while descending into a prolonged crack-up involving binge drinking, consultations with mediums, and a repeat hallucination of a young girl… Early on, when Myrtle is first confronted with the hallucination/girl, there’s a closeup of Rowlands’ face that is an example of her unique genius. Even very talented actors feel the need to show an audience “what a moment is about.” Not Rowlands. In that closeup, Myrtle stares at the girl, wondering if she has finally lost her mind, and then she puts an almost welcoming expression on her face, before mouthing the word, “Hello!” It’s hair-raising.” Ebert)
Nipping at booze, Myrtle trips between reality on and off stage, drenched in an alcoholic delirium – “Rowlands’ drunkenness in “Opening Night” is in the pantheon of Great Drunks onscreen.” (Roger Ebert).
Myrtle drifts in and out of character conjuring visions of two women who do not exist. Virginia the role for which she is wary of, struggles to portray an older woman for the first time, a character who is aesthetically defined by her age. And embracing the phantom of Nancy, the young girl who died, whose youthful receptiveness is what she seeks to direct, all within an oppressive environment driven by the men she works with, director (Ben Gazzara) and ex-lover co-star (Cassavetes).
How can you bring a character alive if you don’t believe in them – Myrtle asks playwright Sarah Goode played by Joan Blondell. Myrtle needs to reclaim her identity on stage and for herself.
Gena Rowland in Gordon Douglas’ Tony Rome 1967.
In Gloria 1980 directed by John Cassavetes, Rowlands gets to play the hard-edged gun moll she would have perfected in the best film noirs of the 1940s. Gloria Swenson becomes the reluctant guardian of a little boy whose family is murdered by the mob. The two go on the run in the gritty streets of New York City in possession of a book that the mob wants. Rowland is never fake while she roars and swears at the thugs chasing her on the subway, moving like the wind down the sidewalks of New York in her silk suits, handling her gun like an uncompromising pro.
Source Andrew Key
Source Chris Wiegand The Guardian
Source: Roger Ebert
Ride the Nightmare is a noirish crime drama with low-lighting, William Marguiles frames Rowlands as if she’s outside looking in on a nightmare.
Helen – ”I’ve been awake all night I’ve been trying to visualize going on… to what?… I can’t Chris. All the meaning seems to have gone out of it… It’s not the same She shakes her head faintly puffing on a cigarette. It’s just not the same”
Chris -“We’re the same people Helen.”
Helen -“Are we? I don’t even know who I am. Am I Helen Martin, Am I Helen Philips Or am I married at all? I just don’t know anything, Chris. Least of all the man I’ve been married to for seven years.”
Christopher Martin (Hugh O’Brian) is a successful businessman who has just moved to a new town with his wife Helen (Gena Rowlands). However, their new life is shattered when 3 of Christopher’s old acquaintances, Adam (John Anderson) Steve, and Fred (Jay Lanin), escape from prison. They come looking for Chris after he runs out, leaving them to take the rap for a holdup. They’re dangerous and determined to get revenge.
”What’d he say?” “He said he was coming here and that he was going to kill me.”
He’s been afraid to tell his wife Helen about his past, fearing she would leave him, he realizes that the moment of truth is at hand.
It starts out with the Martins receiving threatening phone calls until Chris and Helen frantically begin to lock all the doors and windows. Someone is outside watching them.
Chris begins to panic, yelling at Helen to shut off all the lights “Do like I tell you!” The quiet house turns into a threateningly dark space.
All the time, Helen switches into survival mode, confused but unrattled when a stranger with a gun breaks into the house and confronts Chris accusing him of being someone else she doesn’t know.
After a scuffle in the dark, the gunman reveals that he found ‘Philips’ O’Brian’s real name.
Helen “You’re making a mistake. Can’t you see he’s not the man your after. Our name is Martin.”
Fred – “Martin hah, Philips is the name I know him by. You thought you could change your name and we wouldn’t find ya That’s right baby… we. For a while there I thought you did get away. Then I saw that picture of ya in that magazine. You know a picture of you in that bowling thing when you won the state championship. And I said to myself – there’s a picture of my old friend Chrissy boy. And I just got to stop in and say hello.”
Helen –“You’d better get out of here, my husband has called the police.”
Fred- “No you didn’t do that did ya? No, you wouldn’t do that would you Chrissy boy? Cause if you called the police they’d send you to jail and you don’t want to go to jail do you Chrissy boy?”
Helen Martin “You did call them (the police) didn’t you Chris?”
Fred “You mean you didn’t tell her Chris, ah that wasn’t nice. You should have told her about your wicked past.”
Chris- “Shut up! Don’t move.”
Fred “Yeah that’s right lady, I’m gonna kill him just like I said I would.”
The two men struggle in the kitchen. She picks up a knife and is about to come and help Chris fight off Fred, but he shoots and kills him. The life she knew changed in one crazy moment and all she thought she knew was gone. She wanders for a moment in the dark room.
the ice in the tray the dead body in the kitchen…
Though it’s late in the evening, Olan Soulé, Martin’s drunk neighbor comes over and pushes himself on them, making a nuisance out of himself in order to borrow ice cubes. He almost wanders into the kitchen where Fred lies dead. They manage to get him out of the house. The second time there is an annoyance thrown in as beveling distractions thrown in their way as an obstacle is while at the bank trying to get the money for ransom, one of their neighbors hounds him for the canopy dish Helen had borrowed. The intrusion of the neighbors acts as a narrative mechanism to frustrate all of us.
Chris relates the story to Helen: He didn’t tell her because she was so young when they got married after 7 years he figured he might not have to
He was young, 19 years old working for a bank, picking up deposits from all the big stores in the area. He didn’t get along with his father, so he started hanging around some of the local bars. That’s where he met Fred. He looks toward the kitchen. Later on, he met Steve and Adam the other two who escaped prison.
They planned a robbery, stealing the deposits from a jewelry store. Chris was a lookout and he was supposed to warn them, but the old security guard triggered the alarm, and he ran when he heard the police. The three armed men killed the old man.
Chris – “I drove away til the car ran out of gas came to LA changed his name Met her and that was it.”
Helen –“Chris if you think you can put him someplace where they won’t find him Then do it. Do it!”
They drive to Topanga Canyon, where Chris buries Cliff’s body by the side of the road.
When the other two thugs show up John Anderson as Adam and Richard Shannon as Steve, they make Chris go to the bank to get them money in exchange for Helen who they’ve kidnapped and are holding in a shack.
Since Helen is being held hostage at the shack, Chris must drive there alone. After he shoots Steve, Chris and Helen run off into the brush together as Adam chases them deeper into the canyon.
When the couple are cornered Chris sets fire to some brush, Adam becomes trapped by the blaze engulfed in flames, and Chris and Helen climb to safety as fire trucks and police pass them on the road.
Ride the Nightmare was directed by Bernard Gerard, and it aired on CBS on November 29, 1962.
Richard Matheson was hired to adapt a teleplay from his story for The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, though he found it challenging to condense it to a one-hour television slot. Ride the Nightmare, a paperback original released by Ballantine in 1959, was adapted from Matheson’s short story “Now Die In It.” The story had been previously published in the debut issue of Mystery Tales in December 1958.
Matheson has written some of the most compelling mystery/science fiction & fantasy stories and screenplays – in 1957 with The Incredible Shrinking Man, based on his own novel, The Last Man on Earth 1964 starring Vincent Price and The Omega Man 1971 are both based on his novel I Am Legend.
In 1959, he expanded his repertoire to include teleplays, and throughout the subsequent decades, he accumulated numerous credits, including writing for The Twilight Zone and receiving an Edgar Award for his teleplay The Night Stalker (1972). As his career progressed, he garnered increasing recognition and was honored with numerous accolades, including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement, and induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
Omnipresent character actor Olan Soulé who plays the drunken neighbor looking for ice cubes was on the Hitchcock show eight times and is best known for his voice acting, which began in the 1930s on the radio and lasted through the 1980s. In particular for his work as the voice of Batman in several cartoon series. He can be remembered as the prissy Mr. Masters who directs the choral and cringes at Barney Fife’s tone-deaf caterwauling in The Andy Griffith Show’s The Song Festers and Barney and the Chorus.
John Anderson’s extensive credits on TV and in the movies span from 1950 until his death, having appeared in Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) as well as in three episodes of his TV series.