Hundreds of books have been written about Alfred Hitchcock and his movies, but rarely has anyone covered the Hitchcock television series that still remains popular enough to warrant late-night television reruns and commercial DVD releases. Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour have been broadcast over network television far more than Hitchcock’s movies yet very little has been written dealing with the subject of the Hitchcock television series… until now.
The best way to describe the book is to quote one book reviewer: “Each of the 441 episodes is covered in a separate entry containing original airdate, complete cast and credits, the text of Hitchcock’s on-camera remarks, a succinct episode synopsis, and the teleplay’s original source material. Many entried contain what the authors call ‘Trivia, etc.’ – additional behind-the-scenes information or other insights. The material is excellent, much of it gleaned from the industrious interviews with the show’s longtime producers Norman Lloyd and Joan Harrison; such writers as Henry Slesar and Ray Bradbury; directors Gordon Hessler, Joseph Pevney, and many others; and performers including Vincent Price, Julie Adams, Hazel Court, Warren Stevens, Marc Richman and many others.”
This 660 page book (yes, it is that thick!) documents the entire history of the television series including a detailed episode guide for each broadcast, a chapter covering marketing collectibles, spoofs and comic books related to the Hitchcock television program, a listing of the anthology paperback and hardcover books using the Alfred Hitchcock name, and a generous helping of extras!
“It is a treasure trove of information and lore, based on enormous research and a number of interviews. The index alone, which runs 31 pages in small type, makes it a must for any reference library. The authors have attempted to put Hitchcock’s television work into the larger context of his career, and similarly, provided useful background material on many individual shows that allow us to see the big picture as well as the details.”
– Leonard Maltin, Movie Crazy
“The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion by Martin Grams, Jr. and Patrik Wikstrom contains an enormous amount of material on Hitchcock’s activities apart from his role as a film director… From beginning to end, The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion is overflowing with Hitchcock and all things Hitchcockian.”
– Sidney Gottlieb, The Hitchcock Annual, 2001-02
“Grams and Wikstrom’s very ambitious, meaty book is by far the best yet to trace the history of the Hitchcock television phenomenon and its ancillary activity. In fact, so good is this volume that it likely will never be surpassed.”
– David J. Hogan, April/May 2003 issue of FILMFAX Magazine
Martin also contributed chapters and an appendix for Ken Mogg’s The Alfred Hitchcock Story (Titan Books, 2008), available from Amazon.com
“I remember approaching Patricia Hitchcock at a convention once, proposing she write a foreword for the book. She took the sample pages I handed to her, placed them on the seat next to her and told me, ‘Well, I’m not very good at that sort of thing so if I can do something, you’ll hear from me.’ I remember walking away thinking, ‘At least I tried.’ I took it as a polite rejection but lo and behold, weeks later, I receive a foreword written and signed! I sent her a bouquet of flowers as a thank you gift… The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion was one of those books I finished just as I left high school. None of the six publishing companies I approached wanted to publish it. They never even wanted to glance at a sample of the book. Their stance at the time was that there were far too many books about Alfred Hitchcock available and the competition was too watered down. Yet, they didn’t seem to understand that Hitchcock was a mainstream subject that still remains popular. Hence why there were so many books about him. And our book was about the television program, which no one was writing about. Every book in print at the time centered on Hitchcock’s movies. Luckily, we found a publishing company that took the chance… it’s out of print now and going for large sums. I saw someone offering a copy for $900 on Amazon once!”
Original Retail Price: $29.95
This book is currently out of print!