Man, talk about a disappointment. I bought two more of the Mill Creek box sets because I knew that those would be the best chance of getting a lot of new movies to help in the grand scheme. One of the sets that I bought is the Legends Of Horror collection, and I was pretty happy about it because I noticed to two of the movies listed were by Alfred Hitchcock. Now I love Hitchcock movies so I thought that they might have put two of his lesser known movies on here but alas, the joke would be on me. What I got was instead, two episodes of the show Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Oh well, I will deal with the disappointment and go ahead and watch today’s “movie”, Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cheney Vase.
The plot: Lyle Endicott is in the office of Herbert Koether, his boss and the head curator at the Manhattan Art Museum, but despite his best arguments, Lyle ends up being fired. As he is leaving the museum, he runs into Martha Cheney, one of the museum’s patrons who happens to be confined to a wheelchair. After the two talk for a few minutes, Herbert comes out and, after dismissing Lyle, speaks with Martha alone, telling her that he is leaving for the coast and tries to convince her to sell the Cheney vase, which her father left her. Martha refuses, saying she plans on keeping it until she dies, and the two continue talking, unaware that Lyle is listening to their conversation. Later, Lyle is talking to his girlfriend Pamela Waring, who is also Herbert’s secretary, and has her write up a fake letter of recommendation, which he takes to Martha as a way to get into her life. When he goes to see Martha, she initially refuses, but Lyle manages to convince her to let him stay on. As Martha heads upstairs, she hands Lyle some mail to put up and he notices a letter from another broker asking to buy the vase from her and he realizes that he can make some money off of it. After some time living in the house, Lyle promotes some instances that cause Martha to question Bella, her long standing maid and Bella decides to leave, after which Martha apologizes for what Lyle witnessed. Lyle asks Martha about the vase but she gets very quiet and refuses to talk about it. Some time later, Martha is talking with Lyle and says she doesn’t care for the new maid, Ruby Boyenton, and wonders when Bella will return from vacation but Lyle tells her that Bella had written her saying she won’t be back. Pamela is not to happy about what Lyle is doing but Lyle convinces her that the money he can get from the vase is worth the risk. Back at Martha’s house, Martha asks Ruby to get a note out, saying that Lyle keeps her trapped there and won’t let her leave but Ruby gives the note to Lyle, who confronts Martha about it. Lyle finally sees where the vase is kept, but lies to Pamela and says that it is being held in a safe deposit box. When Lyle returns to Pamela’s apartment, she confronts him about his lies, as he had used the museum’s address for his passport information and he admits he lied because her morality was becoming a problem. Suddenly, Herbert calls and tells Pamela he will be back in 6 hours and Pamela tells him to head to Martha’s house but Lyle quickly hangs up the phone and slaps her. Realizing he is short on time, Lyle heads to Martha’s house to get the vase, only to find Martha has made several copies of the vase and mocks him by saying she is an mad old woman and doesn’t remember which one is the real vase.
I will be honest, this wasn’t quite what I expected but it was still entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Darren McGavin (Lyle) and Patricia Collinge (Martha) doing a good job with their respective roles. The story was interesting, and I liked the ending but I was a little surprised because there really wasn’t much in the way of “terror” in this episode. This definitely felt more like a crime drama more than anything else but I feel like there could have been better episodes that they could have used. There was a decent attempt to build up some suspense but they could only do so much with 25 minutes. A decent half hour but I think it could have been better.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5