You'd think that Alfred Hitchcock
, master of mystery and suspense, didn't like television, especially since he was such a successful and in-demand movie director and producer. But Hitchcock, along with Walt Disney
, was the first Hollywood mogul to recognize the potential of television.
This Alfred Hitchcock quote
, "Television has brought back murder into the home - where it belongs,"
is a testament to his vision. He was a pioneer in the medium, not only serving as the producer of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, but its host as well. Who doesn't remember his famous profile or his droll, gallows humor delivery as he introduced the night's episode.
What isn't as widely known is that Hitchcock drew the caricature of himself for the show, using only nine strokes. And it fit his profile with uncanny accuracy. He directed a few of the episodes of the series, which premiered on Oct. 2, 1955 on CBS.
Hitchcock drew on the work of some amazing authors of his time, notably Ambrose Bierce
, Alexander Woolcott
and Ray Bradbury
. His casts were no slouches either, with parts going to some relatively unknown actors at the time, Charles Bronson
, Robert Redford
, Steve McQueen
and Robert Duvall
as well as veterans such as Peter Lorre.
As always, Hitchcock pressed the very limits of the medium, serving as a creator and instigator in this new medium, defining much of what we consider the modern murder and suspense genre to this day, both on television and the silver screen.