Alfred Hitchcock Television

Final Escape

Black & White version (AHP):

Convicted bank robber John Perry, Edd Byrnes, is sentenced to fifteen years' hard labor at a state prison lumber camp. Determined to escape, Perry befriends an alcoholic inmate named Doc (Robert Keith), who is in charge of the prison infirmary as well as the burial details. Doc presents the answer: If Perry will finance an operation for Doc's granddaughter, he will help spring him. Doc's plan is to hide Perry inside the coffin of the next inmate who dies, then bury the coffin in the prison cemetery. As soon as the gravediggers and guards leave, he will then dig up the grave and let Perry out. Together, they'll refill the grave and Perry will be free to escape. All goes according to plan, but then Doc doesn't show up on time to dig Perry up. Where is he? Why is he late? "C'mon, Doc"! Also starred Stephen McNally as the Warden. This is one of Hitchcock's most memorable TV productions. Directed by William Witney. Fabulous! The Black/White version was a full hour production on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and first aired 2/21/1964.

color version (AHPC):

The color remake was a half-hour production and first aired 10/27/1985. Another big switch! Lena Trent (Season Hubley) is sentenced to life in prison for a murder she claims she didn't commit. Once at Mojave, a Maximum Security Prison, Lena shows no intimidation by another con, Shirley (Patrice Donnelly), who seems to run the prison. Willing to do anything to get out, Lena's first attempt to escape fails, caught while hiding in the laundry truck and put in solitary confinement. She meets an older man, Doc (Davis Roberts), who works in the infirmary and offers him the money he needs for a desperately needed eye exam, in exchange for helping her escape. Together they form a plan. When next time there is a death within the prison walls, a bell signal will sound and then she can slip into the coffin. After the burial (the graveyard is outside the prison walls) he will come and dig her up. Soon after their plans are made, news spreads that one of the inmates dies and eager to set the plan in motion, Lena hurries to hide in the coffin. Remaining as quiet and still as she can, the coffin is taken outside and given a respectable funeral. Hours pass... where is Doc... One of Hitchcock's best - Interesting how they turn a one-hour script into a half-hour production. Directed by Thomas Carter. $14.99 for the set or either the black and white version or the color version can be purchased for $9.99, DVD.