Alfred Hitchcock Television

Four O'Clock

Black & White version (Suspicion):

Paul Steppe (E. G. Marshall), a watch repairman, is convinced his wife Fran (Nancy Kelly) is cheating on him while he tends to the store every afternoon. Consumed with jealousy, he devised a time bomb, set to go off at four o'clock - the same time her "lover" pays his daily visit. One day, when his wife is at the market, he sneaks into the house to plant the device. There, Paul is surprised by two burglars, who tie him up and gag him in the basement - leaving him at the mercy of his own device, ticking away. With an hour to go, his wife comes home and Paul overhears the two talking. Apparently her "lover" is none other than her brother Dave (Richard Long), who was recently released from prison. Deciding to reveal her secret to Paul, the two leave for the clock maker's store, leaving Paul alone with the clock, ticking away. As the last minutes pass, Paul unsuccessfully attempts to free himself before the deadline. The meter reader comes by, but he doesn't even notice him. A small neighbor boy does see Paul through the window, but won't get help. When Fran and Dave return, they watch calmly as Paul is escorted out of the house in a straight-jacket... having gone mad from the afternoon's experience. What happened... what went wrong? Four O'Clock was one of only 20 TV shows personally directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Fabulous! The Black/White version was a full hour production on Suspicion and first aired 9/30,1957.

color version (AHPC):

The color remake was a half-hour production and first aired 5/4/1986. Judge Paul Magrew (Kenneth McMillan), a jealous and obsessive old man, suspects his younger wife (Ellen Tobie) of having an affair. When he hires a private detective, who comes back with photographs of Karen meeting secretly with an ex-con named Ben (Richard Cox), the judge's suspicions are confirmed. Presiding over a trial, the judge learns the details on how to make a homemade bomb and hurries home to set one up for his wife and her lover in the basement. Unbeknownst to the judge, two burglars break into the house and knock him unconscious, tying him up next to the explosive. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself with only twenty minutes to spare before the bomb is set to go off. Karen and Ben arrive, find the house ransacked, and Ben leaves before the police arrive. Later, the police find the judge mad, having gone out of his mind from waiting for the explosion, and he has to be taken to a mental hospital for a little rest and relaxation. Ben returns shortly after, promising to take care of his little sister, while her husband recovers... What happened... what went wrong? Very interesting how they turn a one-hour script into a half-hour production. Directed by Andrew Mirisch. First aired 5/4/86. $14.99 for the set or either the black and white version or the color version can be purchased for $9.99, DVD.