Decades is bingeing the Alfred Hitchcock Hour this weekend, and I just saw a marvelously disturbing episode from 1964 called “The Jar.”
Look at the credits!
Director: Norman Lloyd
Writer: James Bridges, based on a short story by Ray Bradbury
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Collin Wilcox Paxton
Carl Benton Reid
The story is that Pat Buttram buys a jar from Billy Barty at a carnival. The contents are mysterious. Pat Buttram becomes famous in his small town because of his jar. Everyone sees its contents as something different and it tends to make people very emotional. Then things start to get strange.
The jar and its contents is a marvelous prop. It appears to contain something like a head with hair on it, but not quite.
And let’s talk about George Lindsey. I saw him in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents some time ago in which he played a “heavy.” I found him to be very convincing and threatening in that role. Here, in this program, he plays a small-town simpleton and he has a monologue where he describes an episode from his past that will destroy you. In short, he is more than just “Goober,” he has range! He can act.