Archive for EG Marshall

The Tick Tock Man

Posted in FILM, Television with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2009 by dcairns

The climax of Four O’Clock, a Hitchcock TV episode in his series Suspicion. Like REAR WINDOW, it’s based on a story by Cornell Woolrich, and like the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes Breakdown and One More Mile to Go, it basically gears up into a single protracted suspense sequence.

EG Marshall has set a bomb to go off to kill his wife, whom he believes has been unfaithful. But a couple of punks rob his house, binding and gagging him in the cellar next to the ticking alarm clock. (One of the hoods is a nibile Harry Dean Stanton.) While he’s helpless, he overhears his wife talking with her secret man, and there turns out to be an innocent explanation for her behaviour. Then she goes out, and he’s left alone with the ticking bomb…

OK, the above clip is fairly spoilerish, but I’m holding back what follows — which is extremely moving and beautiful –you shall have to track down the episode in order to see it.

I dig the way the child at the window is not only a suspense element — is he going to get help? — but also a symbol of life — that which our man may shortly be leaving behind, violently and irrevocably. See also: the last shot of John Frankenheimer’s SECONDS.