Alfred Hitchcock Presents – A Man Greatly Beloved (S2E33)

ahpgreatlybeloved05We get off to a rough start as a really unattractive dentally-challenged little girl — Hildegard — begins directly addressing the camera.

OK, I’m embarrassed to say she won me over almost immediately.

She is writing an essay about her hometown and especially Mr. Anderson.  She believes her father is a little too good looking for a preacher, but is not overly complementary about her mother despite her being extremely hot.

Once Hildegard hears that new resident Anderson won’t allow the annual bazaar to be held in his home’s garden, where it has been held for 75 years, two things happen — Hildegard invades his personal space to change his mind, and we assume there must be a body buried there.

ahpgreatlybeloved06Hildy is friends with an old woman whose son has heard of Mr. Anderson and says he is a retired judge.

At a party where here elderly friend is conducting a seance, Hildy hides under the table and pretends to be a spirit.  She outs Anderson as being a judge.  For some reason, he did not want this known.  Its not like he was a child molester or a senator.

Anderson turns over a new leaf and becomes a new man, even contributing a stained glass window to the church.

Sadly, Mr. Anderson soon dies, making little Hildy cry.  It turns out there was some confusion over his identity.  There was a Judge Anderson who retired, but this was not him. This man was John Laughton, who Judge Anderson had sentenced to 15 years in prison for strangling his wife.  He apparently thought it was a good joke to take that name, kind of like Sawyer on Lost.

Hildegard says he “never told on any one even though they told on him.  He was the kindest man I ever knew — next to my father.”  The wife-strangler was 2nd only to her preacher-father?  Was this the preacher from Seventh Heaven?



Another tame but fun story from Winnie the Pooh creator, A.A. Milne, who also contributed the story for the bloodless The Three Dreams of Mr. Findlater.

Hildgard carries the entire episode on her shoulders and pulls it off even for a curmudgeon like me.


  • AHP Deathwatch:  Still a couple of live ones: Evelyn Rudie (who was only 8 when this aired) and Rebecca Welles.
  • AHP Proximity Alert: Edith Green appeared in an episode just 2 weeks earlier.  C’mon, give someone else a chance!
  • Cedric Hardwicke, played Ramseses’s father and Moseses’s uncle in The Ten Commandments per Wikipedia.  I thought Ramses and Moses were brothers, but I only saw the movie; I didn’t read the book.

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