Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Cure (01/24/60)

Marie Jensen, like Rhona Warwick in NG’s The Caterpillar, is a beautiful woman living in a remote jungle outpost with her husband. [1] Also like Rhona, she seems perfectly content with this isolated life and loves her husband.  No, wait, she stabs him in bed within the first 10 seconds.

Luckily, handyman Luiz is there to pull her off.  He holds a knife to Marie’s throat, but her husband Jeff stops him.  Jeff’s partner Mike comes in.  He suggests that Marie is suffering from “the fever.”  While Luiz dresses Jeff’s wound, Mike takes Marie back to her room and ties her to the bed.  So do Marie and Jeff have separate rooms?  None of my business.

Jeff goes to see her.  She is bound with her arms tied to the headboard.  She says she doesn’t remember what she did to deserve such treatment.  Jeff unties her and calls their servant Chita in to sit with her.  Marie laughs at him and rolls over.

Jeff asks Mike to take Marie 200 miles upriver to a doctor.  Mike reminds him that he warned Jeff not to marry her.  When Mike suggests that Marie might not come back, Jeff says, “I know what you think of her, and I know what she was.  But I pulled her out of that place and I married her.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Game.

Mike says he hates her, but somehow that devolves into them having a long kiss.  This is accompanied by a grotesque melodramatic orchestral flourish that is unworthy of AHP.  She then gets dressed in some snappy safari-wear and goes to Jeff’s room.  He is also down with fever.  She claims to remember nothing, but agrees to go to the doctor.

Luiz, Mike and Marie take off in a very small boat.  After a while, Luiz pulls over to the side of the river to scout a place to spend the night.  While he is gone, Marie says they can kill him here.  Mike prefers to just lose him in the city.  The next morning, after Marie eggs him on, Mike tries to kill Luiz, but Luiz stabs him.  Though out-of-frame, the knife visibly lands to the side of Mike.  I still have to give them credit, Luiz’s knife would have landed squarely in Mike’s melon.   Luiz chases Marie back to the boat.  More kudos are due for the knife darkened by Mike’s blood.  He forces her back in the boat to “do what master want.”

Later returns to the outpost.  He says bad things happened.  “Senor Mike dead.  He tried kill me, so I kill him.”  Luiz says Mike was mislead by “bad woman.”  He says, “I do what you ask.  I take her to my people.  Best headshrinkers in the world.”  And pulls out the shrunken head of Marie.

R-r-r-r-r-right.  I have no problem with an episode that hinges on a one-word pun.  Really.  The episode was based on a story by Robert Bloch [2] who, among many great accomplishments, wrote the novel Psycho was based on.  The teleplay was by a guy with a thousand other credits.  Who am I to criticize?  Nobody, that’s who.  Walking erect is about all I have in common with these titans.  Still . . . it’s a little thin.

I get that calling a psychiatrist a headshrinker might be a colloquial term not ever used in the Amazon; also not ever used in the Amazon: colloquial.  However, Luiz was never in a scene where he heard that word spoken.  And Jeff still loved Marie — inexplicably, sure — so why would Luiz think he intended for her to be killed?  However, the reveal is fun, and who doesn’t like a little head?

Other Stuff:

  • [1]  In fact, the Amazonian outpost is so far out that they can hear the Kookaburras from Australia.
  • [2] Robert Bloch would do the shrunken head thing again 11 years later in Logoda’s Heads on Night Gallery.  It was so uninteresting that it didn’t rate its own post.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  There must have been something in the water down there.  All three of the leads are in their 90s and still alive.
  • OK, the F. Scott Fitzgerald thing makes no sense.  I couldn’t think of another way to reference Gerald’s Game.  Edmund Fitzgerald’s Game?  Gerald Ford?

One thought on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Cure (01/24/60)

  1. I saw part of this one on Me-TV a few months ago, and I was hoping you’d get to it while Peter Mark Richman, Cara Williams, & Nehemiah Persoff are still with us for your AHP Deathwatch. I found a link to the lifespan of everyone who’s ever acted on Twilight Zone, and Mr. Persoff is currently the oldest living TZ actor at age 98:–t2506.html#.Vx7pBTArKM-

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