Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Ikon of Elijah (01/10/60)

Mr. Carpius returns from a buying trip for his junk antique shop.  His assistant tells him he just missed a visit from a monk.  The monk mentioned that he had a titular Ikon of Elijah, but it was just a copy.  Carpius says, “Where there is a copy, there must be an original; and the original may have been worth a fortune!”

A hot young woman emerges from the back of the shop and calls Carpius to dinner.  He has brought her an amber necklace, but tells her someday she will have sapphires.  She accuses him of being a dreamer, but nothing ever happens.  Well, at some point he probably dreamed of marrying a woman 40 years younger than him, and that happened. [1]

Malvira says she is leaving him.  He says, “Where will you go?  Back to the market where I found you?  And your filthy stall to sell pots and pans?  Have you forgotten so soon?  Your ragged dress, your sandals split at the seams.  Look at you now!  Everything you are you owe to me!  I took you in, I fed you, I clothed you . . . if you leave me, I will kill you.”  Which is the same speech Harvey Weinstein gave to Jennifer Lawrence.  Except instead of threatening to kill her, he jerked off into a potted plant.  See, he could have been worse.

The monk returns with the ikon of the prophet Elijah, a small painting.  He says it was painted by one of his brothers.  He was the first Ikon Copier. [2]  Heyyyyoooo!

The next day Carpius goes to the monastery.  He tells the head monkety-monk that he just couldn’t sleep last night because he paid so little for the ikon.  He admits to being less than honest in his business, and says the meaning of life tortures him, although the bit with Mr. Creosote was fun.  He seeks true religion.

He asks to see the original ikon.  The head monk takes him to see the original, guarded by brother Damianos who mouths his prayers silently in obeisance to God, his vows, and union pay rules for non-speaking parts.

That night, after torches-out, Carpius sneaks back to the ikon room.  He swaps the original ikon for the copy.  The lumox manages to wake the snoozing Damianos.  He brains him with a candlestick.  Immediately, several monks show up to the ikon room.  Carpius claims it was an accident.

The head monk says, “You say you are sorry. I choose to believe you.”  Carpius is relieved, but the head monk says he must pray for divine forgiveness, starting immediately.

Sensing a good deal, Carpius starts praying.  The monk says, we will bring you food and water twice a day, and oil for the lamp.  He locks Carpius in the ikon room and says, “We shall feed you as the ravens fed Elijah.  As long as you live, this will be your world and you will pray for forgiveness.”  If they really wanted to punish him, they’ make him listen to The Raven every day. [3]  Oh well, as daily visits from birds go, he got a better deal than Prometheus; also better than the eagle, who had to eat liver every day.  Who did he piss off?

Oskar Homolka (Carpius) is a fast-talking, inarticulate, not particularly likable, hammy actor.  Last time we saw him, he was killing his wife in Reward to Finder, but that’s half the husbands on AHP.  He is the whole show, though, so you better get used to him.

On the other hand, I find monasteries fascinating, from the Odd Couple to The Twilight Zone.  And I like seeing some frontier justice handed out.  Those aspects and Malvira earn a marginal thumbs up.

Other Stuff:

  • [1] The actress is 22 and the actor is 62.
  • [2] Ikon was founded in Malvern, PA.  Pretty similar to Malvira.
  • [3] This is another case where, in the light of day, I have no idea what I meant.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  Carpius’s assistant and his wife are still in business.

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