The head of a business ells his young employee he's being considered for a more important job. To see how well he does in the field, the young man's given a special job for him first.Written by
Dry Run: a way above average Hitchcock entry, nicely written by Bill Ballinger and directed by John Brahm, it begins in a modern urban setting, with a bigshot who appears to be a criminal overlord, admiring the behavior of the vicious piranhas he keeps in a fish tank in his office. This is both a foreshadowing of the episode's theme and also indicative of the cruel playfulness of its story as it unfolds.
Up and comer Robert Vaughn, looking like a kid straight out of college, is about to be tested by his boss, who's sending him on an assignment with 10 grand in an envelope to be delivered to a business rival, whom young Vaughn learns he is supposed to kill. This is the test to see if this whippersnapper has the Right Stuff.
Vaughn drives "upstate" that night, to do the job, and when he arrives at the house of the guy he's supposed to rub out, played by Walter, Matthau, the man surprises him in his wine cellar with a gun of his own, then proceeds to tell Vaughn that his boss is no good, and that, after inviting the young man to enjoy having a glass of wine with him proceeds to make him a better offer for a partnership in his business.
A grittier and more contemporary Hitchcock tale than most, Dry Run benefits from excellent acting by its principal players, both still a few years away from stardom. The overall tone is set by none other than Alfred Hitchcock in his introduction, wearing a hat and overcoat, talking about the rise of television shows featuring private eyes and jazz around that time, from which I think it's safe to infer it's the then hugely popular Peter Gunn series he's talking about.
Not surprisingly, this one actually rather plays as a Peter Gunn episode, as after the first scene everything happens at night. That the man whom Vaughn is hired to kill lives lavishly in a country house far from the city is similar to many an entry in the other series. Hitchcock shows seldom did this. So faithfully, I mean. It's easy to forget that one is watching a Hitch show; and the ending, when it comes, it's not easy one to have guessed.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this