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Breakdown 

William Callew is involved in a bad traffic accident on a rural road, that leaves him so paralyzed he appears lifeless, and when help arrives they think he's really dead.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Francis M. Cockrell (teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell), Louis Pollock (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Joseph Cotten ... William Callew
Raymond Bailey ... Ed Johnson
Forrest Stanley ... Hubka
Harry Shannon ... Dr. Harner
Lane Chandler ... Sheriff
James Edwards ... Convict
Marvin Press Marvin Press ... Chessy
Murray Alper ... Lloyd
Mike Ragan ... Escaped Convict
Jimmy Weldon Jimmy Weldon ... Guard (as Jim Weldon)
Richard Newton Richard Newton ... Ambulance Driver
Aaron Spelling ... Road Worker
Harry Landers ... Coroner
Elzie Emanuel ... Black Escaped Convict
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Storyline

Mr. Callew, a demanding businessman, is resting by the beach when he receives a telephone call from a recently discharged employee. The man is in tears, but the unyielding Callew shows no sympathy, and hangs up on him. Later, when Callew starts to drive home, his car runs off the road at a construction site. When he comes to, Callew is paralyzed. Several persons come by, but he is unable to communicate with them, so they think he is dead. Fully aware of his predicament, he becomes increasingly terrified. Written by Snow Leopard

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 November 1955 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen King said his short story, Autopsy Room Four was inspired by this episode. See more »

Goofs

When watching current film-transferred versions on a modern definition television, one can see William Callew (Joseph Cotton) blinking his eyes even though it was established earlier that he could not move anything, including his eyelids. This is especially noticeable when the two escaped convicts are moving his body and disrobing him in the car. This would not have been noticeable at the time of first broadcast due to the poor resolution of the televisions. See more »

Quotes

[afterword]
Alfred Hitchcock: Well, that was a bit of a near thing. He reminded me of my own situation. Imagine, if you can, the terror of being inside a television set, knowing that any moment, the viewer may shut you off, and being powerless to prevent it. And I go through this every week. My only consolation is that some portions of our program are so fascinating, that they hold the viewer spellbound. Such an episode follows immediately, and then I'll be back again.
[commercial break]
Alfred Hitchcock: There, now. That really ...
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Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Chilling
14 March 2006 | by christianandersonSee all my reviews

This has to be one of the creepiest films I've ever seen. It's a good thing that Hitchcock had his TV series where he could direct this episode. To run this story any longer than the 25 minutes would have seemed to drawn out but this story fits just perfectly in the allotted time. It's a chilling and suspenseful story that is imaginatively shot from one person's perspective. I won't say more; just see it.

(Even being a big Hitch fan I had never seen any of his TV shows; now it's so easy to see just the episodes he directed through iTunes. This was the first episode I've seen and it definitely lives up to the Hitchcock brand.)


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