A TV Review by MIKE TOONEY:


“Who Needs an Enemy?” An episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. First air date: 15 May 1964 (Season 2, episode 28). Steven Hill, Joanna Moore, Richard Anderson, Barney Phillips, Dee Carroll, Paul Baxley, Wally Rose. Teleplay: Arthur A. Ross; story: Henry Slesar, based on a story in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (title and issue unknown). Director: Harry Morgan.

   Charlie Osgood (Steven Hill) has been embezzling money from his firm to the tune of $60,000; his partner Eddie Turtin (Richard Anderson) has found out and isn’t at all happy about it. In the opening scene, in fact, Eddie literally has a gun to Charlie’s head and wants him to return the money or else he’ll go to the cops, which would mean seven felony counts and thirty-five years in prison for Charlie.

   What’s a fella to do? One solution Charlie explores is to kill his partner but things don’t quite work out as planned.

   Plan B, although complicated and risky, seems to have more promise of succeeding. With his blonde girlfriend Danielle (Joanna Moore), Charlie fakes his own “suicide.” The plan is going along smoothly until Charlie decides to share the wealth; then he finds out who his friends really are ….

   This brief synopsis may give the wrong impression of the show’s tone. It’s not as grim as it sounds; indeed, it comes close to being a screwball comedy, with all the main characters not being too tightly wrapped.

   Steven Hill (Mission: Impossible, Law and Order) is surprisingly funny as Charlie, a guy who expects loyalty from people he cheerfully cheats. Joanna Moore proves that not all blondes are dumb. And Richard Anderson, normally cast as a stolid authority figure, steals the show with his frazzled businessman portrayal.

   Two highpoints: Moore’s interview with a policeman (Barney Phillips) as she tries to say “I don’t know” a half dozen different ways, and Anderson’s hilarious eulogy for his “dead” partner at a memorial service as he manfully struggles to say good things about a guy who has consistently driven him crazy over the past twenty years.

   The show ends with a bang literally which, all things considered, seems entirely just.

   You can see “Who Needs an Enemy?” on Hulu.