“The Paragon.” An episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (Season 1, Episode 20). First air date: 8 February 1963. Joan Fontaine, Gary Merrill, Virginia Vincent, Linda Leighton, Richard Carlyle. Teleplay: Alfred Hayes. Story: Rebecca West (source unknown). Director: Jack Smight.

THE PARAGON Hitchcock Fontaine, Merrill

   Alice Pemberton (Joan Fontaine) is one of those individuals who, wherever they go, leave discouragement in their wake. She always rubs people the wrong way and yet never seems to notice the harm she does.

   From criticizing her sister’s child-rearing abilities to flicking lint off the maid’s uniform, Alice is a walking, talking affront to anyone who knows her. Her husband John (Gary Merrill) just can’t get through to her; she’s perfect and she expects everybody else to be also.

   One night Alice has a dream, a nightmare really, of a dark shape floating through the bedroom window and settling over her face, smothering her. It just so happens that one of the people who know Alice well is making plans to make her dream come true ….

   Joane Fontaine is best remembered for Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941). She also appeared in Jane Eyre (1944), Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948), Born to Be Bad (1950), The Bigamist (1953), Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956), and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961).

   We’ve already dealt with Gary Merrill’s criminous career.  See “The Paragon” on Hulu here.