A TV Review by MIKE TOONEY:


“Hangover.” An episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (Season 1, Episode 12). First air date: 6 December 1962. Tony Randall, Jayne Mansfield, Robert Lieb, Myron Healey, Tyler McVey, June Levant, William Phipps, Dody Heath. Teleplay: Lou Rambeau. Based on two short stories by John D. MacDonald and Charles Runyon. Director: Bernard Girard.

JAYNE MANSFIELD Hitchcock Hour Hangover

   Hadley Purvis (Tony Randall) has a major drinking problem, one bad enough to prompt his wife to threaten divorce if he doesn’t quit. One morning he wakes up to find his wife gone; in her place, however, is another woman named Marion (Jayne Mansfield).

   Now, we can all agree that worse things can happen to a man than to wake up to a woman like Marion, but Had’s problem is he doesn’t remember a thing from the day before. It’s only in little fragments that he gradually reconstructs what actually happened and the final revelation will prove devastating …

   Note the unusual pairing of credits for the stories this television play was based on. You have to wonder what the situation was there.

   Tony Randall was excellent at light comedy (114 episodes of The Odd Couple, 44 installments each of The Tony Randall Show and Love, Sidney) and seldom ventured into crime drama. He did appear in Agatha Christie’s The Man in the Brown Suit (1989, TVM) but was totally miscast as “Hercule Poirot” in The Alphabet Murders (1965).

   In “Hangover,” Jayne Mansfield reunites with her co-star Tony Randall from the screen comedy Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957), but the character dynamic is totally different. She also appeared in the latter-day film noir The Burglar (also 1957).

     Hulu: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi1574436889/

Editorial Comments:   Mike may be too young to remember, but I’m not. Tony Randall had a solid career in old radio before becoming a long-time favorite of both movie and TV audiences. He was best known as Reggie, one of the three adventurers in Carleton E. Morse’s I Love a Mystery series in the late 1940s.

   I also discussed the unusual story collaboration between John D. MacDonald and Charles Runyon with Walker Martin. Says Walker:

    “JDM had the same reaction as Mike. See his introduction in the paperback collection, End of the Tiger, which reprints the story. Originally published as ‘Hangover’ in the July 1956 issue of Cosmopolitan. His reaction is also brought out in Martin Grams and Patrik Wikstrom’s book on the Hitchcock TV shows.

    “JDM says, ‘…I realized some committee of idiots had decided to combine my story with another story by Charles Runyon. The result of course was cluttered nonsense.’

    “Runyon’s story was also called ‘Hangover’ and was published in the December 1960 Manhunt. I recently read the JDM story and the Runyon story addition is the Jayne Mansfield character. By the way she looks the best I’ve ever seen her look. She should have kept the short hair.”