7.5/10
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8 user 1 critic

Memo from Purgatory 

The teleplay was adapted by Harlan Ellison from his autobiographical story "The Gang", which appears in his book "Memos from Purgatory". Fresh college graduate and wannabee writer Jay Shaw ... See full summary »

Director:

Joseph Pevney

Writer:

Harlan Ellison (story and teleplay)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
James Caan ... Jay Shaw / Phil Beldone
Lynn Loring ... Filene - Girl Gang Member
Walter Koenig ... Tiger
Tony Musante ... Candle
Zalman King ... Fish
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... The Defender
Mark Slade ... Slats
Michael Lamont Michael Lamont ... The Trooper
Johnny Silver ... Ben
Jacquelin Palmer Jacquelin Palmer ... Cherry (as Jacque Palmer)
Chuck Courtney ... Ski
Jimmy Joyce Jimmy Joyce ... Proprietor
Will J. White ... Guard
Leonard P. Geer Leonard P. Geer ... Derelict
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Storyline

The teleplay was adapted by Harlan Ellison from his autobiographical story "The Gang", which appears in his book "Memos from Purgatory". Fresh college graduate and wannabee writer Jay Shaw moves to early 1950's New York and decides that if he's going to write fiction about juvenile delinquent gangs, he'd better learn what they are really like. Becoming tough-guy Phil Beldone, he moves to a rough section of Brooklyn and seeks to join the Barons, a violent youth gang led by Tiger. During his three-step initiation into the gang, he gains Tiger's trust and respect and begins to fall in love with one of the gang's "debs". However, he makes an enemy of the gang's second-in-command, and risks exposure of his true identity. Written by Joshua Saint

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1964 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the only episode of the series not to feature a humorous outro from Hitchcock. He said that the problem of youth gangs should be taken seriously, and thusly, he doesn't do a silly concluding scene, although his opening is humorous. See more »

Connections

References King Kong (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Really Quite Fascinating
5 May 2010 | by jayraskin1See all my reviews

"West Side Story" romanticized New York City gangs to the point that people forgot that youth gangs really did terrorize people and were quite nasty in the late 1950's. This episode really brings back the fear that people felt of gangs back then and how really vicious they were.

The episode was written by Harlan Ellison and is quite taunt and engrossing. Joseph Pevney, the director, had done a bunch of pretty good movies in the 1950's including "Tammy and the Batchelor." He stayed in television, directing about 1/6th of the original "Star Trek" episodes, among many other T.V. series.

The acting is great. James Caan is a sweet and intelligent hero and as handsome as he has ever been in a movie. Tony Musante ("Toma")is terrifying and Walter Koenig (Chekov on "Star Trek")is intense and complex as the gang leader. Based on this episode, it is obviously a shame that his career was sidetracked by his silly role in "Star Trek".

It is one of the best Hitchcock episodes. Don't miss it.


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