Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I’ve been watching episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents from its run in the late 1950s. Most, of course, take liberties with credibility but one episode stretches things further than modern-day minds can take. I decided to watch this episode, “Silent Witness”, because the director’s daughter, Pat, makes an appearance.
Here’s the IMDb summation of the episode: “Donald Mason is a married professor who wants to end a romance with one of his students. He stops by while she is babysitting. He tries to end the relationship, but she threatens to expose him. He kills her and leaves a witness: the screaming baby she was watching. Later, Mason runs into the infant in a carriage on the street. At the sight of him, the baby screams and cries.”
In subsequent encounters with the baby, the baby grows agitated and upset. Mason is convinced that the baby recognizes him as the murderer and that once the baby learns to talk, it will testify against him. So Mason turns himself over to the police.
In a postscript, we see the baby’s father return after many months away in the service. The baby becomes upset seeing the father and begins to cry. The mother explains he shouldn’t be upset, the baby cries whenever it sees a man.
This is the big twist that the show was known for. But you can see how it stretches credulity. How could a mere baby distinguish between a man and a woman? If the task is beyond the capacity of a Supreme Court Nominee, how could a baby do such a thing?
It reminds me of those people who say their dog gets upset by the presence of men (or women for that matter.) How could a dog discern the difference between a man and a woman? Did the dog go to college to become a biologist? It’s like one of those Far Side cartoons with a retriever in a lab coat. Simply absurd.
No wonder Hitchcock was known as the “Master of Suspense” and not a “Master of Science.”