Welcome to the start of my “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” marathon! I’ve got 15 episodes ready to be watched throughout October, and today we’re starting with an apparent favorite among AHP fans: “One More Mile to Go.”
The plot kicks off with Sam Jacoby getting into a vicious argument (that we don’t hear – more on that in a bit) with his wife. It escalates to him murdering her with a fire poker and stuffing her body in his car’s trunk with the intent of disposing of it. We then follow his journey to dump the body as he’s hounded by a motorcycle cop for various reasons, such as a busted tail light. Will Sam be able to get rid of the body and stay under the cop’s radar?
This one is about as simple as you can get for a short story: Man kills wife, man has to dispose of wife, man tries to avoid cops. And while the ending is left semi-ambiguous to his fate, you can pretty much draw your own conclusions. I liked the simplicity of it, though at times the driving segments dragged a little. I get the point was to add to the tension and “Will he get away with it?” factor, but it still felt a tad slow.
Speaking of tension, this short was directed by Hitchcock himself, and he does a good job both in presentation and realism. The cop hounds Sam for legit reasons, the tail light being the main one, and doesn’t suspect him of any wrong-doing. You can’t help but wonder the whole way through if Sam will get caught or get away, but you can see how either scenario could happen.
Now, when I said earlier about the argument we don’t hear, that’s because the first 10 minutes have no dialogue. You see the argument between Sam and his wife, but can only barely hear what she’s yelling about and her scream later when she’s killed. The rest of that non-dialogue time is spent with Sam as he tries to conceal the evidence of her death and prepare her body for the trunk. This part felt a bit too long as well, but the silence was utilized well, especially with the argument scene.
Overall, “One More Mile to Go” is a little piece of Hitchcock that plays on a very basic level of tension and fear. I don’t think it’s the best short I’ll see this month, but it was a nice start.