Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 2, Episode 16

   Justus Addiss
   Henry Jones, Barbara Baxley
   13 January 1957
   25m 15s

Nightmare In 4-D
Mr. Parker helps Miss Elliott, a Broadway-wannabe young lady into the apartment block by carrying her groceries to her door where she lives in apartment 3-D. He then takes the elevator up to where he lives on the fourth floor. His wife is preparing dinner and he asks for champagne but they have none. Before going to bed Parker begins reading a horror novel which causes him to have a nightmare that night. He wakes up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep so he turns on the television to watch a movie. Long into the night and Miss Elliott knocks on the door in a distressed state and asks Parker to accompany her to her apartment (while dressed for the world to admire her cleavage it must be noted - well it doesn't NEED to be noted but I noted it all the same). Parker goes with her to her apartment where she points out to him that the trouble is a man lying motionless on her floor. It's Nielson, a piano player from apartment 2-A who has come to help her rehearse. She tells him that the man is dead; shot. "What you mean, with a gun?" answers the incredibly quick Parker!
After showing Parker the bullet hole which came from the fire escape into her window to substantiate her theory Parker tells her he doesn't want to get involved (because he is a married man) but Miss Elliott seems to care more about her own reputation for having the man in her apartment to begin with. She proposes they move his body down to the basement because she cannot afford to lose her part in a show on account of being a witness to a murder. As barmy as the whole situation appears to be Parker agrees to help her. Even the corpse assists as the two of them lift him up (you see him bend his knees in order to stand up). Into the elevator and down to the basement the three of them go, with the body on Parker's back. Miss Elliott suggests taking the wallet from the dead man to make it look like a robbery. When Parker returns to his apartment he realises he has left the sash from his bathrobe tied to the dead man's leg and has to return to retrieve it.
The next morning Parker wakes up and describes the events of what unfolded during the night to his wife who simply thinks it's his imagination because of his fascination of horror stories and puts it down to him having a nightmare. So Parker returns to the basement to check on the body - which has vanished. He is accosted by Lieutenant Orsatti who reveals he has found a body in a trunk down in the basement and is currently investigating the case. The two of them go to Miss Elliott's apartment where Orsatti spells out what they know. Parker offers the lieutenant that although he didn't kill the man, he did carry his body to the basement to help out Miss Elliott, dropping her right in it. As Parker tries to relieve the suspicion away from himself, Orsatti fingers him for tampering with evidence. Parker returns to his own apartment and quarrels with his wife just as Orsatti walks in and reveals the who the killer is.
"Good evening. Tonight's play is entitled 'Nightmare In 4-D'. It will be presented in only two dimensions however. We could present it in 3-D. In fact we did in America but the viewers kept getting involved and during one of the more violent scenes we lost half our audience. We wouldn't want that to happen here. In this case 4-D indicates the number of an apartment, and 'Nightmare in 4-D' concerns the goings-on in that apartment. The goings-on will begin going on in just a moment."

"That was amusing. All I think is Norma was a poor sport about it all. And now the time has come for us to part. But please, no long goodbyes, don't even look back. I want to remember you as you were. So until next time. Good night."

With more than just a hint of black humour on offer here, the eye candy that is Barbara Baxley does enough to keep the interest going, and the bizarre scenario with the body being transported from one room on the third floor all the way down to the basement at 2 o'clock in the morning manages to keep the intrigue afloat, albeit with a pinch of disbelief. The acting isn't particularly convincing on all parts to be fair. Must admit I didn't see the ending coming, which was pretty clever but not mnind-blowing.
A surprising double-twist at the end which was kind of cool because we haven't had many of those! Turns out that both Mr and Mrs Parker had motives for killing Nielson. Mrs. Parker was having an affair with him, while Mr. Parker has the hots for Miss Elliott and didn't like the fact that Nielson was spending a lot of time with her. The point is Neilson's death was probably deserved because it rid the world of one horrible individual who was seeing two women at the same time (is that a good thing or a bad thing?). Either way - Mr. Parker killed Mr. Neilson.

(click any image to enlarge)

Harry Parker... HENRY JONES
Miss Elliott... BARBARA BAXLEY
Lieutenant Orsatti... NORMAN LLOYD
Norma Parker... VIRGINIA GREGG
Building super... PERCY HELTON
Police sergeant... NORMAN BARTOLD
Busybody... MINERVA URECAL {unseen}

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 21 April 2020