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The Gentleman from America 

Rich American Howard Lattimer visits London, and bets 1000 pounds that he can spend the night in a room that is said to be haunted.


Robert Stevens


Francis M. Cockrell (teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell), Michael Arlen (story)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Biff McGuire ... Howard Latimer
Ralph Clanton Ralph Clanton ... Sir Stephen Hurstwood
John Irving John Irving ... Derek
Eric Snowden Eric Snowden ... Hanson (as Eric Snowdon)
Geoffrey Steele Geoffrey Steele ... Man
John Alderson John Alderson ... Attendant
John Dodsworth John Dodsworth ... Calender
Sonia Torgeson Sonia Torgeson ... Geraldine
Jan Chaney Jan Chaney ... Julia


In 1940, a rich American named Latimer is visiting a club in England. Sir Stephen, a gambler deep in debt, befriends Latimer in the hope of winning some money from him. With the help of his friend Derek, Sir Stephen tells Latimer about a ghost that supposedly haunts a manor home that Sir Stephen owns. The ghost is supposed to appear and threaten anyone who tries to spend the night in a certain room of the house. Latimer agrees to bet 1000 pounds that he can make it through the night, and they agree on the terms. Latimer suspects that the two Englishmen plan some sort of trick, and he prepares himself accordingly. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

29 April 1956 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hurstwood hands a gun to Latimer and tells him, "You have seven shots, in all." However, Latimer fires the gun nine times - once into the fireplace and eight more times when he's alone in the room. See more »


[first lines]
Himself - Host: Good evening. Do you believe in ghosts? Of course not. I knew you didn't. Noise is the mortal enemy of good motion picture making and television broadcasting. That is why I hired this particular house. It is deathly quiet-
[people start screaming off screen]
Himself - Host: Most of the time. And its reputation for being haunted keeps away the curious. The shifting of scenery also seems to be better here. The human element has been removed. So, if you would just lean back and relax, I'll tell you a ...
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User Reviews

bad choice
5 November 2009 | by RResendeSee all my reviews

This is not one of the examples of the series. In fact, the failure of this episode probably highlights how thin is, in this kind of story, the difference between a pleasant awkward episode, and just a cheesy goofy nonsense.

What i do notice as a dominant fact to much of the episodes is that we are always allowed to define the degree of human manipulation or super natural unexplained events that take place (or that is revealed to us). So, in this case, we suspect the American is being manipulated, but we also wonder whether we are being manipulated as well. The plot is predictable, but it leaves some shadows, which might be enough for us to wonder enough to feel in doubt. Is there a real ghost? Would the manipulators fall in their own trap and be caught in the middle of something they didn't understand? Would the American over top his deceivers and come out with something more clever? Well, apparently they chose the dullest solution. The American does exactly what is intended by the money chasers, everything is according to the book (not the one he reads, i wish it was according to that). We have a minor twist, of finding out what happened to the American after the night in the mansion, but instead of fun irony, they moralize. Bad choice, to me.

So it fails in the plot, and to me it fails in the building of the tension in the ghost house. That has to do with direction, but also probably due to the ghost itself, which is laughable by today's production standards, so it is badly dated.

My opinion: 1/5


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