Thriller (1960–1962)
9 user 3 critic
A schoolteacher and religious hypocrite takes a creepy interest in a handsome 20-year-old and the girl supposedly corrupting him. He murders her, but then discovers the young man has a more serious interest in another "corrupter".


John Brahm


Dolores Hitchens (story), Donald S. Sanford (adaptation)


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Episode cast overview:
Boris Karloff ... Self
Martin Gabel ... Freitag
Stuart Erwin ... Uncle Florian (as Stu Erwin)
Olive Sturgess ... Beth Pettit
Richard Chamberlain ... Larry Carter
James Westerfield ... Al Matthews
Alan Baxter ... Sheriff Phil Archer
Irene Hervey ... Mrs. Edith Pettit
Gloria Clark Gloria Clark ... Vida Tomlinson
Claire Carleton ... Eunice Appleby
Dan White ... Doctor (as Daniel M. White)
Nelson Olmsted ... Father


Authorities in a resort community cover up the suspicious death of a teenager so tourism doesn't suffer. As summer fades, a deputy sheriff gains permission to quietly investigate the death. Meanwhile a rigid, controlling teacher visiting for the season, grows increasingly disturbed as he spies on the secret relationship between a young neighbor and a boatyard manager, who are both already squirming under the power of adults in the small town. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

1 November 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Chamberlain's second TV acting role. See more »


When Beth pushes past her at the stairs Eunice raises her hand to her mouth. After a cut she raises her hand again. See more »

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User Reviews

Novels as Basis For Episodes
26 September 2010 | by Harold_RobbinsSee all my reviews

As I've begun making my way through THRILLER from the beginning, I've noticed that several episodes - TWISTED IMAGE, THE MARK OF THE HAND, ROSE'S LAST SUMMER and this one, THE WATCHER, were based on suspense novels published in the 1950s by well known authors such as Charlotte Armstrong and Margaret Millar, and lesser-knowns such as William O'Farrell. The problem with these 49-50 minute adaptations is that they obviously have to leave out a good deal of the novel, which doesn't leave much opportunity for character development or motivation. Here, in THE WATCHER, based on a novel by Dolores Hitchens, we're presented with the villain right up front, but never really understand his reasons, what brought him to the point of murder. We know he's off-kilter right away, and suspense is generated by how long it will take before he trips himself up, or before others catch on. There's nothing wrong with this, certainly, and there are authors who do it very well, and there have been films which also carried this off successfully (such as THE UNSUSPECTED from 1947, based on a Charlotte Armstrong novel). But it just doesn't work very successfully or satisfyingly in the 49/50 minute time-slot the THRILLER format allowed. I was intrigued enough by TWISTED IMAGE to seek out the original novel, and a copy is on its way to me. I've located copies of THE WATCHER and may very well indulge in one of those as well. And oh yes - there was something very peculiar about THE WATCHER - the voice of the actress who played Richard Chamberlain's aunt was DUBBED!!!

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