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The Black Curtain 

A mugging restores the memory of a man with amnesia.


Sydney Pollack


Joel Murcott (teleplay), Cornell Woolrich (novel) (as William Irish)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Richard Basehart ... Phillip Townsend
Lola Albright ... Ruth Burke
Harold J. Stone ... The Taxi Driver
Gail Kobe ... Virginia
James Farentino ... Bernie
Neil Burstyn Neil Burstyn ... Chuck (as Neil Nephew)
Celia Lovsky ... Mrs. Fisher
George Mitchell ... The Druggist
Andy Romano ... The P.A.L. Officer
William Sharon William Sharon ... The Man
Joseph Trapaso Joseph Trapaso ... The Motorcycle Policeman (as Joe Trapaso)
Frank Sully ... The Drunk
Lee Philips ... Frank Carlin


Getting mugged restores a sharp-dressed man's memory, but not that he's wanted for murder, nor that 3 years have passed. It's 1 AM, but Phil Townsend believes he's en route to his wedding. His face bursts from the front page as Dave Webber, dressed-to-kill bodyguard for a gangland mouthpiece. The compassionate taxi driver who rescued Phil from the Bowery alley, drives him to Phil's fiancée's new address, where Virginia answers the door clutching her newborn. She's terrified that her former love, now a fugitive, is there, fearing her abusive husband will assume the worst. When gentle, reliable Phil didn't show for the ceremony, the distraught young woman hired a PI to find him. Phil's horrified when Virginia tells him she's now married to the gumshoe. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

15 November 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Basehart and Harold J Stone would later be reunited in the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea episode Mutiny in which the former was one of the series' lead actors and the latter a guest star. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Version of Street of Chance (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Richard Basehart and Lola Albright
19 February 2012 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

"The Black Curtain" is an intriguing Cornell Woolrich adaptation featuring Richard Basehart as the victim of an attempted mugging who comes to believing himself to be Phil Townsend, a bridegroom on his way to his wedding, at 1:00 in the morning. A helpful cab driver (Harold J. Stone) helps him track down his fiancée (Gail Kobe), who reveals that she has been married for three years to the same private detective she'd hired to find him. Phil now must piece together the events of the past three years, discovering the one person who knows his new identity, Ruth (Lola Albright), who tells him he is David Webber, a bodyguard for her wealthy uncle, and murder suspect in a woman's death. Richard Basehart was best remembered for his starring role on Irwin Allen's television series based on his own 1961 feature, "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." James Farentino plays a blackmailing thug, Frank Sully a drunk, and Celia Lovsky a landlady.

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