Mrs. Wagner tells Lt. Meade that she did not see the mugger's face in any of the books. Back at home, she hesitantly questions Mabel about Leo's background, telling her daughter that "'You're everything in my life now.'" Mabel telephones Lt. Meade and tells him that she is coming back to the station to talk to him again. At the station, she tells Meade about Will Draves, claiming that he resembles an old boyfriend of her daughter's and showing Meade a snapshot to compare to the mug shot. Meade says that he doubts it is the same man and coaxes Mrs. Wagner into admitting that the man in the snapshot is Leo.
"The Man With Two Faces" is the earliest published story by Slesar to have been adapted for Alfred Hitchcock Presents to date. It first appeared in Manhunt in August 1956. The story shares themes with many other Slesar stories that have been adapted for television, such as a mother's love for her daughter, hidden identity, and betrayal. The New York setting is familiar, as is the plot device of a person having to interact with police for the first time.
Slesar did not make many changes when he adapted the story for television. An opening scene is added in which Mrs. Wagner and a friend leave a movie theater and she walks home alone through a neighborhood that her friend suggests is unsafe. The questionable nature of the neighborhood is confirmed when we see a man and a woman embracing against an alley wall together before they disappear down the alley. As Mrs. Wagner walks, the silence of the street is broken only by her footsteps, then there is a musical sting as the mugger attacks.
The direction by Stuart Rosenberg is competent, with occasional use of a mobile camera and a few interesting shots, such as one in a mirror near the beginning and a low angle shot in the records room. The last scene in the story, where the thief discards the purse, is eliminated in the TV show. It seems that Slesar chose to focus his teleplay more on the relationship between mother and daughter and to downplay the irony that is present in the story, in which a minor theft sets in motion a chain of events that destroys Mrs. Wagner's makeshift family.
Spring Byington (1886-1971) was in movies from 1930 to 1954 and on TV from 1951 to 1968. Films in which she appeared include Werewolf of London (1935) and Meet John Doe (1941); she also starred in the TV series December Bride from 1954 to 1959 and in Laramie from 1961 to 1963. She was on Batman twice but this was her only appearance on Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Bethel Leslie (1929-1999) was on TV from 1949 to 1998 and made the occasional movie. She also appeared often on Broadway and even wrote for TV. This was her only appearance on the Hitchcock show. Finally, Harp McGuire (1921-1966) played Leo; he was also in "Madame Mystery."
Stuart Rosenberg (1927-2007) directed "The Man With Two Faces." He spent nine years (from 1957 to 1966) working in TV and then made his name in movies, directing until 1991. He directed five episodes of the Hitchcock series, three episodes of The Twilight Zone, and the Paul Newman classic, Cool Hand Luke in 1967.
"The Man With Two Faces" is not yet available on DVD but may be viewed online for free here. It originally ran on NBC at 8:30 on Tuesday, December 13, 1960, and was followed at 9 by the adaptation of Fredric Brown's novel, Knock Three-One-Two on Thriller.
Grams, Martin, and Patrik Wikstrom. The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion. Churchville, MD: OTR Pub., 2001. Print.