“The Contest For Aaron Gold” was an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents starring Sydney Pollack that first aired in October 1960. The episode is set at Camp Lakeside, a summer camp for boys run by Mr. Stern, an overbearing athletic-minded director who is determined to have his boys progressing at a steady enough rate to impress and wow all of the parents when they come for parents day.
Pollack plays ceramics instructor Bernie Samuelson, whose style is markedly different than the director’s. Rather than ride the boys and urge them to greatness tough-love style, Samuelson seeks to challenge and nurture their creativity. But his approach, particularly with a shy boy named Aaron Gold doesn’t sit well with Mr. Stern or the competitive swim instructor who express displeasure with Samuelson allowing Gold to stay late working on his sculpture of a mighty warrior.
Since Gold doesn’t perform well in the other areas of camp, Mr. Stern starts to pay particular attention to his ceramic work and rides Samuelson even more to make sure Gold has something completed for parents day. Aaron, however, is in no hurry, insisting that to make his ceramic warrior perfect he needs to take his time. So while Gold is satisifed with his work, Mr. Stern sees the unfinished warrior on the eve of parents day and threatens to fire Samuelson if he doesn’t add an arm. That plan backfires when Gold since the “ruined” sculpture and when his father shows up it becomes painfully obvious why Gold intentionally didn’t give the warrior an arm.
This episode is available on the season 6 DVD available from Amazon (affiliate link).