Episode 1.31: The Gentleman From America.

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Starring: Biff McGuire
Written by: Francis M. Cockrell (teleplay), Michael Arlen (story)
Directed by: Robert Stevens
First aired April 29, 1956

Episode Grade: C+

Hitch’s Intro:

Hitch is sitting at a desk, his arms crossed, two books in front of him, and a lit candle. The chair he is sitting in is rather ornate. And behind him, on the door, is a sign that says “QUIET.” He asks us if we believe in ghosts (of course not), and as he’s talking about how much good sense we have, the books, the candle, and the desk disappear. The chair disappears. This one is a ghost story. “Please turn out your lights,” he tells us. “I’m sure the warm glow from the picture tube will be sufficient to melt all your fears of the dark.”

Episode Re-Cap & Commentary:

This is LONDON, MAY 1940. It says this in Ye Olde Very Fancee Englishy Font. There’s a shot of an English side street. That’s the exterior shot.

The interior is of a gentleman’s club—no, no, not the fun kind. The stuffy, upper-crusty, tweed-and-leather kind. There are a lot of white men, all stuffed shirts, reading the paper, playing chess, drinking brandy (is that brandy? …..whatever), and there is a horse race being broadcast over the radio on the wireless. We see a very, very cute man, Howard Latimer (the very, very cute Biff McGuire), looking very pleased and sort of fist-pumping in a satisfied way. Another stuffy Englishman comes into this Great Room of Fun and Excitement, Sir Stephen Hurstwood (Ralph Clanton), who has actually bet on one of the horses. He’s made a safe bet on Brown Meadow (ew, what does that mean? Brown meadow? Yuck), and we find out immediately that he owes the club £600, so he’s got to win.

Suddenly, Howard Latimer is just ecstatic, yelling “HO HO!” because the horse he bet on, Curly Top, is the winner by half a length. Howard had £500 on Curly Top, and it pays 10 to 1 (unlike Brown Meadow, which pays 2 1/2). So Howard’s payout is £5500, which is a £5000 profit. In 1940, that was equal to $7532. In today’s money, that would be $65,555, just to have some perspective. That’s a nice chunk of money. I’ve never seen that much money in my life. Doubt I ever will. But anyway, the point is the very, very cute Howard Latimer has just won a whole bunch of money. And he’s also from America. We know this because of his accent, and because of his very American, very, very cute face. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that he’s very, very cute, but…..he is. Very, very cute. That’s not sarcasm. I mean it. Biff McGuire is just adorable. 

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Episode 1.30: Never Again.

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Starring: Phyllis Thaxter, Warren Stevens
Written by: Gwen Bagni, Irwin Gielgud & Stirling Silliphant (teleplay), Adela Rogers St. John (story)
Directed by: Robert Stevens
First aired April 22, 1956

Episode Grade: A

Friends, this is an exceptional episode. It is unforgettable, exquisitely acted. But I can’t be funny about. There’s nothing funny about it.

This is an episode about alcoholism.

Phyllis Thaxter gives an excellent performance as Karen, a woman who wakes up trying to remember what happened the night before. She has a hangover. Her lips are dry, her eyes are sunken, and she notices her hand is bandaged. She doesn’t recognize the bed she is in. She worries that her boyfriend Jeff (Warren Stevens) is going to be angry with her.

She remembers bits here and there, beginning with her getting ready for a party, not having had a drink in a little over a month, and feeling antsy. She looks very pretty. Jeff comes to pick her up and she insists that he have a drink in front of her, to prove to herself that it doesn’t bother her. They have a small argument in her apartment, but Karen apologizes and says she just doesn’t know who she is anymore. She feels lost without her drinking–as if it somehow defined her. ….This makes me think of the beautiful line in Shawn Colvin’s song “The Facts about Jimmy.” Colvin sings “I used to get drunk to get my spark/and it used to work just fine/and it made me wretched but it gave me heart/I miss Jimmy like I miss my wine.”

Jeff is taking Karen to a party with people from his advertising firm. She says she doesn’t know “smart talk” and Jeff assures her it’s just chit-chat. Going out will do her good. (Going out to a cocktail party? I dunno, Jeff….) As Jeff’s boss, Renee, steals him for a moment to go over some business, Karen promises not to touch a drop of alcohol. She wanders throughout the room, lonely, and bravely rejecting all offers of cocktails. One man finds this not very sporting, and hands her a martini, saying “Don’t be disagreeable.” Karen holds the drink and then notices Renee closing the bedroom door.

While she sits at the party with no one to talk to, another man hands her a drink. “No thanks,” she says, “I have one.” And Marlow (Jack Mullaney) takes her single martini and hands her a double. Just then, Jeff and Renee return from the bedroom, and Jeff sees Karen holding a glass. Karen walks up to Renee and throws the drink in her face. Karen is then horrified at what she did and runs out.

Karen remembers that she took a taxi back to her apartment, and Jeff followed her home. He’s angry. “Can you ever forgive me?” she asks him. And Jeff replies, “Next time, I’ll give you something to be jealous ABOUT.”

Poor Karen is terribly insecure, she thinks nobody likes her, and as she explains this to Jeff, she rips the necklace off her neck. She doesn’t understand why Jeff is with her, when they are at parties with clever girls around. Jeff says, “Well, if you’re like this now, how are you going to be when we’re married?” And Karen is surprised and kisses him. “I happen to love you,” Jeff says. Jeff is a good man, we know this.

Karen says she wants to go back to the party to redeem herself. Renee, now in a glorious gown, says it’s all forgotten, and gets Karen a ginger ale. But as the bartender pours her a glass of ginger ale, she goes to the balcony, where Marlow meets her again, and hands her a drink. “Where did you go?” he asks her. She tells him she went out. He says he went out too for a while….”like a light.” Marlow and Karen talk a little on the balcony. They’re both lost, they’re both wallflowers. And we find out that Marlow is Renee’s little brother, and he is so different from her, he drinks. They notice Renee talking to Jeff, and Marlow–not knowing who Karen is–says that the man his sister is talking to is going to marry a woman who’s a drunk. Karen takes the drink from Marlow’s hand and downs it in a single gulp. Karen and Marlow start drinking together. They decide to bar hop on the Upper East Side.

We then see Karen and Marlow at a bar somewhere on 3rd street, the jukebox playing. Karen–who was looking so pretty and sweet–is a mess. Her hair is disheveled and she can hardly stand up straight. Marlow isn’t nearly as drunk as Karen is; he just wants to play records on the jukebox. Karen is blind drunk. It is a pathetic sight. She grabs a bottle from the bar, and the bartender tells her she’s had enough, and she begins to hit him and scream. She downs a third of scotch, which she has poured into a large, large brandy glass, and she sees Jeff enter the bar with Renee. Jeff says he’s going to take her home, but she falls, and the brandy glass breaks, cutting her hand and wrist. That is why her hand is bandaged when she wakes up. 

As Karen lays in bed, sweating and nervously remembering the night before, a nurse comes into Karen’s room, and gives her a shot. “Which hospital is this?” Karen asks.

“This isn’t exactly a hospital,” the nurse replies. “It’s the city jail.”

“Why am I here?” Karen asks.

“You killed a man last night,” the nurse answers. “Jeff Simmons. His throat was cut. With a brandy glass.”

Karen lets out a heartbreaking and desperate scream.

Notes:

Hitchcock notes at the end that there is nothing funny or fun about this episode. They showed it “in hopes that it might help someone.”

This episode makes me incredibly sad. It is awful. Every time I see it, I want the ending to be different, but it never is.

This is the first time we see Phyllis Thaxter. Thaxter is my most favorite actress in the AHP canon. She is ALWAYS good. She is just a fantastic actress. It’s sad, I think, that nobody knows her today. But my gosh, she is just wonderful to watch. Her performance in this episode is fearless, and without vanity. Thaxter’s own history is fascinating. She suffered from polio, but came back swinging. Her performances are warm, engaging, simple, and understated. We will see much of her in other seasons.

Jeff is played by Warren Stevens. He was also in Premonition. He passed away in 2012 at the venerable age of 92.

We will see Jack Mullaney (Marlow) in one more episode this season.

Louise Albritton plays Renee, Jeff’s boss. This is her only AHP appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 1.29: The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby.

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Starring: Robert H. Harris, Meg Mundy
Written by: Victor Wolfson & Robert C. Dennis (teleplay), Stanley Ellin (story)
Directed by: James Neilson
First aired April 15, 1956

Episode Grade: A

Hitch’s Intro:

Very simple. Just Hitch. He addresses the ladies.

“Has your husband recently acquired a far-away look in his eyes? In the event that something unforseen happens to you, do all of your worldly goods go to him? Is he, at this moment, nervously excusing himself from the room? If you have answered ‘Yes’ to all the above questions, you receive a score of 100, a gold star for neatness. And my advice to leave for mother’s immediately.”

Episode Re-Cap & Commentary:

Lawrence Appleby (Robert H. Harris) owns an antique shop. He’s showing a few pieces to a tall, spinstery woman (Meg Mundy) who is supposed to be plain, but she’s also, I think, uniquely attractive. She has high cheekbones, a full mouth, and a gracious manner. She’s wearing a tweed suit. She’s not really interested in anything Mr. Appleby is showing her, and asks about a jewel box on the counter. Appleby snaps at her that it’s NOT FOR SALE! The woman says, “Everything that’s the least bit good seems to be spoken for.”  She then picks up what, I guess, is a ceramic camel, and Appleby rudely says that the pieces are fragile and he’d appreciate it if she didn’t handle them.

Appleby is small, bald, stout, expressive, and fond of bowties. He’s also rude and persnickety. He leaves the woman at the counter and greets another man (Michael Ansara!) who’s entered the store. “May I show you something?” Appleby asks him. The tall man picks up a piece and says, “You might tell me where this came from” and Appleby freaks out again. It turns out the man isn’t a customer. He is Mr. Dizar, of Dizar and Son, from whence Appleby acquires a lot of his pieces. Appleby is heavily in debt to Dizar. He owes Dizar $12,000 (which is $104,247 of today’s money). He doesn’t have it. His pieces haven’t sold, and mainly because he can’t bear to part with them. So Appleby is a bald, persnickety man who is in love with antiques and makes no money at all. What a winner.

As Dizar and Appleby talk, the tall woman breaks a piece–the ceramic camel. Appleby is distraught and yells at her. The woman is apologetic and gracious about it, and writes him a check for it. The piece is $1000 (about $8,700 today). We see, on her check, that her name is Martha Sturgis. Appleby calls her “MRS. Sturgis,” and Martha corrects him: “Miss.” After she leaves the store, Dizar tells Appleby that now the debt is $11,000, and it’s due in two weeks.

At Appleby’s home, his wife Lena (Louise Larabee) is on the couch, reading a magazine, eating candy and listening to big band music. There’s a blanket on the couch that’s not folded, and evidently this is supposed to mean that Lena is a terrible slob. Even though the rest of the apartment is spotless. Lena complains that she can’t even have a cat to keep her company. “You know very well that a cat would scratch up the furniture!” he scolds. Wow, Appleby would HATE my house. We have FOUR cats! And right next to me, on the couch, is an unfolded blanket. He makes Adrian Monk seem like The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Appleby asks his wife for money from her “endowment” and she won’t sign it over. She screams “You’re not getting it, so forget it!” and storms out. Appleby takes a book off the shelf. It’s entitled: Accident or Murder. He then arranges the rug near the fireplace, making sure it’s real slippy-like, and moves a chair over (did they, like, tell him how to do this, in the book?) and then he sits down, and calls to Lena. He asks her to bring him a glass of water. He bends over to pretend he’s tying his shoe. As she reaches the rug, he pulls it quickly out from under her. She falls, hits her head, and dies. It’s not a very elegant murder. It’s kind of a silly murder. What if she just tripped? I mean, what made him think this would work? Oh but it does work. Appleby picks up the phone and says, “Operator. I want to report an accident.”

And so Appleby gets his money. He has paid Dizar, and tells him he’s looking at more pieces. Dizar insists that they will send him things, but only if Appleby pays on delivery. Appleby objects, saying there is no more money from his wife’s estate, and Dizar suggests he let the nice lady Martha Sturgis buy some things….she must be very rich.

Appleby brings Martha the jewel box she had been looking at previously. She’s flattered and nervous, because it’s such an expensive gift, and she insists on paying him for it. But Appleby says he intends to get to know her very well. Martha might be included in that Lovable Alfred Hitchcock Heroines™ thing I’m going to write after this season is over. Martha is shy and proper, but also warm. After a very short period of time, Appleby suggests they get married. Martha becomes very nervous, but then tells him he must talk to her lawyer, Mr. Gainsborough, who is like a second father to her, and has been looking after her since her own father died.

Mr. Gainsborough tells Appleby that Martha has a lot of money and Appleby acts like, “What? I had no idea” and then “Oh I don’t even care about her money” and Gainsborough tells Appleby to spend the next month showing Martha great devotion. After a month, she may agree to marry him. At one point Gainsborough says “Mr. Appleby, have you ever been married?” and Appleby says, “Yes,” and Gainsborough says, suspiciously, “Divorced?” and Appleby answers with a shocked “NO!” …Yeah, he didn’t divorce his wife, he just murdered her is all.

Martha and Gainsborough insists that Appleby live in Martha’s house. Appleby agrees.

Their marriage seems downright ….well, not just chaste, but cold. That’s Appleby’s fault. He comes home from work late, and complains to Martha that Dizar is threatening to close in on him, and buy all his stock. Martha says it wouldn’t really be a terrible loss, the curios don’t sell, and then he and she can just have a nice leisurely life together. But Appleby is, like, in love with his antiques and is angry that she doesn’t understand. While they’re talking, the phone rings. It’s Mr. Gainsborough. He calls her every night, as he had done since her father’s death. She answers the phone, standing on the rug near the fireplace, and Appleby gets an idea.

One night, Appleby comes home and there is the cutest kitty sitting on the chair. He says, “Martha, what is THIS?!” and Martha picks up the cat and says warmly, “This is Dicky. I bought him to keep me company.” She snuggles with cute fluffy kitty and Appleby is disgusted. She and Dicky go into the kitchen for his dinner, and Appleby sets up the rug by the fireplace again, and moves the chair. He then sits in the chair, and calls for Martha to bring him some water. He bends over, pretending to tie his shoe. She comes in with the water, and he PULLS THE RUG!

And then we hear Martha ask, “Was that how you did it before?”

She says, “Was it ‘accident or murder’?….Yes I found the book. Even then I didn’t believe it…..” She then has a wonderful monologue here, about things Mr. Gainsborough found out about the first Mrs. Appleby. Initially she was going to kick him out, but then she tells him that he must sell his pieces to Dizar, and live the rest of his days with her, to protect other unsuspecting and innocent women. She feels it is her duty to protect the world from Appleby.  “There is a letter in Mr. Gainsborough’s safe that is certain to hang you if I were to die, under whatever circumstances. And Mr. Gainsborough will continue to call here every night at this hour to see that I am well, and happy.”

The phone rings, and she tells Appleby to answer it. It’s Gainsborough, asking for Martha. Appleby tests him and says Martha’s busy and can’t come to the phone. Gainsborough is then furious with him, and says he has ten seconds to put Martha on the phone. Martha walks over to take the receiver.

The Twist:

But Martha TRIPS ON THE RUG and FALLS and HITS HER HEAD and DIES!!!!!

And Gainsborough is on the phone going, “Appleby, your time is up!” And the music plays my favorite “Oh no you di’nt” sting. DUN DUUUUN!!!

Please make a note of it:

Robert H. Harris is Lawrence Appleby. We saw him in the episode Shopping for Death. He was a very capable character actor. He is in six more AHP episodes.

The lovely Meg Mundy is Martha Sturgis. She was a model, and a good actress too. She has a very compelling face–she is what they once would have called a “handsome woman.” She does a wonderful job in this. Her voice is soothing and rich. She is in one more AHP episode, in Season 2.

Gage Clark is Gainsborough. He had a consistent career throughout his life, but he died at the age of 64. He is in 3 more AHP episodes, in later seasons.

Dizar was played by Michael Ansara, who was also in Shopping for Death. He was married to Barbara Eden. He is in one more AHP episode, and it’s in this first season!

Louise Larabee is the harsh Lena. She plays another harsh, doomed wife, in one of my favorite AHP episodes, in the second season.

Episode 1.28: Portrait of Jocelyn.

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Starring: Philip Abbott, Nancy Gates, John Baragrey
Written by: Harold Swanton (teleplay), Edgar Marvin (story)
Directed by: Robert Stevens
First aired April 8, 1956

Episode Grade: A

This one is a lot of fun. It’s so melodramatic, and it’s got a nice twist. It’s also got some of our old friends: Nancy Gates! Olan Soule! HARRY TYLER!

Hitch’s Intro:

The black serif title card is back. WHAT is UP with THAT.

There is a tight close-up on Hitch’s thumb. He’s holding it out and squinting. And then the camera pans back and we see he has a palette and a canvas on an easel. He says: “What an extraordinary thumb. It completely obscures the subject I’m painting.” ….Did you know that Hitch was a visual artist? Quite a good one. You know the iconic silhouette of Hitchcock?

silhouette

 

He drew that of himself!

Anyway, Hitch says he has some canvases ready for us. He olds them up. One says: “Post No Bills.” Another says: “Kilroy Was Here.” And then, for something more “exotic,” he holds up a canvas that says: “Pas De Stationnement.” He adds another: “Please Stand By.”

Episode Re-Cap & Commentary:

Mark and Debbie Halliday (Philip Abbott and Nancy Gates) are knocking on the door of an art gallery. The gallery worker (Olan Soule) opens the door, as he’s leaving for the night, and says they’re closed. But Mark’s already paid for a painting and he wants to make sure Debbie likes it. “Oh please,” she says. “It’s our anniversary!” (Quick note: Nancy Gates’s first line in her last AHP episode was also “Please.”) It’s their first anniversary, Mark explains. The gallery guy lets them in and goes to retrieve the painting. The item number is 128. And Debbie keeps saying “A 128 to hang over my mantel.”

She wants to know what it’s a painting of and she makes a few guesses. Then she says she doesn’t care and they have a passionate smooch. She says they’ll open a bottle of champagne (or, as I like to say, “SHAM-PAN-YA”) and hang 128 over the m—–

BUT DEBBIE IS HORRIFIED. The gallery man is holding the painting up to her. And she’s distraught. Mark tells the gallery fella he’s made a mistake; that’s not the painting he saw that morning. “It’s 128,” the gallery dude says. Debbie is now furious and tries to leave and Mark grabs her (more grabbing, like in Nancy’s other episode!) and says he’s never seen that painting before in his life! OH MY GOSH JUST SHOW US THE PAINTING ALREADY.

Debbie leaves, slamming the door behind her. Mark asks the gallery bloke who put him up to this. But gallery man says nobody put him up to anything, and Mark will have to take this to Mr. Harrison, the gallery owner. Mark is still examining the painting and says he’ll take it with him. And the music does that DUN-DUN sting as he shuts the door behind him.

At the home of Jeff (Raymond Bailey!), he and Mark examine the painting. “Is it Jocelyn?” Mark asks. “I don’t know, Mark,” Jeff says. Mark says, “You ought to know your own sister.” But Jeff says Mark was married to her, he should know her better than anyone else.

It turns out, Mark’s first wife Jocelyn disappeared five years earlier. Jeff has kept all the newspaper clippings and talked to the detectives but they were getting nowhere. Jocelyn disappeared without a trace. They remark on Jocelyn’s beauty (though we haven’t seen this portrait yet), and then Jeff notices initials and a date. The painting was done three years ago. That’s odd, right? Jeff says it must have been before she went to Europe. And Mark presses him and Jeff admits that a couple of years ago, he got a letter from Jocelyn, mentioning she was going to Switzerland. He burned the letter, because he didn’t want Mark to know. Mark divorced her for desertion. Jeff says she was in St. Moritz, and there was another man.

“She doesn’t love you, Mark,” Jeff says. “She never did.”

THEN we see the portrait. Well, she’s very pretty, and she looks pissed off. Like an angry Kate Middleton. Not nearly as alluring and unforgettable and gorgeous as Gene Tierney, though, not nearly. Remember the movie Laura?

 

I wish I looked like this

I wish I looked like this

Jocelyn’s portrait stares at them disapprovingly from the mantel in the Halliday’s home. Debbie is looking back at Jocelyn, also disapprovingly. Debbie is pretty–evidently, she’s not supposed to be as glamorous as Jocelyn, but….I don’t know. I think Debbie is prettier, actually. Mark comes in buttoning the cuffs of his shirt asking about dinner, and notices the portrait. “What’s that doing there?” he asks. Debbie says it belongs there, it’s very fitting, instead of hiding it behind the sofa. She is really, really angry. “She’s been in the house our entire marriage…she’s even in your mind when you kiss me!” she says, and Mark is angry and bangs his hand on the chair he’s sitting in and yells “STOP IT!” Then he apologizes and Debbie runs to him and she apologizes and what the hell is going on here? Maybe they should all just have a drink, jeez.

Mark tells Debbie that Jeff got a letter from Jocelyn two years ago. Debbie asks if Jeff saw her. “No,” Mark says, “Nobody’s seen her.”

“That’s a shame,” Debbie replies. “She was born to be seen.” Then she recounts the first time she saw Jocelyn, at the beach at Shell Harbor, glowing, radiant….and Mark asks if they can change the subject and then Debbie says “Let’s eat.” These people need some sort of stabilizing medications or something. They keep YELLING! and whispering and YELLING! and whispering.

The phone rings. And it’s Jeff. He has a name: Clymer. Jeff says Mr. Harrison (gallery owner) doesn’t know how the painting got mixed up, but Arthur Clymer is an amateur artist in Shell Harbor who shows a lot of promise.

Debbie is pouring wine at the table and Mark sits down to carve the roast. My word, that roast is totally dried out, it’s like Mark is carving a tree log with a butter knife. She asks who was on the phone and he tells her. “What are you going to do about it,” she asks. And Mark says, “Nothing.” Then Debbie starts up again saying Mark shouldn’t have married her and he’s still in love with Jocelyn and they start yelling again. “As far as I’m concerned, she’s dead to me!” Mark yells. And then he tells Debbie to come with him to Shell Harbor, to settle this once and for all.

Up at Shell Harbor (I’m assuming it’s north, whatever), the realtor (our good friend Harry Tyler) says the hotel closed and the motel is all booked up, but he has one property left, $10 a day, $60 a week. I’ll take it. I mean, Mark says, “I’ll take it,” but hey, I’ll take it too. Shell Harbor looks pretty and that’s a really good deal. The realtor retrieves the key and says, “Willman Cottage, in the cove.” Mark looks spooked. “Are you sure that’s all you’ve got?” he asks shakily. The realtor assures him that it’s lovely and Mark says, “I know all about the Willman Cottage. I lived there. Five years ago.”

When Debbie and Mark enter the cottage, all the furniture is covered in sheets. The electricity isn’t yet turned on. As Debbie walks around the living room, she notices there are fresh flowers on the table. Fresh flowers….Lily of the Valley….Jocelyn’s favorite flower. She goes to hang up her coat, and notices Jocelyn’s trenchcoat and scarf in the closet. Mark and Debbie are both unhinged. Debbie says Jocelyn is there, in Shell Harbor, she’s been staying there, that’s where she’s been! Mark is taking off the sheets from the furniture and they uncover a bust of Jocelyn’s head.

Some time later, a man is at the door of the Willman Cottage. It’s Arthur Clymer (John Baragrey). Arthur is sort of handsome, and he’s very tall. A bit dorky, but nice. He came to get the bust of Jocelyn he carved. He’s very proud of it, and holds the sculpture with affection. He says he carved it a few months ago. It’s a sculpture of his wife.

Ruh-roh.

“Is her name Jocelyn?” Debbie asks.
“Why yes, do you know her?” Clymer responds. Debbie then hands him the slicker and scarf and tells Mark to go with Clymer to help him carry all the things. Mark refuses and cowers. After Clymer leaves, Debbie says to Mark, moping by the fireplace and hiding his face, “That’s the first cowardly thing I’ve ever seen you do.”

Mark then goes to Clymer’s cottage and knocks on the door. Clymer is sitting at a table, alone, drinking. “Welcome!” he says, good-naturedly and sort of drunkish. He knows what Mark’s there for. “You want to see Jocelyn, don’t you?” and then he calls up the stairs. “Jocelyn! Jocelyn, we have company!” There is a shot of the stairs. But nobody descends. Clymer goes over the stairs and calls again, and then laughs at Mark. “You thought she’d come down these stairs, didn’t you?” and then slumps down on the stairs and drinks some more. He offers Mark his glass.

“Where is she?” Mark demands. “What happened to her?”
“Happened?” Clymer says. “Nothing could ever happen to Jocelyn.” He admits, then….that Jocelyn hasn’t been around for quite a while. He says he doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to know. And then his face dims and he says, “The little cheat.” He throws the wine bottle and it crashes.

After Mark continues to demand where she is, the drunken Clymer says, “She’s dead.”

“How did she die?” Mark asks.
“How does one die?” Clymer responds. He tells Mark it’s a complicated story and it’s getting late, some other time. But Mark throws Clymer back and Clymer continues with his drunken musings. Jocelyn was thrilling, and beautiful, and she never belonged to anyone but herself. Mark puts his hands around Clymer’s collar and yells, “WHERE IS SHE?” And Clymer gets up and says, “I’ll show you. Her grave is right outside.”

They go out the front door. “Over there, near the edge of the cliff,” Clymer says, as the waves crash against the rocks. Mark doesn’t believe it. “She isn’t over there,” Mark says incredulously. “She can’t be.”

And then Clymer breaks down. “I have to tell someone……I had to get away from her…..I couldn’t take it anymore…..I left her in New York and came up here….Took the cottage for a couple of weeks, alone…..” and on Clymer’s self-imposed exile, he says Jocelyn came up unexpectedly. Mark is listening to this, shaking his head at the pathetic man. He says, “No she didn’t. You’re lying.” And Clymer is crying “There was another man, always another man!” He says he can’t remember exactly what happened, but Jocelyn was laughing at him, and the next thing he knew she was dead at his feet.

The Twist:

“You weren’t there,” Mark says. “No one was there but Jocelyn and me!….How do you know I killed her?” Then he tries to hit Clymer and they fight. And as Mark puts his hands around Clymer’s throat, another man pulls a gun and holds it to his head. It’s Jeff.

“Mark,” Jeff says. “Get up.”

Mark says, “How did he know?”

And Jeff says they didn’t know….but after five years, and no witnesses, they had to resort to psychology. “It was a brutal thing to do to you,” Clymer says to Mark, revealing himself as Detective Inspector Iverson, Homicide. Jeff and Det. Iverson planned everything, set the whole thing up, the painting, the cottage, the flowers, the clothes. Several months earlier, they found her body after a landslide. They just had to get some sort of evidence.

They put the handcuffs on Mark and he asks pathetically, with tears in his eyes: “Did Debbie know?” Jeff and Det. Iverson tell him no. “She’s right. I never should have married her. There could never be anyone like Jocelyn.”

Please make a note of it:

Wasn’t this a GOOD ONE? I LOVE THIS ONE. It’s just really really fun to watch. It’s like an abbreviated version of Rebecca. Which Hitchcock directed, by the way. Rebecca won Best Picture at the Oscars, but Hitchcock never won an Oscar, not ever. Isn’t that ridiculous? Hitchcock never won an Oscar.

Philip Abbott plays Mark Halliday. He does a really good job in this. Everyone does. But he’s surprisingly sympathetic. At the end, when he asks if Debbie knows, he has tears in his eyes, and it’s a humanizing moment. Abbott was a respected character actor, not really known for anything in particular. But he did star in a couple of Twilight Zone episodes, and The Young and the Restless, and Murder, She Wrote. He passed away in 1998.

Debbie is played by Nancy Gates, who we saw in Salvage. This role makes more sense for her. She was a pretty lady, and clearly a nice girl. Way too nice for Mark Halliday.

Remember Raymond Bailey? I love him. He plays Jeff. He is most famous for his role as Mr. Drysdale in The Beverly Hillbillies, but he was a really good character actor, and was featured in movies and television. We saw him in Breakdown and The Case of Mr. Pelham. He is in 10 AHP episodes total, so we’ll be seeing him again. Yay!

John Baragrey plays Clymer/Det. Iverson. Film roles eluded him, but he had a steady career as a character actor on television. He died at the age of 57, from a cerebral hemorrhage. That’s so sad. But we do see him again, in an episode in Season 3.

Olan Soule played the gallery employee. He was a versatile and reliable actor, and had an incredibly long career, both in movies and television. He’s not a leading man, but really, if you’re going to have a career as an actor, you want this kind. The man worked and worked. We saw him in Our Cook’s a Treasure. He is in four more episodes, in later seasons.

And good old Harry Tyler. It’s always good to see him, isn’t it? He’s in forty billion more episodes.