The Unguarded Hour (1936) Movie Script

Step to one side, please.
A beautiful night, sir.
- Is it?
I'm sorry, sir.
- Are you?
Are you really? Well, so am I.
You trod on my confounded corn, sir.
Very clumsy of me. I'm so sorry.
Don't make such a fuss, Henry.
Thank you, sir.
Your invitation, sir?
Pardon me, sir. There is no card here.
No card?
Where is it?
- Henry, what did you do with it?
I had it. What do we do? What do we do?
Lady, I've never seen
you look so lovely.
Sir, please. Remember
I'm a married woman.
I shall pay special attention to that.
The moment we arrive in Biarritz.
Oh, Alan.
It's heavenly to think I'm going to
have you to myself for a few weeks.
Anybody going to receive me?
Offer me a stale sandwich
or some flat champagne?
You're funny.
You know, it's bad form for a married
couple to ogle each other in public.
Especially with half of smart
London here to be making merry.
Against their will, of course.
Now, I can't think why I invited you.
Oh did you? I thought he just walked in.
You know very well Helen wouldn't
think of giving a party without me.
Yes. She has a curious
taste in knick-knacks.
You run along little boy.
Helen and I will be together.
I must ask you not to be
so familiar with my wife.
I'm terribly sorry.
My personal magnetism is
always getting out of control.
I warn you to be careful.
You don't know what people are
saying about you behind your back.
I don't want to. It would
make me far too conceited.
Am I a wallflower or do we dance?
- We dance.
Good evening.
- Good evening, General.
Hello, Bunny.
I'm so glad you came.
I know you loath dancing.
That depends on with whom I dance.
Now stop that. She's
promised this one to me.
Should I shoot him or
just go home defeated?
Don't go home, General.
Having the head of Scotland Yard in the
house gives one a nice, secure feeling.
If I had known you were coming,
I'd have worn my pearl studs.
Here we are, Helen.
- Oh, pardon me.
Evening, aunt Agatha.
- Hello, darling.
Uncle Henry.
- How are you?
About time we were known in this place.
- What's the matter?
Henry lost his invitation.
He's always losing something.
I've had you for thirty years.
Don't forget to save one for me.
- No, I won't.
Good evening.
Shall we dance, Lady Dearden?
Thank you, I shouldn't.
My guests are arriving.
I think we should.
You don't remember me, do you.
Well, I ..
- You shouldn't.
Because you've never seen me before.
How could you know me.
I'm a blaggard.
A what?
- A blaggard.
It's an interesting profession.
You dance divinely.
Thank you.
I had no idea the future Attorney
General had such a charming wife.
I imagine Sir Alan's greatest ambition
must be the appointment from The Crown.
It would be a shame if he were to lose
it, and there's a chance that he might.
That's why I dropped in on you tonight.
Who are you? What are you saying?
I am talking about two thousand
pounds. I happen to need it.
And I am going to get it from you.
I think you'd better talk to my husband.
- No, I don't think I should.
You would care for a nasty brawl
at such a nice party, would you?
"Lewis" my name is.
The husband of a woman
who was indiscreet enough ..
To save some letters written by your
husband before his marriage to you.
My husband?
- Yes.
Of course, my wife and I
were separated at the time.
And she was using her maiden
name of Diana Roggers.
Even so, I have enough to
provide the basis for a very ..
Nasty divorce suit if
I have to bring it.
He was very young at the time.
You would be surprised how
young he sounds in these letters.
What makes you think I won't expose you?
It wouldn't matter if you did.
I've nothing to lose but my freedom.
What is freedom when you're broke?
How do I know you have such letters?
Is that your husband's signature?
Of course it is.
Notice the date.
And the greeting.
"Diana darling .."
There are others much warmer than this.
You know, I feel sorry for him.
He'd probably be the youngest Attorney
General England has ever known.
It seems rather pathetic.
Your letting him down for a
paltry two thousand pounds.
I must be tearing myself away.
I shall call you tomorrow.
Promptly at two.
Who was that chap, darling?
I don't seem to know him.
Oh, I don't know. He ..
I can never remember his name.
He is very amusing though, really.
Were you ever .. very young?
Yes. Why not?
But you've grown up now?
Well I'm being mentioned as the next
Attorney General, so the King thinks so.
I think so.
That's even more important, isn't it.
Yes, darling.
What you think is the most
important thing in life.
Sorry if I startled you.
It's 12 o'clock on the dot.
Promptness is one of my few virtues
where money is concerned.
Why must we come to Dover
to transact our business?
One must very careful in
this sort of transaction.
The Police classify it under the
very nasty name of blackmail.
I have the two 1,000
notes as you requested.
When do I get these letters?
- Very soon.
There are some slight details.
This is for you.
Are the letters in there?
- No, it's empty.
After you've changed the two 1,000
notes into five and ten pound notes.
We'll put the money in this bag.
- Completely.
I'll clear the air a bit. Lady Dearden,
in 2 minutes you'll cross the road ..
Enter the Dover Highland Bank and
change the notes as I requested.
You must not be in the
bank over ten minutes.
It will take at least twenty minutes
to mark the smaller bills.
Isn't that a bit absurd?
If you're in the bank over
ten minutes, the deal is off.
I shan't be over ten minutes.
- That's the idea.
When you come out of the bank you will
drive to the foot of the Dover cliffs.
Then you take number 3 path that leads
to the top cliff known as "Sunset View".
There you will see a large tree.
Under which you will find a letter
containing further instructions.
You must read this letter
at exactly one-thirty.
I want to see the view.
- I'll be with you in a minute.
Oh, Annie.
Don't go near the edge there, dear.
- I'm alright.
Alan, don't!
Eggs, Henderson. My kingdom for an egg.
And hot buttered toast. Loads of it.
We swam half way to England and back.
A gross exaggeration, Henderson.
It was less than a mile.
I will hurry breakfast, sir.
Oh Alan! Look at these roses.
Aren't they lovely?
They're at a slight
disadvantage at the moment.
You are so bad for my vanity.
But you are awfully good
for my peace of mind.
Come away from those roses.
You're making me jealous.
Oh Alan, this holiday
has been so glorious.
And darling, we have two more weeks.
All to ourselves.
[ Singing: ]
"Only a bird in a gilded cage.
A beautiful sight to see."
"You may think she was
happy and free from care."
- Darling.
Here. Don't let Alan see how delighted
you are. It will only make him jealous.
When did you blow in?
- "Blow" is the word.
The Channel is full of air pockets.
- I'm so glad you came.
I knew you would.
- Oh, I resent that.
As a matter of fact, I'm
running away from romance.
It crept up on me insidiously
and dangerously just after you left.
I see I shall have to take you in hand.
It's quite time you were married.
Quite! Yes.
But what will we do with him, huh?
Oh no, no. I'm to pick
the girl out for you.
You know, in a way, I'm unique.
Every woman I know wants to marry me.
To some other woman.
Would you like to run and have a tub?
Can't wait for breakfast.
We're ravenous.
Thanks. I'll tub later in the ocean.
It's awful cold out there.
- I'll warm it up.
I'm what is known in
America as "hot stuff".
A letter, Milady.
- Thank you, Henderson.
Set another place for Mr Jeffers.
- No, I can't wait.
Oh, it's from Eloise.
This just arrived by special
messenger, Sir Alan.
Thank you.
Looks pretty bulky. Been ordering
suits and overcoats from London?
It feels like a brief.
Darling, I hope they don't ask you to ..
That's too bad.
- What?
My assistant, Bailey, had
his appendix out last night.
He's been handling this case.
It goes on trial on the 10th.
That's .. Monday.
I suppose they want you to take it over?
- Yes.
I must take the afternoon
plane for London.
Oh, Alan.
Oh nicely done, Helen.
You're a superb actress.
I'm sorry, darling.
The 10th is only five days away.
I'll need every second.
Oh, and I planned such marvellous
times for these last few weeks.
Don't worry, Helen. I'll still be here.
I never last more than 2 weeks. But they
tell me while I last I'm pretty good.
Pushed his wife falls off a cliff.
Oh that's marvellous.
Eloise has had her baby.
He says it must have been an accident.
Eloise having a baby is no
accident, darling. It's an event.
Eloise had her baby.
I'm sorry darling.
I didn't mean to interrupt.
You couldn't interrupt
Eloise having a baby.
You wouldn't want to, would you?
- Of course not.
This case looks interesting.
The fellow pushed his wife
off one of the Dover cliffs.
Oh, that's the Sunset Murder case.
The English papers were full of it.
It's the old story.
There is a mysterious missing witness.
He claims a woman passed him just
as he called a warning to his wife.
He's supposed to have cried out:
"Don't go near the edge, Annie."
Sounds like a song, doesn't it.
[ Singing: ]
"Don't go near the edge, Annie."
When did this happen?
- The afternoon of May .. 14th.
That's the night we left England.
I'm sorry, darling.
But you can stay on.
I'll order a plane reservation.
Now if you must know the truth.
I had that fellow push
his wife off the cliff ..
So as to get Alan back to
London and be alone with you.
Oh .. what's the matter old girl?
What are you thinking about?
Bunny, I ..
I'm going back to London with Alan.
Oh I say, look here. I'm not
really as bad as all that.
Or am I?
My Lord, I object to this insinuation
of my learned friend at this time.
Yes, Sir Alan. I think that is a
matter for your address to the jury.
Very well, Milord.
Now, Metford. Were you and
your wife happy together?
Yes. Very.
Did you and your wife quarrel with each
other in the dining room of the hotel?
Yes. We had a bit of a quarrel but ..
What about?
What about?
- Yes, what about?
I'd rather not say.
- I ask you to answer my question.
Must I, Milord?
I've tried to answer all the questions.
I have indeed.
I've tried to tell you the truth.
But there are some things
you have no right to ask me.
No, you haven't.
She wouldn't wish me to tell you.
You refuse to answer me?
If my life depends on it I shall refuse.
Very well.
The jury will no doubt draw
their own conclusions.
You have testified that two months
prior to your visit to Dover.
Your wife drew out a second policy
on her life for two thousand pounds.
Was it at your suggestion that
she took out this new policy?
You see.
My wife had a premonition that
something might happen to her.
She was anxious about her mother.
And she wished to make
a provision for her.
But she made you the beneficiary.
Her mother was old. She didn't
want her to handle the money.
She knew I'd take care of her.
A very convenient explanation.
Do you still say that your wife's fall
from Dover cliff to the rocks beneath ..
Was an accident?
- I do!
I do.
I warned her against
going near the edge.
The woman who passed must have heard me.
I propose to deal now with your evidence
regarding this mysterious lady.
Had she been staying
at the hotel at Dover?
I don't know. I hadn't
noticed her at the hotel.
But you did notice her on the path?
I couldn't help seeing her.
She passed right by me.
Describe her.
Well, she ..
Well, was she tall or
short or dark or fair?
What was she wearing?
I can't remember.
I think she was wearing
a dark brown suit.
Yes. I'm sure she was dressed in brown.
What was her age approximately?
It is hard to tell a
woman's age nowadays.
It relieves you of an obligation to tell
the court about this woman's appearance.
Try again.
I wish to give you every opportunity.
I can't remember back all those weeks.
I've told you everything
I remember about her.
So this lady heard you
calling your wife back?
You wouldn't have warned your wife
of the possible danger of falling ..
If you'd intended to entice her to the
edge and throw her over, would you?
No, I loved my wife.
I ..
Are you aware that England is ringing
with the story of this mystery woman?
Columns have been written about
her in every newspaper in the land.
Broadcasting stations have
tried to locate her over the air.
To say nothing of the
efforts of the Police.
Yet, she's not come forward.
Because, I suggest to you.
She does not exist.
[ Door knocks ]
Come in.
The latest edition, Milady.
- Thank you, Henderson.
Would your Ladyship settle
an argument below stairs?
An argument?
- The Metford case, Milady.
There is vast controversy.
Most of the upper
servants hold he's guilty.
Only the cook and the upstairs
maid are for acquittal.
Why, you haven't
touched your tea, Milady.
Shall I have some fresh made?
- No. That will be all, Henderson.
Yes, Milady.
Larkin thinks the whole thing was
planned to get the insurance.
That will be all, Henderson.
I don't want to hear any
more about the trial.
Oh, I'm sorry, Milady.
I thought you were interested in as
much as you ordered all the editions.
I'm very sorry indeed, Milady.
- That's alright, Henderson.
Henderson, bring my whiskey
and soda up here will you.
Yes, sir Alan.
How are you, darling?
How are you, darling.
You look tired.
A little.
Quite a job on my hands.
This Metford fellow is above
the average run of criminals.
What happened today?
He persists in this story of
that other woman on the cliff.
I hammered away at him all
afternoon, but he wouldn't be shaken.
What are all these
newspapers doing here?
Why .. I've been reading them.
They're all open at the Metford case.
Now look here darling, I hope you're
not going to let this trial upset you.
Oh Alan I know, I mean I'm
sure Metford is innocent.
Now, Helen.
I've felt this about other cases. This
time I'm sure you're making a mistake.
Alan, you just mustn't send
an innocent man to his death.
Well, that is hardly my intention.
But supposing he really is innocent?
Innocent men don't have
strategic lapses of memory.
They don't make contradictory
statements, darling.
If you could see the man once, you'd
soon change your opinion of him.
Oh, but I have seen him.
You have? Where?
Why, his picture is in the newspapers.
He has an unusually kind face.
You must admit that.
It's that whipped-dog expression he
affects whenever he's photographed.
It fools you.
- Oh Alan, be fair.
Well I hope I am.
- No darling, you're not.
But darling, every bit of evidence
points to the man's guilt.
He wasn't able to establish an alibi.
His story of that other
woman on the cliff ..
Is one of the most fantastic tales
I've ever heard in a courtroom.
He couldn't even describe her.
- Well ..
Perhaps he didn't get
a good look at her.
Perhaps she hurried by him.
That's exactly what happened.
So he says.
Well, it could have happened.
If he didn't get a good look at the
woman, he shouldn't try to describe her.
First she was wearing
a brown walking suit.
Then he was equally certain it
was a grey suit trimmed with fur.
Men seldom notice what women wear.
Oh, rubbish.
Alan, don't turn around.
How am I dressed?
What colour is my gown?
You mean right now?
- Yes, now.
What do I look like?
- You look adorable.
The court would call that being evasive.
Alright, I won't be evasive.
Right now you have on ..
A white satin gown with red
and green flowers on it.
It has short sleeves, a "V" neck.
A belt.
Of the same material laced
and tied in a bow in front.
And now darling, if you want me
to tell you how beautiful you are ..
Make yourself comfortable because
it's going to take a very long time.
Of course that isn't a fair test.
No ordinary man has your
power of observation.
No ordinary man has a wife like you.
Oh Alan, supposing that ..
- Darling.
I've known you to be sensitive about
other cases but never like this before.
Why are you so sure
this man is innocent?
Oh, I don't know.
Just intuition.
Well logic and not feminine intuition
is what decides murder cases, darling.
It frightens me to realize
how much you love me.
I'm afraid that some time in
the course of duty I may ..
Do something wrong.
You won't have these worries
when I get that appointment.
That appointment means an
awful lot to you doesn't it.
The first day I picked up a law book ..
I set the Attorney
Generalship as a goal.
Then I found something more important.
I gathered that up on the way, too.
Now do you wonder why
I love you so much?
You're always so patient with me, Alan.
Everything I do or say sounds so ..
So infinitely like you.
How do you think I came to worship you?
Because you're so pretty.
Because you ride a horse well,
or play good bridge? No, darling.
Because you're sprinkled with stardust.
You have what's called "quality".
It is an innate kindness that makes
all the rest of us a little shoddy.
Hello, Hilton.
This came for you by messenger
three hours ago, sir.
At ten to five.
I'd like to remind you sir that
the christening is at 5:15.
Thank you, Hilton.
Yes, Sir Alan?
Phone Lady Dearden.
Say I'll be a few minutes late
for the christening. - Yes, sir.
It's getting on towards
five. I'd better be off.
Cheap stuff.
I suppose one shouldn't
say that to one's hostess.
Cheer up, Diana.
You will soon be in funds.
Or in jail.
My darling, you have the
heart of a robust canary.
I don't like it. Really I don't.
You were alright three hours
ago when you wrote the letter.
I've had time to think it over.
Where is your sense of humour?
It's very amusing.
I sell her some letters.
You sell him some.
As soon as the appointment is
announced, we'll have a clearance sale.
And sell him the balance.
And go out of business.
I wouldn't mind so much
if it was someone else.
But you don't know Alan as I do.
He's clever.
Even as a kid at Cambridge
he knew all the answers.
Five thousand pounds against his career?
If he really is clever, there
will be only one answer.
Suppose he kicks up a row?
Well, you can kick up a row too.
Can't you?
What you need is another drink.
It's a quarter to six, Helen.
- Oh, I'm sorry, Eloise.
Alan must have been detained
longer than he expected.
Couldn't Bunny act as Godfather?
- Of course.
We won't wait for my husband. Mr Jeffers
will act as Godfather in his place.
Very well.
Wait a minute ..
How do you go about this thing?
- Oh, you just name the baby.
That's all. You remember
the name, don't you?
Why, I think so.
Turn him around, Bunny.
You're holding him wrong.
Oh, I'm doing the best I can.
He's ..
He's so soft.
Don't babies have any bones?
Name this child.
Name this child, Mr Jeffers.
Oh yes, of course.
Thornton, Edward, George ..
Haigh ..
Is it Fennywake?
- Fennyfield.
Fennyfield, I see.
Fennyfield Cameron.
Thornton Edward George ..
Why your hand, Sir Alan.
It's nothing.
Ah, the prodigal has returned.
Good heavens, darling.
What's happened to your hand?
Nothing serious.
It was a nail in the taxi.
Well, did you have it cleansed properly?
- Yes, it's nothing.
Is that why you missed the christening?
No. I had some rather urgent
business to attend to.
I got my time muddled.
A dull business a christening, at best.
The object of this festival was
a particularly surly little brat.
A pious little brat.
I felt sorry for little Thornton George
Haigh Fennyfield Cameron ..
Not having you for a Godfather.
Good heavens. Who stood?
- Bunny.
Oh, it was dreadful.
I really thought he would
never get the name out.
Do you know what he said to Bunny?
Quite audibly, about half
way through the name.
"Wouldn't it be better to hit the thing
on the bow with a bottle and launch it?"
I still think it's a good idea.
Come along, Henry.
- I might as well.
Do you know, I haven't been asked
to have a drink for half an hour.
Dinner at eight, remember.
You had better be dressing.
I wish we weren't having
people in tonight.
Oh I know you're tired, darling.
It must have been very urgent business
that kept you from the christening.
Yes, it was.
By the way.
How is poor Metford getting along?
Darling, I'd rather not discuss
the Metford case tonight.
I'll get dressed.
I'll be up shortly.
I think I'll lie down for a while.
Yes, do.
[ Singing: ]
"Shine upon my brow today."
Yes madam, this is Mr Jeffers' house.
No madam, I'm afraid you can't.
Mr Jeffers is taking
his piano lesson now.
Of course it's me.
Hello darling. How are you?
Now? That's very flattering.
May I come just as I am?
But I am serious.
Why look here, Helen. Helen, what's up?
Of course. I'll jump into some
rags and be right over.
Do you mind?
I need a drink.
- No, of course not.
You shouldn't have allowed
yourself to be blackmailed.
Why didn't you turn him over to Alan?
Oh I didn't dare. You know Alan.
He'd have had him arrested and that
would have caused a nasty scandal.
Goodbye to the new appointment.
I thought it all over very carefully
Bunny, before I went to Dover.
It is a nasty mess, darling, really.
See, if you tell him the truth.
His career goes up in smoke.
And if you don't ..
- An innocent man may go to the gallows.
Of course .. I must help him.
If there were only some way of
saving Metford without destroying Alan.
I've got it .. it's so simple, my dear.
You just tell Alan you went to Dover
that day to see my sister off to Paris.
After the boat sailed, you thought you'd
take a little stroll along the cliffs ..
And that's all there is to it.
You know, sometimes I'm
frightened of my own cleverness.
No, I can't tell him that.
- Why?
The day I went to Dover, I told Alan I
was at the tennis matches at Wimbledon.
Oh ..
Bunny, you've just got to do
something. You must help me.
Of course I will, darling. But
we don't have to rush things.
Lots can happen before
this trial ends you know.
Now .. give uncle Bunny a little smile.
My dear, I was at the trial today.
Alan was thrilling.
How he made that murderer squirm.
All the fellow did was to
push his wife off a cliff.
Oh Alan, I was so proud of you today.
How long will it take you
to finish that little wretch?
The trial may take another week.
A whole week?
I mustn't miss a single day.
Excuse me, please.
Why is everybody so
vicious about this fellow?
After all .. perhaps his
wife needed murdering.
Well, if you think
that's funny, I don't.
My dear, my dear,
it wasn't meant for humour.
A cocktail, sir?
Lady Hathaway would have
made a most charming cannibal.
Can't you see her dancing round
the pot while the victim boils?
Well anyway, her morbidity is honest.
Why the newspapers and a
legion of Lady Hathaways ..
Seem to gloat over the possibility of
snuffing out old Metford is beyond me.
Look here, you haven't been discussing
the case with Helen by chance, have you?
Good heavens, no.
Only you know how sensitive she is.
I must say I wouldn't like to go
through the rest of my life ..
With the spook of old Metford
sitting on my shoulder.
You certainly are a cheerful bloke.
Look here, Bunny.
You're a pretty good lawyer.
At least you would be if
you hadn't so much money.
Submit one point in Metford's favour.
Alright. What about the other woman?
You mean, the "phantom woman"?
There may be such a woman.
There may be a Santa Claus.
It's a cock-and-bull story, Bunny.
Well, I don't entirely disbelieve it.
Then why hasn't she come forward?
- There could be a dozen reasons.
She might have .. gone abroad.
She might have been in Dover that day ..
Under circumstances which make it nearly
impossible for her to come forward.
That's very nice. You've settled
the whole thing, just like that.
Tomorrow I'll merely address the court
and say "Milord, until last night .."
"I thought The Crown had built up a most
convincing case against the accused."
"But Your Lordship will agree that
Mr Jeffers' brilliant observations .."
"Must completely shatter
the Crown's case."
So I move for a dismissal.
Will that satisfy you?
Or would you have us go further and
erect a monument to poor Metford?
On Sunset View with the
touching inscription ..
"Don't push."
Alan, dear.
Thornton Edward George
Haigh Fennyfield Cameron ..
Will never forgive you for
deserting the ship this afternoon.
Well, I'm sorry, Eloise.
Important business.
- On Mallet Street?
Of course not.
Why Mallet Street?
Coming to the christening I saw you turn
into Mallet Street from The Embankment.
Not I. I wasn't near Mallet Street.
I could almost have sworn it was you.
You must have a double in London.
Well, I'm satisfied as long as he does
not start signing my name to cheques.
Dinner is served, Milady.
Yes. Very well, Henderson.
- Pass.
Well lead, lead ..
Ten-thirty, Lord Hathaway.
- Oh yes.
Well .. where's he going?
Just home. Ten-thirty is the
deadline for uncle Henry.
I've seen him quit the House Of Lords in
the middle of a speech in the same way.
You can send me a cheque in the morning.
But you lost.
If we could get somebody to take his
hand there would be no need to turn in.
Alan shouldn't play anymore.
- Why do you say that?
Your mind isn't on the game old boy.
You played atrociously.
Post mortems are now in order, General.
Can you tell me why you led the
Jack of Diamonds up to the King?
It's an old family custom. The Deardens
always lead the Jack to the King.
I suppose you thought
the ace was in my hand?
Though why you thought so,
heaven only knows.
I suppose it was another of those
natural deductions of yours?
Wouldn't you rather hear
some music, General?
You couldn't look at my hand.
And yet you were sure
that I had the ace.
You didn't see Metford kill his
wife, yet you're sure that he did.
Why bring up the Metford case?
You decided my fate in that game
exactly as you are deciding his.
I'm sure that Metford would be perfectly
willing to change places with you.
The chances are, he's just
as innocent as I am.
You don't really believe that.
- Curiously enough General, he does.
With the chain of evidence complete.
It might be a series of coincidences.
Yes, yes it might be. But ..
Hardly probable.
Oh I don't know. We all at times
have our unguarded hour.
When everything is against us. When we
can't remember faces or dates or places.
Metford had his unguarded hour.
But unfortunately for him it
synchronised with his wife's death.
Now, he's accused of committing a murder
that he claims he never committed.
That's pure Tommy-rot.
Well, there's another aspect.
Take the murderer's
first line of defence.
He must tell a consistent story, huh?
The real criminal provides
for that in advance.
Of course.
- But the innocent man?
Ask him where he was and what
he did at such and such an hour.
He will have great
difficulty in answering.
People don't bother to
remember those things.
An innocent man could.
Could you?
- Alright.
Now let's assume that a crime
was committed this afternoon.
And that you are under suspicion.
Could you prove an alibi?
- Certainly.
Good. Let's say the crime was
committed between five and six.
Where were you, during that hour?
Why, between five and six?
Because you had an important appointment
at 5:15 and you failed to keep it.
To tell you the truth, because I thought
you'd make a better-looking Godfather.
You're evasive.
- Have a drink, General?
Yes. Yes, I don't mind if I do.
I'm in no mood for any of your
parlour games tonight, Bunny.
I'm sure the General feels the same way.
As a matter of fact I'm trying to recall
my movements between five and six today.
And I confess it's very difficult.
I thought perhaps it's my age.
And do you really mean that offhand, you
can account for each minute of the hour?
Most assuredly.
Then where were you
between five and six, huh?
Well ..
See, stopping to think, already.
I'm doing nothing of the kind.
Just before 5, I got a letter pertaining
to some business that couldn't wait.
I had Hilton phone Helen that I'd
be late for the christening and I left.
Go on, go on.
Well, the business took me
longer than I'd expected and ..
I arrived home about 6:15.
Not so fast. You'd never allow a witness
to explain away an hour in that fashion.
I'm afraid he's right, Alan.
Well, you left the office.
Then where did you drive?
I dismissed my car.
That's odd. Why?
Well, I didn't want to inconvenience
Helen so I sent the car home to her.
Well, what about Sergeant Burns?
Sergeant Burns?
- Yes, you know.
The plain-clothes man who guards you
since you broke up that racehorse gang.
I dismissed him.
You .. you dismissed Sergeant Burns?
I know I promised you General, but ..
Well today, I felt I just couldn't
have him dogging my footsteps.
He was getting on my nerves.
I suppose you realise that in
getting rid of Sergeant Burns ..
You've lost the only witness
who could prove definitely ..
Where you spend the time in question.
There is a point for the Prosecution.
I think you two should exchange jobs.
Yes, I think so.
And do you see the further implication
that you are now under suspicion?
Because on this particular afternoon
you did a thing you never do as a rule.
You dismissed your chauffeur and
the detective assigned to guard you.
But there was no crime.
No. But if there had been
and you were suspected ..
That would be considered a suspicious
circumstance. Right, General?
Well .. I think so.
You rang, sir?
Whiskey and sodas for
General Lawrence and myself.
Very good, sir.
- What ..?
You'll need all your wits, Alan.
Suspicious characters shouldn't drink.
Any game that robs a man
of a drink is getting serious.
No flippancies from the accused, please.
You left the Strand Chambers
shortly before five.
Where did you go?
I turned south on to the
Victoria Embankment.
You turned south on to
the Victoria Embankment.
You're speaking like an
accused person already.
Accused people, when flustered, always
say things like that to gain time.
Bunny, I never knew anyone
could be so exasperating.
That's how Metford feels about you.
Well, you turned south on to The
Embankment and then what did you do?
I walked about five streets
to Northumberland Avenue.
Turned north and
entered the Brock House.
You're doing nobly. You've accounted
for about .. fifteen minutes.
And on whom were you
calling at the Brock House?
Gerald Houseman.
- Gerald Houseman.
You're tripping over solicitors
all day long in the court.
And yet you call on one
at five o'clock. Why?
I see nothing unusual about that.
- Thanks for the lift, General.
And what was your important
business with Gerald Houseman?
The court is adjourned.
- Oh, no it isn't.
Here, General. Make
yourself comfortable.
It's his life that is at stake you know.
I was asking you the nature of your
business with Gerald Houseman.
It was a very private matter.
I'd rather not discuss it.
You mean you refuse to discuss it?
- Aha.
You insisted on poor Metford explaining
the quarrel he had with his wife ..
Leave Metford out of this.
Alright .. how long were
you with Houseman?
I didn't see him.
Whom did you see?
- No-one.
I went into the outer office and there
was no-one there so I sat and waited.
The future Attorney General waits to
be announced to Mr Houseman.
Why didn't you boom into his office
the way you boom into poor old Metford?
I wanted to think a
while before I saw him.
How long did this meditation last?
Possibly fifteen minutes.
- And then?
Then I changed my mind about
seeing him and I left the office.
Without seeing anyone?
The lift couldn't have been
crowded at that hour, going up.
The lift man must have noticed you.
- I didn't use the lift.
Up or down.
- No?
I always use the stairs.
The exercise, you know.
And in all this time you didn't
encounter one, single person?
Of all the fishy stories, this
is the prize sardine, isn't it.
It is a little strange, I'll admit.
Strange? It's fantastic.
Why if any witness dared to tell you a
story like that, you'd bite his ear off.
Possibly, but it's true.
- Ha.
Well, after your elusive ghost had
finished haunting Houseman's office.
Where did it go?
- I went back to The Embankment.
Leaned against the parapet
and watched the river traffic.
What an alibi.
While the crime was being committed.
You are visiting deserted offices
and leaning against parapets.
Well .. what next?
I strolled along The Embankment.
You went for a stroll?
Despite the fact that Helen and us were
waiting for you at the christening?
Me with a baby in my arms.
Not the best-mannered
baby in the world, either.
I had to reach a decision regarding the
business that took me to that office.
Have you got one witness that can prove
that you meandered along The Embankment?
Remember, your life may depend on this.
Witnesses don't follow
one about the streets.
Do you insist that a prisoner at the bar
produce a witness to every trivial act?
Otherwise, you say he's lying.
- Wait a second.
I bought a paper at the corner
of Charing Cross bridge.
The man who sold it to
me would identify me.
Yes? But suppose he couldn't?
Then I can't prove it.
Well, what paper did you buy?
The Daily Record.
Which edition?
The 6:30.
Ah .. the Daily Record doesn't
have a 6:30 edition.
Only The Chronicle and The Herald.
- Right. It was The Chronicle I bought.
A complete contradiction, you see.
We've got him, General.
What did you do with The Chronicle?
Did you bring it home with you?
No, I ..
I must have dropped it somewhere.
Hmm .. and then?
Then I decided to see Houseman after
all and I went back to the Brock House.
Oh the Brock House again.
I hope it hadn't disappeared
when you got there.
No, it was still there but I didn't
enter. I changed my mind again ..
Hailed a taxi and drove to the church.
Obviously you saw someone there?
No .. no, the church was empty.
So I walked home.
Only don't you think
it's a little uncanny ..
The way you keep popping up
in places that are deserted?
Nevertheless, it happens to be true.
Sounds awfully queer to me.
Now, earlier this evening.
You told us you cut your
hand on a nail in the taxi.
So I did.
Are you sure you didn't get it in a life
and death struggle with your victim?
"Nonsense" is a word used by prisoners
as they're tied in knots by prosecutors.
Do you believe me or don't you?
- Oh, my dear fellow.
As your closest friend, of course I'm
willing to believe anything you say.
But .. if I were the General, I would
view you with the gravest suspicion.
I might even apply for a
warrant for your arrest.
Bunny, you're carrying
this joke a little too far.
Getting the wind up, eh?
Oh, shut up.
All evening, you've been pale,
agitated, unlike your usual self.
- There is that word again.
When Eloise arrived, she said she'd seen
you on Mallet Street about five o'clock.
She was mistaken.
- Possibly.
But she's known you all her life.
Now supposing this hypothetical crime
had been committed on Mallet Street.
And around five o'clock and
you came under suspicion ..
Inspector Grainger is here sir,
to see General Lawrence.
I'm sorry.
Must be something important.
- That's alright.
Show him in here.
We'll go in the drawing room.
Good evening, General.
What's up, Grainger?
There was a murder committed between
five and six this afternoon, sir.
Number 9, Mallet Street.
Between five and six?
Mallet Street?
A woman named Diana Roggers was
found strangled to death in her flat.
Upon my soul.
The body wasn't discovered
until an hour ago.
I wanted to report to you personally,
because of a strange angle to the case.
What angle?
This memorandum was on the
table in the lady's bedroom.
"Strand Chambers."
The only A.D. in the
Strand Chamber is ..
Is your host, Sir Alan Dearden.
Why don't you let Mr Jeffers
play for you, Alan?
It's much easier for him.
He's seen all the hands.
Better stand in the corner, Bunny.
You make us nervous.
It's terribly stupid of me, darling.
I'm not concentrating.
Take it as a compliment, Helen.
No man could play as badly as
that unless he was terribly in love.
Bunny, if I were to strangle you,
no jury in the world would convict me.
You don't think ..?
Well, I mean to say, Sir Alan couldn't
know anything about this, could he?
That's too difficult a question
to answer at this moment.
But if he does.
Remember this, Inspector.
We have a very intelligent
man to deal with.
Yes, sir.
The mere supposition seems fantastic.
And yet.
He spoke of relieving an
important letter in his office.
Shortly before five o'clock.
I'd give considerably
to know what's in that letter.
Most letters are thrown in
to waste-paper baskets, sir.
A chance in a million.
- We mustn't overlook it.
Take a detail and go to the
Strand Chambers immediately.
Very good, sir.
Will you be viewing
the body tonight, sir?
Later, later.
Nothing has been moved?
The knife and the newspaper?
Just where they were found?
- Yes, sir.
Report what progress you're
making with the letter.
You had better telephone me here, in ..
An hour.
- Very good, sir.
Hadn't I better detail some
men to watch this house, sir?
I suppose so.
Yes, sir.
All the stuff from the waste baskets
comes down this chute into the bag here.
Then it's taken out
into the incinerator.
We generally do that around this time.
We're going to have a look through the
stuff in the bag. Empty it on the floor.
Goodnight Helen, I've had a lovely time.
I shall be at the trial tomorrow.
Watching you make the kill.
Really, you make me feel like a matador.
Such ego, my boy.
I can hardly visualize
poor old Metford as a bull.
A goat would be a much better simile.
Why don't you have breakfast with me?
We can go to the Old Bailey together.
No thanks, aunt Agatha.
Why it's much more
dramatic than any play.
I'm afraid I haven't your
appreciation for the morbid.
Oh darling. Goodnight.
Why don't you go home?
- Waiting for General Lawrence.
Well, why doesn't he go? I haven't had
a moment with Helen and I'd like one.
I could stand more than a moment.
Alan, you go along with Bunny.
I'm tired. I want to go to bed.
But darling, the trial is over soon. I'd
like to plan the finish of our holiday.
I don't think there is much
point in our planning it.
Goodnight, Helen. And don't worry.
Don't worry?
What is there to worry about?
- Nothing. Nothing at all.
Just don't worry. That's all.
I always say that.
It's nicer than "pleasant dreams"
or "sleep tight".
"See you tomorrow."
Look Bunny, aren't you ever going home?
Well, not until the General does.
He's giving me a lift.
General, we're being insulted.
Our genial host is actually
anxious for us to go home.
By Jove, don't tell me
everyone has left.
How stupid of me. I told the Inspector
to telephone me here in an hour.
It's very important. I ..
Hope you won't mind my staying a while.
- Why, you may stay all night, General.
I'm sure you can get
into a pair of my pyjamas.
Thanks awfully, but ..
There will be no need for your
hospitality after I get the message.
It is no imposition, I assure you.
How about a drink?
I could use one very nicely.
- Ditto.
I might have known your
answer would be "ditto".
What's the case, General?
Anything gooey?
I'm sorry, but it's a
rule of the yard that ..
Of course, of course.
How stupid of me to ask.
There you are, sir.
- Thank you.
It must be rather awkward not having the
full use of one's right hand, I imagine.
It will be alright in the morning.
- I'm not so sure about that.
Let me take a look at it.
- Oh, it's nothing, General.
The bandage is too tight for one thing.
- I tell you it's quite alright.
I saw you exercising
your fingers tonight.
It's a sure sign of a tight bandage.
Really, I ..
- Well ..
What caused that? A knife?
Of course, I remember.
You said you ripped it on a
nail in a taxi. Is that right?
If you ask me it's exactly
like a cut from a knife.
Nobody asked you, Watson.
You were wearing gloves when
you got this, weren't you?
- Dr Watson asks "how".
The nature of the wound.
See where the cut ends abruptly
here at the side of the hand?
That's just where the seam
of the glove would be.
Amazing, my dear Sherlock. I shall
think twice before stabbing anyone.
You know, one can't be too
careful with a thing of this sort.
Infection, you know.
Well very often, the dye from the
glove is extremely poisonous.
I'd like to take a look
at the one you wore.
I threw the gloves away.
This one was ripped.
- Ah yes, yes. Of course.
Alan, you may say that
was done by a nail.
But a nail doesn't make
a clean cut like that.
Oh for heaven's sakes Bunny, stop it.
Fancy, you're trying to humbug me.
That's a cut from a knife, my boy.
If it was done by a
man you'd have told us.
You haven't told us, so it
was done by a woman.
Don't forget they're making
Dearden .. Attorney General.
Yes, that means he's got to be twice
as careful not to be found out.
You couldn't risk an exposure, old boy.
You would take any steps
to keep it covered up.
There you are.
I see it all clearly.
Give me my crystal.
- I'll give you more than that.
I see .. I see!
Two gay young sparks at Cambridge.
One of them is named "Dearden".
The other, a brilliant,
dashing young fellow.
Can it be I?
It is I.
I'm warning my friend against
being too fond of the ladies.
Does he heed my warning? No.
I see the sad face of poor little
Lottie from the tobacconist.
Maisy from the bar,
and a score of others.
Stop being an ass.
Ah, the years roll by.
My friend is married.
The past suddenly gallops up to him.
One of these fair damsels, by a ruse,
gets him to her apartment.
She tries to awaken the old interest.
He's unresponsive, there is a
scene, a clash of temperaments.
He grabs a knife ..
- Will you shut up.
He has a very vivid
imagination, hasn't he.
All the same, I wish I'd seen the cut on
his hand when he was in the witness box.
I'd have riddled that
asinine yarn of yours ..
About deserted offices, strolls
along The Embankment ..
And that evasion about
being seen in Mallet Street.
That's strange.
- What?
Well, I don't suppose I should tell
you. There's a curious coincidence.
The crime that was committed today
really happened in Mallet Street.
I knew it. General, there is your man.
What was the nature of the crime?
- Was it a woman?
Yes. Yes, she was found
strangled to death in her flat.
The hour and the place of the
time of her death between 5 and 6.
Between 5 and 6 in Mallet
Street, and a woman.
My dear old fellow, why
don't you give yourself up?
The woman's name was Diana Roggers.
Oh .. did you know her?
- No.
No. Of course not.
Were there any clues?
- Yes, a few.
There was an unopened copy of the
Evening Chronicle found on the divan.
The 6:30 edition.
The 6:30 edition of The Chronicle?
Why that's the paper ..
- Yes, yes.
You did mention earlier in the evening
purchasing the Chronicle, didn't you.
Yes .. yes, but ..
He told us he'd thrown
it away. Remember?
And on the floor beside the
woman's body was found a knife.
With which she evidently
attempted to defend herself.
There was blood on the blade.
So we feel that the murderer
will be found with ..
A cut on the right hand.
Why .. why the right hand?
Because there were marks of a
right hand on the woman's throat.
She was strangled, remember.
And on the finger-marks
were traces of blood.
Then there were fingerprints?
- No, no.
But the bruises of the fingers on
the neck are clearly marked.
There were no fingerprints.
So ..
He must have worn gloves.
It's getting awfully
close in here, isn't it.
Mind if I open a window?
- No. Do.
A fresh drink, General?
No. No thanks.
Well ..
There's a storm knocking
around somewhere.
Probably why it is so oppressive.
I thought we were in for one.
It was like an oven in court today.
Next week, we'll probably
all be shivering again.
Yes .. that's our English climate.
- Yes.
Don't stand there like a stuffed owl!
I know what you're thinking.
No, no, no. I was just ..
- You think I'm the murderer.
Two and two make four. Is that the idea?
It is a little disturbing, Alan.
That cut on your hand
and some other things.
No doubt, you can explain them.
The injury to my hand, I can.
It wasn't a nail.
That's quite obvious.
When I left the temple I
was followed by a man.
Evidently one of the racehorse gang.
He struck at me with a knife.
As I shielded myself I
got it in the right hand.
Why did you say it was a nail?
I know it was stupid of me but
I didn't want to frighten Helen.
I felt guilty for dismissing Sergeant
Burns after giving you my promise.
Well that clears everything up then.
Where did this attack take place?
In one of the lanes as I cut
through to The Embankment.
Well surely you can remember
exactly which lane?
As a matter of fact I can't.
I was very much occupied. My mind was
worried with something else at the time.
It all happened so quickly,
I was a little confused.
Who saw it?
No-one. The lane was deserted.
- What happened to the man?
He got away.
That settles that, now ..
Do you think we ought to be toddle
along gentlemen? It's getting late.
You should have reported to the Yard.
- I didn't want to frighten Helen.
Why argue about it anymore? The
whole thing is .. perfectly ridiculous.
Almost all murders are ridiculous.
Look General, I'd like to
know what you mean by that.
Steady, Alan.
But if you had to go through all I have
with this Metford case day after day ..
Hours on end.
You wouldn't want to be badgered
with a string of questions.
Where have I been this afternoon? What
did I do? What the devil does it matter?
General, Alan is tired. Don't you think
we should go home? - No, wait.
Perhaps Alan would
like to settle this now.
Settle what? I've told you everything.
It isn't my fault if I can't prove it.
No, you haven't told everything.
Would you tell me one thing, the nature
of your business in Houseman's office.
I'm sorry .. I refuse to divulge
the nature of that business.
[ Telephone ]
Why, that's probably for me.
May I?
- Certainly.
Yes, yes. Correct.
We've come across a part of an
envelope addressed to Dearden.
The same handwriting as the memorandum
found in the murdered woman's bedroom.
Very good.
I'm going to Mallet Street
and then to the Yard, so ..
You keep in touch with me.
I look for an early
solution to this case.
If you're sure you have your man,
why don't you arrest him?
Why Alan, I haven't said anything
about being sure of anything.
Now, I'll be running along.
- I'll have Henderson get your things.
That's nice of you.
Goodnight, Alan.
Goodnight, General. I'm sorry
if I seemed a little short.
Oh please, no apologies are necessary.
Henderson, the General's hat and coat.
Goodnight, Bunny.
- Goodnight, General.
Alan, trust me. You do
trust me, don't you?
Will you please stop this.
- I don't care why you did it.
All I know is I'm your friend.
I want to help.
I didn't do it, I tell you.
I didn't, I didn't!
Of course you didn't old boy.
Of course not. All I meant was.
Oh Alan, why don't you trust me?
When things close in on you
like this, you can't escape ..
Will you stop it!
You have your passport.
You could leave England tonight.
Don't be a fool, Alan. You must go away
somewhere and have a chance to think.
Every circumstance points to ..
- Yes, I've been tied up very nicely.
Very nicely indeed.
The missing alibis and the
newspaper and my cut hand.
And Eloise thinking she
saw me in Mallet Street.
It's like a nightmare, one thing
following another like this.
And it all started with your
idiotic joke about alibis.
Why did you ever start it?
I tell you, I've explained everything.
I won't listen to another word
about it. Go home, Bunny.
If you won't discuss it with
me, send for someone.
But do it tonight. Now.
Physicians don't cure themselves.
Oh Bunny, goodnight.
- But ..
- Hello, darling.
What made you get me
up at this unearthly hour?
Where are the horses?
- There aren't any.
Good. I didn't feel like riding.
- No, neither did I.
I wanted an excuse to leave the house.
Come on Bunny, I must talk with you.
- Yes.
Come on, old girl.
You can't just sit there,
staring into space.
What's on your mind?
The end of everything
that matters in life for me.
I know about Alan.
It wasn't just a youthful escapade
this Diana Roggers situation.
You heard him deny he was
on Mallet Street. Well, he ..
Did that because ..
That's where she lives.
He was with her yesterday afternoon.
He'll probably be with her today,
tomorrow and the next day.
It must have been going on
since we've been married.
Alan wouldn't do a
thing like that to you.
Did you talk to him last night?
I'm a coward, Bunny.
I dread to face him with this
sordidness standing between us.
All the normal clean things seem
to be so far away now, don't they.
Ambition, contentment.
Everything is going to work out alright.
You mustn't be impulsive.
It's all so vividly clear, Bunny.
When Alan comes home tonight, I shall
tell him just why I went to Dover.
It will be easier to help Metford now.
Yes of course. Only ..
You mustn't do anything yet.
Not today I mean. Not until I've had
time to check up on lots of things.
You mustn't. You absolutely mustn't.
I wanted to help them both, Bunny.
I guess Alan didn't need me.
He may need you now.
More than you ever dreamed.
Is Lady Dearden awake yet?
Yes, Sir Alan. She's out.
She went riding.
Left the house about 7:30.
Thank you, Martha.
Now then, Metford.
I was asking you when
the court rose, yesterday.
About ..
I beg the court's indulgence for a
moment while I consult my notes.
A rather timid approach this
morning, don't you think?
Now then.
When the court rose yesterday.
I was asking you ..
He seems rather upset, don't you think?
Good morning, sir.
- How do you do, sir.
Well, did you get any sleep?
- No, sir.
I didn't leave the Strand Chambers until
9:30 this morning when I telephoned you.
Is the letter taking shape?
- Yes, sir.
When I left only two pieces were needed
to complete the reconstruction job.
They'll find them before noon, I'm sure.
I can't understand him not
burning that letter, sir.
A man of his intelligence.
Every murderer, however intelligent
he is, generally makes one mistake.
I'm happy to say.
Haven't we enough evidence to
make an arrest now, General?
No hurry, no hurry. He can't get away.
There is just one thing missing
to make our case complete.
The motive.
Lady Dearden?
- Yes?
This is for you.
What's this?
- A subpoena.
A subpoena?
Anything wrong, Milady?
No, Larkin. Wait at the car.
- Yes, Milady.
When must I appear?
Right away. I am to
accompany you to the court.
Very well, come along.
The Old Bailey.
- Yes, Milady.
Then you can't remember the exact date
when the policy for 1,000 was issued?
Well, if I ..
If I could only think for a minute.
I have no objection. Go ahead and think.
If I remember correctly.
The policy was taken out
on the 5th of March, 1935.
You did remember correctly.
Your witness.
No questions.
At this time I should like
to call another witness.
Call the witness.
Lady Helen Dearden.
Silence .. silence in the court!
Milord, Lady Dearden
knows nothing of this case.
I beg to disagree with my
learned friend, Milord.
I think we shall find that Lady Dearden
knows a great deal about this case.
Lady Dearden is my wife.
Lady Dearden at the
moment, is a witness.
Yes, Milord.
Administer the oath.
What is your name?
Helen Dudley Dearden.
Helen Dudley Dearden.
Take the book in your right hand.
The evidence which you will give
to the court shall be the truth ..
The whole truth and nothing
but the truth, so help you, God.
Kiss the book.
Lady Dearden.
You are the wife of the counsel for
The Crown in this case, are you not?
Do you have any idea why you have
been called as a witness today?
I think I have.
Were you in Dover on the
afternoon of May 14th last?
Yes, I was.
And while there, did you make a trip to
the summit of one of the Dover cliffs?
The one known as Sunset View.
- Silence.
What time did you arrive at Sunset View?
At precisely one-thirty.
And what time did you leave?
About five minutes later.
Five minutes later?
Why did you go there, Lady Dearden?
Everyone has heard of the
wonderful view from there.
Oh yes. Of course.
But you saw all that you
wanted to see in five minutes.
The view didn't come up to
your expectations, I take it?
I object, Milord.
The counsel for the defence insinuates
there may have been something strange ..
About Lady Dearden's
visit to Sunset View.
Such an insinuation is
absurd and unfounded.
Thousands of tourists
visit this cliff yearly.
Metford and his wife were two
of those thousands, Milord.
The accused has testified that he and
Mrs Metford went there to see the view.
The Crown has persistently
scoffed at such an explanation.
It suggests that Metford's trip to an
out-of-the way place like Sunset View ..
Was a singularly sinister and
most uncommon expedition.
The objection before
the court, Mr Wilson.
Is to your insinuation that
there was something strange ..
About Lady Dearden's visit to
Sunset View on May 14th last.
I no longer insinuate, Milord.
The defence maintain Lady Dearden's five
minute visit to Sunset View was unusual.
And subsequent events bear
us out in our contention.
Until a minute ago, The Crown placed but
two people at the scene of the tragedy.
Now there are three.
The first: Annie Metford, deceased.
The second: her husband who
stands accused of her murder.
Lady Dearden, the mysterious
lady who for the past month ..
Has been implored by the
press to come forward.
Is the third person.
She did not appear until her
identity became known.
And a bailiff armed with a
subpoena was sent to get her.
- Milord.
I'm sure Lady Dearden can explain why
she has not come forward before this.
I am equally sure ..
She is most eager to answer any and
all questions from my learned friend.
Therefore, I withdraw my objection.
Continue with the witness.
Why did you go to Dover?
To .. to keep an appointment.
With whom?
Why must I answer all these questions?
What does it matter when I got
there or whom I went to see?
I think the questions are
perfectly proper, Lady Dearden.
Your Lordship notices the reluctant way
in which the witness answers questions.
I think it's within your Lordship's
discretion in the circumstances ..
To allow me to cross-examine
her, as a hostile witness.
Any objection, Sir Alan?
None, Milord.
You may cross-examine the witness.
Lady Dearden.
Shortly after 12 o'clock noon,
on May 14th last ..
You entered the Dover Highland Bank.
And changed two 1,000 notes
into five and ten pound notes.
Did you not?
You did to that, didn't you?
You put the money into a small,
black bag you were carrying.
That bag was found opened and emptied
beside the body of Annie Metford.
That same bag has been identified as
such by the bank clerk who served you.
The same clerk ..
Mindful of the fact that people don't go
around changing 1,000 notes every day.
Jotted down the license number of your
car parked across the road by the bank.
You did change those two
large notes into smaller ones.
Didn't you, Lady Dearden?
Yes, I ..
I did.
After leaving the bank, where
did you go with the money?
To the foot of the Dover cliffs.
When you got to the foot of
the cliff, what did you do?
I parked my car and ..
Started up the road which
leads to the Sunset View.
Why did you carry the money up there?
It was rather an odd
proceeding, was it not?
Yes .. I suppose so.
When you reached the top of the cliff.
What did you do with the money?
I threw it over the cliff.
Threw two thousand
pounds over the cliff?
There .. there was a man
waiting for it at the bottom.
I gave him the money for some letters my
husband had written to this man's wife.
That was before Sir Alan
and I were married.
Did you husband know of this?
No, Milord.
I knew what he would have done and ..
I loved him too much to let
him sacrifice his career.
Then your trip to Sunset View was
made under strange circumstances.
Was it not, Lady Dearden?
Yes. I suppose you could say it was.
You were there at almost
the exact time of the tragedy.
Did you pass anybody on the
way up to the top of the cliff?
Was there anyone at the place known
as Sunset View when you arrived there?
Now, Lady Dearden.
On your way back, did you see anyone?
A woman. First, I heard a voice.
She was speaking with some man.
I stepped behind a rock and she passed.
I didn't see her face.
How far had you gone when
this woman passed you?
It was close to the summit.
Just before you come to
a slight bend in the path.
We have here a map of Sunset View.
And the path which leads to it.
Now this is Sunset View.
This is the path that leads
to the base of the cliff.
And this woman passed you about here?
How long after she passed you did
you come from behind the rock?
I should say about 5 .. or 6 seconds.
And then you continued down the path?
Did you see anyone else?
Yes. A man.
I saw him.
Just as I came to the bend in the path.
This bend?
- Yes.
Where was the man?
He was climbing up an embankment on the
right hand side of the path, about ..
Just about there.
He ..
He apparently was
gathering some wildflowers.
Did you hear him call to his wife?
- What did he say?
I can't remember his
exact words but he ..
He called her name and ..
Warned her not to go too
near the edge of the cliff.
Lady Dearden.
I want you to think carefully before
you answer this next question.
Had the man seen you
when he called to his wife?
No. His back was to me at the time.
Did his wife answer him?
Yes. She called back that
she was alright or ..
Or something like that.
- Did they seem happy?
In your opinion, was this man genuinely
concerned about the safety of his wife?
Did the man see you when you passed him?
I didn't know he had until
I read it in the papers.
I stepped on some pebbles when I
was directly beneath him and ..
I thought at the time I must
have attracted his attention but ..
I didn't turn round to see.
And he hadn't seen you when he called
and warned her not to go near the edge?
Yes, I'm positive.
Would you recognise this
man if you saw him? - Yes.
Metford .. step forward.
Is that the man?
Thank you.
The defence rests.
Milord, I wish to take
this opportunity ..
Of explaining Lady Dearden's
attitude in this case.
Though she has never stated
her reasons for thinking so ..
In conversations ..
She has steadfastly maintained that
the accused, Metford, was innocent.
Knowing her as I do, I'm positive that
she would have come forward eventually.
And would not have permitted
a miscarriage of justice.
Sir Alan's reading is correct, Milord.
Only this morning Lady
Dearden confided ..
That she intended to appear as
a witness for the accused.
But this is most irregular.
Who are you?
Oh .. yes .. well ..
William Jeffers, Milord.
Barrister at law.
Then you should know better .. than to
interrupt the proceedings, Mr Jeffers.
I humbly beg your Lordship's pardon.
- Please take your seat.
Yes, Milord.
The defence has rested, Sir Alan.
No questions.
Ah, wait, Lady Dearden.
You have testified that you have
paid the sum of 2,000 to a man ..
In return for some letters written
by your husband to that man's wife.
Under the law, the man who received
that money is guilty of extortion.
And the court asks that
you divulge his name.
I .. I can't remember his name.
The letters in question.
Were received by the wife
of this .. unnamed person.
Therefore it must be assumed
that she is a party to the extortion.
Surely you can remember her name?
Yes .. her name is ..
Diana Roggers.
Diana Roggers?
Isn't that the name of the woman who was
found murdered in her flat last night?
There is the motive.
Milord .. with the
consent of the court ..
And the counsel for the defence,
I should like an adjournment.
For how long, Sir Alan?
I can't say at the moment.
Perhaps General Lawrence
could answer that question.
General Lawrence?
It is my painful duty to arrest Sir Alan
Dearden for the murder of Diana Roggers.
Silence! Silence in court!
Silence! Silence!
Silence! Silence!
There's nothing to worry about, darling.
- No, no, no. Nothing at all.
Frazier, you and Sergeant
Hawk wait in there.
Very good, sir.
Believe me when I say this
is a most unpleasant duty.
General, this whole affair is absurd.
I hoped you had changed your attitude.
- Alan isn't himself, General.
Excuse me sir, but ..
Sergeant Wallace just
reported with the letter.
Do you mind if I look too, General?
No, no. I don't mind at all.
This letter demanding that you
call upon her at five o'clock.
Was sent to you by Diana Roggers
sometime yesterday.
This is the last link in
a perfect chain of evidence.
The tone of that letter is
definitely threatening.
It supplies an excellent basis
for a plea of self-defence.
Yes, I agree with you.
As your friend, I advise
you to make a statement.
Oh yes, do darling.
This evidence is overwhelming.
In all my years with the Yard, I can't
remember a more .. complete case.
A denial now would create the impression
that the crime was premeditated and ..
Not self-defence.
May I speak to Helen alone?
Yes. Yes, if course.
You can wait here in this little room.
Come in .. in here.
Diana Roggers had been an
old sweetheart of Dearden.
They were the victims
of a blackmail plot.
Lady Dearden's testimony ..
Has undoubtedly saved Metford from the
gallows and put her husband in the dock.
Goodbye, darling.
Goodbye, Alan.
I'll take care of her.
I'll contact Houseman right away.
- Please do.
I killed Diana Roggers.
How did it happen?
It had been many years since
I'd seen her or heard of her.
Until I received that letter yesterday.
I knew it meant trouble and
decided to consult my solicitor.
I even started for his office.
I changed my mind.
- Why?
I foresaw a nasty scandal.
Finally I decided to have a
talk with Diana Roggers myself.
What time did you arrive at her place?
About twenty minutes to six.
I entered the house and walked
up the stairs to her flat.
At that moment I heard
someone enter the building.
Not wishing to be seen, I quickly
turned the knob of her door.
It wasn't locked.
I stepped inside her flat.
The room was in semi-darkness and as
I shut the door and turned from it ..
A woman, Miss Roggers, rushed at me from
the bedroom with a knife in her hand.
She shouted .. drunkenly:
"So you've come back, have you."
And slashed at me with a knife.
And what did you do?
I put up my right hand to ward
off the blow and received this cut.
It was obvious she was
mistaking me for someone else.
Before I said a word, she raised
the knife again. - Yes?
Instinctively, I grabbed
her by the throat.
As she tried again and again
to reach me with the knife.
My fingers tightened on her windpipe.
Suddenly she relaxed and fell in a heap.
I thought she'd fainted, but when
I stooped over to pick her up ..
Her eyes .. were wide open.
I left immediately and went home.
I knew I should have
gone to Scotland Yard.
But there was the
thought of the publicity ..
I didn't care about myself.
I was thinking of Helen.
I understand.
And your theory is that Diana Roggers
mistook you for somebody else?
Yes. He must have been in her
flat shortly before my arrival.
They undoubtedly
quarrelled before he left.
And when I appeared she thought
it was this other person returning.
Of course you realize your plea of self
defence relies solely on this other man.
Unless he appears and admits quarrelling
with her prior to your arrival.
I'm afraid your story won't stand up.
But I feel sure this other
man will come forward.
I have an idea it might
have been her husband.
Perhaps so.
We have questions to ask that gentleman
regarding a trip to Dover, and 2,000.
- Yes, sir?
Get me the name of Diana Roggers'
husband. I want him brought in.
And see if we have a photograph of
him for Lady Dearden's identification.
I'll check up right away, sir.
Sorry, but you will have to be taken
to Bow Street to be formally charged.
Morning, Helen.
- Morning, General.
- General.
Sorry to have brought you here so early,
but I've something I think is important.
Won't you sit down?
- Yes, of course.
We have identified
Diana Roggers' husband.
Luckily the Yard had his
record and photograph.
His name is Hugh Lewis. He was arrested
six years ago for a stock fraud.
That is the man you gave the two
thousand pounds to, is it not?
No. This isn't the man.
Are you sure?
- Absolutely.
According to Helen's description,
he was an undersized fellow.
Dull, rather stupid-looking. A little
sandy moustache, thinning hair.
This man doesn't resemble
him in any detail.
Obviously, the blackmailer was
not Diana Roggers' husband.
That's strange.
- It isn't to me.
She must have been working with
a man who posed as her husband.
Yes. Then there is no point in trying
to effect the arrest of this gentleman.
How are you, Lady Dearden?
I don't think we need
the chauffeur, do we?
Larkin, wait at the kerb.
- Yes, Milady.
Do you mind if I smoke?
- No.
You aren't surprised to see me, are you?
It's awfully nice of you
not to identify me.
I was sure you're
the other man involved.
And you took the police off
my trail for the extortion.
So that I wouldn't be afraid to
come forward and help Sir Alan.
Very clever.
You're the man who quarrelled with her.
Weren't you?
- Yes.
She was quite a shrew.
You don't know how much this means us.
It wouldn't be cricket to allow
an innocent man to be punished.
Then you'll come and make a statement?
- Of course.
That's why I am here.
Just a minute.
I do hope you won't think I'm mercenary.
But I expect to travel extensively
after Sir Alan has been freed.
And travelling is so expensive.
How much do you want?
My heart is set .. on a
little ranch in Canada.
I can pick one up for
ten thousand pounds.
You shall have it.
- When do I collect?
It will take a day or two to raise that
amount without creating comment.
You must trust me.
- I do.
For a very good reason .. you need
me even more than I need the money.
- Yes, Milady?
Scotland Yard.
And the man who blackmailed
Lady Dearden posing as you.
Have you any idea who he is?
According to Lady Dearden's description.
It could be the man my wife became
involved with after we were separated.
I believe his name is Adams or ..
Abbott. Something like that.
A very unattractive fellow.
- Mr Jeffers, sir.
Yes, yes.
Well, General. I got here
as quickly as I could.
Hello, darling.
You're Mr Lewis, I presume? We're very
grateful to you for coming forward.
Merely doing my duty.
The Lewis statement, sir.
- Alright.
You'd better look that over.
Inspector Grainger
with the prisoner, sir.
Oh, Dearden.
This is Hugh Lewis,
Diana Roggers' husband.
I had you brought here to
check both your stories.
How are you, Dearden? I think
I can help you out of this mess.
Yes, I think you can.
This is quite accurate.
I'll read it.
"On the day in question I called upon my
estranged wife to discuss our divorce."
"She was drinking and abusive."
"We had a violent quarrel. She flew into
a rage and ordered me out the flat."
"As I went down the stairs she called:
If you ever come back, I'll kill you."
"I make this statement voluntarily
and in the interests of justice."
Now Mr Lewis, your signature please.
Ah yes, of course.
There you are.
Dearden, with this testimony I don't
believe the jury will be out an hour.
As long as that? I shouldn't think
it would take two minutes.
And now if you've done with me
today, I think I'll say .. au revoir.
I want to thank you, Mr Lewis.
Lewis, I must thank you too.
- Don't mention it.
But I must.
What's the matter? Did I hurt your hand?
- No, not at all.
I'm sure I did.
Let's have a look at it.
Here, here. What ..? What is this?
Take your hands off me. I resent this.
- Look at that!
What does this mean, Dearden?
- Lewis, you killed Diana Roggers.
How about your confession?
It was a deliberate lie to lead
the real murderer into this trap.
I wasn't near Mallet Street that day.
And now .. Lady Dearden will identify
this fellow as the blackmailer.
Yes, I will.
You will understand now, General
why I didn't do so before.
What have you to say to this, Lewis?
It's all very amusing.
Get me that photo of the dead woman.
- Yes, sir.
Let me take a look at that
cut on your hand, Dearden.
You see that neck?
See the blood oozing through the cut
in the glove worn by the murderer.
Left a distinct mark on
the woman's throat.
That thin line of blood indicating
an almost vertical cut.
It matches completely the
cut on your hand, Lewis.
Why, the wound on Dearden's hand
is an inch shorter and horizontal.
That evidence is going
to hang you, Lewis.
Unless it was self-defence.
It was self-defence.
She came at me with a knife.
It worked!
We were sure Lewis was the murderer.
We had to make him think he wasn't, and
he'd come forward as the alibi witness.
What was his price this time, darling?
- Ten thousand pounds.
Ten thousand ..?
Oh really my dear fellow. Don't
you realize these are hard times?
Clever of you, Dearden.
You lulled me into a
sense of false security.
When I read your confession there
was only one thing I could figure.
That I hadn't killed her .. I had merely
choked her into unconsciousness.
Alright Grainger. Take him out.
- Yes, sir.
Get a statement.
It's too bad Dearden that I
can't retain you as my counsel.
You think fast .. and you take chances.
Come on.
Oh, thank you.
I'll say you do take chances.
If I hadn't our friend would probably
be on his way to China by now.
Yes, but how about that strange story
you told at your house that night?
The visit to Houseman's office,
the strolls on The Embankment.
Strange as it may seem, every
word I told you was the truth.
But I realized I couldn't prove it.
Then the truth got you into this
difficulty and a lie gets you out.
Darling, l had no idea you
could lie so beautifully.
Well, if I may so Lady Dearden,
you did very well yourself.
While you're handing out
the diplomas, don't forget ..
I'm the genius that manufactured the
undersized, stupid fellow with the ..
Small, sandy moustache
and thinning grey ..
0h good heavens ..
I was describing myself.