Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e08 Episode Script

Last Request

Good evening, fellow gourmet.
Have you ever been in a position where the success or failure of a dinner party depended entirely on you? Of course all this is not without its compensations.
It is always reassuring to learn that other human beings still find you desirable.
And I am the main course.
It would be horrible to go through this and be nothing but an hors d'oeuvre.
Confidentially, they are miserable chefs.
I certainly would never cook a pot roast with its shoes on.
Actually, I still haven't explained why I'm here.
It seems that one of the natives was condemned to death and as a last request was granted the right to indulge in a hearty meal.
I'm proud to say I was his first choice.
And now, while I'm coming to a boil, suppose you watch tonight's story which is also about a condemned man.
He's all yours, Mike.
Never mind the bald job.
You'd better let him do it, Daniels.
There aren't going to be any women witnessing the execution.
No.
Just a bunch of vultures watching me die for a killing I didn't do.
Daniels, Daniels.
You've only got a few hours left.
Why don't you spend them with the Chaplain? Let Dr.
Raymond's wife spend them with him.
I was with her at the time of the killing and she knows it.
She's a respectable woman.
Are you kidding? Respectable? She lied.
She's letting me die to protect her precious reputation.
If you want to talk to somebody, go talk to her.
Now, get them out of here, all of them.
Don't I get a last request? Yes.
You have the right to anything reasonable.
Is there anything you want? I want a typewriter and some paper.
I want to write a letter, and I'll need a special messenger to deliver it.
"To the editor of the Star Times, "Tomorrow morning your newspaper will carry the story of my execution, "an execution for a murder I did not commit.
"Along with that story, I would like you to publish this letter.
"I want the public to know that the District Attorney, Bernard Butler, is a fool, "a fact that I have known since first I met him five years ago "when a detective picked me up at the airport and took me to his office.
" What's the idea of this? What's the roust? Gerald Daniels, isn't it? From Cleveland? You know it is.
Now, why did this goon pick me up? Because I wanted to talk to you, I want to tell you something about our city.
It's a big city but a nice one, a clean one.
We'd like to keep it that way.
I never do anything illegal.
You've been arrested five times on bunco charges? But no indictments and no convictions.
Yeah, that's right.
Because the victim is always a woman, a married woman who is afraid to press charges.
Either that or some other woman for an alibi, some sweet trusting thing who swears you weren't there and couldn't have done it.
So women like me and I like them.
You got a law against that? No.
But you're like all men who like too many women.
Somewhere inside of you, you hate them.
But someday, Mister, you're going to run into one who hates men and she's gonna finish you.
Hey, what are you, anyhow? A D.
A.
or a psychiatrist? Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to see one.
Well, if you hear of a pretty one, let me know.
Maybe I can solve some of her problems.
Finished? Yeah.
But if I ever have to come for you, I'll get an indictment and I'll get a conviction.
I promise you.
Now, get out.
"And that was my first meeting with the man "whose ambition it is to be Governor of this State.
"It makes him sound like a man who keeps his promises, doesn't it? "He got an indictment, he got a conviction, "and I'm going to die.
"But I'm going to die because of his mistakes not his brilliance.
"I knew him for what he was "and I knew women for what they were and are.
"Easy to meet and easy to fool.
"Because they want to be fooled.
"I played the better cocktail lounges where the crop was richer, "better groomed, prettier.
"Some were single, some were married.
"Some of them were shy and others were bold, "but they were all sisters under the skin.
"First they think romance is free, later they are willing to pay.
"Of course you never ask for help, you don't have to, "they trip over themselves giving it.
"They want attention and pretty words.
"They want love.
"They don't care whether it's real or not, "so long as they hear it.
"And the drinks help to drown their doubts.
"For more than three years I had the best "and Bernard Butler knew nothing about it.
"And if he did, he couldn't have done anything.
" Same setup for booth four, Joe.
What's the matter, handsome? Bad hunting tonight? What happened to your arm, Mona? It's all black and blue.
Oh, my ex-husband.
Tell you something, if I had the dough I'd get out of town so fast it would make his head swim.
Well, it may not be such a dull night after all, huh? June, June Fremont, what are you doing here? Oh, I'm sorry.
I mistook you for someone I use to know.
That's all right.
Amazing resemblance.
Maybe you're related or something? Her name is June Fremont.
No, I'm afraid not.
I was sort of engaged to her in school.
Fraternity pin stuff, you know.
It's funny really.
I thought I'd forgotten about her years ago and yet when I saw you come in, I Suddenly things came back to me with a rush.
The way I use to feel I mean.
Perhaps you should have kept in touch with her.
She's probably married by now.
Are you waiting for your husband to meet you? No.
He's away on a business trip.
Oh.
Look, I don't mean to offend you but we're both alone, would it be all right if I bought you a drink? I'm sorry.
I didn't mean to be fresh.
I guess one drink would be all right.
You see, I know what it is to be lonesome.
Good.
"Her name was Nancy Judson, "a name that the public and the great Mr.
Bernard Butler should remember well.
"She'd had dinner alone, been to the theater alone "and maybe she had nothing special in mind "when she stopped for a drink alone.
"But it doesn't always work out that way.
" You didn't, Gerald.
That's why I got kicked out of school.
Well, you were a bad influence.
What's that? Oh, it's 2:00 a.
m.
closing time.
Have we been talking that long? It hasn't nearly been long enough.
Look, maybe if I see you home safely, you'll give me a nightcap for a reward, huh? All right.
Just one drink, then you'll go? It's a deal.
Joe, get me some dollars for this, will you? Hey, it's a nice place you got here.
Your husband must do all right for himself.
Thank you.
Yes, he does.
Hey, what have you got in this thing, a rock? What thing? Your purse.
Open it and see.
What's this for? Harry gave it to me because he's away so often.
I know how to use it, too.
I'll bet you do.
And you said that I scared you.
Maybe you do.
You're beautiful.
You know that, don't you? Perhaps you'd better drink that and go.
Put it down.
Why? Put it down.
No.
Harry, he Now, look, Mr.
Judson, I just took your wife home, that's all.
I'll kill you! What's the No, Harry! Harry? He's dead.
He's dead.
I'll call the police.
You're not gonna call anybody.
"I lived the next day in fear, Mr.
Editor.
"I read every edition of your newspaper until the bodies were discovered "because I remembered Bernard Butler's promise to get me.
"And this was his chance.
"He was at the scene of the crime with the police.
"That's good publicity for an ambitious D.
A.
"But do you remember the statement he made to your reporter and others? "Look it up.
It'll give you a laugh.
" I guess there's nothing in this for my office, boys.
Just a simple case for the coroner's jury.
The gun was registered in Mrs.
Judson's name.
Evidence indicates they must have quarreled, had a struggle for the gun.
She shot him, got panicky, killed herself.
Simple murder and suicide.
"Murder and suicide.
"It made me feel lucky.
"Too lucky, I guess.
"I made a bet on a horse, a hunch bet.
"A big bet on a nag named Invincible.
"He wasn't.
" You owe me $500, Daniels.
I want it.
I haven't got it.
Look, I haven't made a score in a couple of weeks.
When I get it, I'll give it to you.
You'll get it for me tomorrow! You hear me, vulture? $500 by 6:00 tomorrow.
Sorry to disturb you, miss.
Just a friendly disagreement.
Your friend plays kind of rough.
He's a bookie.
Yeah, these guys are all alike, slow to pay and quick to collect.
$500, that's a lot of money.
Can you raise it? There's always an angle.
Yeah? Well, I wish you'd think of an angle for me.
If I could raise a couple of hundred I could get out of town so my ex couldn't find me.
You know, you might like that.
Why pick on me? You read the papers? About the murder and suicide? The picture of the girl.
The girl you were in here with the night before last.
The one you left with.
You listen here, you keep your mouth shut about this.
Come on, honey, don't get tough with me, I'm used to it.
What do you want? I told you.
Just a loan.
$200.
I'll bring it tomorrow night.
But until then you keep your mouth shut about this.
Until then, I will.
But only until then.
"She had noticed me with Nancy Judson.
"But $200 wasn't going to end it.
"She knew a good thing when she had it.
"She'd stay and bleed me white.
"And so you see, Mr.
Editor, "I killed Mona Carstairs just as I killed the Judsons.
"But did our great prosecutor know that? "No.
He brought her ex-husband, Frank Carstairs, to trial for the killing.
"Your paper carried the transcript of the trial.
" All right then, you admit you were waiting for your ex-wife the night she was killed? Yes.
I was waiting for her at the subway but not where it happened.
But nobody saw you at the subway? It was after 2:00 in the morning.
Why were you waiting for her? You were divorced, weren't you? I loved her.
I wanted her back.
And hadn't you asked her to come back before? Yes.
And hadn't she refused? And hadn't she called the police on two occasions when you beat her for refusing? Yes, but And didn't you threaten to kill her if she wouldn't come back? No! No! I didn't kill her! I loved her! I loved her! "And so Frank Carstairs was convicted and walked to his death.
"He was legally murdered by Bernard Butler for a crime he did not commit, "just as I will be murdered for one I did not commit.
"After the death of Mona Carstairs, "I moved to another part of town.
"I found new haunts "and in one of them I met Sheila Raymond, "Dr.
Raymond's wife.
"Doctors' wives are lonely women.
" There's Jim.
His usual call before leaving the hospital.
How convenient, huh? Hello.
Hello.
I wanna talk to Gerry Daniels.
It's for you.
Did you give anyone this number? No, I didn't.
You must be mistaken.
There's no one Cut it, sister.
He's there.
Tell him it's Clark.
Hello, Clark.
Hello, pretty boy.
You got one hour.
I told you I find people.
One hour at the corner of Water Street and 49th.
I'll be waiting in my car.
Yeah, well, listen, Clark, I Hello? Hello, Clark? How did he get this number? I don't know.
I don't know.
He's a I owe him some money.
He's a bookie.
A thug.
I should never have got mixed up with you.
You'll have to go, Gerry.
Right now.
Oh, now, wait, wait, wait a minute, wait.
One of his collectors must have seen me with you and followed us here.
Look, honey, I can't pay.
And if I don't, he might call back.
Maybe while your husband's here.
How much? $1000.
Very well, I'll get it for you and then I never want to see you again, never.
"That's why, Mr.
Editor, "I was on Water Street the night of June 11th.
"To pay Clark the money I owed him and get him off my back.
"I admit I murdered three people but I didn't kill Clark.
"He was dead when I found him and I didn't rob him.
"The money they found on me came from Sheila Raymond.
"She lied when she said she didn't know me.
"And Bernard Butler accepted that lie to get a false conviction.
"Is this man fit to be Governor? "Is he fit for any public office?" Kelly? Here it is, Kelly, and here's the pen.
Open up, Kelly.
It isn't time.
I've got 10 minutes yet.
You've also got a visitor.
Hey, why did you come here? To laugh at me, to gloat? The Chaplain phoned me tonight.
He asked me to see Sheila Raymond.
I did.
She lied in court, Daniels.
You were with her.
She admitted it tonight.
You mean I'm free, I'm gonna live? Here's a stay of execution.
You'll get a new trial and of course an acquittal.
My letter.
What'd you do with my letter? My secretary is reading it for censorship right now.
It will go out shortly.
Censorship? I didn't know.
I didn't know.
Forget about the letter.
It wasn't your last request after all.
Wasn't it? Wasn't it? My letter.
You got to get back my letter.
I want my letter back.
Kelly! Kelly! Kelly, bring back my letter! Kelly! I've never been so insulted in my life.
I've been dropped from the menu.
The chef claims I'm not tender enough.
But of course that means I should be back another time with a new story.
Until then, good night and bon app├ętit.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode