Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e21 Episode Script

Guest for Breakfast

Good evening.
I just happened upon this abandoned breakfast table.
It was set for two persons and is complete, down to the morning paper, which was lying on the floor.
With, incidentally, a bullet hole through it.
It looks as though someone's husband missed the 8:20 this morning.
In fact, he may have missed it for good, for the bullet seems to have struck him between the society section and the want ads.
While you are watching tonight's show, "Guest for Breakfast," I think I shall help myself to some toast.
First, however, let us pause for the unseemly sight of a man toast to himself.
Your breakfast is ready.
Yes, I know.
I heard the charming clicking of all the little push buttons.
You know, my dear, you don't prepare a breakfast, you launch it like a guided missile.
Interesting comparison.
I wonder where I could get a warhead.
Oh, no, I've already taken the precaution of leaving a letter to be opened by the police.
Quite unnecessary.
I'd insist on taking the credit for it.
Out of common decency, I shall refrain from commenting on the coffee.
If you had an ounce of decency, you'd have replaced me a year ago.
With a robot? Yes.
It could perform all your functions.
If that's a subtle way of throwing Sylvia Lester in my teeth, I'm already well aware of her function in your life.
Yes, well, someone had to fill it.
I abhor a vacuum.
A perfect description of Sylvia.
Now, you're leading from weakness, my dear.
Sylvia is a success, both as a writer and a woman.
But not in that order.
Otherwise you would never have published her books.
Well, you're rather a classic figure, yourself, a sort of Galatia in reverse.
When I fell in love with you, you were a lovely woman.
And you've turned into an ivory statue.
Oh, stop flexing your brain cells, Jordan.
It no longer impresses me.
Give me that.
This is the way a marriage should end.
Not with a laugh, but a sneer.
I don't mind telling you that famous dry wit you're so proud of gets soggier every year.
That's probably the neighbors, complaining about the noise.
Your noise! Yes? If you're a salesman, I'm sorry Just a minute.
Close the door.
I'll do nothing Close the door I said! Is there anybody else here? Yes.
It so happens my husband is.
If you don't Who else? No one.
Any kids? No.
No kids.
You got a maid? We do for ourselves in the country.
You sure? Why should I lie about it? Lady, now I've been on the run all night.
It's gotten down to where I either get caught or I don't.
It's a pretty thin difference.
Either way, I ain't got much to lose.
You have.
So you better remember that.
Now where's your husband? He's in the kitchen.
Well, show me.
Well now, this is a highly interesting development.
And after all those stones you were throwing at me.
Tell me.
Are you ahead of schedule or is my watch slow? Jordan, please.
You must forgive my wife.
She always forgets her manners in a time of crisis.
I'm the husband, Mr What is this? What are you Well, perhaps you'd like a cup of coffee.
At your peril, of course.
Jordan, for heaven's sake.
But you probably have already learned that dear Eve's coffee is not exactly pure nectar.
Okay, stop talking.
Well, I remember you said something about wanting a warhead.
But I rather expected poison.
Don't be a fool.
I never saw him before! I'll have some of that coffee.
Come on, move.
Now look here, I want I already told your wife how it is.
The cops are after me.
I killed two people yesterday.
Only the first one counts.
You can figure that out, can't you? Coffee, I said! Yes, I think I grasp the general meaning.
Well, you hang on to it then.
I suppose in return for sparing our lives, you want money? Money? It might have done me some good once.
Fix me something to eat.
Mister, where I am now, money can't buy me a thing.
Have you got a car? Yes, I'll get you the keys.
Hold on there a minute.
We're not going anyplace.
I'm staying here till dark.
Get back! Well, in that case, perhaps I'll see you before you leave.
You thinking of going someplace? Oh, you needn't worry, I don't use the car.
I take a train into town.
Not today.
Oh, yes.
Particularly today.
You see, I have a very important appointment.
And if I don't show up, somebody's going to wonder what happened to me.
Someone might come here to investigate.
Where do you work? Hobart and Paisley Company.
We publish books.
Yeah? Name some of them.
I hardly think that would verify my claim.
You see, we don't have a line of comic books.
Did you think that was funny, mister? Do you want them to be your last words? If you think you can think up something funnier, I'll give you just one minute.
You're quite right.
It wouldn't want that as an epitaph.
It was in bad taste.
I apologize for it.
Yeah, all right.
We'll go in the other room and sit down.
Come on.
Come on.
Go on! Get! I been on the run all night.
Anybody makes a sudden move My hand's shaky.
I could start shooting without knowing it.
Now, what about this meeting of yours? It's scheduled for 9:30.
It's not going to start without me.
They'll wait an hour and then they'll start checking.
You can go to your meeting.
But she stays here.
No! Wait a minute, Jordan.
Now any cops show up, you've got yourself a dead wife.
When you come back, you come back alone.
Jordan, you wouldn't? You're not coming back.
You're the hostage, my pet.
What can I do about it? This gentleman is calling the shots.
He'll come back, if he wants to see you alive.
No, he won't! He wants to get rid of me.
Why? Because he hates me.
He's been trying to get rid of me for a year and this is his chance, to get you to kill me.
Now wait a minute, Jordan.
She's hysterical.
I don't know whether she is or not.
Maybe she's telling the truth.
Well, she isn't.
She doesn't know what she's talking about.
Tell him about Sylvia Lester.
Who's that? Well, she's an author.
We publish her books.
She's jealous of every woman I look at.
Jealous? Oh, that's really good.
After this, any time you want to go to her, I'll pay your way.
And you'll be able to afford it after you've squeezed me of every dime for alimony.
Shut up, both of you! Sit down, lady.
You get in there and make a telephone call.
Tell them you're not coming to the office today.
You're sick.
And, mister, you're real sick.
You may not live through the rest of the day.
Now where's the phone? It's in the hall.
Hello, Mary? It's Mr.
Would you tell Mr.
Paisley that I won't be in today? I'm ill.
No, no.
I don't know what it is.
Yes, thank you.
I will.
Look, would you give my apologies to Miss Lester and tell her that I'll call her tomorrow.
Thank you, Mary.
Miss Lester? That's the woman, huh? Well, is it important? Yeah, it may be important, mister.
It may be real important.
You wanna know why? Not particularly.
Those two people I killed, one of them was my wife.
The other one was the guy she was playing around with.
He broke us up.
Her fault, too.
But it wouldn't have happened except for him.
So I took this gun and I killed him.
If they catch me, you know, they'll ask me if I'm sorry for what I done? For her, yeah.
I wish I hadn't killed her.
But him, I figure he had it coming to him.
Because that's the kind that deserves killing.
Do you see how it could be important, mister? Because you're the same kind.
And I don't like you anyway.
You know a lot of fancy words, Jordan, and whenever you say them, they come out dirty.
I apologized.
That make me like you any better? Now get back in here.
Get back in here! Are we just gonna sit here all day? Maybe.
Maybe we won't have to wait till it's dark.
If I took one of you with me, I might get through them road blocks.
He was so anxious to get out, take him.
I might do that.
But I'd have to shoot you so that you wouldn't call the cops.
No, I wouldn't.
I don't care what happens to him.
That's just the problem.
You don't care what happens to him and he doesn't care about you.
You'd call the cops so that he would get shot.
And he'd do the same thing.
Thanks for volunteering for me.
I'll go with you.
I mean Well, look at it this way.
You said there'd be road blocks.
If you had a woman in the car, they would be sure to let you through.
They might think I was your wife, not even stop us.
That's much better, isn't it? Give me a drink.
Oh, sure.
Now look here.
Before my wife, my loving wife, sells you a bill of goods, you ought to consider something.
What's that? There won't be just one road block, there'll be a whole lot of them.
You'll have to drive night and day to get out of reach.
Well, you won't be able to do that.
You're almost out on your feet right now.
Somebody else is going to have to drive part of the way.
I figured on that.
Well, my wife doesn't drive a car.
Is that right, Mrs.
Ross? Don't listen to him.
He's just trying to confuse you.
The police would stop a car with two men in it.
But they wouldn't risk killing a woman.
Well, now, why don't you turn on the tears? That worked with me for years.
He never even knew why I was crying.
You didn't need a reason.
You could turn it on like a lawn sprinkler.
Is that the best you can do? This is the moment for a brilliant epigram.
It's hardly up to the Ross standard, is it? You must be a very frightened little man.
You're not any Joan of Arc, yourself.
Both of you shut up! It makes me sick to my stomach just to listen to you.
Get away.
You're no better than he is.
It ain't gonna bother me none which one of you I have to kill.
Makes it easier for me.
I'm glad.
But that's not the point.
You've got to think of which is best for you.
They won't shoot at a woman.
The moment you go to sleep, you're finished.
I'll relieve you.
I'll take a chance on staying awake.
Where's your coat? In the hall closet.
I'll get it.
Your name is Lacey, isn't it? Yeah, I read about you in last night's paper.
Those killings, they were un-premeditated, weren't they? They're both dead.
Not enough difference to do me any good.
Yeah, well, that's not what I meant.
I mean, you didn't have enough time to make any plans, did you? I'm making them now.
I'm gonna shoot you.
Well, you brought plenty of money along, didn't you? Oh, yeah, it's still necessary, even for a man in your predicament.
I mean, for instance, my gas tank is almost empty.
And you'll need to eat occasionally.
You've thought of all that, of course.
No, I haven't got any money.
Yes, well, I don't have enough to get to the main highway.
But there are several places where I can cash checks.
Let's go, I've got the car keys.
How much? Whatever you'd need.
Incidentally, it's not a joint account.
Make out a check right now! No.
Why should I? What have I got to lose by refusing? The only way you're gonna get that money is by taking me instead of her.
If you need money He does.
And you haven't got enough.
I can outbid you.
How much you got, Mrs.
Ross? I don't know.
She hasn't got over $10 at the most.
That's not enough, Mrs.
He can write a check for $500.
But the box.
He doesn't have to write a check.
He keeps that much cash in a box upstairs in his bedroom.
Let go upstairs, mister.
No, no, no.
You see, the box is empty.
I took all the money out yesterday.
Show me.
Get up those stairs! If there's no money in that box, you're staying behind.
Now follow me! There's less than $50 in that box.
She says there's more.
No, no.
She just said that to get you up here.
She's out the back door by now.
I'm right here.
Come back here! Now come on up here.
Come on.
Ross, come on out of there or I'll blast that lock off the door.
You'd better not do that.
Neighbor's will hear the shots and call the police.
Is there a phone in that room? No.
Come on, we're getting out of here.
Oh, wait.
We can't.
The moment we go, he'll phone the police.
We wouldn't even reach the highway.
They won't shot at us, not with a woman in the car.
He might tell them I'm running away with you or something.
You know he wants to get rid of me.
Have you got a key to that door? No.
There's a slide bolt.
You'll have to break it down.
You're to blame for this.
There's no money in there.
You tricked me.
You thought I wouldn't kill you because you're a woman! No, I wouldn't! I don't care what happens to him.
He doesn't care what happens to me.
It's a lie and you tricked me.
Ross, come on out of there! You've got the car.
You better take it and run.
I've got your wife, too.
So you have.
You're not fooling me, Ross.
You want your wife! You had me believing you didn't care for a while.
But she tricked me so you could get away.
She knew there wasn't any money in there! How very clever of you, my dear.
Now let's see you get yourself away.
I wasn't trying to help him.
There is money in there.
Jordan, tell him! I'll give you one minute, Ross.
If you don't come out of there, I'll kill your wife.
I've got a gun at her head! Do you hear me, Ross? I'm going to take her downstairs and turn the radio on loud.
If you listen real hard, you can hear the shot.
Jordan! Help me, Jordan! Lacey! I think you'd better call for help.
Well, quite a desperado, apparently.
I counted nine policemen.
You're certainly playing the casual hero, for all it's worth.
But the shaky hands rather spoils the effect, don't you think? I never made any pretensions to be a man of action, but I've always been able to rise to an occasion.
You? Why didn't you tell the police that I pushed his arm and saved your pompous hide? Well, I believe I did mention it in passing.
Why? What? Why did you push his arm? Well, I didn't stop to think.
Why did you come storming out of the bedroom like a dime novel hero? Well, I don't know.
Even the most civilized man, I suppose, has some hidden, primitive emotions.
Oh, that's really funny.
Man and his mate.
Me Tarzan, you Jane.
I fail to see the necessity for analyzing my actions.
You really should, pet.
That explanation will have Sylvia Lester absolutely ecstatic.
Yes, well, the truth of the matter is, I don't really know why I did it.
It's possible that I wouldn't have done it for anyone else.
You mean a stranger? No, no.
You can include Sylvia, if you like.
But I Still, I'm not sure what my reactions would've been.
Of course it may be because I am legally your husband.
What have conventions to do with primitive emotions? I refuse to indulge in any kind of sloppy sentimentality.
I couldn't agree more.
I haven't seen you cry in over a year.
I'm sorry.
I don't want to be a lawn sprinkler.
I never really minded.
May I have a cigarette, please? Oh, of course.
Why did you push his arm? You Jordan, me Eve.
As you have already guessed, tonight's show illustrated man's inhumanity to man.
His indestructibility in the face of obstacles, the senselessness of war, the need for a dream, the value of spiritual action to combat the lust for profit.
And finally, the corrosion of life, the depletion of energy and the frustration of love, which result from following a philosophy of romantic opportunism in an idealistic society.
Naturally we don't believe any of that, but we felt that the author deserved to be heard.
Did you ever Did you ever have the feeling you were being followed? That something vaguely ominous was following you? I do.
On this program.
Let's have a look at him, after which I shall slink back.
You know, there are times when I find myself wishing my television tube would blow out.
I'm sure you have the same feeling.
But if you thought that was bad, you should've tasted this toast, burnt to a crisp.
However, it indicates to me that it was the wife and not the husband who was the victim of this little faux pas de deux.
And justifiably, too.
She was no cook, she was an arsonist.
Next week, we shall be back with another story.
Until then, good night.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode