Hart to Hart (1979) s01e06 Episode Script

106 - Murder Between Friends

This is my boss, Jonathan Hart.
A self-made millionaire.
He's quite a guy.
This is Mrs.
H.
She's gorgeous.
What a terrific lady! By the way, my name is Max.
I take care of them, which ain't easy 'cause their hobby is murder.
Listen, Hitler, one more bark out of you and I'll sic a Russian wolfhound on you.
I'm only here as a favour to your boss.
- Are you serious, Norman? - I'm afraid I am.
Norman, you can't treat Mike this way.
You know very well I can do exactly as I please.
But you gave your word.
His word obviously doesn't mean very much.
I gave my word on one condition: that you try to control - Bensinger residence.
- We're on our way.
Everything under control? Listen, Mr.
H, this dinner party is gonna be very hairy.
More black eye than black tie, if you ask me.
Yeah? What's the problem? The Dodsons and Mr.
Bensinger won't even get through the appetizer.
Hey, Max, for Mr.
Dodson and Mr.
Bensinger, a good fight is an appetizer.
Hold tight.
We'll be there in a few minutes.
- Stormy night ahead, darling? - According to Max.
There is one good thing, though.
- We can leave early.
- Early? We're getting there late.
Why would you want to leave early? For the same reason we're getting there late.
Norman, you can't do this.
You promised Mike a partnership.
Mike's an attorney, Gail, dear.
He knows that promises, like the human heart, sometimes get broken.
I'd like to break your neck.
That's what I'd like to break.
Mr.
Dodson, not in front of the help.
It is precisely that attitude which has influenced my decision.
You're not ready, Mike.
- Mike has a perfect right to be furious.
- I've hung in for nine years.
Worked my tail off, and I'm not gonna let you get away with it! You've a brilliant future ahead in the firm, my boy.
In time, when I feel you're ready, I'll reconsider.
I thank you very much.
But I don't have any intention of waiting around that long.
Come on, Gail, let's get out of here.
Let me leave a note for Jonathan and Jennifer.
This is contemptible.
You know and I know why you're doing this.
Max, bring a bottle of champagne.
Coming up.
- I'm only doing this for his own good.
- You'll regret it, I promise you.
I can't tell you how sorry I am to see you so distressed.
- Please stay.
- Don't you touch me.
Gail, please.
Mike.
You better get inside, Mr.
H.
Hurry.
Mr.
Bensinger's been shot.
It's no use.
I've done that already.
- What happened? - We I was in the foyer.
I heard a shot.
- I did, too.
- Me, too.
I had just gone into the study to write a note.
- A note? - For you.
We were going home.
We'd just had a terrible fight with Norman.
Get me the police.
Jonathan, who was Mr.
Bensinger? He was a divorce attorney, Lieutenant.
He was known as the Alimony King.
He the one who made all that money getting the big settlement for movie stars' wives.
- That's right.
- Here, Lieutenant.
- Thank you.
- Max, what are you doing here? The Bensingers fired their houseman last week.
So? So I had the evening off and I came over here.
- Yeah? - No prints on the gun at all, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
Max, has anything been touched? Everything just the way it is? - Yes, sir.
- You're sure? Yeah.
Max, was nobody here but you and the Dodsons? That's right.
Is there a Mrs.
Bensinger? She's up in San Francisco, visiting her sister, who is ill.
She'll be back some time this evening.
I was supposed to pick her up at the airport when I finished serving.
Just stick around.
Jonathan, how well do you know the Dodsons? We're old friends, Lieutenant.
And we're good friends.
Mike got the job with Bensinger through me.
Jennifer, my wife, introduced Gail to Mike.
- None of these people are murderers.
- Maybe not.
And maybe you've known them a long time and maybe they are your good friends.
But I've got a dead body on my hands, and I'm taking them all in.
Including your friend, Max.
Passengers for Lisbon may now board flight 116 at Gate 4.
Jonathan and Jennifer, I thought the wonderful Max was meeting me.
Darling, let's go sit down and get away from this crowd.
Why? What's wrong? - Myra - Jonathan? This is not easy to tell you.
Norman's been shot.
Oh, no.
Well, is he I'm sorry, Myra.
He's dead, Myra.
Oh, no Really, Myra, it's better that you're staying here with us.
It's really so kind of you both to do this for me.
Oh, Myra.
It's our pleasure.
Are you sure I can't make you anything to eat? No, thank you.
This is just fine.
Jennifer, you said that the Dodsons and Norman had been arguing.
Was it something about the partnership, or was it something else? What else would it be? Well, look, it's no good for me to lie to you, is it? You're both my friends.
Norman was a very powerful and a very attractive man.
And it wasn't unusual for other women to be fascinated by him.
But for the past few years, Norman's been responding.
I learnt to live with it because I loved him.
Who were these other women? Some time ago I found a letter that Gail Dodson had written to Norman.
What? It was like something a schoolgirl would write.
I don't actually know if they were having an affair or not but if they weren't, it wasn't due to Gail.
- You both look shocked.
- That's because we are.
That's okay, Freeway.
I know how you feel.
But Max will be okay.
Yes.
- Oh, boy.
- Well, did you get Myra squared away? Yeah.
I don't think she's gonna get much sleep.
- You're not eating.
- Neither are you.
Neither is Freeway.
Maybe if I lit a candle, things would be more cheerful.
I know what.
A little bit more of this chilled vintage beverage.
- Good? - Lovely.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I had no idea the late show was playing in the kitchen.
- Max, wait.
Where're you going? - Hang on.
Wait a second.
- How're you, Freeway? - Hey, Max.
- What did they ask you? - Come on over here.
Sit down.
What did they ask you, Max? Well, they asked me a lot of questions and I gave them the answers.
Then they let me go.
- What about the Dodsons? - They're still there.
That doesn't sound so good.
I guess they don't have the answers to the questions.
- That sounds even worse.
- This for me? - Help yourself.
- Thanks.
- I could use it after that grilling.
- Not for you.
Tristan.
It's me, Jean-Claude.
No noise.
No noise, Tristan.
Yes, it's me.
That's a good boy.
Be quiet now.
Fat loves a lazybones.
This is what you get for smoking, ladies.
Gasping.
Stretch, and reach, and up.
Fat loves a lazybones.
Two, three, four.
Inhale, exhale.
- Mrs.
Hart, you're not concentrating.
- I am.
That's better.
Two, three, four.
Mrs.
Dodson, could I speak to you a moment, please? Two, three, four.
And I cannot allow you to come to class any longer.
Two, three, four.
Inga, I'm sorry, honestly.
I'll have the money next week.
Mrs.
Hart, you're not concentrating.
Two, three, four.
All right, ladies, rest period.
I suppose you heard all that.
I wonder what the decibel rating on Inga's whisper is.
How could she do it in front of everyone? I just keep forgetting to bring her a cheque, that's all.
How do you suppose you say "buzz off" in Swedish? Hey, what's the matter with you, anyway? Jen, I can't stand pretending with you.
The truth is I owe her for six months of classes.
Mike and I owe just about everybody for six months of something or other.
How did you let that happen? It's called counting on your partnership before it's hatched.
We got the new car, the new condominium, clothes.
Mike and I have been living the great American dream.
- Only it's not gonna come true.
- I never suspected.
Nobody did.
I mean, we live too well.
Is there anything I can do to help? Yeah, you can stick by me, whatever happens.
Have I ever let you down? Oh, Jen, I'm so frightened.
I keep telling myself I'm wrong.
I just don't want to believe it.
Mike told me once that Norman kept a gun in the house.
And Mike knew it was in the coat closet in the foyer.
What are you trying to say? If you'd seen the expression on Mike's face when Norman told him he wasn't gonna give him that partnership - Jen, if looks could kill - But they can't.
I know.
But Mike just felt so humiliated.
He was so embarrassed for me when Norman reneged.
Gail I want to ask you a question that may seem a little indelicate.
But it's only because I want to help.
You can ask me anything, you know that.
Exactly how did you feel about Norman? All right, ladies, rest period is over.
Let us resume.
Now.
Hurry.
Ladies, in positions.
Let's go.
Let's go.
And one, two, three, four.
There's only one man in town that can make that sound sincere.
- How are you, Mr.
Hart? - Oh, I'm doing great, thanks, Ellie.
But I'm more interested in how you're getting along.
Oh, I'm a survivor, Mr.
Hart.
If I can survive the lousy affair I had with Norman - I can make it through his funeral.
- Wow, that's a surprise.
That's what you were doing when you were working overtime? When I'd come here to pick up Mike for the poker games? Overtime.
Well, you have to admit I was a very private private secretary.
I don't think anyone ever suspected anything.
Well, I didn't, that's for sure.
What are you gonna do now? Collect unemployment.
That's what I was planning on doing anyway.
- I was going to quit.
- Why? Well, it seems Norman moved on to more adventurous things than late-night dictation.
- Any idea who your competition was? - No.
I never wanted to know.
I was too angry over being ditched.
I could've killed him myself.
Mr.
Dodson in? He's on long distance.
I think he's hiring his attorney.
He's talking with Burton Grady in New York.
Burton Grady, huh? Well, every man is entitled to the best defence he can get.
Mr.
Hart, I know you and Mr.
Dodson are old friends.
It's just that in the legal profession we have this saying: "Guilty? Get Grady.
" Mike, if you needed help and you needed money why didn't you let me know? I could've helped out.
I know, Jonathan.
That's just the problem.
You've done so much already.
I just My pride wouldn't let me tell you how bad things have gotten.
- How did it go with the police? - What did Max tell you? Only that they let him go early.
So Gail and I had to stay a little bit later.
So what's the big deal? I'm not making a big deal.
You're the one sweating.
I'm innocent, Jonathan.
Is that why you called Burton Grady? Ellie.
For a legal secretary, she's got an unlawfully loose lip.
Mike, if you're in trouble, please, let me help you out.
I'm not worried about myself.
Gail? I keep backing away from it, but What would Gail have against Norman? - I really don't know.
- What? Well, whenever we've all been together, I'd feel this funny tension between her and Norman.
- What kind of tension? - High-voltage tension.
Have you talked to Gail about it? Yeah, sure, that's what worries me.
She says it's all my imagination but I'm not sure it is.
Jeez, Mr.
H, all the guys are driving jalopies and the dames are cruising in Cadillacs.
It's the high price of divorce, Max.
If your wife's attorney was the late Mr.
Bensinger.
Look.
- Good morning, Lieutenant.
- Good morning, Jonathan, Jennifer, Max.
You always attend the victim's funeral? That's the only chance I get to wear this black suit.
You might want to broaden your sights.
- These are not exactly all mourners.
- I'll try and keep an open mind.
It's a sad day.
N'est-ce pas? Oui, c'est un iour très triste.
For some people.
Well, you sure you don't want us to come back later? No, thank you.
I'm going to take a sedative and sleep for about a week.
If you need us today, tonight, anytime, you call us, all right? Oh, thank you.
You two have been my strength these past few days.
Isn't that Jean-Claude? I thought you fired him.
You want us to stay a little longer? Oh, no.
No, he's not a bad fellow really.
He's just a bit clumsy with the china.
- All right, well, call you later.
- Thank you, dear.
Thank you.
Goodbye.
- Gail suspects Mike and doesn't want to.
- Mike suspects Gail and doesn't want to.
- I don't want to suspect Mike.
- But you do.
- But I don't want to.
- Well, I don't want to suspect Gail.
But you do.
Well, I'm doing everything I can to help.
Help how? Help nail Gail? Clear Mike.
- I'm doing everything I can to help, too.
- Help nail Mike? No, help clear Gail.
- It's the boys against the girls.
- So when has it been ever different? - Dogs and chilli.
- Oh, thanks, Max.
Oh, looks wonderful.
I told the guy to make them extra sloppy.
- Say, Max.
- Yeah? How well do you know this Jean-Claude Verdier? Well enough to know that he doesn't know his ascot from a hole in the ground.
You mean he's not a gentleman's gentleman? Well, he told the Bensingers that he was trained in the finest home in France.
But he didn't learn so good because he's always calling me up, asking me questions.
Because he knows I speak French.
I think the only reason why this character, Jean-Claude, came to the US was to make a fast franc.
I was talking to him at the funeral today.
He said all the right things about how sad he was about Mr.
Bensinger but I got the idea that he was crying alligator tears.
Crocodile tears, Max.
Well, it was a crock of something, all right.
- How come? - I mean, this punk, driving a cab living in a dump, and acting like he was on top of the world it don't make sense.
- You know his address? - Yeah, out in the valley.
Goodbye, chilidog.
Hello, San Fernando Valley.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if both of our suspicions were wrong? What do you mean? If neither Gail nor Mike were the murderer.
I wish that could be true.
There you go, 607.
- Jonathan.
- Who was that? Gail or Mike? Who could tell? At that speed, it could've been Mario Andretti.
- I wonder what Mike was doing here.
- It could've been Gail in Mike's car.
I wonder what she'd be doing here.
He's dead.
Well, so much for our prime suspect.
Yes, Lieutenant.
No, Lieutenant, nothing has been touched.
There was some struggle but not much.
I don't know what this guy got hit with but there's a goose egg over his left eye you could colour for Easter.
Right, Lieutenant.
You've got the address? I know that two calls in one week is a bit much.
I wouldn't be surprised if you wouldn't accept any more of my calls.
I'd understand perfectly.
Right, Lieutenant.
Goodbye.
Well, what do you think we ought to do now? It certainly doesn't look too good for our friends.
Who do we call first? My friend or yours? I'll go to Mike's office.
You find out what Gail has to say for herself, okay? Jean-Claude? Dead? Jennifer and I saw your new red car pulling out of his driveway when we drove up.
You're sure it was mine? They're not a dime a dozen, to coin a phrase.
Jonathan I know you mean well but I really don't wanna answer any more questions.
Mike, I wanna help you.
But I can't help you unless you help me.
If you really wanna help me and Gail back off, Jonathan.
Please, just back off.
Jonathan, I'm so glad you're here.
I thought you'd be resting this afternoon.
Well, I couldn't sleep, so I decided to come down to Norman's office and take away some of his personal things.
Jonathan, I found out that Norman had rented a house at the beach.
I found this lease for a house in Malibu and this key.
Maybe I better go there and check that out for you, all right? Oh, would you do that? And one other thing.
You know that young man that used to work for us? Jean-Claude? That wasn't just a condolence call this morning.
He came to ask for advice.
Apparently, someone thinks Jean-Claude knows who killed Norman.
- Someone? - Well, the murderer, I assume.
He's been getting threatening phone calls warning him to get out of town.
I advised him to go to the police.
Well, unfortunately, Myra, he didn't take your advice in time.
- What do you mean? - Jean-Claude is dead.
Oh, no.
Was the call from a woman or a man? A woman.
This time I have an alibi and 64 witnesses.
- Sixty-four? - I've started teaching journalism again.
Two classes a week at UCLA.
It's nice to know I have something to fall back on.
All right, if you weren't in the car, then who was? And what's it doing parked outside? All I know is that Mike asked me to take it in for service.
On my way back from class just now, I dropped by his office and switched cars.
Are you sure it needed servicing? Mike is not trying to hurt me, Jennifer.
And I don't want to hurt him.
We love each other very much.
I know I didn't answer your question the other day about Norman.
I didn't want to lie to you.
I don't want to lie to you now.
But I am still not going to answer your question.
You never know when you'll run into one of your friends.
Mobile operator? Hello, mobile operator.
LA Mobile? LA Mobile operator? I don't blame you.
They don't make movies like that anymore.
They knew how to make them in the old days.
It gets better as it goes along.
- Hart residence.
- Max? - Is Mr.
H home yet? - Not yet.
Well, when he comes in, tell him I've been tailing Gail that she just when into Jean-Claude's.
- Oh, you're out in the valley? - Right.
I thought she was clean, but I'm afraid it looks like there's a little waxy buildup.
I've gotta go now, Max.
Bye.
Anything happen while I was out? Sweetheart.
Feel better? We keep hanging around here, we're gonna have enough goose eggs to fill that Easter basket.
- What colour is mine? - Golden.
Yeah? Because I know now what caused it and Jean-Claude's.
- What? - This.
I found a few strands of your hair in it.
As a solution to split ends, it'll never sell.
As a solution to who Jean-Claude's murderer was and your attacker, it will.
You remember when we discovered Jean-Claude's body that music was playing? You remember what music? - No.
- Beethoven's greatest hit.
- The fifth Symphony? - Right.
The tape came to an end and the machine stopped.
You mean someone was willing to kill for Ludwig van? They were willing to kill for a cassette.
I mean, look at this place.
See, they looked for it but they couldn't find it because the cassette was in the tape recorder all the time.
Listen.
Aren't you gonna say something? You just going to sit there? That's Norman.
You didn't think it was going to last forever, did you? I mean, nothing does.
Oh, for God's sake, Jean-Claude, do you have the intercom on? In the car.
In the car.
Jean-Claude was taping Norman while he was chauffeuring him around.
- Learning while he earned.
- Earning while he was learning.
Ellie, the secretary, told me that she was having a thing with Norman but that nobody knew about it.
So it couldn't have been her in the car.
How long was Gail in here? Not long enough to take the Fifth, let alone play it.
- What was she doing here in the first place? - That, I don't know.
I think that Jean-Claude did know something about Norman's murder and I think he's financing his future on what he knows about it.
That still doesn't make Gail responsible for either one of the murders.
Myra said that Jean-Claude told her that the threatening calls were coming from a woman.
- You know anything about that? - That, I don't know.
Norman rented a little hideaway at the beach.
There is a work in progress there.
You know what it is? - It's a full-length nude of Gail.
- Maybe he painted it from imagination.
- Maybe he painted it from memory.
- Maybe he painted it by the numbers.
Where was Gail when Jean-Claude was killed? - She has an alibi.
- She does? - Yes.
- Who says? I say so, that's who says.
- Yeah, but you're her friend.
- What about your friend? - I'll ask Gail.
- Why don't you do that? She seems to be the only person you haven't asked.
As a matter of fact, you seem to have gotten an awful lot of free information.
- Is that right? - That's right.
- That is because I am so adorable.
- That, I know.
Truce? Look, there'll be other men.
You're intelligent, you're beautiful, you're good company.
Aren't you gonna say something? You just going to sit there? - He wasn't saying those things to me.
- You sure? We're your friends.
We want to help you, Gail.
Don't you think you could tell us the truth? All right.
Norman fell in love with me.
Mike was out of town the first time he asked me to lunch.
He said he wanted to discuss the responsibilities I'd have when Mike became a partner.
Well, then he spent the whole lunch making small talk.
I was baffled.
The next time he asked me out to the beach.
I wasn't so baffled anymore.
I guess no one had ever said no to Norman before.
The more I tried to talk him out of it the harder he fell.
- You didn't tell Mike? - No.
With the financial pressure on him and the partnership pending I didn't know what he might do.
Then, after the murder, I didn't dare tell anyone.
I was afraid it would make him look guilty.
Did you know Norman was working on a painting of you at the beach house? It makes the Venus de Milo look overdressed.
Well, he wasn't painting it from life.
- I never posed for it.
Believe me.
- I believe you.
- What are you doing here? - I live here, remember? No, I came home early.
And I did not kill him.
What were you doing at Jean-Claude's around the time of the murder? That was you in the red car.
Yeah, look, Jean-Claude had called me.
He said he had evidence for sale.
Evidence that would clear Gail of the murder.
By the time I got to his house, he was dead.
But I went there looking for evidence to clear you.
- I love you.
- I love you, too.
If Jean-Claude had a tape to sell, this is not the one.
It's damn good bait, though.
It proves to the murderer that he had made another tape.
Where would a taxi driver hide another tape? Where else? Where else, indeed.
- You're reading my mind, Mrs.
Hart.
- I'll let you read mine later.
Darling you don't, by any chance, remember the name of that cab company, do you? Tower Cabs.
Hey, Mac.
Guy by the name of Jean-Claude Verdier used to drive this cab? Yeah, until he got bumped off.
Would you mind if we looked around inside? Hey, this taxi's for hire, not for show.
Yeah, well, this might help keep your metre running.
Hey, you two cops or just a couple of weirdoes? - Come on, be a sport.
- Show us your trunk.
I bet you're from New York.
If you find any dope, I don't know a thing about it.
- See you in the Big Apple.
- Thanks a lot.
Myra, the night that Norman was killed there were only two people who could get into this house without rousing that dog.
That's you and Jean-Claude.
What are you talking about, Jonathan? I was in San Francisco.
You met me at the airport.
Was that the first trip that night or your second trip? It only takes 55 minutes, Myra.
Norman was killed a little bit before 8:00.
I think you killed him.
Then I think you took the 9:00 plane to San Francisco.
You turned around and got on the 11:00 plane and came back to Los Angeles.
You needed somebody to witness your arrival and that someone turned out to be us.
I can't believe you're saying all this.
There are no passenger lists on those commuter flights.
How do you intend to verify it? Darling? Sorry, Jean-Claude, that the plane from San Francisco’s late.
We still have time to make it to the house and be back here for the 9:00 flight.
And when do I get the money you promised? As soon as I get back and can get into the house safe.
I wouldn't suggest that you double-cross me.
That works both ways.
If I can kill Norman, I can kill you.
That tape's a fake.
That's not my voice.
I was in Norman's office, clearing away his things, when Jean-Claude was killed.
Myra, we all know that Norman had a private exit.
While Ellie was out crying in her beer you could've come and gone any time you wanted to.
And you did, didn't you? You went to Jean-Claude's.
He baited you with the tape.
Nothing too incriminating just something he'd tape recorded over: Beethoven's fifth Symphony.
I don't think that's the number you requested, was it, Myra? I loved Norman so.
He was the only man in my whole life I ever loved.
And he was going to leave me.
If it wasn't Gail, it would've been somebody else.
And I would've been left alone.
I couldn't let anybody else have Norman.
I couldn't let them do that to me.
And I didn't, did I? We're sorry, Myra.
Really, we're very sorry.
Tristan.
I guess you forgot the gun's no longer there, Myra.
They ought to let him out more often.
- Are you all right? - I think so.
Lt.
Doyle, this is Jonathan Hart.
Don't hang up.
You're about to be brilliant.
Lt.
Doyle, you're up.
- Way to go, Ernie.
- Did it again.
Oh, boy.
You know, Jonathan Mrs.
Bensinger took you down the garden path.
You trust people, darling.
That's one of your fabulous flaws.
- Good.
- Good bowl.
You wouldn't be leading me down the garden path, would you? Oh, I certainly would, especially if it was dark enough.
- Right on, Mr.
H.
- All right.
- Good bowl.
- Pretty good.
Boy, that's tough.
Sorry about that, Max.
Tough break.
I can still pick it up.
- That's impossible, Max.
- No, just hard.
No way, Max.
I don't think you can make that one.
- You wanna bet? - You got a bet.
- Bet you $10 you can't do it.
- You're on.
Go ahead.
- Thank you.
- Hustler.
Mark.