Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 1, Episode 2 - Premonition - full transcript

Musician Kim Stanger returns to his hometown, but is troubled by a vague premonition that something is wrong. Indeed, his friends and family seem quite uncomfortable to see him. He particularly wants to see his father, but he learns that his father is dead. His family tells him that his father died of a heart attack while playing tennis four years ago, but Kim finds a number of discrepancies in the details they give him. He insists on finding out what really happened, even when everyone seems determined to stop him from learning the truth.

Good evening.

Have you ever
had a premonition?

A feeling that
something dreadful
was about to happen?

I mentioned that, obviously,
because tonight's play
is about a young man...

named Kim Stanger.

About his strange

and of the mystery he found
when he arrived.

Follow him if you will,
as he attempts
to unravel this mystery...

hindered at every step
by his friends...

and haunted always by
a vague sense of foreboding.

This story is appropriately
entitled Premonition.

I defy you to guess
the nature of Kim Stanger's

although we shall give you
numerous clues
in the prologue...

which we now present

At first, I didn't know...

what it was
that brought me home.

A sudden impulse, a hunch.

A restless feeling
that wouldn't leave me...

until I gave in
and got on the plane.

I'd been so far away
for so long.

It seemed incredible that
in such a very few hours...

I was home again.

Welcome home,
Mr. Stanger.

Have a pleasant visit, sir.
Good day.

Bryant's drug store.

Charlie the barber.

The Wilson real estate office.

Everything exactly as it was
when I had left
over four years ago.

Nothing ever changes
in Stangerford.


Doug Irwin.

When did you get home?
Just arrived from Paris.


How are you?
Fine. Working hard.

Yes. My music.

Advanced composition
at the Sorbonne.

Been doing a little
conducting on the side.

Been there two years,
and two in Rome before that.


What brought you home?
I don't know.

I suddenly felt homesick...

and I grabbed a plane.


Does a man have to have
a reason for coming home?

Family know you're here?
No, I thought
I'd surprise them.

I'm on my way to the office.
Wanna come along?

We'll phone them
from there.

[birds chirping]

Where's your baggage?


So you just felt like
coming home?

Yes. And I wanted
to see my father.

Does he still hate me, Doug?

Never quite fit the pattern,
did I?

Greg never understood that.

Kim, your father
never hated you.

Then why doesn't
he answer my letters?

I don't know
exactly what to say.

I got to be getting home,
see the family.
I'll probably see you tonight.

Kim, you won't find
anybody home.

They're all out
this afternoon.

Perry is playing
in a tennis tournament.

How is my brother?
Oh, he's great.

Well, Kim, I....

I don't think
this is a good idea.

Coming home like this
without warning.


Well, the family
will be disappointed...

if you don't give them
a chance to stage
a little welcome.

Why not come up to the office,
clean up a bit?

We'll phone them
you're coming.

Doug, what's wrong?
Nothing, Kim.

You sure?
Yes, Kim, I'm sure.

Come on.

Doug, I said I'm going home.
See you tomorrow.

All right.

Something was wrong.
I could feel it.

I'd felt it before,
miles away in Paris.

A premonition.

A sense of dread
that came from nowhere...

like thunder on a clear day.

I knew now that it was this
that brought me home.


Anybody home?

There he was...

still holding court
from his throne
over the fireplace.

Looking at him,
I could see
white sails and blue water.

Hear the crack of the canvas
as he slammed
the wheel over...

and we came around on a tack.

The rest came back, too.

The tennis games.

The singing of the reel
under 750 pounds
of Nova Scotia bluefin.

The skiing and polo...

and deer hunts in Maine.

But something was wrong.



[car door closing]

[stops playing]

~~[piano playing]

[footsteps approaching]



How are you, Su?
All right.

I wasn't here
for the festivities.

Mind if I kiss
my sister-in-law?

Oh, Kim.

Why did you come back
like this without telling us?


Your father just asked me
the same question.

Is it a crime to come home
to your family?

Greg hasn't written me
in four years.

I thought
if he knew I was coming,
he might walk out.

Is that why you came back?
Why didn't
he answer my letters?

Why does he make me choose
between him and my music?

Won't he ever understand
that music is born
into a man...

like a heartbeat
and you can't rip it out
without killing him?

Kim, there's something you--
A man can't hate his son...

to the end of his days.
Time's running out, Susan.

We've got to get together
before it's too late.

Greg understands.
Then why doesn't he say so?

Why doesn't....


There's rust on his guns.

He never would have
stood for that
in the old days.

Where is he, Su?

Tell me. Where is he?

Where's Greg?

Perry, where's Greg?

I don't know any way
to soften this for you, Kim.

It's all over and done with.
Greg is dead.

Some time ago.

What do you mean,
"some time ago"?

Kim, he....

He died of a heart attack
on the tennis court.

How long ago?

Four years. October 10.

Four years?

I was in Rome.
Why didn't you cable me?

Why did you let me
go on believing--
Look, it's a long story, Kim.

There was this feud
between you two.

We were afraid
you might feel responsible.

It did upset Greg.
He was awfully fond of--

Good Lord, Perry.
What are you saying?

You let me believe
that he's been alive
for four long years?

And all the time
I've been planning...

to come back
and make it up to him.

So we were wrong.

It seemed like
the only thing to do
at the time.

Try to understand, Kim.
I wish I could understand.

Look, Kim, we should have
told you. We didn't.

And once we got
started on this thing,
we couldn't stop.

It was a bad mistake.

Look, Kim.

A heart attack?
It was very sudden.

Yes, it must have been.
He applied for his life
insurance only five years ago.

His heart was fine then.
A coronary can hit anybody,
any time.

Yes, and I suppose
you and Doug Irwin...

handled all the details
of the estate?

I don't like
the way you said that.

I don't like
what I'm thinking.

If you're wondering
about the will...

he changed it
just after you....

After you left.

He left everything to me.

Good work. You've got it all.

Greg's love, Greg's money,
and my girl.


I'm so worried about him.

What are we going to do?

I don't know.
Well, he can't stay here.

Take it easy, darling.
We'll get him away from here,

He's up in Greg's bedroom.

He mustn't be in there.
See what you can do.

[knocking at door]



It's 7:00.
Would you like some food?

Please tell Perry
I'm sorry.

I was just dreadfully
shocked and upset.
I know.

You look so tired.
Would you like
something to eat?

No. I'm not hungry.

Why don't you take
your old room down the hall?
It's just like it used to be.

Nothing's like it used to be.

Please leave me alone.

I've got to think.

Everything was here.

Greg's hunting prints...

his books...

his pipes...

his papers...

his hunting cap.

Everything was here
except Greg.

There was an eternity
between us now.

His hunting license...

filled out in his strange,
careless handwriting.

Date.: October 11,
four years ago.

October 11?

He went on a hunting trip
on the 11th.

Why had Perry told me
he died on the tennis court
on the 10th?

[knocking on door]

Doug Irwin. Hello!


[continues knocking]

I went by your house.
They told me
you were here working late.

Join me?

You know I didn't come here
for a drink, don't you?


So you heard about Greg?

I heard he dropped dead
after a hot set of tennis.

Yes. Coronary.

I warned him,
but he wouldn't listen.

Little unusual, isn't it...

seeing you curled up
with a bottle of Scotch?

Got a special reason tonight?

You look just
like your father.

He never had heart trouble
before, Doug.

At his age,
you don't have to.

You don't play tennis, period.

He wasn't.

You'd better have a drink.

He took out
this hunting license...

the day after Perry said
he dropped dead
on the tennis court.

Perry got his dates mixed.
He said the 10th.

It was the 12th.
A day after
he filled this out?



He took out a hunting license
to play a set of tennis?

We were going hunting.
We called it off.

Bum weather.

Rained like the devil.
But you played tennis?

It let up after a while.

how the courts dried off.

The death certificate
is on file, my boy.

Gregory Stanger, age 64.

Died October 12.

Cause: coronary thrombosis,

You can check
with the constable
at Stangerford...

you can check
with the newspapers
of that date.

And you can check
with the most critical
authorities of all...

Greg's life insurance

You can buy
a lot of affidavits
for $3 million.

Where did you go
on that hunting trip?

Kim, won't you take
some advice from me?

Not as the family lawyer,
but as your friend?

Forget it.
Let Greg sleep.

Who killed him, Doug?

Nobody killed him.

He died on
his own tennis court.

I'll be back.
Where are you going?

To find who killed him.


Hamlet and the ghost
on the battlements.

Mr. Stanger,
there's nothing more to tell.

It's getting late.
There's a great deal more
you can tell me.

Was my father's casket open
or closed during the services?

I don't remember.

Think, Mr. Eaton. Think.


Family's instructions.

Did you see
the death certificate?

Did you see the body?

You can always check--
You did see the body,
didn't you?

Do you think....

Do you think my father
died of a heart attack?

As I said before,
you can always check.

I know very well
whom I might check with.

There's only one witness
I'll believe.

My father.

Mr. Stanger, I--
You run the cemetery,
don't you?

You have
the key to the family crypt.
Are you suggesting I--

I must have that key.
Get it for me.

Get it!

I can't permit you
to violate a grave,
no matter what the reason!

Stop it!

Does it offend your taste?

Or are you afraid of
something else? Like perjury.
How much did they pay you?

How much, Mr. Eaton?

I can't tell you
anything about your father
because I never saw him.


We held services
over an empty coffin.



There's no body in the grave.

I don't know
where the body is.

I simply did as I was told.

As for the flowers,
I was requested to send them
to a place in Sheridan Falls.

Some place up in Maine.

I know where it is.

Please don't tell
your brother.
I don't know what he'd....

Going somewhere, Kim?

I want you
to change your mind.

I want you
to come home with me.

I don't want to argue, Kim.
Come on now, please.

Want to save me a trip?
Want to tell me about Greg?

There's nothing to tell.
You know the story.
All right.

Better gather up the clan now
and make up a better story.

I'll call you
from Sheridan Falls.

Stanger, you say?
Gregory Stanger.

He was here
about four years ago...

on a hunting trip
with a lawyer named Irwin.

Were you coroner then,
Mr. Dobbs?

Who was?

George Rutherford.
What happened to him?


What were you
doing here then?

Helping Rutherford.
I was the assistant here.

You can't remember anything
about a party
of deer hunters...

that checked in here
around October 13 or 14?

Don't know.
What do you mean,
you don't know?

Long time ago.

We get a passel of hunters
through here in season.

My memory's not as good
as it used to be.

It might need a little help.

Anything I can do to help?

Hell, no, I....

I can't cross your palm
like my brother does...

but I've got something
just as good.

What happened to Rutherford?
What did he retire on?
Legacy from an uncle?

Let me go.
I don't know anything about--

You know about
Gregory Stanger. Now talk!


We had a call
that Mr. Stanger
had a sick spell...

and they hauled him back
in his private plane.

Back to Stangerford.

There was some talk
and George Rutherford went
up there to look into it...

but nothing come of it.
That's all I know.

Three went in,
and two of them came out.

Three went in.

I only heard.
I wasn't there.

There was Stanger and Irwin.

Who else?
Stanger's son.

They went into
Tamarack Lake.

Thirteen miles
of rough mountain trail...

between me and Tamarack Lake.

I was exhausted,
but something drove me on...

10 miles, 12.

It was ahead of me.

Somewhere in the wilderness,
the answer to everything.

Then I was there.

[birds chirping]


I've been waiting for you
since noon.

My dad's plane
is down on the lake.

Let's go home.
You won't stop me now.

Kim, for heaven's sake,
listen to me.
You've got to stop.

Please believe me.
I've got to know.

I came all the way from Paris
to settle this.
I've got to know!

Listen to me.
You've never been in Paris.

You've been in a hospital
in Arizona.


You made it all up.

All this about
Paris and Rome...

you believed it
because you wanted to.

When was I discharged
from the hospital?

You weren't. You ran away.

Greg was murdered.

After it happened,
Perry and I
arranged everything...

so that it would appear
that he died naturally.

We bribed the undertaker.

My dad helped
with the death certificate.

No one has any idea
of the truth.

We thought
it was the only thing to do
at the time.

Now I'm not so sure.

Susan, who killed him?

You did, Kim.

It was an argument.

A loaded hunting rifle.
An accident.

And after it happened...

you went all to pieces.

I thought so.

I had a premonition.

And as the cold
New England sun...

slowly sinks
behind the coroner's office...

we take leave of mysterious,
far-off Sheridan Falls...

land of enchantment.

And as
the night breeze carries
our little craft away...

from these beautiful
wooded shores...

we slowly turn our eyes back
to the charms of
television advertising...

and the lyrical chant
of our sponsor's message...

after which I'll float back.

I see it's time
for our intermission.

You may leave your seats
if you wish...

and have
some light refreshment,
chat with your friends...

but please hurry back
for our next play.
That will be in just....

One week. Good night.

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