Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 1, Episode 29 - The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby - full transcript

Mr. Appleby's antique shop is losing money, because he is so fond of the best items that he refuses to sell them to anyone. A representative from a supplier visits the shop, and tells Appleby that he must pay his bill within two weeks, or else the supplier will reclaim his inventory. Appleby's wife has a moderate endowment, but she will not help him, so he kills her and makes it look like an accident. He gets away with it, and marries a wealthy woman whom he had met in the shop. But he soon learns that she knows all about him, and has made careful arrangements to protect herself.

Good evening, ladies.

Has your husband
recently acquired
a faraway look in his eyes?

In the event,
something unforeseen
happens to you...

do all of your worldly goods
go to him?

Is he, at this moment,
nervously excusing himself
from the room?

If you have answered, "Yes"
to all the above questions...

you receive a score of 100.

A gold star for neatness.

And my advice to leave
for mother's immediately.

That is, immediately after
the conclusion of our program.

Our story tonight is called...

"The Orderly World
of Mr. Appleby."

it will do nothing
to relieve your fears.

If that is what you want.

If you want contentment,

peace of mind...

listen to this advice...

from our friendly philosopher.

Now, this Gothic bell
is very old, 16th century.

It makes
a very attractive gift.

No, I'm afraid
that's too commonplace.

This jewel box is lovely.
I'm afraid
that's not for sale, either.

that's the least bit good
seems to be spoken for.


Many of the pieces
are quite fragile.

I would appreciate it
if you didn't handle them.

Good afternoon.
May I show you something?

Yes. You might tell me
where this came from?

Please be careful.
This is
a very valuable antique.

Yes, I know.
It's 14th century Tuareg
from the Sahara, is it not?

As a matter of fact,
it did come from the Sahara.

Yes, Mr. Appleby.
But it came
by way of Ankara.

From where, incidentally,
I have just come.
Then you must be....

Are you from
the Dizar Company?

I am Dizar Company.
Dizar and Son. I am Son.

What a pleasant surprise.

Your father supplied me
with so many of
my rarest treasures.

A man of great taste,
I've often wanted
to meet him.

I have come in his place.

we must have a drink
to celebrate the occasion.

Let's go into my office.

Please be seated, Mr. Dizar.
Thank you.

But Moslems
don't drink liquor.

Coffee, of course,
very thick
and very black.

I've never been to Turkey,
or abroad at all.

But with my treasures
from these fabulous places
all around...

I often feel like
a world traveler.

Thank you.

Your treasures
do not appear to sell,
Mr. Appleby.

hasn't been good.

People just don't seem
to want antiques.

The lady in the shop,
she wanted to buy
several pieces.

Of course,
but they'd already
been sold.


Antiques do not sell
and yet they sell.

But whether
they sell or not...

you owe Dizar and Son $12,000
that must be paid.

I had no intention
of doing otherwise.

In two weeks.

Two weeks?

I haven't got it.
You will get it soon?


You see,
I haven't really sold them.

I found
I couldn't part with them.

[glass shattering]
I just can't.

That woman.

(Mr. Appleby)

Oh, dear.

Broken, utterly broken.

I'm terribly sorry.
I don't know
how it could have happened.

It's beyond repair.

My beautiful camel.
I know how you feel.


It could
never be replaced.

I'll pay you for it.

It's only worth a $1,000.

I'm afraid I don't have
that much with me.

Would a check
be satisfactory?

A check?

Yes, if you would
lend me a pen, please.

Yes, of course.

Thank you. To whom
should I make it payable?

To Lawrence Appleby.

Lawrence Appleby.


There you are.
And please forgive
my awkwardness.

These things do happen,
Mrs. Sturgis.


Good day, Mr. Appleby.
Good day.

Now, you only owe $11,000.

Balance in two weeks,

I told you Mr. Dizar,
it's utterly impossible.

Perhaps you'll be
fortunate enough to have more
clumsy women enter your shop.

I should hope not.

Then you leave me no choice
but to take your treasures
and sell them myself.

Take them from me?

You can't be serious.
I am most serious,
Mr. Appleby.

If you cannot raise
the money--
No, no, no,
I'll raise it.

I'll raise it somehow.

Perhaps I can get a loan
from the bank or something.
I don't know.

I don't know
but you'll get your money.

~~[music playing]

[music stops]


Do you have to have
that thing blasting
all the time?

I like it.

Goodness knows I don't have
any other company around here.

You won't even let me
have a cat.

You know very well
a cat would scratch up
the furniture.

Who cares?
You don't, obviously.

And you never
hang anything up.

You don't even
clean up the place.

You know
I can't stand disorder.

Can't stand it.
Can't stand it.

You're as fussy
as an old maid.

You can't stand
a speck of dust in that
fancy shop of yours, either.

And what good does it do?
Nobody ever buys anything.


I don't want to
quarrel with you, Lena.

You're right
about the shop.

Lena, I've got some serious
business troubles.

I'm going to have to
raise some money. $11,000.

$11,000? Just where do you
think you're gonna raise
that kind of money?

From you, I hope,
from your endowment policy.

You've got a nerve.

I'm sorry, Lena.
I must insist.
Insist all you want.

It's not gonna do you
any good...

'cause you've got to have
my signature
and I'm not signing.

I know what you'd do with
that money, just go out
and buy some more treasures!

No, I won't.
Well, you're not getting it,
so forget it!

[door shuts]


Would you bring me
a glass of water, please?

Who was your servant
last year?

Please, Lena.
I'm getting it.

[door opens]

[Lena screams]



I want to report an accident.

I am sorry
I had to insist on payment,
Mr. Appleby.

But my father in Ankara
does not understand
these delays.

Different countries,
different ways
of doing business.

I hope your father
will continue to send me
his wonderful objet d'art.

He writes that he's found
some excellent Hittite things.

How perfectly splendid.

Please, you must ask him
to send me some at once.

Well, there is a great demand.
If it could be paid
on delivery.

That's impossible.
I haven't a cent left
from my wife's estate.

Surely, there are customers.

The so-nice lady
who broke your camel.

Martha Sturgis?
She must be very rich.

I couldn't say.

If you wish to talk about it
you know
where I can be reached.

Yes, I know.
Good day.

Good day.

it's that lovely jewel box.

I thought you said
it had been sold.

The customer who bought it
changed her mind.

I remembered how much
you admired it. I simply
had to bring it to you.

But I couldn't
possibly accept.

Please, I was very rude
that day. It would make me
feel much better.

Your behavior
was perfectly understandable,
Mr. Appleby, I assure you.

And certainly,
not worth this much.
You must let me buy it.

But then I would feel like
a door-to-door salesman.

No, Mr. Appleby,
I'm sorry...

but it would be improper
for me to accept
such an expensive gift--

From a man you hardly know?
That's true but--

No, you're terribly,
terribly kind but you must
let me send a check.

Very well,
if you insist.


But I warn you, Miss Sturgis.

I shall make a point
of getting
much better acquainted...

so I can present
a proper apology.

I'm sure you have
much more important things
to do, Mr. Appleby.

Neither as important
nor as attractive.

May I call on you
again sometime?

I should be happy
to have you do so.

Come in, Mr. Appleby.
Good evening, Ella.

I believe Ms. Sturgis
is expecting me.


Good evening, Mr. Appleby.

Thank you.

What a delightful picture
you make sitting there.

I wish I were an artist.

You're such a flatterer.

I don't know
what I'm going to do with you.

I have a suggestion.

You have?

I wish you'd marry me.

Who, me?

You don't know
what you're saying.

I know exactly
what I'm saying.

There comes a time to
every Ionely man when he can
no longer bear his Ioneliness.

If he is fortunate enough
to meet a woman...

to whom he can give all his
respect and tender feelings,
he must say so.

Or deserve his Ioneliness.

But you have so much,
Mr. Appleby.

you have so much...

you have your shop,
all your lovely works of art.

I'm afraid
you'd find me inadequate.

I would find you delightful,
all the rest of our days.

No, no, no,
you must understand.

It's just that I've waited
so long it'd be foolish
to rush in now.

It would be better
not to get married at all...

than risk marriage with a man
who is not interested in me...

in my happiness.

I should have
no other interest
but you, my dear.

And your curios.
Well, yes, my curios.

That would be all right
as long as I come first.

Then it's settled.

I would like you
first to see our lawyer,
Mr. Gainsboro.

Since my father died,
he's taken his place.

I wouldn't like
to do anything
without his approval.

Of course,
I quite understand.

My dear?

In my capacity as
Miss Sturgis' legal adviser...

I am sometimes called on
to give counsel
in matters of the heart.

In short, matrimony.
Quite naturally.

In so doing
one must be aware...

that Miss Sturgis'
considerable fortune
may be the main objective.

I have no knowledge of
or interest in Martha's money.

that fact exists.

However, Miss Sturgis
is prepared to...

put that thought
out of her mind.

If you are prepared...

to meet all other
obligations of marriage.

I am.

Mr. Appleby,
have you ever been married?


Good heavens, no.

Very good.

If the question
seemed impertinent...

in these days
of moral laxity--

I can assure you, sir...

I am as far from moral laxity
as any human being can be.

I have no vices.
I'm sure of it.

Nevertheless I have counseled
Ms. Sturgis against
any precipitate action.

She's decided
to consider it for one month
before giving you her answer.

A month.

And in that time,
if you'll take the advice
of an old man...

court her assiduously.

Constancy, devotion.

Remember, she's a woman...

and I believe
they are all very much alike.

Yes, I believe they are.

As executor
for the Sturgis estate...

I've drawn up
this document.

It merely provides
that each of you is heir
to the other's property.

You have no objection
to signing this?
No, of course not.

Now for
the final proviso...

something very near
and dear to Martha.


You've been so understanding.

I know
I am peculiar in many ways.

But enchanting.
What is the item,
Mr. Gainsboro?

That after the marriage
you will take up
your residence here...

in this house...

where Martha was born
and where
she has always lived.

(Mr. Appleby)

Not for one moment
would I consider
taking her out of a setting...

that is so perfect
for her.

It's been her home,
it will be mine.

I can never understand
how women
can be so disorderly.

You look tired, dear.
I'll clear this up later.

Come over here
and tell me about your day.

I've had a frightful day.

Dizar is threatening
to foreclose on my stock.

Why is that?

I'm behind in my payments
on some Hittite specimens.

If I don't raise $7,000,
I'll lose them.

Let them have
their old curios.

You don't seem
to understand, Martha.

I could lose the shop.

Would that be
such a bad thing?
It doesn't pay.

And then you could
stay at home with me.

I'd go out of my mind.

[phone ringing]

No, that'll be
Mr. Gainsboro.

Does he have to call
every night?

Now, Appie,
he has called every night
since my father died.

All those years
I've lived alone...

he can't get out
of the habit.

He only wants to know
that I'm all right.


Yes, Mr. Gainsboro.

Yes, thank you, I'm well.

Yes, he's here.

Yes, fine.


[cat meows]

Yes, dear.

You're late.

Every night you get home
later and later.

What is that thing?

That is Dicky.

I bought him
to keep me company.

You're away so much.

Cats are destructive.
You know
what a mess they make.

I don't mind.

I must have $7,000
by tomorrow.

Are you hungry, Dicky?

What would you like
for supper? Fish?

Haven't you been
listening to me?

Dizar and Son have given me
until noon tomorrow.

I'll lose my shop.

It'll be no great loss,
I'm sure.

I'd much rather have you home
here with me.

You won't lend it to me?
No, dear, I'm afraid not.

It'll be nice having you here.
You'll see what fun it'll be.

Come on, Dicky.
I'll give you
a nice saucer of milk.

[Dicky meows]

You're surely not going
to feed that beast
from a piece of Sevres china?

You and your old curios.

Martha, dear?

Would you bring me
a glass of water, please?

Just a moment, dear.

[door opens]

Here you are, Appie.

Was that how
you did it before?

Was it accident or murder?

Yes, I found the book.

Even then I didn't believe it.

I suppose
deep down in my heart I did.

That along with what
Mr. Gainsboro found out...

about the first
Mrs. Appleby...

it would have been
rather hard to ignore.

I have no idea
what you're talking about.

Perhaps you'd like to
see the documents
Mr. Gainsboro has collected.

I'm sure the authorities
would find them
extremely revealing.

I see.

No doubt you'll expect me
to leave at once.

That was my first emotion.

And it is certainly what
Mr. Gainsboro is urging.

But what would you do?

Marry other unsuspecting women
and murder them, too?

I feel it's my duty
to protect them from you.

No, Appie.

I married you
long after I'd given up hope
of ever getting married.

I'll make the best of it.

You are
to give up the shop...

and spend your days
here with me.


It's impossible.
You have no choice
in the matter.

All the arrangements
have been made.

There's a letter
in Mr. Gainsboro's safe...

that would certainly hang you
if I were to die...

under whatever circumstances.

And Mr. Gainsboro
will continue to call here
every night at this hour...

to see that
I am well and happy.

[phone ringing]

Answer it.

[phone ringing]

[phone ringing]


(Mr. Gainsboro)
Let me speak to Mrs. Appleby.

I'm sorry,
I'm afraid she can't come
to the phone right now.

I'll give her a message.

This is Sidney Gainsboro
and I want to speak
to your wife immediately.

Mr. Appleby, I'll give you
precisely ten seconds
to have her on the phone.

It's for you.



Appleby, ten seconds.

Do you hear me?

Your time is up.

Oh, well...

the bigger they come,
the harder they fall.

By the way,
what you've just seen...

is of historical significance.

It was
in precisely this way...

that a housewife carrying
an armload of vegetables...

invented the tossed salad.

Now, before I say goodnight...

my sponsor...

would like to bring you
an important message.

I needn't tell you
to whom it is important.

That concludes
our entertainment for tonight.

Once again,
through a propaganda play...

we have attempted to
make the world a better place
in which to live.

I'm confident that tonight...

we struck a telling blow...

in the cause of
wall-to-wall carpeting.