Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 1, Episode 35 - The Legacy - full transcript

A well-known author is visiting Palm Beach, and he meets some old friends. He tells them that he will be writing his next book about Prince Burhan, a noted playboy from India, who will be arriving that evening. Also staying at the resort are Howard and Irene Cole. Howard spends most of his time with a young actress, and the others are baffled by Irene's tolerance. When the prince arrives, he surprises everyone by spending all of his time with the plain-looking Irene, and by insisting that he is in love with her. Before long, Prince Burhan tells Irene that if she does not divorce Howard in order to marry him, he will kill himself.

Shared by http://DJJ.HOME.SAPO.PT/

Good evening.

And thank you
for allowing me
to come into your parlor.

It all happened so suddenly.

I was walking along
when I heard someone saying:

"Knit one, purl one"...

and I came over to see
what she was doing.

The really frightening part
is that I forgot
my hunting license.

Well, the show must go on
even though I may not.

Tonight's entertainment
is entitled The Legacy.

Through it you will journey
to Palm Beach...

and rub elbows
with the idle rich...

and members
of the international set.

But before we join
these useless playboys...

of a decaying society...

let us heed the advice
of a man who is earnest...

productive and steadfast.

A pillar
of our civilization...

and the sugar daddy
of television:

the sponsor.

Palm Beach, where the sun
spends the winter...

and people spend fortunes
to be in it...

and in the society columns.

While walking out
to the terrace of my hotel,
I was wondering...

which of the old regulars
I would run into first.

Cecilia Smithson
or Colonel Blair?

I wasn't far from wrong.
I bumped into both of them
at the same time.

For heaven's sake!
Randy Burnside.

Welcome to Palm Beach.

My dear Cecilia,
you are looking
simply ravishing.


I had my face lifted.
It's still painful
when I smile...

but you know
skin stretches like rubber.

You know Colonel Blair?

Yes, of course.
How are you, Colonel?

Glad to
welcome you aboard.

Do you have your boat
with you, Colonel?

No. Just my arthritis
and a deck of cards.


Sit down, Randy.

I'm sorry,
this is Mr. Randolph Burnside
the famous English author.

Irene Cole.
How do you do?

How do you do,
Mr. Burnside?

I warn you, Irene,
he's a very dangerous person.

He pretends he comes
to Florida for the sunshine...

but actually
he's gathering material
for his next book.

I'm sure I'm safe.

Mr. Burnside only writes
sophisticated stories
about fascinating people.

I'm certain
you're all safe this season...

because I've already chosen
the subject for my next book.

He's the most fascinating
playboy, lover, sportsman.

And does he look
like a film star?

Is he worth a million?
Does he have a title?

Is he going to drive in the
Sebring sports car races...

and is he due
to arrive tonight?

I've been following him
from Bombay to Biarritz...

and let me tell you,
he's even more fabulous
than his reputation.

Who is this wonderful person?

Now, Irene, really,
nobody can be this ignorant.

Who else could it be
but Prince Burhan?

Burhan? He's that prince
from India, isn't he?

The one who was deposed
in the riots two years ago?

Yes, that's right.

Madame, may I prepare
your salad dressing?

No, thank you.

Irene, dear, would you?

I'd love to.

Thank you.
Please don't get up.

Irene makes
the most delicious dressing.

Is she your new secretary?

Randy, don't be silly.

She is Mrs. Howard Cole.

You mean
the Texas-oil Howard Cole?

Isn't it unbelievable?

Is it my turn?

[Donna giggling]

6-4, 4-6, 6-1, I think
that you're the best...

mixed-doubles partner
I've ever had.

Well, look at
Beauty and the Beast.

I'm the former.

Randy, this is Howard Cole,
Irene's husband,
and Miss Donna Dew...

one of the bright new stars
of Hollywood.

Randolph Burnside,
the English author.

How do you do?

Mr. Burnside, I'd give
my right arm
if you'd write me a script.

A film about a girl
with one arm.

Sounds like
a box-office natural.

[all laughing]

Donna, you're on vacation.

How did you
make out, dear?

With Donna on my side
how could we lose?

This girl can do anything
for my money.

I think you ought to
shower and change.

No time for that now.
We're going fishing.
You're ready?

I don't know.
The sun's getting
awfully strong...

and I promised my studio
I wouldn't get a suntan.

Mr. Burnside, l--


Irene, it's poetry,
sheer poetry.

Thank you, Cecilia.
But it's such a perfect day
for sailing.

I have a wonderful new cream
that'll protect your skin.

All right.
And I'll bring
your vitamin pills, too, dear.

Good, take these along,
will you, dear?
All right.

We'll be at the landing.

See you later.

I tell you,
if your fishing's as good
as your tennis game....

Have you ever seen
anything more disgusting?

You mean the way
the husband carries on?

No, the way
Irene tolerates it.

Such angelic patience
it gives me indigestion.

I must say,
it's a bit nauseating.

What else
could the poor woman do?

After all she knows
she's a mousey little thing.

She was lucky to have
married all that money
and she'll hang on to it.

Marry all that money!

Really, Randy,
what's happened to
your infallible nose?

Why Irene is 10 times richer
than Howard.
She's even richer than me!

She is
Ruggles Bottle Cap Empire.

Every time anyone in America
opens a bottle
Irene makes money.

Then why does she
put up with all this?

Because, dreary as it sounds,
she's in love with him.

Isn't Miss Dew
beautiful tonight?

My dear, the complete
female population
of Palm Beach...

has put on
the war paint tonight.

They're all waiting for
Prince Burhan to appear...

and I can hardly wait to see
which one will be
the lucky winner.

I hope it isn't Miss Dew.
Howard is having
such a pleasant time with her.

Darling, really,
the way you talk...

I'd swear you were
his mother not his wife.

I just can't convince Cecilia
that Howard and I
are very happy together.

Most married men
develop hobbies.

Some play golf,
others collect stamps.

Howard collects
beautiful women.
How original of him.

I admit that during
the first years
of our marriage...

I used to get upset.

When I realized
his flirtations were harmless,
I got over it.

I give up.

I think Mrs. Cole has
unusual wisdom for her age.

Thank you, Mr. Burnside.

you should be dancing...

much better
for your arthritis.


Prince Burhan,
I'm so glad to see you.

Remember we danced
in Acapulco?

We must dance again
in Acapulco.

Excuse me.
I see a friend.

~~[music playing]

I'm glad to see you.

I had a slight suspicion
I would find you here.

The world is getting smaller
everyday, Your Highness.

Will you honor us
with your company?

I hoped you'd ask me.

Prince Burhan.
Cecilia Smithson.
How do you do?

Colonel Blair.
How do you do?

A little import
from Hollywood,
Miss Donna Dew.


Mr. Howard Cole.
It's a pleasure.

And Mrs. Cole.

A chair
for His Highness.

The chef has prepared
a special dinner
for Your Highness.

Thank him for me,
but I have had dinner
on my plane.

We'll have some champagne.
The same as my friends
are having.

Yes, sir.

I hope you win the races
at Sebring, Your Highness.

Thank you, Miss Dew.

Did you ship
your car ahead?

No, it is due to arrive
on my boat tomorrow.

I flew here
straight from Deauville.

All by yourself?

No, Madame Smithson,
I brought my co-pilot...

my staff
and two English mechanics.

May I have this dance,
Mrs. Cole?

You want to dance
with me?

If you will do me
the honor.

But I haven't danced
for years.

I'm a very poor dancer,
Your Highness.

This is just a rumba,
madame, not a contest.

If you don't mind,
Mr. Cole?
Of course not.

Donna, how about
a little exercise?

His Highness is in
a generous mood tonight.

Generous? You mean lavish,
my pet.

[both laughing]

Do you like sailing?

Not really.
I'm a nuisance on a boat.

You play golf?


You ride the horses?

I'm afraid my activities
are very limited and ordinary.

I look after my husband
and our home in New York...

I cook, I knit, I read.

But you do eat
and walk and talk?

Well, yes.

Very well.
We'll lunch tomorrow...

and after lunch
we'll have a walk...

and while we walk,
we'll talk.

All right.

But if you find something
more exciting to do,
I'll understand.

Well, there goes
the daily bouquet.

Five dozen red roses
every morning.

Irene's suite must look like
a funeral parlor.

The Prince is carrying
this joke too far.

This stopped being a joke
days ago.

Really? What's the
latest explanation?

We're back
at the mother complex.

No man dances every dance
with his mother,
night after night.

Well, it certainly is
the most bewildering romance.

A young, rich,
handsome prince...

captivated by a not-so-young
and extremely ordinary

Why, I ask you? Why?

he's attracted to her.

Poppycock. Irene's a dear
but she couldn't attract
a mosquito.

They've achieved
one thing, anyway...

they've made
Howard Cole ridiculous.

Morning, everybody.

Have I interrupted

Not at all.
We're just talking
about your wife.

You mean the attention
she's getting
from the fabulous prince.

Aren't you worried?
Worried? About what?

About what we're saying
behind your back.


Of course not.
Irene and I are used to that.

We also understand
and trust each other

Excuse me. Donna is waiting
at the tennis court.

There they are.

Make a fist, please.


Your feet are much larger
than Howard's.

Must you always bring him
into the conversation?

He's my husband.

Believe me,
if I didn't know it
I would never guess it.

Obviously he's the only one
in Palm Beach...

who is not aware
of our relationship.

That's because
he's the only one
who understands it.

I see.

And what, may I ask,
is his interpretation?

Howard feels
that you're fed up
with the usual affairs...

that you're looking for quiet,
undemanding company.

How dare he insult you?

But it isn't an insult.
It's the only
logical explanation.

I must say I was very grateful
and relieved to hear it.

Your unexpected attention...

rather unsettled me,
as I'm sure you noticed.

Why should it unsettle you
to know that
a man is attracted to you?

Because I'm not blind.
There are too many mirrors
around this place.

I have no idea what you see
when you look into a mirror.

I can only tell you what I see
when I look at you.

You were attractive to me
from the very first moment.

Since then I have had
a chance to know you.

Now every time
I look at you...

I see the most wonderful woman
I have ever met.

Burhan, have a heart.

I do. A heart
full of love and desire.

I love you, Irene.

No, Burhan! Stop it.

Love me. I will make you
the happiest woman
in the world.

Just think about it.

From where I was sitting
it looked like
a lovers' quarrel.

Mr. Burnside,
you must help me!

You're a writer
and you know Burhan.

What's the matter?
Has he upset you?

It's just that
I don't understand him.
It doesn't make sense.

I'm embarrassed
to tell you...

but he says
that he's in love with me.

Why should that
embarrass you?

I'd hoped
you'd be honest with me.

Look at me.
I'm ordinary-Iooking...

I'm over 30,
I'm not amusing.

I'm just not the type
a prince would
fall in love with.

Let me ask you this:
Do you get any pleasure
out of being with him?

That's the disturbing part:
I do.

You see, my husband
doesn't have much time
to spend with me.

Well, then, if I were you,
I should simply enjoy
the Prince's company...

and let the devil
take the hindmost.

Thank you, Mr. Burnside.

Burhan was clocked
at 136 miles an hour,
unofficially of course.

Yes, Irene told me.
I hope he wins
the race tomorrow.

It's time for our poker game.
Where's the Prince?

Isn't he dancing?

They must have gone
to get Irene's scarf.
She was getting chilly.

Thank you.
To you.

Good luck to tomorrow's race.
May you return safe and sound.

I've tried my best arguments
to talk myself
out of loving you.

I couldn't do it.

Let's not start that
over again.

We can be good friends.
Friends? No.

You are the only woman
I have ever loved.

Burhan, this can't go on.
I just won't listen--

I know you love me, too.
But you're just too decent
to admit it.

Your husband doesn't love you.
He doesn't need you.

You will divorce him
and marry me.

I'm sorry, I've told you
all along...

I'm in love with Howard,
I'll never divorce him.

Listen, Irene, if you don't
marry me, I will kill myself.

Stop it! You don't know
what you're saying.

You have no right
to do this to me.

Very well.

May I kiss you goodbye?

No, Your Highness.

If you've
misunderstood my feelings,
I'm very sorry.

But I think it's best
if we never see
each other again.

We won't. I know we won't.

I say, forgive the intrusion,
my dear prince...

but Mr. Cole is looking
all over the place for you.

You're supposed to be playing
poker with him.


Thank you.

Well, what is it this time?

He says if I don't leave
Howard and marry him...

he'll kill himself.
He's getting to be
a colossal bore!

I told him
I never want to see him again.

And you were
absolutely right.

But suppose
he really meant it?

What if he really
kills himself?

I'd never forgive myself.
I'd never get over it.

Irene, remember
what you told me yourself.

You're not the type
a prince falls
madly in love with.

You're just a new kind
of challenge for him,
and if he'd won...

you couldn't have hoped
to have kept him
for very long.

Such a strange man...

from a strange country.

You know, if I'd met him
before I married Howard...

things might have
been different.

Why would he want to
drive a racing car

on the highway
in the middle of the night?

He'd been drinking.

He just wanted
to cause a sensation.
It was suicide.

Because of Irene,
that's ridiculous.

He left her
$28,000 worth of roses.

Mr. Cole, I believe
it will be best to go out
this way.

The lobby is full of reporters
and photographers.

I have a car waiting
at the back entrance.

Thank you.
It's very thoughtful of you.

[people murmuring]

Look at that performance.

The Camille of Palm Beach.

She just wants
everyone to think...

he killed himself
because of her.

I hate to disillusion you,

but that's exactly
what happened.

The Prince told her last night
that if she didn't leave
her husband and marry him...

he would kill himself.

I spent the next three months
in Jamaica working.

On my way to see my publisher,
I stopped off at the scene
of the crime.


Mr. Burnside.

You're in
Palm Beach in May?

I'm just on my way
to New York.

I have finished my book
on Prince Burhan...

let me tell you
that as a writer...

I couldn't have hoped for
a more startling ending.

Sit down.

Do you really believe
that he killed himself...

because he was in love
with Mrs. Cole?

Of course I do,
I know he was.

He wasn't in love.
He was bankrupt.

His yacht, his plane,
his chateaus:
They were all over-mortgaged.

His bill with us
is still unpaid.
I don't believe it.

He couldn't have been broke.

I saw him win
more than $28,000
the night he killed himself.

What's $28,000
for a man who owes millions?

He was a true gambler.

And Mrs. Irene Cole
and her Bottle Cap empire
were his last chance.

You mean
he was after her money?

And it's a pity
he didn't succeed...

he was such
a charming gentleman.

So when Irene
turned him down...

he took the easy way out.

No. He didn't take it.

It was provided for him
by his mechanic...

who had the brakes
of his racing car

never dreaming
that he would want to drive it
in the middle of the night.

And it was
a bona fide accident?

But of course
these facts were withheld
from the press...

at the request
of the Prince's family.

They were anxious to protect
the royal reputation.

I know I can count
on your discretion.

Don't worry, I'm not going
to change my book,
and I won't tell a soul.

Except one: Mrs. Cole.
She's entitled to know.

She must be told
she had nothing to do
with the Prince's death.

She was so upset
because she felt
she was to blame.

I'll make a point of going
to see her in New York.

How was the flight?
Very pleasant. Thank you.

Good. Irene will be
right here.

We're going to
a charity affair
and she was late coming home.

How about a drink?

Thank you.

She was dreadfully upset
after Palm Beach.

Couldn't sleep or eat.
Lost interest in everything
and everybody.

I was afraid of that.

But now, thank heavens,
she's just beginning
to come out of it.

I've succeeded
in getting her interested
in charity work...

and civic organizations.
Thank you.

By the way, please don't
mention Burhan to her.

You understand.
Of course.

Tell me,
have you seen Miss Dew lately?

No. I don't have time
for those things anymore.

Between my business
and looking after Irene,
I have my hands full.

You know,
I never realized how much
Irene really needs me.

How much
she depends on me.


I'm so happy to see you.

Irene you look wonderful.

Thank you.

Dear, would you please
get my stole?

Do you think that will be
warm enough, sweetheart?

Please, do me a favor.
Wear your coat.
All right, darling.

Howard's been
so kind and generous.

He gave me these
for our anniversary.

They are magnificent.

But he works too hard.

I begged him to take
a couple of weeks off...

just go to Honolulu by himself
but he won't do it.

Why don't you go with him?
I'd love to.

But I'm right in the middle
of a campaign
for my pet charity.

[phone ringing]

Excuse me.

Hello. Max.

Yes, I'm interested
in helping finance the play.

But first I want you
to do something for me.

I want you to audition
a young actor named
Felix Forrest for the lead.

He's young
and very talented, I think.

Good, I'll have him call you.
Bye, dear.

Did you finish your book
about Prince Burhan?

I'm glad you wrote it.

He was strange,
passionate man...

Ionely, misunderstood,
a great romanticist.

He should have lived
in another century.

[door opening]

Here you are, sweetheart.

Thank you, darling.

You're coming with us
of course.

No. I've got
another engagement.

But you said you wanted
to tell me something
very important.

Did I?

I forget what it was.

It can't have been
very important.

We'll give you a lift.

There they were,
a happy couple...

and all because
they believed...

that Prince Burhan
had killed himself
for love of her.

He had given them
a precious legacy...

who was I to rob them of it?

Would you have?

I suppose you're wondering
how I escaped.

Fortunately, my captor dropped
a stitch at a crucial moment.

In the event
you may have missed...

a few Freudian overturns
of our story...

I should like
to offer a brief explanation.

Irene Cole
was a compulsive knitter...

with a Madame Defarge complex.

Howard Cole was an extrovert,
who suffered
from a regressive libido...

an Oedipus complex,

and an extremely
low sales resistance.

Prince Burhan's sports car
was obviously
the symbol for his mother.

He always wanted
to drive her mad...

and the accident
wasn't caused by
defective brakes at all.

The automobile
was psychosomatic...

it has since
undergone analysis
and is now well-adjusted.

I hope this makes
everything clear.

And now before I return
my sponsor will indulge...

in a bit of symbolism
of his own.

For which I can offer
no explanation.

I hope you enjoyed that,
I know Freud would have.

Join us again next week
when we shall be back
with another story.

Good night.