Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 1, Episode 38 - The Creeper - full transcript

Ellen and Steve live in a New York neighborhood that is being terrorized by a strangler known only as the Creeper. When Steve leaves on a business trip, Ellen becomes increasingly paranoid - especially after her neighbour is murdered and her house keys disappear.

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sync: alphamale

Good evening, and thank you
for peeping in at me tonight.

I shall try to make it
worth your while.

Now, if you will
look through the keyhole
with your other eye....

Excellent. Thank you.

Incidentally, those of you...

who think these letters
don't spell anything
couldn't be more incorrect.

The last line was copied
from an old insurance policy.

Now that
we are all in focus...

I should like to make
a few preparatory remarks
about tonight's librette.

It is called The Creeper...



and is about a person
who had a very peculiar way...

of striking up
an acquaintance with women:

He killed them.

A distinctly
antisocial tendency...

for it never leads
to any lasting friendship.

[metallic rattling]

[children chattering]

Hot, ain't it?
The worst we've had yet.

You're the new janitor,
aren't you?
At your service, Mrs. Stone.

Anytime
you want anything done...

you just yell for old George,
and he'll take care of it.

[chuckling]

"Satisfaction guaranteed."
That's my motto.
That'll last about a week.

Then you'll be
just like all the others.



[groans]

Terrible thing, ain't it?
Them poor women.

They probably asked for it.

Decent women
don't get themselves murdered.

[window rattling]

Hello.
Hello, Mrs. Grant.

Feeling better?
Yes, a lot, thanks.

I think it's the heat
as much as anything.
Terrible, isn't it?

After a week of this,
it's a wonder
we're not all sick.

Paper says there's going
to be a storm tonight.
That'll break it up a little.

Aren't you the new janitor?
At your service, ma'am.

I wonder
if you'd do me a favor.

[George grunts]

I've been trying for two days
to get somebody...

to come from
the hardware store...

and put a bolt and chain
on the inside of the door.

They've all been
pretty busy.

A lot of nervous women
in this neighborhood...

got the same idea
at the same time.

But don't you worry,
Mrs. Grant.

If anyone bothers you,
you just yell for old George,
and he'll take care of them.

[chuckles]

[children yelling]

I don't like him.
He smiles too much.

Your husband gone to work?
Not yet.

Why?
No reason, but...

I should think
you'd be afraid
to stay alone...

so much of the night
the way you do.

Both of those
other women's husbands
were on night shifts, too.

Thanks a lot.
You're a big help.

I'll come by
and see you later,
keep you company.

[sighing]

Window doesn't help much,
does it?

It doesn't help these eggs,
that's for sure.

Now, what's the matter
with the eggs?

They're just no good,
that's all.

Well, they're no different
than they are every day.

You can say that again.

Why you can't do
a simple thing...

like scramble
a couple of eggs,
I'll never know.

All right, Steve, all right.

It's hot,
and we're both on edge.
Now, let's drop it, huh?

Speak for yourself.
Just because you...

and a lot of other crazy dames
in this neighborhood...

think they're gonna
be murdered...

doesn't mean I'm crazy, too,
Ellen.

What's so crazy about it?
It could happen, you know.

This isn't
just one of those things
you read in the newspaper.

Both those women lived
about five blocks from here.

So keep the door locked.
A kid could open that lock.

That's why I want
a bolt and chain put on it.

All right, get one. Get two
if it'll make you feel better.

Boy.
You're in a great mood today.

I'm all right.
Just leave me alone.

I didn't saying anything.

Ellen, didn't you pick up
my other pair of work shoes?

I forgot.
You forgot.

What do you want me to do,
work in my bare feet?

Will you please pick them up?
You haven't got
anything else to do.

Now, you cut that out, Steve.

It isn't my fault
that you didn't
get the raise, you know.

You just stop
picking on me.

Hell,
nobody's picking on you.
You are!

You have been.
You've been snapping at me
ever since you got up.

I've been wanting
to ask you to
do something for me...

and I'm afraid
to mention it.

I don't know
what you're talking about.

What do you want from me,
Ellen?

Ask them to put you
on the day shift.

Please, Steve.
Please, just for
a couple of weeks...

until the police
catch this guy.

Are you kidding?
No, I'm not kidding!
I'm scared!

Every time you go out
and I'm alone here...

I jump at every sound I hear
in the hall.

What would you like
for me to do?
Sit and hold your hand?

Forget it.

Just finish your supper
and forget it.
"Finish your supper."

Who's got an appetite
with you sitting here yakking?

I'm going to work.
And please get the shoes.

Goodbye, Ellen.

Goodbye.

[door closing]

Hello, Mr. Gibbons?
This is Ellen Grant again.

Well, yes,
I know you're busy...

but if you can't come
yourself...

do you think you could
possibly send somebody...

who could put a chain
on that door?

Would you? I'd appreciate it.

What?

No, I'm feeling better,
thank you.

Just nervous,
like everybody else
in the neighborhood, I guess.

Yes, thank you. Goodbye.

[exhales]

(EIlen)
Who is that?

Who is it?
(Martha)
It's only me, Mrs. Grant.

What do you want?
Nothing. I saw
your husband leaving, and...

wondered if you wanted me
to come over this evening
and stay with you.

No, thanks.
I'll be all right. Thanks.

My Joe's gonna be
working overtime, and....

Well, you kind of acted
so funny before.

I thought you might be afraid
to stay alone,
didn't like to say so.

But if you're not
nervous about it....

Of course
I'm nervous about it.

Isn't everybody? Aren't you?

No.

I have nothing
to be nervous about.

You don't get murdered
without a reason.

As a matter of fact,
some of the papers said...

it might be a woman
who killed them.

Some woman who was jealous...

about her husband
getting involved
with other women.

That's about as silly as
all the theories
in the newspapers.

I don't know. I can't say
I blame her if it's true.

Women like that deserve
anything that happens to them.

What's the matter?

Uh, well...

nothing. It's just....

[mumbles]

I have to go out.

I didn't know you were
well enough to go out.

Well, it's not far.

Excuse me, please.

Hi, Steve.
Hi, Ed.

How's things with you?
Pretty good.

~~[radio playing]

You off tonight?
No, no, just having a beer
before I go in.

How about you?
Yeah.

Joe?

How's everything in
the newspaper racket?
Dull.

Unless our friend here
knocks off somebody else
pretty soon...

he'll be
pushed off the front page.
You mean The Creeper?

We're running out of things
to say about him.
Even running out of theories.

Next,
he'll be running out of women.

You think that's real funny,
don't you?

But Ellen's
practically hysterical...

just like every other woman
in the neighborhood.

Well, they don't have
much excitement.

Have to make the most
of something like this.

Brother,
what a weird sense of humor
you've got!

"Warped" is the word
you're looking for.

Used to bother Ellen, too.
Well, sure!
It'd bother anybody.

You know, Ed, I don't think
either one of us
are a bargain...

but I think Ellen's better off
married to me.

Even if she wouldn't
admit it right now.

What's the matter,
you had a fight?
Yeah.

I got up feeling rough
and took it out on her.

This weather.
It's hot. It's sticky.
What's the matter with it?

I kind of like it.
Yeah, you would.

I guess it's not the weather.
I was looking for a raise,
and I didn't get it.

Took it out on her?
Yeah.

Why do we do it, Ed?
Why do we take it out
on somebody else?

Especially someone you love.

Very simple.
Simple?

No one else
would put up with it.
Yeah, I guess you're right.

Don't worry about it.

Everybody takes out
his grudges on somebody else.

Usually the wrong person.

Take our friend here.

He takes it out
by killing the woman
he's got something against.

[chuckling]
I didn't go that far.

You think
they'll catch this guy
anywheres near soon?

Who knows?
Haven't got much to go on.

About the only connection
between those two women was...

they were both alone at night,
and they were both blonde.

What's the matter?
Nothing. I was just thinking.

Ellen's alone,
and she's blonde.

What are you staring at me
like that for?

Nothing wrong with looking
at a pretty woman, is there?

Would you please
get me these shoes?
Be glad to.

Did you hear the latest
about The Creeper?

Police seem to think
he's a man who works
locally around here.

Could be someone we know.
I don't want to hear about it!

Please get the shoes,
I'm in a hurry.
All right, all right.

I'm sorry, miss,
they're not quite ready yet.
What's your address?

224....

What do you need that for?

I thought
I'd drop them over myself
after I close my store.

Oh. Well...

that won't necessary.
I'll come back.

It's no trouble at all, miss.
No, please, don't bother.

Really,
it's no trouble at all.
Just don't bother!

[thunder clapping]

~~[radio playing]

[thunder rumbling]

[gasping]

[sighing]

(George)
It's only me, Mrs. Grant.

George.

There's nothing
to be scared about.

Maybe you'll feel better
if I give you a little light.

There.
I'll leave this door open
while I put in a new bulb.

[metallic clinking]

~~[radio continues playing]

[thunder clapping]

[moans]

[phone ringing]

[sighing]

Hello?

(Mr. Gibbons)
Mrs. Grant...

this is Mr. Gibbons
at the hardware store.

Mr. Gibbons?

Oh, Mr. Gibbons!

Yes.

I've found a man to put
that bolt and chain on
for you.

But he won't be able
to come over right away.

That's all right.
Whenever he can.

Whenever....

Fine. I'll tell him to make it
as soon as possible.

Thank you.
Thank you, I'm very grateful.

That's all right.
Goodbye, now.
Bye.

[gasps]

Hi.

I was waiting for you.

[thunder cracking]

[sighing]

What's the matter with you?

You look like
that woman in that story.

Thought she was locking
the murderer out...

all the time
she was locking him in.

What are you doing here?
I came to keep you company.

How did you get in?
Trade secret.

Newspaper men
get in everywhere.
Didn't you know that?

Well,
suppose you get yourself out
the same way you got in.

Ellen, now, don't do that.
I want to talk to you.

We have nothing
to talk about.
I think we do.

Oh, Ed, please.

I'm nervous, and I'm sick,
and I just want
to be left alone.

That's not safe.

This is
a dangerous neighborhood...

for a woman to be
alone in these days.

If you're trying
to frighten me, don't bother.

I'm frightened enough already.
Of The Creeper?

[exhales]

I don't even know anymore.

Maybe I'm getting sick again.
Everything scares me.

That poor little shoemaker
looked so strange to me.

You know,
I've got a theory.

Maybe The Creeper isn't
strange-Iooking at all.

I'll bet
he's mild and pleasant,
just like anyone else.

Maybe he even looks
just like me.

Ed, I want you
to get out of here!

Now, is that a friendly way
to talk to an old beau?

I came to protect you,
stay until Steve gets home.

I don't want you
to stay with me!
Steve asked me to.

[rain pattering]

I don't believe you.
Well, it's true just the same.

Well?

What can we do
to amuse ourselves?
A little music wouldn't hurt.

[thunder rumbling]

We might even dance.

We used to dance
very well together.
Ed, I don't want to dance.

Come on, let's dance.
No, let go of me!

I want to dance!
Ed, you're hurting me!

~~[music playing]

You like to hurt people,
don't you?

I remember how frightened
I was the first time
I realized that.

Is that why
you walked out on me?
That's one of the reasons.

You never bothered to explain,
you just walked out.

I thought you could probably
figure it out for yourself.

Yeah? Then you were wrong.
I couldn't.

What were
the other reasons?

Ed, it was two years ago and--
I want to know!

All right, I'll tell you
if you want to know!

There's something wrong
with you, Ed.

Wrong.

As a kid,
even the games you made up
were cruel.

If you knew anything
about child psychology...

you'd know that a lot of kids
are basically cruel.

Yes, but they grow out of it,
and you didn't.

Maybe that's what's wrong.
I never did understand it.

I just know
that I was afraid of it.

I can remember a time
when you weren't.

I was crazy about you,
all right.

That's what made it hard.

I knew when I faced it
that we'd be finished.
Yeah?

That's funny.

There's something
I wouldn't face, too.
Not for a long time.

As a matter of fact,
not until just this afternoon.

I would never admit,
even to myself...

that I hated you.

I've had a grudge against you
ever since
you walked out on me.

As I was saying
to your esteemed husband
just this afternoon...

sooner or later,
you have to take out a grudge.

The Creeper does it
by killing.

Did you know that?
Ed....

Ed, I'll scream.
I swear I will.
You will?

[gasping]

Okay. Then go ahead: scream!
Scream your head off.

[crying]

[knock on door]
Help me, somebody! Help me!

[crying]
Help me.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry,
I'm.... Stop it. Stop it!

I didn't mean to hurt you.
I was just trying to....

[cutlery crashing]

Ellen, are you all right,
honey?

I'm sorry.
I've waited so long
to do this...

and now I wish
I hadn't done it.

I'm sorry, Ellen,
I'm sorry. I....

[banging on door]

(George)
Mrs. Grant?

Mrs. Grant!

~~[radio continues playing]

Yeah?

They're complaining
about your radio
playing so loud.

(Ed)
Okay. We'll turn it down.
George, wait.

Okay, Mrs. Grant.

Good night.

Good night!

What was it you wanted,
Mrs. Grant?

Wanted....

Oh, yes.

Would you do me a favor?
Would you go to the corner...

to the shoemaker
and get my husband's shoes,
please? He needs them.

Why, sure.

Sure, Mrs. Grant.
I'd be glad to.

You, too!
Just like all the others.

What do you mean by that?
Very innocent, aren't you?

You ought to be
ashamed of yourself.

The minute your husband's back
is turned...

out trying to make
a living for you.

You don't know
what you're talking about.
Don't I?

I've got eyes in my head,
haven't I?

But I'd watch my step
if I were you, milady.

Women like you always get
what they deserve in the end.

You're disgusting!
To the likes of you, maybe.

But just remember
what happened
to those other two.

[banging on door]

[sighs]

Who is it?

(George)
It's me, Mrs. Grant. George.

I got your husband's shoes.

[mumbles]

Oh, yes, I forgot.

Would you just leave them
outside the door, please?

(George)
Mrs. Grant, somebody's
liable to steal them.

Well, that's all....

Let them.

All right.

[sighing]

[intercom buzzing]

Yes?
(man)
Mrs. Grant?

Yes.

Mr. Gibbons
from the hardware store...

sent me around
to put on a new lock.

[sighing]
Oh.

I thought
you'd never get here!

Well, we're pretty busy,
ma'am.

Yes, yes, I know you are.
I'm just so grateful
that you're here.

Apartment 1A.

[phone ringing]

[phone continues ringing]

Hello?

Hello, honey.

Oh, Steve, I'm so glad
to hear your voice.

You all right?
Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.

You sound funny.
No. No, I'm all right now.

I don't know what's been
the matter with me.

I'm scared out of my wits,
imagining things.

Talk about being neurotic.
No, honey,
you're not neurotic.

You just haven't been
feeling well, that's all.

I guess I didn't help things
much this afternoon.

I'm sorry.
That's all right, honey.

It's this heat. It's enough
to drive anybody crazy.

Forgive me?
Of course I do.

Is Ed still there?

Ed. Did you send him?

Well, sure, honey,
to keep you company.
Keep me company, huh?

Well,
I finally got rid of him.
I wished you hadn't have.

Look, honey,
will you be careful?

And promise me you won't let
anybody in the apartment
till I get home, all right?

All right.
Don't worry, I won't.

[knocking on door]

Anyway, it's all right now.
The locksmith's here
to put the chain on.

Ellen--
Wait a minute, Steve.

Ellen!

Hello, Ellen!
(EIlen)
Come on in, will you?

(EIlen)
I want it put right there.

(man)
All right, ma'am.

Excuse me a minute.
I'm talking to my husband
on the phone.

Ellen! Ellen....
Hello, Steve.

Honey, who did you just
let in the apartment?

The locksmith,
to put the chain on the door.
He finally got here.

A locksmith?
Ellen, didn't you hear
the radio broadcast?

What are you talking about?

It was just on the radio.
The police are looking
for a locksmith!

Honey, they think he's the one
that killed those women!

Ellen! Ellen!

Ellen, are you there?

Oh, Steve!

Steve!

[screaming]

And so, once again,
The Creeper commits...

the most heinous crime
a woman can imagine:

He takes the telephone
away from her
in the middle of a call.

Obviously,
this sadistic criminal
will stop at nothing.

For the record, The Creeper
was subsequently caught...

and is now repairing locks
at one of our leading
penal institutions.

If you liked our story,
please write in.

Perhaps we can give you
a sequel to The Creeper,
called:

The Toddler.

Good night.