Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 3, Episode 23 - The Right Kind of House - full transcript

Mr. Waterbury in interested in buying a high priced house. Sadie Grimes, the house's owner, invites Waterbury in for a drink. She says the price is nonnegotiable. The place has strong sentimental value for Sadie: her son was killed there over a mysterious bag that has since never been found. She believes the bag contained money which is hidden somewhere in the house. Waterbury says he will buy the house despite its inflated price. Sadie accuses him of being her son's murderer. Waterbury confesses that he is the murderer, but he slumps over dead. His drink had been poisoned.

Good evening, fellow realtors and clients.

I'm very anxious to call your attention

to the investment possibilities
of our new subdivision, Pitted Hills.

Naturally, it lacks certain other luxuries,

but this is the price one pays
for getting in on the ground floor.

The sewers are not yet in. However,
there are enough craters to go around.

As for its lack of atmosphere and water,

I don't expect that to deter
those of you with a real pioneer spirit.

Those of you with vision can, I'm sure,
imagine the beautiful sight of the moon

completely covered with the
well-known inexpensive Hitchcock homes,

all with picture windows
giving everyone an unobscured view

of his neighbor's picture window.

Naturally, each home would
be individualized.

There are seven different models
to choose from. Seven, mind you.

Red, green, blue, orange, lemon, lime
and the ever-popular chartreuse.

For those of you who are budget-minded,
we do have cheaper lots in the upper area.

Very fine, of course, if you like a lot that
completely disappears at half moon.

Like our prologue,
tonight's story touches on real estate.

It begins immediately
after this brief advertisement.

Yes, Mr. Hacker?

Seems like
we've got a customer.

Think we ought
to act busy?

Sure. What should I type?


Write a letter to
your boyfriend if you like.

Well, that's silly.
He's right across the street.

Now, just type what
I just dictated in...

Mr. Hacker?

Yes, sir.
Something I can do for you?

Might be,
if I can find the right kind of house.

Well, you've come
to the right place.

Would you sit down, Mr...


Hot today.
Almost as bad as the city.

Yes, it's unusually
hot for around here.

Doesn't usually
get this hot.

Mean temperature's
around 78 in the summer.

Isn't that right, Sally?


Cut out that darn racket.

Yes, Mr. Hacker.

Now, then.
How'd you happen to
come here, Mr. Waterbury?

See my ad in the Times?

I take one every week.

Lots of city people interested
in a town like ours.

You'd be surprised
how much business
an ad brings in.

I didn't see it.

You didn't?


I just happened to
be passing through.

I remembered the town.

I used to drive through here
on my way to Albany.

Before I retired.

Always thought I'd like to
settle down here someday.

you couldn't do any better.

It's a nice little town.

I've got some
real fine listings here.

I've already seen a place
I might be interested in.

Well, it's a little run-down,

but a fella could have
a lot of fun fixing it up

if he didn't have
anything else to do.

Did it have
a realtor's sign on it?

Yes, yours.


It's that old house down
at the end of Elm Street.

That place...

Old Sadie Grimes' house?

Well, what is it?
What's the matter with the place?

Well, it's not in
very good condition.

Now, if you really
like this town,

if you're serious
about settling down here,

I got any number of places
that'd suit you much better.

Now, you look here, Hacker.

I think I know better than you
what kind of a place would suit me.

I'm interested in that old house.

Do you want to
sell it to me or don't you?

Oh, yes!
Yes, I'd like to move it, all right.

It's been on my books
for five years.

How much you think
that place is worth,
Mr. Waterbury?

You name the price,
Hacker, then we'll see.

I'm not dickering with you.

I'd just like to know
how much you figure
it ought to go for.

I don't know...
Nine thousand maybe.

9,500, tops.

Well, you're not far wrong.

But that isn't
what Mrs. Grimes is asking.

What does she want?


50! What is this? A joke?

I wish it was.

Do you know how many buyers I've had

for that place
in the last five years?


She ought to know
she could never get
a price like that.

She must be cracked.

Maybe. Sadie's had
her share of troubles.

Lost her youngest boy
a few years back.

If you'd be interested in
anything else, Mr. Waterbury.

No, no, I don't think so.

I kind of liked that old house.

I don't know, it just
seemed like the right
kind of a place for me.

Do you think maybe
if I went out and talked to her?

You'd be wasting your time,
I've been trying for five years.

But maybe if
somebody else tried,

she might listen to
reason from an outsider.

Well, if you want
to take the trouble,
it's all right with me.

It's worth the try.

call old Sadie and tell her

Mr. Waterbury's
on his way out.

Yes, Mr. Hacker.


Good luck.

Afternoon, ma'am.

Oh, Aaron Hacker
said you were coming.
I didn't get the name.

Aaron mumbles so...


Well, now you're here,
I suppose you
may as well come in.

Thank you.

Mighty hot today.

Well, it's cool in here
'cause I keep the door shut.

Now, if you've
come here to bargain
with me, Mr. Waterbury,

you might as well
save your breath,

because I've set a price
and I don't intend to budge.

So I understand.

But I thought
we might just talk a little.

Talk's free.

But if you're not interested
in my house at my price,

there's nothing to talk about.

Ah, I wouldn't be here at all
if I wasn't interested.

Very well. Sit down.

Mrs. Grimes,
your real estate agent says...

Oh, Aaron Hacker's a fool.

He keeps sending people
around to argue with me.

I'm too old for
changing my mind.

I know, I'm getting along
myself, Mrs. Grimes.

Retired a few months ago.

I made a fair amount
of money in my time

and now I'm getting
ready to settle down.

So I started to
look around for
some nice quiet, small town.

Why did you
choose lvy Corners?

Oh, I don't know.

Always liked the place.

Then you've been here before?

I passed through here many times
when I was on the road.

A salesman.

Well, I thought I'd
come up here today
and look the place over...

Town looked as good
as I remembered.

So I decided right then and there
that this was the town

and this was the house.


How do you explain
a thing like that?

It just seemed like the
right kind of house for me.

I like it, too.

That's why I'm asking
a fair price for it.

Fair price?

Now, Mrs. Grimes,
a house like this

shouldn't cost more
than 9,000, 10,000.

That's enough. I told
you I wouldn't argue.
I've got better things to do.

But Mrs. Grimes...

If you're not interested
in my house at my price,

there's nothing more
to be said.

Now, wait a minute...
Good day, Mr. Waterbury.

Look, I didn't say I wouldn't
pay your price, did I?

After all, I can afford it.

I've got plenty of money now.

Why shouldn't I enjoy myself?

I worked a good
many years to get it

and I've got
nobody to leave it to.

You don't have a family,
Mr. Waterbury?

No, no,
I'm all alone in the world.

My wife died
a good many years ago.

I've got nobody to
account to except myself.

You know,
I've got a darn good notion
to take you up on it.

The telephone is right there.

Why don't you
call Aaron Hacker
and tell him so?

By george, I'll do it!

I've got some
lemonade in the icebox.

While you're drinking it
I'll tell you the history of this house.

I could stand something cold.

I'll get it.

That's 4121.



Aaron Hacker, Realtor.

One moment.
It's Mr. Waterbury.

Mr. Waterbury?

I've still got some mighty
fine listings in my book...

You what?

how much did she come down?

You wouldn't be
pulling my leg, would you?

Oh, no!
No, I think it's fine.

Real fine.

Mr. Waterbury.


He's paying 50,000
for that old wreck.

She must have hypnotized him.

Well, sir,

this house has been
in my family since 1872.

Thank you.

All my children were born here
in the upstairs bedroom.

All except Michael.

He was the youngest.

He was born in the new hospital.

I guess he was my favorite.

Anyway, everybody says I spoiled him.

This is his picture.

He's a fine-looking
young man.

Yes, he was handsome.

Black hair, dark eyes,
he was full of high spirits.

He was not like the others.

They were all steady, reliable.

Got married, raised families,
bought homes.

But Michael was different.

He had big dreams, ambition.

He couldn't wait to leave lvy Corners
and go to the city.

I know, I was exactly
the same when I was young.

I didn't see him
for nine years.

But he did very well
in the city,

and regular as clockwork,
every month,

there'd be a check
in the mail for me.

Not that the money didn't
come in handy,

but mostly it was
because Michael had sent it.

Mr. Hacker mentioned
something about him.

Yes, you can't have secrets
in a small town.

Everybody knows Michael got
into some kind of trouble.

He never told me what it was,

but I knew from the moment I saw him,
that something was wrong.

He came home in
the middle of the night.

The knocker woke me up
and I knew it was Michael

even before I got downstairs.

It's not unusual.

I can't explain it,
but a mother frequently
knows these things.

I knew Michael had come home.



Close the door, Ma.
I don't want the whole
town to know I'm back.


Oh, why didn't you let me
know you were coming?

Are you hungry?
I'll get you
something to eat.

Don't bother.
I ate on the road
a couple of hours ago.

You're thin.

You've been
working too hard.

You're not sick, are you?

No, I'm just beat,
that's all.

I've been on the road
since yesterday morning.


What's wrong?

There isn't anything wrong.

I got fed up with my job,
so I quit, that's all.

I needed a rest,
so I thought I'd come
home for a little while.

Anything wrong in that?

Oh, I'm glad.

Go on back to bed, Ma.

We'll have plenty of
time to talk about it.

I'm gonna be around
for a few weeks.

Give me that! What do you
think you're doing?

Well, I was going to
unpack it for you.

Oh, well...

These aren't my clothes, Ma.
I had everything shipped on ahead.

Should be here tomorrow
or the next day.

These are just some
things I cleaned out
of my desk when I quit.

If you want to
know the truth, Ma,
I didn't quit. I got fired.

Oh, I'm sorry, Ma.

Maybe that's
why I'm so jumpy.

Don't pay any
attention to me.

I'll be all right
after I get a
good night's sleep.

Good night, dear.

Good night, Ma.

Nothing more was ever said
about that little black bag

and I don't know
what Michael did with it.

I never saw it again.

You know, Mrs. Grimes,
I think I'm beginning
to understand why

you set such a high price
on this house.

After all, you've lived here
all your life,

your children grew up here...

It must hold a lot
of memories for you.

Yes, memories.

Happy ones and sad ones.

I never had a family myself.

Missed a lot in life,
I suppose,

but maybe I was
spared a lot, too.

Just how much
did Aaron Hacker
tell you about Michael?


But he just mentioned that you'd
lost him about five years ago.

He didn't explain
what he meant by it.

Well, you won't live here long
before you hear it from somebody.

So you might as well
hear it from me.

Michael stayed at home
that whole summer.

Never went out any further
than the front porch.

That wasn't like him.

He was always on the go
when he lived at home before,

so I knew there was
something bothering him.

But there was no use
questioning him about it.

If he was going to tell me,
he'd do it in
his own good time.

The rest was good for him.

He got back some of his weight
and his nerves were better.

He was much more
like his old self.

And I was happy
as a mother could be,
having him home again.

Then one night, it ended.

Hello, Mike.

I told you once
and I'll tell you again.

It wasn't me.
I didn't get it.

I don't know who did.

You can take it or leave it.

Where is it, punk?
I haven't got it!






Oh, Michael.

I'm sorry I have to
burst in on you

at a time like this,
but I got to.

It's all right, Joe.
Sit down.

Oh, this is
Detective Sergeant Singer,
from New York.

How do you do,
Mrs. Grimes?

Seemed like
a real nice funeral, Sadie.

Over half the townsfolk
turned out.

Mike had a lot of friends.

That's what brought them out.

Yeah, I guess so.

you're gonna have to
hear this sooner or later.

I hate to be
the one to tell you,

but I guess it's up to me.

Mike got himself into a lot
of trouble in New York.


Serious trouble.

Him and three other fellas
held up a bank

and stole over $200,000.

The way it looks now,
Mike made off with all the money

and came back here to hide out.

One of the gang
found out where he was

and came here
to get his share.

Now, from what you told me
the night he was shot,

Mike wouldn't hand it over.

I never told you anything
of the kind, Joe Taylor.

I said Mike told the man
he didn't have it.

So you did.

Well, that's why Sergeant Singer
is here from New York.

I guess you'd better
take it on from here.

Mrs. Grimes, it's my job to
find that money and to return it to the bank.

I think you can help us.

Who is going to find the man
who killed my son?

Chief Taylor is
working on that.

Now, we are, too,
to a certain extent,

but the murder is
out of our jurisdiction.

Now, did you
ever see the money?


Did your son ever say
or do anything

that would indicate
he had the money?


You think maybe it's hidden
somewhere in the house?

I don't know.

Have you looked for it?

Why should I
look for the money?

I don't want the money.

I only want the man
who killed my boy.

Now, Sadie,
we're doing everything we can.

You know we don't
have much to work on.

If you'd just
gotten a look at him.

I heard his voice,
that was all.

Mrs. Grimes,
when the bank was robbed

the loot was carried away
in a small black bag.

It might have been
transferred into something else,

but then again it might not have been.

Do you recall whether
your son ever had such a bag?

Well, do you, Mrs. Grimes?


You never saw a small black bag
in this house?

I never saw it.

That was five years ago.

I buried my boy and then
I put this house up for sale.

For $50,000.

It's a strange story, Mrs. Grimes.
I'm glad you told it to me.

I had my own reasons
for telling you.

I need advice.

Mr. Waterbury,
you're a business man.

Do you think the bank
will accept $50,000
as the full restitution?

Why shouldn't they?
It's a bird in the hand.

But it's only a quarter
of what Michael stole.

Well, I don't imagine
they expected to get any of it back.

They probably wrote it off years ago.

Very well, then.
That's settled.

Have you had any more trouble
from the police?

The police?

Well, you did lie to them
about the stolen money.

I said I never saw that money.

You told them you never saw
a little black bag, either.

But you told me Michael had one
the night he came home.

Yes, I lied.

Michael hid that little black bag
somewhere in this house.

To this day I don't know where.
I never tried to find it.

I left it for the man who killed my son
to come back and get it.

How could you tell?
You said you never saw him.

I didn't.

That's why I put this old house
up for sale for $50,000.

Only someone who knew
there was $200,000 hidden here

would pay five times
what this old place is worth.

And that person would be
the man who killed my boy.

I see...

Very clever of you, Mrs. Grimes.

I don't think
it took cleverness.

Just patience.

I knew someday you'd come
back to get the money.

All I had to do was wait

until I could find
a man who was willing to

pay too much
for an old house.

And now I suppose
you'll phone the police.

Yes, I'll phone the police.

I don't see how I can
let you do that.

If you'd been smart,
Mrs. Grimes,

you'd have phoned them
before you told me the story.

Mr. Waterbury,

I didn't tell you the story
until after you drank your lemonade.


Enough to kill you
three times over.

Aaron, this is Sadie Grimes.

You can put my house
back on your books.

Mr. Waterbury has decided
not to buy it after all.

So much for life
in these United States.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Grimes' crime...

Mrs. Grimes' crime was discovered
and her reputation ruined.

Prior to this, she had never been
known to make a bad glass of lemonade.

Prices have gone sky-high on the moon,
so I'm seeking land that isn't so close in.

I think I shall have a look at Venus.

Most of you seem too young, however,

so I think you should
look at something more wholesome.

I suggest the following,
after which I hope you'll rejoin me.

Very dull.
I couldn't see anything but a planet.

I might as well have
looked at the commercial,

a practice I may take up
at our next meeting.

Until then, good night.