Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 15 - Man from the South - full transcript

Peter Lorre makes a bet with Steve McQueen that Steve McQueen can't light his cigarette lighter ten times in a row. If he does, he wins Peter Lorre's new car. if he doesn't, Peter Lorre gets to chop off Steve McQeen's little pinky.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

And welcome to the land of

$2 windows and quarter horses.

Racing has been called
the sport of kings.

But, here at the $2 window,

I have met
relatively few of them.

Well, apparently there is no
business like show business.

And speaking of shows,

we have one following
the next race.

The flag is up!

Those of you who wish
to bet may still do so.

Naturally, I can't give
you any tips.

But, there is one entry
that has been timed

at just one minute flat.

Ah, there he is now.

They are off and running.

A brandy, please.
A brandy? Yes, miss.

Thank you. I'll
put it on myself.


You should have that brandy
after breakfast, not before.

Listen, I don't mean to overstep
myself, but would you like

to join me in a pot of coffee?


I'm not trying
to make a big deal out of it.

I just thought, if we
sat down at the table,

your shoe wouldn't
have so far to fall.

Send the waiter over, will you?

Oh, is that enough?

I think so, miss, especially
since you didn't drink it all.

Thank you.

Just coffee, please.

Oh, why don't you
have some breakfast?

I've still got $1.86
left and uh,

a chip. But I need the
chip for tonight.

Coffee will be fine. I
guess, it's gonna be coffee.

And, uh. Where'd you
say you were from?

I didn't,

but the answer is Moscow.

You are an awful lot to cope
with at 8:00 in the morning.

Moscow, Idaho, that is.

We're having some sort
of a cultural exchange

with the neighboring
state of Nevada.

They forgot to mention, it
was a 730 mile walk home.

Better eat this,
then, for energy.

Thank you.

May I, please?

Thank you.

You are both very
nice and very young,

and you are very kind.

Oh, I didn't have
any coffee yet myself.

I like the pleasant
company of young people.

Do you mind?

Another cup of coffee, please,

and anything my young
friends might like to have.

Nothing, thank you.

You know, I have always liked
the informality of Vegas,

and you meet such
interesting people.

You new to each other?

No, no, no. This is my aunt.
She is from Moscow, Idaho.

No, the only reason she
looks so sweet and sexy

is that she doesn't have
a care in the world.

Oh, look at that.

May I?

Oh, interesting lighter you have.
Excuse me?

The lighter. It's interesting.
It's efficient.

That's the best lighter
money can buy,

99 cents at your
corner drugstore.

You see what I mean?
It never misses.

Never misses?


Well, I'm not a firebug,

I never took a whole day off
to test a 99 cent lighter.

Bye now.

Wait, wait.

I don't want you to go.

Suppose we make
a nice, nice bet on,

well, how efficient
is this lighter of yours

that you are so proud of?

Now, look, mister. I didn't say
I want to wear it as a badge.

All I said was, it's a
good lighter and it works.

And would you bet on that?

Ah, sure. I'll bet you it lights
three times out of three.

I'll, uh, bet you a quarter.

Pardon me, folks.

But, I've got a
weakness for these

barroom propositions.
Mind if I listen in?

No, no, no.

It's a nice big bet I had
in mind for you, a bet

you could remember
all your life.

Look, mister.
I have got one chip.

And $1.86.

Now, $1.86 says it will work.

That's as high as I go.

But, you don't understand.

You see, I'm a very rich man

and I'm a sporting man.

My car is right outside.

It's a beautiful convertible.
It is this year's model.

What about it? Well, I'll
tell you what about it.

The car is part of the bet.

But we'll go up
to my rooms, because

there is no wind. No draft

from opening and closing
doors, you understand.

Now, the bet
is really very simple.

If you can make this
celebrated lighter of yours

work for you ten times
without missing...

Ten times in
succession, mind you.

Then the car is yours.

What do I put up, my
spare set of pajamas?


Look, I'm devoted to gambling.

But, I have never asked anybody to put
up more than he can afford to lose.

Yeah? What, for instance?

Oh, I'm going to make
it easy for you.

Easy for you to win
a car, I mean.

Is that all right?

I'm listening.
I like the easy part.

Well, I'm thinking
of some small thing,

that you could afford
to give away.

And if you lose? Why, you won't
have to feel so bad. Such as,

such as the little finger
on your left hand.

My what?

Is that so strange?

He wins, he takes the car.
I win, I take his finger.

Is that so strange? Wow!

I have been hanging around
barrooms half my life,

I never heard anything
like this before.

Isn't it fair?

Don't ask me. Ask him.

Now, what do you mean, if I
lose, you "take" the finger?

How else? I chop it off!

Let's get out of here. No, no, no.
Wait a minute.

Is it a bet?

I don't think so.

I see.

I understand.

I understand very easily.
It must be

like I have been
reading so many times.

You know, that the generation,

the young generation
grows soft.

That the starch is
leaving their spine.

You oughta tell that to the Boy Scouts,
but I guarantee you one thing.

If you go around the old campfire,
lopping off fingertips,

you're going to get thrown
out, right on your ear.

Is that so? That's so.

I know it's crazy.
But, it's up to you.

This gentleman
here, if he would be

so kind, he could
act as our referee.

Here are the keys to the car.
What do you say?

I don't really know.

Don't listen to him.

Now, let me get this straight.

You want me to
go up to your room.

And if I light this
10 times in a row,

I get the convertible.

That's correct.
If I miss just once...

That's right. Just once.

I forfeit the little
finger on my left hand.

Now, you understand.

Everything is perfectly correct.

Except that I can see
you are afraid.

I wouldn't worry about that.

As I said before. Let's get away
from this old bloody bloke.

Let's get out of here!
Relax, relax.

Now, just one other thing.

I'd like to see the convertible.

Of course, you'd
like to see the car.

And I'll have drinks sent up to the
room just as soon as you say so.

Will you all please follow me?

You coming?

Pardon me,

very careless
of someone, wasn't it?

Dracula's daughter, no doubt.

Have her come in off the drain pipe.
She might catch cold.

Listen to me.

I don't know you very well, but
you could be a real nice guy.

Do you have to do anything
as crazy as this?

I like convertibles.

I think.

Be comfortable.

The drinks you ordered
from downstairs, sir.

Put it

right here. On that table.

Yes, sir.

Anything else, sir?

Yes, we want to play a game.

Sort of a game.

A game?

Oh. Yes, sir.

Now, let's see. I need
four things for it.

I need some nails.

Some nails. Yes, sir. A hammer.

A hammer.

Then I need a length
of good strong cord.

And a chopping knife.

A what, sir?

Chopping knife that you can
borrow from the kitchen.

A real chopping knife?

A butcher's chopping knife.
It's part of the game.

I mean, that might not
be too easy, sir.

They're gonna ask why.

They'll probably say...

Well, they'll say a chopping knife
don't go too good with martinis.

You're not going to tell me that at half past
eight in the morning there will be a chef

to ask many questions,
will there?


No, sir.

Oh, uh!

Before we start.
I'd like to present

the referee with the
keys to the car.

The registration papers
and the insurance papers,

they are right in the
glove compartment. Fair?


You sure you wanna
go through with this?

Well, you'll pardon
a bad joke but, uh...

It's no skin off me.

Yeah, I wanna go
through with it.

Hello, stupid.


Things are looking up.

You got enough
fluid in that thing?

Yeah, I think so.
Cotton's still wet.

I think it'll be better to leave it this
way than to flood it with lighter fluid.

Wick's okay.


Flint's all right.

Save it for the World Series.
Do you mind?

What's he doing?

That's fine.
Thank you, very much.

The monster! You'd think he'd just blown
out the candles on a birthday cake.

Over here, please.

Just for size,
if you don't mind.

What? I want your left hand.

To measure it.

I think you better sit down.

That's it. You may take
your hand away now.

It took some sleight of hand in the
kitchen for that meat ax, sir.

But the other things,
I had no trouble with.

I think I need another drink.

Everything is fine.

Just what the doctor
ordered, huh?


Who said anything
about a doctor?

Oh, no! All I meant was...

This is all fine. I'll call
for you when I need you.

And, see that
we are not disturbed.

It's a private game.
Oh, yes, sir.

I think, I think
we are in business.

Sit down, please.

Now, you understand...

You put your hand
between the nails.

That's right.

Can I have another
drink, please?

How is that? Good?

Oh, yeah, fine. Real snug.

It's the greatest thing since
the invention of the rat trap.

Here you are. Many thanks.

Now, will you please
clench your fist.

That's fine.

Just fine.

Except, that the little finger
should be sticking out.


Mr. Referee, you can
give the word to begin.


You're ready?


How about you?

I'm ready.

You mind keeping count?

Let me know how many times
I light this thing?

Yeah, sure. I'll do that.





You all right?

I'll be all right,
until you miss.


Well, you're halfway home.





Give it to me, Carlos.
Give it to me now.

Why, Carlos? Why would
you do this thing again?

I just wanted to
make a little bet.

I'm sorry.

I am so terribly sorry
this should happen again.

I went to Los Angeles yesterday.

But, I knew, I should
not leave him alone.

And I took the first plane
back I could get.

Oh, Carlos.

You should be ashamed.

He is a menace, of course.

In the islands,
where we used to live,

he took 47 fingers

from different people.

And he lost 11 cars.

It was when they threatened to have him
put away, that we finally moved up here.

How foolish and reckless
young people can be.

Just trying to prove
they are brave.

Yeah, I guess it's
one of those things.

Did he bet you a car?

That's right.

A convertible. He has no car.

The car is mine,
and he knows it is mine.

That is what makes
it so contemptible.

That he should bet
with what he does not own.

With all his talk
of sportsmanship.

And you?

Me? I just came
along for the ride.

I'm supposed to be the referee.

I'm glad you came along
when you did though.

Here are the keys to your car.

Thank you.


He had nothing to bet
with, I assure you.

Not one thing in this world,

because I managed
to win it all.

It took a long time.

And it was very hard work,

but I won it all in the end.

Now you know how Venus De
Milo got the way she is.

By the time the poor old
girl won an automobile,

it was impossible
for her to drive it.

Of late there has been a great
deal of talk about pay television.

Actually, most of us
already have it.

And here is the gentleman
who makes us pay.

I'm not sure what to say.

That last commercial left
me completely underwhelmed.

Perhaps, I should
simply bid you adieu

until next week.

When my, um,

sponsor and I

shall return
with another story.

Good night.