Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 22 - Across the Threshold - full transcript

Sofie Winter hires mediums in an attempt to contact her late husband, who died six years previously...

Good evening.
So glad you could join us.

We are holding
a séance tonight.

At our last session, we managed to get
in touch with the spirit of Marconi,

the inventor of radio.

But unfortunately, it was impossible
to understand what he was saying

because of the static.

Now, if all of you will
place your hands palm down

on the tops of
your television sets

we shall attempt to speak
to Alexander Graham Bell.



I seem to have
reached him already.

Mr. Bell, do you...

That's peculiar, it's a woman.

She says, "Mr. Bell is not in."

No, I'll call later.

That was his answering service.

Now, if you will concentrate on
this little screen in front of me,

there is someone I am positive
wants to get in touch with you.

And I am certain
he'll be in. Listen.


Yes, Mother?

Darling, you've been sitting around
all afternoon in your suit jacket.

It's so bad for it.

I brought you this.

Well, I thought I might be going
out, but it seems I haven't.

There now,
I'll just hang this away.


That's my pretty.


Darling, I wanted to ask you.

Did you charge some
things at the drugstore?

Yes, I needed them.

Well, of course. I'll
just write the check now.

Do you need any pocket money?

Mother, you're gonna wear yourself
out with all these little things.

Wouldn't it be easier for you if I had
a checking account? No, dear, no.

You see, you're like
your dear father,

you are not very clever
with money.

Whereas I am a very careful person.

And anyway, dear Arthur
wanted it this way.

I don't mind at all.

Of course I know that
you're unhappy sometimes

because you're not
earning anything just now.

But you mustn't be.

I enjoy having you
home here with me.

And there is no hurry about
getting another position.


You spoil me.

Well, of course I do.

It's my occupation.

If I didn't have it,
I'd just be fretting,

wishing I were
with your dear father.

Mother, Daddy's been
gone six years now.

Not gone, dear. Never say that.

My Arthur is just across
the threshold, waiting.

Of course.

Close the window a little,
like a good boy.

I do wish that I could somehow
get in touch with Arthur.

Oh, Mother, don't try that again.
That's such a waste of money.

But I worry about him so.

I wonder if he's lonely,
if he needs me.

It would be simple enough
to go to him.

I've kept the medicine.

The last people you went to
were complete...

Medicine? Yes, dear, from
your father's last illness.

Taken in large quantities
it's poison, you know.

If anything happened to you, I
wouldn't hesitate for a moment.

You don't mean
if I got married?

No. I've told you, dear,
when that time comes

you just bring your wife
to live here.

No, I just worry about Arthur.

I do miss him.

Do you think he misses me?

I don't know, dearest.

I do know how much you want
to be in touch with him.

And that's difficult,
as I said.

But I did hear about
a young woman the other day.


Now, I could
look into that for you.

But you mustn't talk about it.

She doesn't like
to exploit her gift.

Oh, Hubert, would you?

Darling, could you?

Like the dear thoughtful
boy that you are.

I could try.


I'm so glad you could get away.

Can we have dinner?

No, I'm afraid not.

I only have a few minutes.

Mother's expecting me.

How are you?


I waited at an agent's office
for three hours today.

And I'm flat broke.

I just don't know.

That's too bad, dear.

I wish I could take you out and
buy you a wonderful dinner.

Your mother's a good cook,
I'll bet, huh?

She could teach me.

Oh, Hubert,
why can't I meet her?

Mother's never liked any
girl I've ever taken home.

That's why I hesitated
about asking you.

But now you may
get to meet her.


Listen. Do you remember that play you did
in summer stock where you were a medium?


Oh, boy, was that a flop show.

Yeah. But, do you remember it?

Listen, my mother believes
in that kind of thing.

And she's gonna try to get in
touch with my dead father.

Now could you do that?

You mean, put on an act?
Fool her?

Yeah. It'll be easy,
because I'd help you.

The point is this.
She's going to go to somebody,

and who knows
what they'll charge her.

This way you get the fee and
we'll make her very happy.

Isn't that a good idea?


Listen, she mustn't know that you know me.
You understand that?


Look, can you do this? With the
trance, and a man's voice, all that?

Of course I can do it.
If you tell me what to say.

I'll tell you what to say.
I promise you.

I'm gonna make an appointment then,
for this week. Is that all right?


There is too much light.

Just the one lamp?
Of course. Of course.

Dimmer, please.

Is that all right?
Yes, thank you.

Whatever you say, Miss Coulette.
We are in your hands.

Shall we sit down, Mother?

You must understand that I,
myself, become unconscious.

The Princess Artiti
speaks through me.

She is your control, is she?

She was an Egyptian princess
of the 18th dynasty

who lived in Egypt in 1375 B.C.

She married her brother.

They all did, you know.

Mother, will you sit there?
And I'll sit here.

Will you try to make contact?

I will try.

I do not know what will happen.

Sometimes, nothing.


concentrate on the one
you wish to contact.

Think hard. That helps.

Think, darling. I am thinking.

I am the Princess Artiti.

Why am I being called?

The power is not
strong tonight.

I cannot help you.

Oh, please.

They are crowding.

No, go away.

He wants to speak,
but he is not the one.

So many.

So many.

Princess, if you could
just find the one.

But the one who is wanted
knows he is being called.

I see him.

He is elderly.

He has hair
of masses of silver.


He is trying to say something.

Something about his...

His comfortable, old sofa.

He cannot speak.

Oh, please.

The forces are restraining him.

He is fading, fading.

I can't tell you more.

It was Arthur!
Don't you see it?

Miss Coulette,
my name is Sophia.

And my husband used to call me

his comfy old Sofie.

She could never
have known that.

Oh, my dear,
you were marvelous!

Will you come again soon?

Very soon?

Of course, Mrs. Winter,

if you wish it.

Oh, I do. I do.

That's my girl. That's my baby.

Cheep. Cheep.

Is everything just so?

I'm sure it is, Mother.
Don't fuss so.

Just so the environment
is all right.

That's all that
Miss Coulette required.

I like her very much,
don't you?

She has great gifts.

I somehow sense

that tonight we'll be able to
talk together, your father and I.

Yes, I sense that, too,

Now he is coming.

I see him.

He is standing at the end
of a long, dark passage,

holding out his hands.

Ready to receive you.

The lady is waiting.



Now listen to me tonight.

There's something
I must ask you.

Dear Sofie.

Listen to me, please.

I worry about you.

I know that you always
depended on me for everything.

And I so loved doing
everything for you.

Are you all right, my dear?

Are you happy?

Mother, I think if you'll just
be silent, Father will speak.

I am here, dearest Sofie,

and I love you as ever.

And, oh, how I miss you.

I am lonely on this shore.

I wait for you.

I need you.

Then I'll come, Arthur.

I swear I will.

And quickly.

I promise you.

I know now...
I know now what I must do.

Okay, that's fine.
You'd better go now.


You see, I was right.
He is lonely.

I had the instinct.
I seemed to know he...

He does need me.

You do understand.

Yes, I understand.

I shall miss you terribly.


Isn't it fortunate that I am not
inclined to throw things away?

The medicine? Oh, yes,
much the best way.

Now let me see. There'll be
several things to attend to.

But I think I can do that
tomorrow in the daytime.

And then in the evening,

one of our nice,
quiet evenings.

Yes, that will be best.

Tomorrow evening then, Arthur.

Tomorrow evening
at this time, my son.


That's every penny
I owe anybody.

Now, let me see.

I've checked the linen
and the silver, and the china.

I've put my clothes in moth bags, I've
stopped my library subscription...

I'm sure you've
seen to everything, Mother.

Dust on the piano!
Well, now, I can't have that.

Mother. Yes, dear?

I'm just going
to fetch a dust cloth.

Perhaps if I went out
for a breath of air.

Poor child, I've kept you with
me all this long, last day.

It must have been
very difficult for you.

No, dearest, it's just that
this waiting is so painful.

You know where the poison is,
you haven't mislaid it?

Of course I haven't.
I know exactly where it is.

I'm a very careful person,
as dear Arthur used to say.

Now, I'll just
dust the piano. And...

Oh! Oh, dear.


Could you run an errand for me?
I'd be glad to.

It was a nasty, old piece
of newspaper, baby.

The drugstore has shelf paper.
Would you get me something pretty?

You want me to buy paper
for the canary now?

Yes, dear. Would you?

And will you mail these?

I must have everything just so.

Yes, I suppose you must.

Are you frightened?

No. No.

You mustn't be. It's nothing.

It's just a transition.

I know that. I believe that.

Well then, run along out.

I'll be here, I promise you.

I could never go
unless you were near me.

So have no fear of that.

Well then, I'll be right back.

Come in.

What happened?


Is she...

Everything is going
to be all right.

When? Tonight.

Now Hubert,
you can't let her do this!

Just let me go and tell her
that we were kidding.


No, you mustn't.

But, you just can't...

Listen, if you tell her now that
it wasn't my father last night

you'd break her heart.

All right, then you
do it some other way.

You tell her that
you need her here.

Now, you can do that.

But I don't need her.

I'm not a child, you know.

Hubert... What is this?

That's paper for the
bottom of her canary cage.

Hubert, I don't think we
ought to let her do it.

I do. I think it's the best thing
for everybody all the way 'round.

Dearest, this is murder.
You know that, don't you?

The law can't touch us.

Well, they can touch us
if they know about it.

If this is murder, you're in
on it just as much as I am.

So you're not
going to interfere.

How are you gonna explain your part in
this to the police or anybody else?

My part?

You're the one that set her
off with that act of yours.

And that's fraud,
criminal fraud!

I was acting.

Listen, there's
nothing you can do

except sit and wait
and be patient.

Now do you understand that?


Let's look at it this way.

My mother will be happy.
I'll be rich.

We can get married, got to
Europe on our honeymoon.

And nobody'll
know the difference.



Here I am.

What's that?

I have brought you your jacket.

Now, I want this to be just like
one of our usual lovely evenings.

You in your chair
and I in mine.

I don't want
to be found in bed.

I want to be here, where we've
had so many happy times.

Do you understand? Yes, I understand.
I meant what's that in the glass.

That's the medicine.

It was exactly
where I had put it.

A place for everything
and everything in its place.

That is how Arthur
used to tease me.

Now I will just put this away.


Now I wonder
if I've forgotten anything.

I can't imagine what.

Oh, what a tangled...

Oh, dear.
Mother, does that matter now?

It won't take a minute, dear.

Get me the police.

Dearest, I don't like to ask, but
have you left a note of any kind?

Oh, yes,
I've taken care of that.

I've written everything down
and explained it most clearly.

And your will, I suppose, is in order?
Oh, yes.

There's a copy in the desk drawer
and the lawyers have the original.


I do believe I have
thought of everything now.

Forgive me, darling,
but I do need this.

Well, of course, dear.

Oh, Hubert, now,
you're not going to cry?

There is no need to,
believe me.

I do believe you.

And I won't cry.

Mother, I'd like to
propose a toast.

To Daddy. Ah!

Mother, I did think you'd
drink that toast with me.

Oh, I will, dear. I will.

Dearest, I have tried
to understand everything.

Now, won't you try?

Have pity on me?
Don't drag this thing out.

Can't you see that I can't
stand much more of this?

If you are going to do it...

If you are going to do it,
then, please do it.

Don't drag it out.
For my sake. For...

It doesn't hurt,
does it, darling?

I've only been waiting to see
you safely over the threshold.

Well, you didn't think I was going to leave
you here all alone, did you, darling?

I've poisoned you, darling.

Now you will be with Mommy
and Daddy for always.

You're not afraid, are you?

It won't be long.

See you.

Well, Arthur, I think I have
attended to everything.

Just so.

What in the world is that?

That concludes
our tribute to mother love.

I shall return after we reveal
our sponsor's identity.

There is an epilogue
to tonight's story.

Mrs. Winter decided to
trade spiritual togetherness

for solitary confinement

and discovered
she preferred it that way.

After seeing Hubert,
I can't say I blame her.

Next week we shall make our own
attempt at togetherness with you.

Until then, good night.