Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 25 - The Little Man Who Was There - full transcript

Jamie and Ben McMahon have brought a civilized attitude to a rough and tumble mining town. Although both strongmen in their own rights, they preach brotherly love and turning the other cheek. One day, in walks the Little Man, a strange little fellow who challenges the McMahons and says that his powers are far greater than theirs. To the shock of everyone present, he proves his point and the local folk think they are dealing with the devil incarnate. There is however, far more to this than meets the eye.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

Just a moment, please.

You probably think these
are telephone lines.

Actually they are attached
to television cables.

In this way,
I can sidetrack people

who attempt to dial
another channel.

Usually, after getting
the wrong channel,

they don't bother trying again.

It helps our ratings

This fellow is
certainly persistent.

This is a recording.

You have reached
a disconnected channel.

We suggest you watch
Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Thank you.

This is a recording.
You have reached...

I've never seen this play fail.

They always give up
and watch our show.

Why don't you?

It begins in one minute.


It just ain't right
for a man's best friend

to buy two drinks in a row.

This one's on me, Hutch.

I like to buy.

Don't you take his money, Okie.

You take the money, Okie!

I said I'm buying and
that's what I mean!

And I said I'm buying
and that's what I mean!

Gentlemen, gentlemen, you know
the rules about fighting,

especially on pay night.

You keep out of this, Okie!

You take the money, Okie.

Look, I said I'm buying, and
that's exactly what I mean.

And I said I'm buying
and that's what I mean!

I've got a feeling
this sidewinder

is trying to make me
out a cheapskate!

Who're you calling
a sidewinder?

You! That's who!

Of all the ungrateful...

Evening, brother Pete!

Evening, Ben. Brother Ben.
Brother Jamie.

You boys having another one of
your little squabbles, were you?

Oh, no, Jamie.

I guess you're about
the last two men in town

who haven't learned
about the Golden Rule.

Oh, that ain't true,
Jamie, honest.

Well, I'm mighty glad to
hear that, brother Hutch.

'Cause Ben and me
would be real upset

if you two was to
hurt each other.

Well, uh, I reckon we wouldn't
want to see you upset, Jamie.

We was just having
a little disagreement

over who was gonna
pay for this drink.

It weren't nothing more
than that, honest.

Well, now, why don't I
just settle that for you?

This one's on me.

You boys drink up

and behave yourself
real nice, you hear?

God bless you, Jamie.

We'll drink to you and Ben.

You're both mighty
fine fellows.

Why, thank you, brother Hutch.

Them's mighty fine words.

And me and brother Jamie, here,

would like to feel that
we was deserving of them.

I'll say this, they sure
make a man feel warm inside,

whether he's deserving
of them or not!

Bringing in the sheaves.


Say, brother, would you bring old
Jamie about three fingers of whiskey?

Well, it ain't
none of my business,

but maybe you'd better
not have any more, Jamie.

I reckon you know
your own limit,

but, well, it don't
look too good.

Well, I appreciate your
thinking about that, Ben,

but right now,

I'm hanged if I ain't as dry
as a month-old drumstick.

You better save your money.

This one's forgotten
how to pay off.

Oh, now, brother, I never
saw a one-armed bandit,

or any other kind of bandit,
that could resist faith!

Ain't that right, Ben?

Amen, brothers! I've seen
faith work miracles.

There, now, who wants to see Jamie
McMahon make this machine pay off?

- 'Cause I'm here to say he can do it!
- Yeah, yeah.

The machine's got
all the money,

but Jamie's got the faith!

Just open your eyes
to faith, brothers.

Hey, Pete,

see that little fella
who just came in?

Yeah. What about him?

Something funny about him.

Well, maybe he wants a drink.

Did you ever think of that?

What's your pleasure, mister?

You are the dispenser of
beverages, are you not?

Well, uh, yeah, I reckon I am.

What do you recommend?


I'm experiencing a severe
dryness of the throat.

What do you recommend?

Well, anything you like.

Every man to his own
poison, I always say.

Do you dispense
John Barleycorn?

John Barleycorn!

I thought that was just something
in a song or something like that.

You mean there really
is a drink by that name?

I asked you.

Yeah, well, uh...

I guess this is about as
near as I can come to it.

Mighty warmin' on the innards.

I'll have rum.



Don't push it toward me, man!

Stand back and I
will reach for it!

Nothing like a shot
of good ole demon rum!

What's the matter, mister?

Something wrong with it?

Where I come from, we never
refer to it as "demon rum."


And, uh, where
do you come from?

I'm interested in your town.

What's it called?

Copper Pocket.

You, uh, gonna be here long or
are you just passing through?

You better give up, Swede.

Likely all the good you're going
to do is bust a gut, boy.

Stand aside, boys.

Let a man try it.

Come on, Ben.

Go over there and show
them how it's done.

All right.

Come on, Ben. Show us.
You can do it.

Thank you for your
faith, brother.

A ruckus community.

Mister, this place
is like a church social

compared to what it
was two months ago.

Uh, you see them
two fellas, down there,

in the middle of the circle?

The two pretending
to be strong men?

Oh, mister,
they ain't pretending.

Go on. My work requires a certain
knowledge of each place I visit.

What kind of work do you do?

I'm a... collector.

Of what? Souvenirs.

What kind of souvenirs?

What were you saying
about those two men?

Let Jamie try it.
Let Jamie try it.

Anything Ben can do,
Jamie can do, too.

Come on, Jamie.
Yeah, that's right.

Mister, copper miners are
just about the strongest,

the sturdiest, the meanest
misfits ever put on this earth!

Why, they was gambling and drinking
and shooting each other up.

Five, six, seven,
fist fights every night.

And I'm only talking about
one corner of the room now!

Look, I want to
show you something.

You see that?

That's all that's left
of the finest chandelier

that was ever brought
west of the Mississippi.

It's from Paris, France.

It took me two years
to get that.

It took these critters a minute
and a half to shoot it up!

Yes, life was pretty rough
around here till two months ago.

Then them two came.
Ben and Jamie.

And they brought something that
this town had never heard of.

Interesting. What was it?

Brotherly love.

Yes, sir.

They brought the magic of
brotherly love to Copper Pocket,

and this has been a
different town ever since.

I see.

And these enlightening
signs I observe here,

I take it they are
the result of this

campaign of brotherly love?

Yes, sir.

I'm curious to know how these two
men accomplished their mission.

Well, mister, that takes
a bit of explaining.

I need another drink.

You got money to pay for these?


That's a right nice looking
pocketbook you got there, mister.

I don't believe I've ever
seen one like that before.

I believe you were telling me
a story of brotherly love.

Yeah, well, first off, Ben and Jamie
got themselves a job in the mine.

Then they had every professional
gambler thrown out of town.

And they told the men here

there was something more to life
than shooting and gambling.

"Vanity of vanities, " they
said, "All is vanity."


Oh, not that Ben and Jamie
were against gambling

and drinking, but, uh, well, they
were so tolerant to all the men,

even them that laughed at them,

that it wasn't long
before the whole town

just fell right in behind them.

Am I to understand that these two
men accomplished their mission

without ever resorting
to their own strength?

Oh, they got mixed up in some
pretty mean fights there at first.

Ah! Then it wasn't brotherly
love they brought with them.

No? Then what was it?

It was power! Physical power.

Stripped of its brotherly,
kindly, tolerant aspect,

it reduces itself to power.

And men, all men, fear power!

Well, no, no, mister.
You got it all wrong.

No, these miners
don't fear nothing.

No, don't you see,
Ben and Jamie

convinced them that
things like self-respect

and love and pride
in your work,

them was the all
important things!

I know one thing, mister.

This town has been
a far better place

to live in ever since
them two came here!

Hey! What's the idea, unless you're
trying to blow a hole in my floor?

I asked for another drink
and you ignored me.

I don't like being ignored.

Uh, you've had enough to drink.
You better move on!

You will fix me another drink.

You move on, or I'll have
you thrown out of here!

Simmer down, brother Okie.

No need to go
getting all riled up.

Oh, I knew there was something
wrong with that little critter

the minute I laid eyes on him.

Stranger, I think you got
the wrong idea about this town.

We don't allow no
fighting or weapons here.

Someone could get hurt

if we was to go around
shooting up the place.

Now, we're tolerant men,
and we understand

you didn't know these things.

Ain't that right, brother Ben?

Amen, brother Jamie.

So if you'll just apologize to
Okie for smoking up his saloon,

we'll just forget
the whole thing.

You, I take it, are
one of the preachers.

How's that again?

One of the righteous ones.

An ecclesiastical bore!
A pompous ass!

Well, suit yourself, mister.

We'll just forget
the whole thing.

There's no apology necessary.

Put on some music, Charlie.

Come on, fellas, let's all sing.

Ah, you turn the other cheek!
Loyal to scripture!

Admirable and logical,

since you're a coward at heart!

No man ever called
Jamie McMahon a coward.

Now, mister,

I am gonna have to
insist that you apologize.

And what if I refuse?

What will you do then? Read
to me from the good book?

Such nonsense will
fall upon deaf ears.

I'm not like your friends here!

Maybe all you need
is a good thrashing.

And who'll administer that thrashing?
Certainly not you.

You're not man enough.

Well, you talk mighty big
for a little fella, don't you!

Many men have tried to beat me,

but not a soul
has ever succeeded.

However, why not give it a try?

Why don't you try to administer this
thrashing you've been talking about?

In fact, I challenge you!

Mister, I never hit a
man smaller than me.

And I'm not about to start.

I'm certain you've hit many men
physically smaller than yourself

and as for mentally...

Mentally, my friend, there
is no one smaller than you.

Peace, Jamie.

Now you go over there
and calm down,

I'll take care of this
little fella here.

Oh, I'll handle
this my way, Ben!

Two-muscle-bound oafs groping
to rescue each other's pride.

Mister, I'm going
to count to 10

and if you ain't gone I'm gonna
forget how small you are!

Jamie! Jamie!

Remember the words
in the Book of James,

"Blessed is the man
that endureth temptation."

"For when he is tried, he shall
receive the crown of life."

Two chips off the Rock of Ages!

Resist the devil, Jamie! Resist
him and he will flee from you!

The devil! By jingo,
just look at him!

He must be some
kind of a devil!

Peace, brother Swede.

Jamie and me can handle
this little fella.

Of course!

They'll find a way to
talk me out of here.

Now, this one...

This one seems inclined
to turn the other cheek.

Let's see how he behaves
after it has been turned!

Go ahead, Jamie. Flatten
the little coyote!

Yeah, go on, Jamie
and flatten him!

What kind of a demon
are you, anyway?

Do not try it again I warn you,

or you will suffer
a grave penalty!

You've got to show
him, Jamie, boy!

You got to take him.

I do not have time to indulge
you as I did your friend!

With your own eyes
you have observed

that your friends tried
to touch me and failed.

Do not trouble to
ask yourselves why.

Do not trouble to ask
yourselves who or what I am.

I am here! That is the reality!

Now to fulfill my
purpose in coming here.

If you cooperate,
I will show mercy.

He who does not cooperate,

shall feel the full
force of my wrath.

If you doubt what I'm saying,

I suggest you take a good
look at your friends

lying there on the floor.

Now, each of you will
come up to this table

and deposit your
funds in this bag.

The preachers.

The drawer on that machine.

Thank you.

And now that statue! Empty it!

There's nothing in there.
It's just a statue.

Just solid bronze
clear through.

Empty it!

Thank you.

A word of advice.

Never entrust your
money to a woman.

If you value the lives of
your friends on the floor,

you will remain where you are.
Stay put.

And in due course, they
will return to normal.

Do not try to follow me,

or there will be
the devil to pay!

Hey! They're coming to.

Jamie, Ben, are you all right?

He's seen the money right through the statue.
It ain't human.

that's what it is.

He must be some kind of devil!

No, he ain't some
kind of devil, Swede.

He's the Devil!

Twenty-nine thousand.

Twenty-nine thousand,
five hundred.

Thirty thousand!

I've made the usual split.
There it is.

And Jamie, I'm warning you,

next time, don't have
so much to drink.

That big, meaty hand of yours

came too close
for comfort last night.

And as for you, Ben,

do me a favor, will you?

Next time, please,

don't lay it on so thick
with that holy stuff.

There's a town called
Silver Wheel in Nevada.

Go there as soon as possible
and start sending reports.

I'll come when you
send me the word.

That concludes our story,

just in case
you hadn't guessed.

An amusing thing happened
at the next town

Ben, Jamie, and their
little man friend visited.

A stranger happened into town
on the night of the pay off.

A man who was seeing their
show for the second time.

Theirs was a show that could
not stand any repeat business.

As it turned out, it was
their final performance.

For the next minute, I shall
attempt a television first.

I shall show you what
is on another channel,

after which, I shall
bring you safely back.

I can see you feel you made
a wise choice this evening.

Why don't you do
the same next week,

when I shall return
with another play?

Until then, goodnight.