Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 29 - The Hero - full transcript

Sir Richard Musgrave is traveling by ship to South Africa. He is a wealthy entrepreneur who made his fortune in Africa. On board ship, he notices an individual that he recognizes as Jan Vander Klaue a one time partner against whom he had committed a terrible act. The gentleman is quite genial, denies knowing Musgrave and denies being Vander Klaue. Musgrave however is overwhelmed with guilt and takes to keeping to his cabin and drinking heavily. In despair, he eventually jumps overboard and the man he thought was Vander Klaue jumps in after him, but for what purpose?

Good evening.

I thought you might
be interested,

in seeing one of the world's
first television tubes.

In those days, everything
was in glorious color.

Repairs were unheard of, and
the tube never wore out.

But, of course we've managed
to improve those details.

A few of you may
consider staring at this

a rather limited form
of entertainment.

But, our ancestors found
this bottle quite exciting.

But of course, they were the
ones who had emptied it.

And now, ladies and
gentlemen, our play.

Excuse me, Sir Richard
Musgrave isn't it?

Chairman of
Consolidated Trusts?

Yes this is
my wife and daughter.

Oh, it's not your first trip to
South Africa is it, Sir Richard?

No, not the first, but
the first in 20 years.

Oh, I expect you'll find
lots of changes then.

Are you going, too,
Lady Musgrave?

No, this is a business trip.

My father's very old fashioned.

A woman's place is in the home.
Really, Elizabeth.

Now, let's have
some more smiles, please.

Relaxed like.

What do you want for a present?

How about an ape
from Gibraltar?

Don't be facetious, darling.

That's just the sort of
thing your father might do.

Don't worry, we don't
stop at Gibraltar.

Where do you stop? In Madeira
then straight on to Cape Town.

All visitors ashore, please.

Yes, bon voyage, Sir Richard.

I think I'll go down to the
country at the end of the week.

Sure. I'll send you a
cable from Cape Town.

And remember to do three times
round the deck every day.

No nonsense from you, my
waistline's my own affair.

Goodbye, Mary. Goodbye, dear.

We shall miss you, dear.

Goodbye, dear.

Goodbye, Daddy,
have a good time.

I shouldn't bother
to wait, my dear.

It's no good keeping
dinner waiting.

We'll be thinking of you.

Goodbye. Bye-bye.

Where is the purser's
office, please?

First door to the right, sir.
Thank you.


Good morning.
Oh, good morning, sir.

Anything I can do for
you, Sir Richard?

Do you have a complete list
of the ship's passengers?

Yes but it hasn't
been posted yet.

Can you tell me if there is a passenger
aboard named Jan Vander Klaue?

I'll see, sir.

No, not in first class.

Any class?

No, no Jan Vander
Klaue at all, sir.

I just thought I happened
to catch sight of him.

I must've been mistaken. Thanks.

Is he a friend of yours?

A friend?

A friend of mine? No.

Janet, my dear, I think
it's time to go, don't you?

Oh, I'm so sorry!

Won't you join us?

Please do, would you? I
think it will be fun.

I think it's this way,
isn't it darling?

Steward. Yes, sir.

That man who just left.
Where did he go to?

I don't know, sir.

Let me see the chit he signed.

He didn't sign his name, sir, he
just put his cabin number on it.

Sir Richard, I do hope you
remember me, Janet Boswell.

Yes, of course. A year ago
with your wife at Ascot.

Yes, indeed.

I see you know each other.

Oh, we're old friends, Henry.

Henry Caldwell,
Sir Richard Musgrave.

How do you do? How do you do?

I understand you're a
friend of Alexander Task.

The Task of Wall Street?
Yes, he's the one.

We used to work together
in Transatlantic Oil.

Here! You need a
little attention.

Oh, thank you.

Now oil? Oh, yes, motors.

I wanted to ask you.

What do you think
of Thor Motors?

Oh, yes, I think it sounds like
it may be a good investment.

Oh, don't be so modest,

I read recently that you're one
of the major stock holders.

Enjoying yourself, Sir Richard?

Um, the man over there,
do you know him?

Oh, yes, of course, Mr. Keyser

I'd like to meet him.

Nothing easier.
Let me introduce you.

I don't believe you
gentlemen have met.

Mr. Keyser,
Sir Richard Musgrave.

How do you do?
Excuse me, please.

Forgive me, but I didn't
quite catch your name.


Do you know, Mr. Keyser
you remind me

of a man I knew years ago.

Jan Vander Klaue.

Oh, that's a penalty I pay
for having a common face.

Everyone thinks,
they've seen me before.

Sir Richard, the radio operator
has been looking for you.

Is my call through?
Yes, this way please.


will you deliver this
note to Mr. Keyser?

Over there, thank you.

Uh, yes, sir?

Steward. This clipping was
pushed under the door.

Did you put it there? No, sir.

Did you see anyone
else slip it under?

No, sir. But I had a call
to another cabin, sir.

All right.

Will that be all, sir? Yeah.

Lunch is now being served.

Hello. Mr. Keyser. Why
don't you join us?

Oh, yeah, Have a drink?


Good morning, Sir Richard.

I had hoped to see you
last night, Mr. Keyser.

Oh, you did?

I'm sorry, I was playing
bridge with some friends.

There's something I wanted
to talk to you about.

Mmm. Business, business,
I'm on a holiday.

That's all you're interested in.
How dull.

Have you ever been to South
Africa before, Sir Richard.

A long time ago.

And you, Mr. Keyser?

Oh, I've been there.
Do you know it well?

Who ever knows Africa well?

Certain parts of it.

Johannesburg and Kimberley and the
northern section of the Transvaal?

Fine mining country.

Yes, so I'm told.

Won't you sit down, Sir Richard?
Why, thank you.

This is my first trip out.

Oh, yes?

I'd like to talk to you more
about Africa, Mr. Keyser.

Won't you lunch with me?

Oh, lunch. I'm so glad
you reminded me.

I promised to have
lunch with those people

I played bridge
with last night.

If you'll excuse me,

I'm late now.

Good evening, Sir Richard.
Good evening.

May I help you?

Oh, uh, some
cable forms perhaps.

Thank you.

Do you know Mr. Keyser?

Mr. Keyser? Yes, sir.

I wonder if you remember
if he's made any

phone calls?
Or sent any messages?

Why, yes, sir. A lot of passengers have.
Including yourself, sir.

I wonder if you remember what
Mr. Keyser's were about?

No, but, we naturally
keep a report on them, sir.

See, Mr. Keyser and myself hold
something rather confidential

nothing very important
of course.

But, I'd wondered if
he'd gone ahead and

discussed it in a cable.

We can't divulge
that information, sir.


Vander Klaue.

My name is Keyser.

No. You're Jan Vander Klaue.

Twenty years ago
we were partners.

You haven't changed so much
that I don't recognize you.

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

I do.

I remember it very well.

And so do you.

You can't stand there and pretend
you don't remember that last trip.

It was unlucky from the start.

That night, outside the Kaffir village.
We were drinking.

But, Sir Richard I don't drink.

Of course you do I've
seen you on the ship.

Well, I take a glass
of beer occasionally.

And that night
we were arguing, and

then we got to fighting and...

I thought I'd killed you.

It was all a mistake.
I didn't want to hurt you.

I thought you were dead.

If you were dead, what would be
gained by my giving myself up?

Do you understand?

I'm sorry, I don't.

Of course, I admit it
was wrong of me to,

run away and take your money.

Money? You know, what
I'm talking about.

It's only £75, and look
what I've done with it.

Manufacturing, oil, mining,
I've built it into millions.

Of course, there's something
else more important.

My family.

I'm married, my wife is a wonderful woman.
And we have a daughter.

Five years ago I got
my knighthood.

There's a chance of a
peerage in the new year.

Congratulations, Lord Musgrave.

Oh, it's not that, it's not
for me, it's for them.

They're counting on it.

Of course, a breath, a word of
scandal and it'll be all over.

Of course, the law couldn't do
anything to me, it isn't murder,

and after all these years, the
statute of limitations sets in.

Oh, yes, the statute
of limitations.

Exactly. All you could
accomplish would be gossip.

Embarrassing my family.

Well, you wouldn't
want to do that, would you?

For the sake of a few pounds?

Me? Why ask me? Because,
you want something.

What is it that you want?
What is it?

Do you want me to pay
you to keep quiet?

All right. I'll pay you.

And I'll set you up in business,
any business you want.

Just name it!

I'll put you in
one of my companies.

Fifty thousand a year
as a salary.

What do you think of that?

Or a settlement?
A complete settlement.

Half a million pounds.

Well, tell me what you think?

Tell me.

This is very embarrassing,
Sir Richard.

I'm afraid I have very
nearly as much money as you.

May I come in?

Your daughter? Yeah.

Your wife? Yeah.

On this trip, Sir Richard,
I have found myself

in the unwanted role
of a father confessor.

But... No, wait.

This is not only
embarrassing to me, but

undoubtedly painful to you.

Then why not put an end to
this cat and mouse game?

Admit who you are and
tell me what you want!

But I have told you
my name is Keyser.

And I don't want anything.

You know, though, I am
reminded of a story.

A true one, I understand.

Why I should be reminded of it,

I don't know, except that it also
deals with the amount of £75.


Yes. Quite a coincidence.

Would you like
to hear the story?

This is, uh, supposed
to have happened

a long time ago in Africa.

I believe I've heard you mention you
know Africa quite well, Sir Richard.

Now, this man in the
story was a prospector.

What was his name?

Oh, what difference
does it make?

It's just an interesting story.

Now, this prospector
had been down on his luck,

couldn't get anymore credit,

he did manage to scrape up the
money for one last final try.

He took a partner,
a young Englishman.

They were out two months,
no luck.

You know how it goes.

Now, this prospector
had just about £75 left

and he had to get back
to Kimberley with it.

But, why?

Why was it so important
to keep £75?

Did he want to invest
it in something?

Oh, we'll come to that.

Then, luck, fate, fortune
let's call it stepped in.

The prospector,
somewhere on his way back

lost the £75.

And if he wouldn't have
been found by the Kaffirs,

he would have
lost his life, too.

But then luck seemed to
want to make it up to him.

Months later, he made a strike.

Then good investments,
he made millions.

So it goes.

But, you still
haven't explained

why that £75 was so important.

My wife.

Oh, yes, I remember.

I never met her.

But, the £75!

Oh, how forgetful of me.

The prospector needed the £75,

because his wife
needed an operation.

When he lost it, his wife died.

Man overboard!

Help me!

And so tomorrow,
we reach Cape town.

And now, as Captain
of the Craigmore Castle,

and on behalf of the crew,

our officers and
all of the passengers,

I am honored to
present this cup

in recognition of a
very gallant deed.

"Greater love hath no man than this,
that he lay down his life for a friend."

So the Bible tells us. But,

there must be a greater love.

That of a man who is prepared
to lay down his life

for a stranger,

to Mr. A. J. Keyser
for his outstanding heroism

in attempting to save the
life of a fellow passenger.

That concludes
our show for tonight.

By a stroke of good fortune,

I happened to be on board
that particular ship.

I caught the whole rescue with my
little long focus movie camera.

I got every detail.

I thought the Captain might like the
roll of film as a little souvenir.

By the way,

building a boat in a
bottle, isn't difficult

and it's no work at all

once you have shrunk the carpenters
down to the proper size.

Good night.