Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 31 - I Can Take Care of Myself - full transcript

Bert Haber is an old time piano player and he and Georgia, who sings, have proven to be a very popular nightclub act. Problems arise when a gangster, 'Little Dandy' Dorf, takes a liking to Georgia but she wants no part of him and pours a drink over his head. Soon after, Bert is threatened when someone suggests he get an insurance policy. Things come to a head a few weeks later when Bert is approached by a police officer who has information and suggest that he is in need of protection. Bert doesn't quite realize who he needs protection from, however.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

I'm considering
taking up skin diving.

I've avoided it
for a long time,

because of the name.

The term "skin diving"
conjures up

a very macabre picture to
anyone but a mosquito.

However, since I
have become bored with

waterskiing, fencing,
wing-walking and the like,

this might be an excellent
way to work off excess, uh,


And the moment I have
any, I shall take it up.

One thing that strikes me is

the necessity for good feeling
among your companions.

Now, I understand why it
is called skin diving.

It is because

the skin is entirely covered.

And now, here is
tonight's story.

won't you please come home.

'Cause your
mamma is so all alone

I have tried in vain.

Never to call your name.

When you left
you broke my heart.

'Cause I never
thought we'd part.

Every hour, every day,
you hear me say.

Baby, come on home,
mamma needs daddy.

Baby, come on home.

Why does Georgia
want to do that?

Do what, Joey?

Anything wrong giving
that creep a brush?

But you know how it is, Bert.

Little Dandy can cause
me a lot of trouble.

They can always cause trouble.

The more rope you give them,
the faster they hang you.

But I don't want no trouble.
I can't stand any.

Business is good. A little
trouble, and...

Then tell Little
Dandy to lay off.

But he's maybe just
trying to be friendly

buying you drinks.

Georgia doesn't want any part
of him and I second the motion.

He's been dogging
her for two weeks.

It's time for him to
creep back under his rock.


it's you and Georgia
I'm worried about.

Dandy's a real...

I know. I know.

Look, you own this place, Joey.
We just work here.

But it's us the
customers come to see.

They're just sets
of eyes and ears.

That goes for
Little Dandy, too.

Yeah, come in.

What did pal Joey want?

Nothing much.

Any complaints
about the numbers?

How could there be?

You're the most of anything
that ever hit this joint.

I love you!

Your key is B flat, not A flat.

Hook me.

So then it was about Little Dandy,
the working girl's nightmare?

Joey's worried.

What? About me?

He shouldn't be.

I can take care of myself.

Eleven, I got to get
back on the stand.

I'll take you home
tonight, like always.

Mr. Dorf wants you
to accept this

slight offering
of his admiration.

And requests the honor of
your presence at his table.

Mr. Dorf?

I don't know any Mr. Dorf.

Bert, do you know any Mr. Dorf?

I don't know any Mr. Dorf.

Maybe there isn't any Mr. Dorf.

You know who I mean.

Oh, you mean that Mr. Dorf?

Little Dandy Dorf.

He don't like to
be called "Little."

I wouldn't do it, neither.

I get it, it's an alias.

I didn't know you
was a comedian.

I thought you
was a piano player.

Piano players come cheap.

Well, call him
whatever you like.

But you take these flowers
back and tell him

they don't smell, they stink.

He don't want them back.


All right,

then tell Little Dandy
he can eat them

in a chef's salad
with onions and mayonnaise.

Okay, I'll tell him.

What's the matter? Too hurried
to say hello to your friends?

I don't see any friends.

Maybe you're
looking at one now.

I doubt it.
I have a show to do.

Oh, now, look, that can
wait just for one drink.

Listen, nobody,
dolls in particular,

ever lost a thing
drinking with me.

And what does that mean?

Well, you know, one drink
leads to another.

I'll make it worth your time.

Here, for giving me the chance.

Sorry. I've had
better offers than that.

Not from me, you haven't.


Get out of my way.

Bill, give me a double.

That's habit for you,
a muddier with every drink.

That sure tore it, kid.

I've been playing
clubs since I was

old enough to get
inside the door.

You handle
a louse like a louse.


He wouldn't take no for
an answer so he got it.

You idiot! What Georgia
did was bad enough.

You think it was?

You think I'll stand around watching
her take his raps all by herself?

You think that's the way it is?

I don't know how it is.

Then I won't try to
explain it to you, Joey.

It's not tax deductible
and you won't understand.

But I like you kids.

And the business we pull.

All right, Joey.
You wanna understand?

Georgia didn't realize
what she was doing!

So, she overplayed it, see?

And I barged in.

Now, if Little Dandy
is going to hate her,

he's going to hate me, too.

Don't think he won't.

Do it again with a double.

And no muddier.

I'm buying, make sure
it's a full double.


Enjoying yourself?

Sure, like mad.

I'm glad. That pleases
me very much.

I'm happy for you.

Now what'll we talk about?

There's no need for
long conversation,

not when you know someone.

But I don't know you.

But I know you.

You're Bert Haber.


It says so on the lobby card.

You also live in a fourth floor
walkup on East 54th Street.

And you're only
home during the daytime.

Ls that right?

What's this all about?

You don't know?

If you're selling insurance,
I'm not buying any this year.

You are not?
I would if I were you.

Little Dandy recommends it.

I think we understand
each other, Mr. Haber?

Joey. You're late tonight.

It's only 9:30,
what's the beef?

A cup of black coffee
and some brandy, Bill.

Where's Georgia?

Still got 15 minutes to go.

Let your muscles sag.

Not much action tonight.

All right, I'll warm up
what there is.

Look, Joey.

Three months ago, when we came, you
could've parked box cars in this place.

Now you get reservations
from Winchell

and Lyons, the New Yorker...

I ain't denying it, Bert. You
understand how it is, I'm with you.

She should be here by now.

I know it. What happened?

I don't know what happened.

Well, is she going to
be here, or isn't she?

Stop worrying about it.

Bert. Bert.

You better go talk to that
guy that just came in.

What's he want?

I don't know.
He wouldn't tell me.

But I know it's going to be
something bad, real bad.

How do you know?

I can just feel it.
You know how it is.

I don't care how you
feel, stop showing it.

Cut it out, if you know what's
good for you and me and Georgia.

But, Bert... l mean it.

You know how they are.


I don't have to
draw you a picture.

Now you've got
to have a cover for us.

But there ain't nobody
like you and Georgia.

Amos and Alice are looking for work.
You can get them.

Right now? Right now, here.

You'll find them listed.
Now give them a call.

I don't know whether...

it'll be all right.

They can get here
in fifteen minutes.

But, Bert... it's the
only thing you can do.

Now, get on the phone.

Don't worry about it.
They'll be great.

You Bert Haber?

Maybe. Who are you?

Jack Simpson, Detective,
Manhattan East.

Are you acquainted with...
Hold it.

Let's see a badge or
something, chief.

Not that way.

Show it to me under the table.

Okay, I'm Haber.

Are you acquainted
with this woman?


But did you have
to do it that way?

There wasn't any other way.

We haven't made positive
identification yet.

The only thing we could do
under the circumstances

was photograph
her face right there.

Where? Where was right there?

In an alleyway between
two multiple dwellings.

West 55th Street between
Ninth and Tenth Avenue.

Did she live in
that neighborhood?


When was she found?

Now, that's a good question.

What do you mean by that?

I think you know
what I mean, Mr. Haber?

Oh, I see.

You mean I act as if I

knew it was going to happen.

Did you?

I thought maybe it would. I
didn't know where, when or how.

Can you account
for your movements,

from the time you
left here last night

until when I came in just now?

Yes, I can.

I took Georgia home from here.

Where does she live?
East 61st Street.

It was 4:01 in the morning

by the clock in the
lobby of her building.

Wasn't that kind of early?

This place doesn't
close until about 4:00.

It'd take more than a
minute to get uptown.

Yes, it was early.

But I felt responsible for her.

I've been getting her
out before Joey closes.

See, there's a lot of
business around closing time.

Nobody notices
somebody leaving.

They were home and
said they'd be right over.

They told me to thank you.

They're welcome.

Anything about Georgia?

Mr. Simpson is a detective.
He's asking questions.


Can I offer you gentlemen a drink?


Ah, get me a double
rye on the rocks.

Uh, make it a straight rye.

Listen, Simpson.

I went straight home
when I left her apartment.

I slept until 6:00
this afternoon.

I tried to get her on the phone,
but it just kept ringing.

If the call wasn't completed,
there'd be no record of it.

The bartender is flipping.

Creature of habit.

He puts a muddier in a drink

when there's nothing to
stir but straight whiskey.

But you say, you made
that call about 6:00?

I wish you wouldn't do that.

Do what? Be so obvious.

They know what happened
because they did it.

Don't you think that
they'll be around,

keeping an eye on me to
see what I know about it?

You could be right.

If you're gonna take notes,
let's go someplace private.

Come on.

You mentioned a while ago about
feeling responsible for her.

When did all this happen?

Well, actually,
I feel responsible

for all the girls I work with.

Maybe you don't know how it
is playing these joints.

Watching the jerks
get three drinks in them

and turn into great lovers.

But there is one thing you're
gonna have to tell me.

Speaking of lovers,
were you and Georgia...


In a way that nobody
else could ever be.

When I was at the piano,

she really got with it and
they all shut up to listen.

She'd look at me
and I'd look back.

Yes, there was
a relationship there.

Oh, I see.

I don't think I made myself clear.
It was music, just music.

Mr. Haber, what would
you say if I told you

that we have reason to
believe it was Little Dandy?

What reason?

The way she looked,
what they did to her.


I saw the picture.

Did she ever meet Little Dandy?


You want to tell me about it?


But I have to, don't I?


All right.

It was just two weeks ago that Little
Dandy and his gorillas walked in.

They caught her show,
and every show since then.

Did he ever get out of line?

Not at first.

Just sat there and
sweated his eyeballs.

Then he started
sending drinks over,

flowers here to the club.

A case of champagne
to her apartment.

He wouldn't give up. Just kept pouring
it on trying to move in on her.


there was last night.


The works. The complete works.

She poured a drink
over his head.

Yeah, that would start him off.

He's a bug about his clothes.

I didn't help much, I guess.

When I saw that
she was in trouble,

I charged right in
without thinking.

Somehow, he got shoved and

ended up taking a pratfall.

Well, it all adds up.

The one thing that guy
can never forgive

is being made to look
foolish in public.

So, you took her home?

Oh, hi.

Hi, Bert, thanks a
lot for the call.

Sure was lucky
we were between jobs.

Think nothing of it, Amos. Glad
you and Alice could fill in.

What's the matter, Bert?
Ls Georgia sick?

I'll tell you about it later.

Come on, Simpson, the
kids have to get ready.

Then after Little Dandy took his
walk, I came over to the bar.

I was feeling proud of Georgia,

myself, too, I guess.

For putting Little
Dandy in his place?


I felt good.


There was a man sitting next to
me minding his own business.

He started talking to me.

Bought me a drink.

Had you ever seen him before?


But he knew all about me.
He had me pegged.

Staked out solid.

Did he threaten you?

Yes, he threatened me.


Suggested that I
take out some insurance.

Well, that isn't a threat.

He said Little Dandy
recommended it.

Oh, I see.

He didn't give
you any kind of name?


And I didn't have to ask him.

And, after you talked to this
man, you took Georgia home?


I told her I thought I
ought to stay with her.

Or she could spend the night
at my place or call the cops.

What did she think of that?

She just kissed me good night,

patted my cheek...

She said,
"Don't worry, sweetie."

"Georgia's a big girl."

That was the last
you saw of her?

That was the last I saw of her.

Well, Mr. Haber, you've given
us quite a lot to go on.

I think maybe we can
clear this up fast.

But I think we better
give you some protection.

You think I need it?

You're pretty valuable to
us as a material witness

when we put the
arm on Little Dandy.

I'll be around.

But we want to
make sure of that.

You finished here?


We'll see you home
now and tomorrow

we'll put a man on you.


In the back, Mr. Haber.

My partner.

Little Dandy says hello.

A young skin diver...
Uh, not him.

Was to come and explain
this paraphernalia.

But he had to
make a motion picture

co-starred with an octopus.

Unfortunately, the young man
won't be able to be here.

In his movie with the
octopus, it turned out

to be a tour-de-force
for the octopus.

He stole the scene completely.

It's quite sad, really.

The young man was
headed for stardom

while the octopus is rather
limited in the roles he can play.

Next time I shall be back again

with another story.
Until then, good night.