Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 5, Episode 9 - Dead Weight - full transcript

Married Courtney Masterson and his girlfriend are parked at a lover's lane when a young thug tries to rob them. Courtney overpowers the thief and wants to turn him over to the police but is afraid the resulting publicity might tip off his wife to his extra-marital affair. In the end, he decides to set the thief free, but things don't quite go as planned and he shoots the thug. Courtney manages to convince the police that the shooting was an accident. It turns out however, that he has much to worry about.

Good evening, fellow motorists.

The road signs became so dense

that I had to abandon my
automobile and proceed on foot.

I do hope the time never comes

when billboard will obscure
this lovely scenery.

Actually, I believe
these are seedling signs.

This is where the Highway
Department grows them.

You are probably more familiar
with the wild variety

that springs up
along the roadside.

Tonight's play
has a connection,

however tenuous,
with the foregoing.

In it, you will see
an automobile.

The play is called
"Dead Weight"

and will begin after
this one-minute detour.

Slow, man. Make it slow.

Now put your hands out.
Easy. That's right.

What do you want?

Okay, lvy League.

Now open the door,
smooth and easy.

That's right.

Now you slide out,
nice and easy like, before...

Now, listen... I said move.
And I mean right now.

Now face the car.
I said face it! Now.

Put your hands out, lean on it.

Okay, baby. Now you slide out.

Now look...
Shut up, man of distinction.

Now, put your hands
back there. Come on.

Now, doll.

You slide out and
bring the keys with you.

Hey, baby,
I said bring the keys.

Oh, oh, cool, smooth hands.
Yeah, that's nice.

But that's for later, honey...
If you've got any ideas about...

I got lots of ideas, man.
I'm crawling with 'em.

Hey, you're pretty
well-heeled, chum.

Courtney N. Masterson.
Wow, what a square name.

Hey, what's the "N" stand for, Courtney?
None of your business.

I asked you a question, mister.

Now, look, you've got what you've
wanted, why don't you let us alone?

Now, I asked you what that
'N' stands for, Courtney.


Courtney Nesbitt
Masterson. Wow, dad.

Like they didn't want to give you any
first names just last ones. Why's that?

Very well, Courtney.

Here's your keys.

I'd like my wallet, too.
You can keep the money.

But there are some papers in
it that are worthless to you.

Forget it, dad.

It's not over yet.

Oh, please, let us go.

Cool it, baby.

Now you open the trunk.

There's nothing in the...
I said open it!

All right. Take all that junk
out and toss it on the ground.

Now what? Now you get in, cat.

Oh, please, I have some money, too.
It's in my purse in the car.

You just take that
and we'll say nothing.

Ain't that nice?

But I'm not after
your bread, baby.

What do you mean?

I mean, I'm coming to you.

But first we gotta tuck in little
ol' Courtney Nesbitt Masterson.

You dig how it is?

Now, you get up.
You get up slow, dad,

or I'm going to
slice you pretty.

All right, sonny boy.

If you think that knife's faster
than this gun of yours, slice away.


Come on!

Now, look, mister...

Now you lean against the car.

Nice and easy, man.


Get in the trunk.

Hey, now, look, I never
woulda gone through with it.

I mean, really. I was
only kiddin', that's all.

A great kidder, you are.

You would have killed me if you could.
Get in the trunk!

In the trunk!

You make me get in here, I'm
not gonna forget it, Courtney.

In the trunk.

There's nothing to be
afraid of now.

Oh! Oh, Court.

Stop it.

I really thought
he was going to...

Stop thinking about it.

Let's get away from here.

Right away.

Now, what are we going to do?

We're going to drop our little
friend off at a police station.

Will it be in all the papers?

I can just see
the headline now,

"Advertising executive
captures lovers lane bandit."

Great piece of publicity.

You're right.
It'll make great reading,

except, of course,
to your wife.

You better have
that rear tire checked.

Well, why didn't you tell him?

I don't know what to do.

You knew what to do before
you thought about your wife.

That's what's really
bothering you, isn't it?

What if it is?

Same old, Courtney, aren't you?

Always cautious, safe,
and respectable.

You'll never change.

"Oh, Carol, honey, I just happened to
run into an old friend at the Ad Club"

"after work and we were just
cutting up a few touches when..."

Cut it out, Peg. I know that's
the way it happened, but...

She'll find out I've been in
town for 10 days, darling.

She won't believe this is the
first time you've seen me.

I told her I was going to work late at the
office on the new account. I was, too.

After I had dinner at the club.

How was I to know I was
going to see you there?

Maybe I could just give him
a big scare and let him go?

He'd know there was something
fishy if you did that.

He knows my name, too.

Did you see the way he looked
at me when he got in the trunk?

He won't forget
I made him do that.

You should have
killed him back there.

Killed him?

Peg, think what you're saying.

Yes, you... You could have said
that you were just out there alone.

That you stopped there to... You know,
to think out some business problems.

Who'd buy that?
A man parked up there alone.

What's so wrong with that?

Well, it just isn't
practical, that's all.

The police have all sorts of ways of
checking things, like the tire marks...



Do you realize we've been driving
along seriously discussing murder?

I'd say it was more
killing in self-defense.

But a man's life.

He's not a man, he's a beast.

I'm not leaving until you tell
me what you're going to do.

I don't know yet.

But you've got to do something.

I realize that.


Suppose it never happened?

But it did!

No, you don't know what I mean.

We met at the club
at dinner, just as we did.

Then we went to my office and
discussed the Dixon affair.

Well, that's logical, I guess.

Then I brought you directly
here, at half past one.

I don't think anybody will ask
anything about it, but if they do,

nothing happened.

Think you can bluff
that through.

I can try.

Oh, Court!

I didn't mean to
cause you any trouble.

Wasn't your fault.

I was stupid.

Drive up there and start
behaving like a sophomore.

I liked it.

So did I.

I was surprised.


Surprised that I felt this
way after such a long time.

Oh, I'm glad.


what do you intend
to do about him?

I don't know.

Whatever it is,
it won't involve you.

Good night.

Good night.

Get out. Okay. Okay.

Easy now. Just take it easy.

Hey, look. Now, please.

Please, Mr. Masterson, if you'd just
forget about it, I'd never do it again.

I wish I could believe that.

Oh, you can, honest.

And you wouldn't
be sorry, either.

I mean, I'd play it cool
from now on, really.

Well, we talked it over,
and we decided...

Where is she?

The chick, I mean. Um, Peg.
That's her name, isn't it?

That's no concern of yours.

You know, if you let me go, you
wouldn't have to answer any questions.

So that would be nice,
wouldn't it.

I mean, the cops can ask some
pretty embarrassing questions.

Listen, I'm trying to give you a
break, I'm trying to be nice to you.

Don't make me laugh.
Man, I'm gonna flip.

You don't want them cops around
here any more than I do.

Now, suppose we just knock off all
this bull and I get out of here.

And from here on out, I don't
know you and you don't know me.

For how long?

You know? That's an
interesting question.

I hadn't even thought about it.

You would have.

Yeah, you're right, Courtney.

You wanna know something? I think
you're in worse trouble than me.

So you and I, we'll just
forget about it, for a while.

But I'll be seeing you. Hmm?

So long, pop.

Wait a minute.

Don't you want this?

Oh, oh, yeah.
Thanks, Courtney. I forgot...

Are you in the habit of picking
up hitchhikers, Mr. Masterson?

No, not as a rule.

Then why did you
pick this boy up?

It was, as you say, after
01:30 in the morning.

Wouldn't you say that was
a dangerous thing to do?

I know it was, now.
I didn't think then.

Where did you think
he was going?

Up the canyon road, somewhere.

I remember thinking at the time

how unpleasant it would be

to have to walk for any distance up
that road at that time of night.

Look, I'm trying to
tell you what happened.

I'm trying to cooperate, but...

But what, Mr. Masterson?

Well, your questions, they...

They what?

Am I on trial or something?

Should you be?

Of course not.

I admit I killed the boy,
but it was him or me.

He told me
he was going to kill me.

I made a grab for the gun, there
was a fight and the gun went off.

Outside the car.

I told you it was outside the car.
He made me get out.

He made me put my hands against
the car and lean on it.

He must have seen it in
the movies or something.

Lieutenant Ward. Yeah. Uh-huh.
No, that's fine.

All right.

No, you can bring
the car in now.

But we'll keep it a day or two.


All right.

Your story checks insofar as the time
of death of the boy is concerned.

You mean, there are other parts
of the story that don't check?

Is there any reason why the rest of your
story shouldn't check, Mr. Masterson?

None whatever.

The boy you killed
was named Rudy Stickney.

He has been in and out
of trouble since he was 12.

He did time a year ago for armed robbery.
He liked guns.

You're a lucky man,
Mr. Masterson.

Lucky he didn't kill you.

I'm sorry if we've seemed to
be unnecessarily rough on you,

but we had to make sure
all the pieces fit.

I understand.

As it is, you probably saved
the state a lot of money.

I'm sure that in the end the
result would have been the same,

but at the tax-payers' expense.


I think there is nothing lower

than a punk kid who takes
advantage of a kindness.

Uh, need I warn you about picking
up hitchhikers in the future?

No. I've learned
my lesson, I really have.

Am I, uh, free to go now?

Yes, we have your car.

As I said on the phone, we'd like to
keep it a day or two, if you don't mind.

Sergeant Phillips will see that
you get home in a squad car.

We'll be in touch with you
in a few days, Mr. Masterson.

Thank you.

Thank you, Officer.

I've been so worried
about you, Courtney.

After your call I just
couldn't go back to bed.

It's nothing to worry about.

Everything's under control.

Court? Court? Why didn't you
want me down there with you?

Well, there was no need.

Did you really kill a man?


Only it was a boy,
a young hoodlum.

I picked him up. He threatened to kill me.
He had a gun.

It must have been horrible out
there on that mountain road.

All alone.

Can I get you something to eat?

No, thanks.

I'll just have a drink.

What I really need
is some sleep.

You poor dear.

You must be exhausted.
Weren't you frightened?

I'd have been scared to death.

Yes, I was frightened.

Want to tell me about it?

I had dinner at the Ad Club.

Then I went to the office and
worked on the Dixon pitch...

Oh, Mr. Masterson.

Good morning, Rita.

We didn't know you'd
be in after what happened.

Well, there was a moment there when
I thought I might never be in.

Oh, good morning,
Mr. Masterson.

Good morning, Mary.

Mr. Callahan, and Mr. Ivy
send their congratulations.

And they want to see you,
when you have a moment.

Thank you.

And I want to add
my congratulations to it.

It must have been
really something.

It was, Mary. It was.

Oh, Mr. Masterson! There's a man
waiting for you in my office.

A detective.

Send him in.

- Go in, please.
- Thank you.

Mr. Masterson,
I'm Lester Eldridge.

My secretary says
you're from the police.

I suppose you want to
talk about last night.

Uh, yes, there are some
details to be cleared up.

Well, I told your boys all I know.
They know as much about it as I do.

I told your secretary I was
a detective, and I am.

She assumed I was
a police detective.

It was an assumption
I let her retain.

Actually, I retired
from the force two years ago

to go into the private end
of the business.

For the past five days,

I've been working on a routine
case for a suspicious wife.

It was routine
until last night.

You weren't out of my sight for two
minutes last night, Mr. Masterson.

You know, I thought before I
made a report to your wife,

or the police,

it would be mutually profitable
if you and I discussed it first.

Private enterprise
should be encouraged.

But I think Mr. Eldridge
was carrying it a bit far.

There was one further
development, however.

It seems that Mr. Eldridge
also had a suspicious wife.

And he too had been
followed the preceding night.

If you don't follow that,

perhaps you'll be interested in the
following, which is what I shall follow.

I have just been surprised
by a policeman

who was lurking
in the underbrush.

He gave me a ticket
for reckless driving,

parking overtime, speeding,
and jay walking.

However, he agreed
to tear up the ticket

if I would show him
how to get out of here.

Next week, I shall return
with another story.

Until then, good night.