Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 16 - A Crime for Mothers - full transcript

Jane and Ralph Birdwell get an unexpected and unwelcome visit from Mrs. Meade, their foster daughter's biological mother. It's been seven years since they took responsibility for the girl, but an adoption was never formalized as Mrs. Meade had simply disappeared. Meade now wants money from the Birdwells and threatens to sue to get her daughter back. A private detective suggests that Mrs. Meade just take her daughter and demand $25,000 from the Birdwells to give her back. She agrees but things don't quite go as the planned.

Good evening and welcome
to the best of Hitchcock.

In the absence of my
vacationing brother Alfred,

we are presenting clips
from his past shows.

I find it amusing by the way that
television at last,

confirms what our family
has known for years.

That I rather than Alfred,

I am the best of

And now for those clips.

This was one of the
high spots for me.

This one stopped just short of

I think it is obvious why I cherish
those shows.

I?m sure many of you
feel the same way.

And now here are two more equally

After which we shall
have our story.

Ladies and gentlemen,

the best of Hitchcock.

-Alfred never looked better.
-The next sound you hear will be my sponsor.



-I?m late, I know.
-Wait a minute.

Before you go I want you to see the
present I got for Eileen.

-I figure if I?m catching the early train.
-She lovely?

-Oh for crying out another doll?
-It's not just another doll Ralph.

Look take her hand. She actually
walked. isn't that the cutest thing.

Honey listen Eileen's
got a room full of dolls.

Don't you think she's getting
kind of awful or something?

Since when is seven too old? I didn't
stop playing with dolls when I was 12.

No I don't think you ever quit.

Are you expecting someone?

Oh, you better go and answer well you
just it because I have got to get started.

Hi mrs Birdwell, remember me?

Is, um, is the little girl home?

-No, Eileen just left for school.
-Is your husband here?

-Oh good.

Ah you don't mind
if I come in do you?

-Yeah. -Oh, hi mr Birdwell.

You know... Wait a minute,
what are you doing here ?

Listen you said you'd never bother
us again now what's a big idea.

-Well, I just came to say hello.
-Oh now wait a minute.

All right Ralph. Mrs
Mead I have some,

coffee left over from
breakfast wouldn't you like a cup.

Uh coffee no thanks.
I just had some.'s too bad Eileen had to go to
school I would have liked to see her.

Aren't you
forgetting something mrs Mead?

You were never supposed to see
Eileen again do you remember?

Now that was part of the
agreement we made seven years ago.

Is it seven years?

Gee, whoof.

Does time fly huh?

I?ve got a half an hour
before I have to catch,

my train so maybe you'd
better come to the point.

Why did you come here?

No. Oh...

Oh is that cute?

How was that adorable?


I was just looking at it.
Why, is it a present for Eillen?

-Yes tomorrow's her birthday.
-Her birthday?

Imagine me forgetting
that. Me of all people.

Wow, let's see. Oh there's
quite a layout to have here.

-Like a homely house. -Mrs Mead will
you please come to the point.

Okay, I want Eileen back.

You know I thought
it was something like.

That well you can forget
it now a deal is a deal.

Eileen wouldn't know
you from a hole on the ground.

Llook I am her mother and I don't care what
kind of a deal we made I want my kid back.

Just cause you helped me out
with a few lousy bucks you know.

You didn't care what
happened to Eileen.

You were all ready to abandon her.

Abandon her.

That's what I should have done when
that crummy husband walked out of this.

Left her on a church step. Anything
better than with stingy people like you.

What are you talking about?
We paid all of your expenses.

We took Eileen and we raised
her like she was our own.

We would have adopted her a long
time ago if we could have found you.

I was sick. I couldn't
have been sick.

I?ve had nothing but short-wave
diet hurt me for years.

But but I?m better now.
I?m gonna get me a lawyer.

Well you go right
ahead and get yourself a lawyer.

Mrs Mead I?m not afraid of
anything you can do.

I don't think we're
gonna have any trouble,

whatsoever proving the
kind of a mother you are.

Mrs Mead don't you
understand how we feel?

Eileen was a baby
when we got her.

We're mother and father now you
can't take her away from her home.

But what about me. what am I?

A piece of dirt on the street.

Okay okay. I?m
a reasonable person.

You love Eileen I know
that so but I?m a mother.

And at least you can
do is help me out.

What kind of help?

Well, I got off of big expenses.
I told you about those treatments.

Didn't I, I think I
need to at least 150 a week.

Wait a minute wait a minute you expect
us to contribute money to you every week?

Yeah, is that so wrong?

How much of the 150?

All of it. After all I got
nobody else to turn to.

You wouldn't want Eileen's mother
sleeping in a gutter would you.

Mrs Mead do you know
what you're asking?

I?m a civil engineer now I
make 220 a week before taxes.

Are you expect me to
give you 150 out of that?

Okay make it a hundred.

I?m sorry no deal. If you want to take. this
thing to court you just go right ahead.

And you don't think I won't huh?

I?m not so dumb you know?
I?m gonna get me a lawyer,

and take Eileen away
from you. I?m gonna,

tell him that you forced me to give
her up you'll never see her again.

You'll never do it. The judge will
see exactly what you are.

You are a cheap broken-down drunk.

Listen mister,

I can go a long
time between drinks.

You'd be surprised what I
can do when I make up my mind.

-You better think it over.
-I think you better get out of this house.

Okey dokey.

But you're not through
with me yet pal.

You're never gonna
be through with me.

Tell Eileen happy birthday for me.

So he says to me says I
don't know you nothing,

imagine talking to
me like that? Evil people.

What am I I?m
only the child's mother.

-Mrs Meade won't you please?
-Look, what do you think here?

What right if they got to talk to me
like that after all I?ve done for them.

-It sounds to me more like they did something for you.

You call that something?

Taken away my baby.

You're not really anxious
to have the child back.

Well, after all I don't know what a woman
like me would do with a seven-year-old kid.

A career woman I mean.

Well don't you see what you're proposing doesn't
amount to much more than well, uh blackmail.

Oh for pete's sake
all you lawyers talk the same way?

Mrs Meade I would really
like to help you but but...

But? But you won't. Is that it?

Perhaps if you ask
the legal aid society.

Oh I already been

Okay okay buster
you had your chance.

Now all you have to do is
wait for the next ambulance.

-Who is it?
-This is me.

'Me' he always comes, honestly.

-What do you want?
-Can I come in a minute mrs Meade?

-Do I know you? -Not yet. You don't
you want to give me the chance?

Say, what kind of a
girl you think I am?

I don't know. Why don't you let
me in and we can talk about it?

My name's Ames, Phil Ames. Here you've
been downtown asking about a lawyer.

So? Why is it to you?

-I thought maybe I can help you.
-You mean you're a lawyer?

To me you look more
like a pickpocket.

I used to be a lawyer but
I?m in a different racket now.

Yeah better it's a rocket.

Submitted to the Bar 49 but my
luck kind of ran bad so I quit.

Now I?m in a different
kind of a racket.

-Confidential investigator.
-I am impressed.

Yeah ran into a client of mine down
the legal building told me about the...

raw deal you got. So I thought I?d
drop over and see if I can help.

Won't do any good
I ain't got a dime.

Let's not talk about money yet.

Well I understand that you gave up your
kid to a couple named the Birdwell.

So only they never legally adopted us and
now you want the kid back, that right?

-Yeah. -Yeah the only trouble
is you don't have such a good reputation.

in fact the way I hear
it you get yourself a record.

Those were all frame-ups.

A very touching story
mother love all that jazz.

Well I don't believe it.

-You know what I think?

You know what I really think I don't
think you care about that kid at all.

You haven't
seen her since she was an infant.

What's a good time take like you want
with a brat around the house for.

Listen if you're gonna
talk to me like that...

Shhh, buddy. I know what you want.

You want the same
thing I want, money.

You want to milk those Birdwell
jokers for every buck you can get.

-How much you asking for?
-100 a week. I...

I asked for 150 but he cried. Poor,
he's an engineer he doesn't make much.

Tears baby, these engineers you see him
in the ads all the time. I make a bundle.

Besides ,what's this
annuity? A few lousy bucks.

What you want is a big
wad of cash all at once.

-Where would they get it?
-What are you kidding?

They probably gonna nest they
go like a mortgage something.

I would 25 g's in cash
look to you right now.

Like a million.

If I help you get it,
what's my percentage?

-You're smart why don't you tell me?
-20 porcent, and that's not much.

Well you're gonna have
to do the hard work Sra. Meade,

because I?ve
got a license to protect.

Okay I?m listening you show me
how to get the money. It's a deal.

You kidnapped the kid.

-What's her name?

-Eileen but...
-Kidnap Eileen, you're phoning the Birdwells,

that they don't get her back
unless they make a deal.

You think I want to get set
up for a kidnapping rap?

Whether they give they give
you life for things like that

For what? Repossessing
your own property?

You've got it wrong
lottie there's nothing,

crooked about a mother
taking her own child back.

Nobody goes to jail. it's just a matter of
deciding where the child rightfully belongs.

You still got a birth certificate.

Yeah but then they call
the cops that they'd sue me.

Are you kidding? I want
a bike at any cost.


-Gee, might work.
-It means.

Take my word for
it the door's yours.


-I?m sorry I?m late I have something terribly
important to do.-Scotch all right.

Get in.

How's it going?

Everything's fine. I?ve been watching the
Birdwell house for the last three days.

the kid gets taken to school
every morning by the old man.

But the afternoon she
comes home by herself.

And it stops outside the school.
That's the place to do it.

-How am I gonna recognize her?
-I?ll point her out to you.

Look it's almost
three o'clock now.

I think we'll take a dry run just
to make sure everything goes smooth.

-You don't own a car, do you?
-You kidding?

Well the best thing to do is
after you pick her up take a cab.

How do I know she's
going to come with me?

She'll come, all right? Just
tell her that her mommy need her.

-Say that you're the new
cleaning woman. Cleaning woman?

Kid'll believe you. Tell her you're gonna
take it downtown to see your mommy.

Or buy some new clothes.

Well after you pick the kid up get
a cab and take her,

over to your place
until you're here for me.

School's up there
on the next block.

Which one is her?

Which one is Eileen?

That's her the one
with the pigtails.

Say she's a cute kid.

She's a doll. A 25 grand doll.

What are you thinking about? You're
not getting sentimental are you?

I was thinking about
the Birdwells.

Boy would I love to see their face
when they find I?ve got the baby huh?

-Did you get a good look at her?

Yeah I did.

Hello you must be Eileen.

-Who are you?
-I just started working for your mommy.

And she sent me here. I?m...

-I?m a governor.
-Governor? You like engineer?

Uh, what's that?

Look honey, you don't have
to take the bus home today.

Your mommy told me to pick you up take
it downtown and buy you some new dresses.

-You mean it? You really mean it?
-Sure I mean it.

-She told me we could take a taxi would you like that?
-I like it.

I?ve never been in a taxi what kind
of dresses are there gonna be?

Are there gonna be party dresses?

How would I know I?m
only the cleaning woman.

I thought you said you're a

Look honey come on let's
get the taxi, you wanna?

Here we are.

This doesn't look like
a dresser to me no.

No Eilleen it's my apartment. You see
your mama's going to meet us here.

What for?

Look don't ask me so many
questions, huh?

You like to read? I got some movie
magazines, you like movie magazines?

-They're all right.
-Okay just sit over there then and relax

-Are you sure my mommy knows where we are?
-Yeah yeah she knows.

I?m hungry my mommy always gives me
something to eat when I come from school.

Oh well um let's see.

See, what I got I got some
anchovies, you like anchovies?

-I don't know.
-I see, what else.

Oh I know, I got salted crackers
here. You'll love them. Sit down.


Oh just great.

Yeah happy as a clam.
When are you coming over?


Was that my mommy?


Oh yeah. Yeah that was your mommy.

Is my mommy on the way?


Your mommy's on our way.

-Hi Phil.

What's this? Who's your friend?

Mrs. Meade I want you to meet
Charlie Vance he's my partner.

Partner? what do you
need a partner for?

Charlie's an expert
in these matters.

That's right mrs Meade.


-Hi doll.

Is this the uh little
girl you snatched?

-Sure I did. Why not? I?m the mother.
-She's not my mother.

-Oh shut up Eileen.
-My name's not Eileen my name's Margaret.

Can I go home now?

I sure turned out
to be a little liar.

I?m not a liar my name's
Margaret and I never lie.

Margaret for peace sake look,
will you tell him the truth?

She is telling the truth. Her
name's not Eileen Birdwell.

-What are you trying to do for me?

You're a witness mrs Meade admits
kidnapping this child.

What, what what is
this a frame-up or something?

Charlie used
to work with the FBI.

He still knows the boys downtown
they'll be happy to hear about this.

No, no no wait a minute now.

No, I?m no a kidnapper.
No he's the one he...

He pulled me, he planned the whole
thing he pointed out the wrong kid...

-He tricked me. -You tricked yourself.
You snatched the wrong child.

And now if you want to
keep out of a kidnapping rap,

you got to leave
the Birdwells alone.

You gotta let them adopt Eileen and
keep out of their lives forever.

They're the ones they're
the ones who sent you here.

No, it was my idea. I?m a private

But I?m also Ralph
Birdwell's friend.

Dirty double crochet.

This is me. You
better listen to me.

If you don't want to spend the rest
of your life in prison.

Okay. Okay.

I?m not good enough. I?m not.

I didn't I I wouldn't kidnap...

Now Margaret I bet you want to
go home now don't you Margaret.

Yes please.

There we go.

-Meet at the office.


See, that was fun can I help
you again sometime daddy?

Good evening. This
is alfred Hitchcock.

Welcome to the end of tonight's
episode of alfred Hitchcock Presents.

I should explain
that my vacation was,

the result of a nasty
remark I made on the show.

The person at whom I
directed the remark,

has been given the following
minute to retaliate.

After which I shall return.

Perhaps it's my sponsor who needs a

Before taking leave I would
like to show you a few,

of my selections for the best of

Now this is truly
vintage Hitchcock.

And without the violence my brother
seems to admire.

Much more pleasant than
my brother's choices,

after all I like to
keep this a happy show.

Next week we should be back with
another story until then good night.