Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 18 - The Greatest Monster of Them All - full transcript

Hal is a producer of cheap horror films. He decides to cast has-been actor Ernst von Croft in his next movie, a cheap vampire film for the teenage market. von Croft was once billed as the Greatest Monster of them All and sees this as his great comeback, but when he sees the final product, he's the one who's horrified.

Oh good evening.

I?m sure there's a question
in everyone's mind.

You're all wondering how I have
managed to overcome the help problem.

The secret lies in
offering fringe benefits.

On the job training,
things like that.

These items don't cost much, and what
I spend on them I save on costumes.

Seriously this is certainly not an
honest picture of life in Hollywood.

We do believe in being
comfortable while we work.

But we never eat grapes
during business hours.

Tonight's story is entitled The
Greatest Monster of Them All.

Which certainly should be
a cue for the sponsors.

The Greatest Monster of Them All

-Knock it off can't you see I?m reading.
-What's the matter, Hal?

There's got to be silence every time
you stick your nose in the racing form?

This isn't the racing for Morty.

This is a book on, you should
excuse the expression, entomology.

-Enter what?
-Entomology stupid.

-The study of insects. -Insects?
I don't get it. -Either do I, but I will.

gotta find me a bug.

-So for this you need a book?

-Good morning mr Bellow.
-Morning. -Take a look around.

The joint is full of bugs.

The fine movie
studio you rented.

When they built this place Lionel
Barrymore was playing juveniles.

Never mind how it looks
I?m getting it cheap.

You get everything cheap, boss.

This I got to hand you.
When it comes to cheap you're a genius.

Yes every day and every way.

40 grand this one cost you and
it grossed over a half a million.

-Well like I say pure genius.
-Knock it off.

-Find me a bug.
-So what do you need a bug for?

For the next movie stupid.
Bug's the box office.

You want to make a monster movie
today you gotta have a bug.

You mean like a giant
spider or a scorpion, huh?

Sure, only they all been
used I need a new one.

Say, how about a giant cockroach?

Not bad not bad at all.

No, I couldn't. Ain't good taste.

So let logan dream up something.

-He's your writer, isn't he?
-That's romney.

Didn't he almost
win an Oscar once.

He used to be a real artsy craftsy.

All I know is he likes cheap.

Oh hey Freddy boy, we just
been dropping your name.

-How clumsy.
-Hey you loaded?

No of course not.
I Never drink on the job.

-Only after.
-So you're on the job.

-Show me the pages.
-Well I haven't been able to do anything yet mr Billow.

You said you'd have to
decide on a giant insect.

That's what's
bogging him. Get it.

Shut up. Look you're
such a hot shot rider.

You'll find me a monster
bug. That's your business.

Yeah I guess you're right that's my business
all right Fred logan boy monster bug finder.

Never mind with the sarcasm, all
I want I it's your script...

Alright so sue me I haven't been
able to think of a new type bug.

All right so never mind the bug.

Let's play for the
high school audience.

Oh you mean you want to change
it to an adolescent theme now?

No like I said high school kids.

What do you say logan, think you can
come up with a high school background?

Come on, we got all those kids
young full of life.

Play against death.

Find me an angle.


I think I can.

Ernst von Croft.

Ernst von Kraft the greatest
monster of them all.

Sure I remember.

That's how they used to
bill him back in the 30s.

I haven't seen him
around for years.

He's been in retirement lately hal but this
could make a great comeback vehicle for him.

Sure, that's the bit, the
come back, milky to publicity.

He's too all to act.

-Who cares? He's still a big
name of the horror department.

-I bet I can get him cheap.
-Oh look Morty you wouldn't have to use him,

him throughout the picture so he's
just in one or two key scenes.

You'll give me the treatment I?ll
take care of bring von Croft.

-Now we got something working for us.
-Darling they're playing our song.

-I get rolling with it

There's somebody I?d like to have
you meet. Have you got a surprise.

Morty Lenton this
is Ernst von Croft.

A great pleasure mr Lenton.

Morty is the name, we don't go
for the formal bit around here.

Just one big happy family, hey Hal?

You make with the acting I make with
a directing and no problem, see?

Our main idea is to bring in a
picture as quickly as possible.

-The less it takes, the better.
-And cheaper too.

Oh I quite understand.

Ah things have changed since the
last time I worked in this studio.

-I made some of my biggest pictures here.
-Yeah sure.

Of course you might as well get one
thing straight right now mr von Craft.

This isn't exactly going
to be a big picture.

Strictly a low budget deal.

But it can be a very
good picture mr Lenten.

Great films are not
made with money.

They are made with love with care.

With integrity and together we can create
a horror picture in the great tradition.

Not with the writer we got.
He ain't no Edgar Albert Poe.

Writers like Paul, we
can't afford anyway.

-Times change mr von Croft.
-Do they?

Gentlemen in this very
studio 30 years ago,

I played a monster.

I can make that
monster walk again.

Fine, marvelous, bravo.

That was wonderful mr von
Croft, don't you agree Morty.

-Yeah sure. -Oh I?ve been thinking
about my characterization.

There are a few touches I might
add. I?d like to use my own makeup.

-Wonderful go ahead.
-Maybe you could play it without teeth.

A toothless vampire? Wouldn't
that be a little hard mr Lenton.

That Morty is always in there with
the rib. You'll go ahead mr von Croft.

Wake up makeup any way you like mind
waiting for me in the makeup room,

I?ve got a few things to go for with
more of course only take a minute.

Morty, Morty...

-Where is he?
-He's gone.

Well what do you think?
-I told you to let me run a test on him first.

-This guy is strictly cornball.
-But when he did the monster for a...

Yah, don't tell me you went for a speech
about the great tradition and all that jazz.

You want the picture
that's sales grosser.

-Not one of them kakamemi art form.
-Morty all right.

Do it your way. You
haven't missed yet.

How about some coffee?

-Hell good morning.
-Good morning.

-Let me see your makeup darling.

-Yeah just a minute Morty.
-Como on Lara.


-Yes master.
-I?ve been waiting for you boy.

Got that new dialogue
for this scene?

-Right here.
-Let me see.

Okay. Here darling, you and pops
run through these changes, go ahead.

Mr von croft?

Rusty boy.

von Croft?

-Mr von Croft?

Don't be afraid my dear.

There's no need to be afraid of me.

-You smell of death. Death?
-I bring you life, eternal.

No no, please no.

One kiss and you shall
join me to live forever.

No no no please no.

Okay you got the idea.

Well you think it'll
play well, Freddie boy?

Oh, I think that mr von Croft could inspire
terror just by reciting the alphabet.

Well you two don't
know each other do you?

This is Fred Logan
here at the screenplay.

-Very fine job mr Logan.
-Mr von Croft,

-you and Lara go over it again and think
up some business huh? -Yeah.

-Um, do you like? -von Craft he looks great.
-Oh I never mind him I mean the set.

Oh the set oh oh well that dummy up
there Morty, that looks pretty horny.

You know how the
boss is about money.

Want you should pay 50 bucks to some
stuntman just to hang there all day?

Morty these uh changes you had me
making this scene, why all this dialogue?

I thought it would play
better with just action.

Hey never mind what you thought I
want some close shots of von Croft.

Why? It doesn't make any sense.

I ain't asking for opinions
what I want is cooperation.

And you better give it to me Freddie
boy if you want to keep on eating.

All right all right
quiet everybody quiet.

Okay you two know
what to do. Lara...

You stand over next to the grave.

No no no not like that you're
supposed to be a high school kid.

Like this.

You're out in the graveyard
alone at midnight.

Big deal. Waht do a girl doing in
a graveyard at midnight and alone yet?

Just do like the
script calls for.

And will you get rid of that gum?

-Yes master.
-Now mr van Kraft...

When she discovers you in the
scene you are lying in the coffin.

Would you mind just
trying it for size.

-How does it feel, okay?
-Oh yes mr Lenton.

This will be a great
picture a great picture.

I?ve been away a
long time but now,

I have come home.

Hi kids long time no see.

Not since you wrapped
up the picture.

-How'd you like to write me
another? -I wouldn't. -We'll see.

Come, let me pour you a drink. I figure
we can bring in a sequel fast and cheap.

I have instructed
the graveyard set,

we can get Lara Lee and
old uh what's his name? -van Croft.

How is he?

Uh, I haven't seen him. Gabe Marine tonight
told him to catch the peak down the street.

-We're opening cold to the naves all
over town. -I?m seeing it yet myself.

Morty did a great job.
that's why I called you.

Hustle over and see
it and take notes.

-Notes? Are you kidding?
-This is friday night.

Great kid audience. Everything
that sets them off,

you make a note of it. Do a scene
just like it in the sequel.

Aren't you going to be there?

You kidding?

I got a weak stomach.
Morty is coming here later.

We look over the sets,
see what we can save.

So hurry over and
catch the show.

And remember I want lots of notes.


Don't be afraid my dear.

There's no need to be afraid of me

No one would dare to
harm you while I am here.

I shall protect you always

-...the smell of death.
-Yes I bring you life eternal life.

One kiss and you shall
join me to live forever.

And for eternity.

Sit down pups.

Mr von Croft...


Why are you sitting
here in the dark?

This is where I belong.

In the dark alone.

Oh come on now. Come
on it's not that bad.

Did you see the picture tonight?

-Then you know it is that bad.

Now look what you
need is a drink, see?

-I brought a bottle.
- No thanks. I wan't have.


It helps me. Helps me.

Do you mind?

The reason I came
over here and see ya,

I want to explain.

I?ve been sitting here
ever since I came home.

Trying to think of an explanation.

Forget about it that's my advice.

They did it deliberately, why?

Why? Your friend the director.

Was so convincing said he needed
all those close-ups of me.

And you agreed.

I didn't know what he was gonna
do with him I swear I didn't.

And all the while he
was planning this this,

mockery coming in somebody else's
voice, to make me look like a fool.

Well I had nothing to
do with this so help me.

-How could he do such a thing to me?
-Oh now look don't take it so hard, see?

There'll be other
chances other pictures.

Not after what Morty
Lenten has done to me.

I went to the theater
expecting to see my comeback.

Instead I found myself
attending my own funeral.

That's right my friend drink
a toast, a toast to Ernst,

Ernst von Croft, the greatest
laughing stock of them all.

May he rest in peace.

-What do you got there.

Souvenirs of the dead.

Look, remember these?

-I wore this in my first picture, The Voice of Death.

Sure. I remember

These the wrappings
when I played The Mummy.

Oh it's great, it was the greatest.
I saw it when I was a kid.

Yes and you didn't laugh
at me then, did you?

No, no nobody laughed at you then.

You are a monster.
You're the monster.

Now I?m dead, murdered by a
stupid fool named Morty Lenton.

No you're not you're not
dead monsters never die.

I believe in you von Croft,

you you'll show you...

Hal, Morty...


What the hell...?

Help me...von Croft...

I tried to stop him. He
knocked me down. I hit my head.

-Wher,e where is he?
-I don't know.

-But you've got to find him.
-I know.

-Is he...?

That's how he killed Morty.

I don't understand this vampire
bite. What was he trying to prove?

Something we should have
remembered all along.

He was...

the greatest monster of them all.

Obviously the lesson of
that story is quite clear.

One should be careful what
friends you hang around with.

As in this business.

These girls are very
carefully screened.

The one here for example
the one lighting my pipe.

She and I do not hit it off.

She won't be here long.

See you in a moment.

Until next week good night