Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 28 - Gratitude - full transcript

Meyer Fine is a casino manager who is so afraid of death that he can't even attend funerals. One evening he expresses concern at the amount of money being lost by a young gambler, who is ...

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

Welcome to Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
After many years on television,

I?ve just learned that we
open our show incorrectly,

These days good form demands it should
begin with a provocative and exciting scene,

designed to enchant
and entice the viewer.

This scene is called the teaser.

Always eager to embrace new ideas
after others have thought of them,

we present tonight's
teaser: The Time 1878.

The place: Tombstone Arizona.

What's a pretty school teacher like
you doing in a place like this?

After seeing that I?m sure you
won't want to miss our story,

which takes place entirely in
New York city in the year 1916.

-Where's the boss? -Mr Fine is
taking his bath. -He's what?

-You heard me. -Tell her boss Healy the
blackjack dealer can't come in tonight.

He cut his fingers and won't
be able to handle her cards.

-Is that Otto?
-Oh yes it was, mr Fine.

He says to tell you
that Healy can't be in,

tonight, he cut his fingers
so you won't be able to deal.

-Was it a bad cut?
-I didn't say mr Fine.

Well it's not much of a problem,

and always borrow a
dealer from Masotti.

That's too bad about Hilly,
I hope it's not serious.

Oh by the way John, do
you recall Sweet Remorse?

That was that philly that we saw
running last summer at aqueduct.

Oh yes mr Fine, I do. She
had great spirit all the way.

Well she ran yesterday
in New Orleans and I,

happened to remember to
put down a bet for you.

You don't mean
to say she won?

Oh she won easily, one by three. You'll
find an envelope in the top drawer.

Mr Fine...what can I say.

You don't say anything John.

Good evening sir.

Good evening mr Fine.

-Two aces. You lose.
- 500 says I?m right this time.

Well it's your
money mr Combs and,

we always welcome
this kind of action.

Well if you always walk by
why bother talking about it?

Nine nine is your number.

Just thought I?d might suggest
that uh perhaps it's a,

little early in the evening for
you to be crowding your luck.

Particularly the way things
have been going recently now.

Thank you for your concern but my money's
as good as anyone else's, isn't it?

-10 easy 10 your point of announcing.
-Yes it is it's every bit as good,

and you seem to have
more of it.

-Cover His bets time give the young man all
the action you want. -Yes sir, mr Fine.

Another 500 says
the dice are wrong.

Thank you Frank.

I think I?ll
need this one.

This kid shoots craps like he's the
first national bank don't he mr Fine?

the trouble Frank.

He's too rich and
he's too excitable.

I wish he'd take his
business someplace else.

This lad's old man is this
the same Avery Haggard Combs,

with the railroads
and the steamship lines?

That's right, and if the father knew the
way the boy was throwing the money around...

Not only here but the
Dumpy's and Masotti's.

I guarantee you there'll be
a grand jury investigation.

-Don't you ever get any rest?
-So we could never rest.

Oh John I?m serious,

never get the bed before me and
you're always up ahead of me.

-What'd you find a dollar.

Yes I mean pressing my pants and taking
care of my shirts and arranging your time,

every day to suit my convenience,
don't you ever get sick of it?

Oh no mr Fine that's
part of the job,

you didn't pick me off an old pink
bed of rose when you hired me.

They say that no man's
a hero to himself.

but believe me I
can understand that.

You see us pretty
much the way we are,

the ribbon off the package,

tired, uncertain.

Let's face it John, much
of the time I'm afraid.

The family of the late James
Francis Finery gratefully,

acknowledges your kind
expression of sympathy...

That was 400 dollars
worth of flowers.

I suppose people thought it was strange
I didn't go to the wake of the funeral.

-Dd you think it was funny?
-Oh no mr Fine.

Well that's because you know
the truth about me John,

you know I have trouble facing a healthy
flower, much let's go to a funeral.


John I?m so afraid of death.

My heart turns over like
a lump of sod whenever,

I see a team of horses
dragging a hearse.

Oh that's nothing mr Fine,
it's just one of them things,

different people scared
of different things.

With me it's lobsters.

I see.

John you're all right.

I?d never break it on
you like this mr Fine,

but I thought you ought to
know about young Combs.

-What is he do it?
-He just blew his brains out.

In the subway about a block
and a half from here.

I?d like to tell
you something Meyer,

they offer holes for your
two bright friends here.

I?ll eat this cue ball
like a hard-boiled egg,

if there's been two games of pool
played here in the last five years.

It's nice to have you all together,

with christmas only four days away,

sort of a pity we couldn't
have had the dutchman here,

in place
St Nicholas.

-How about that Masotti?
-I?ll tell him what he missed lieutenant,

I?m sure he'll
feel real bad.

You can also tell him for me that these
private clubs you fellas have been running,

for restricted membership, will
soon be a thing of the past.

You told us that two
years ago, lieutenant.

Well this isn't
two years ago,

it's now, young Combs was seen coming
out of here not more than five minutes,

before he walked into the subway
and put a gun to his head.

He wasn't here for the pool
and the light conversation,

as you put it. Any more that he's
been going to your place Masotti.

Or to your joint Dumphy,

for the watercress
sandwiches and the Parcheesi.

Now what do you got
against Parcheesi?

Lieutenant has played
in all the better homes.

Shut up,

young Combs bank account
shows they went through,

a quarter of a million
dollars in 11 months.

-What about it lieutenant?
-This about it.

You three have been
plucking the wrong bird,

old man Combs has a
million dollars for,

every skull you ever
cranked Masotti,

and I can tell you
that's been a lot.

He'll see the three of you in jail if
he has to turn this city upside down.

Well now I?ve seen everything,

a butler no less.

The last time I saw this pigeon
he was flying east on 43rd street,

with somebody's watch and chain.

You care for cream and sugar
with his coffee liutenant?

Oh yeah three lumps.

Uh just a little cream, and
uh stir it very carefully.

And when you're
finished with it,

you can pour it in your ears.

Thank you Dumfee.

Where is Masotti?

Masotti?s a big boy
now if he felt like,

coming here I guess
he'd have found his way.

Well I'll say this much
for your may you get,

a much classier trade
than either Masotti or me.

Yeah I can see why you want
to keep the place open.

Mike over there for instance
troy the lumber kid.

Daryl the Wall Street man they
wouldn't even come into my joint,

but well then again I guess I just ain't
got that elegant touch like you, am I?

did you ever think of what
it might be like if you got,

raided my what the newspapers
could do with names like this.

You uh you know everybody
here, don't you?

It's my business to know them.

At least I thought I
knew them all. Hubert,

The young fellow at the bar with the
package, who is he? How did he get in?

Who said, his name was Johnson he's got
a courtesy card from Murphy?s place it's.

Initialed filled out by
Murphy in the usual way.

All right then, accept it,

this isn't exactly the usual time.


the young fellow with the bar, did you ever
see him when you were working at Murphy?s?

I seen him yeah, pretty
sure I?ve seen him before.

All right then forget it.

-Wait, the future whenever there's any doubt you'll check with me first.

-Another sir?
-No thanks it's just about time to go.

Right now for nine shooter
nine is the winning number.

The man wih the package, I seen him before
but I don't think it was at Murphy?s.

Winner nine.

Otto, whoever it is
take care of him.

I want that film destroyed.

Hey you...

Well I I suppose when you
really think about it's,

it's just one of those things, you take
the bad breaks with the good, right Joe?

Now look, don't get me wrong
I don't mean to deny that,

this doesn't point
up something that,

that all three of us have known
for a great many years that if,

you're going to do a job like this
right you have to do it yourself.

And I certainly don't mean to
deny that it's a bad situation,

it is it's very bad but
it can't be changed.

I don't lost his head, I found
out the fella was from the,

detective agency and he lost his
head it was never very bright,

but I didn't say kill the man.

Well you were there Joe,
you heard what I said,

I said I wanted the film
destroyed that's all I said.

Oh you were dandy Meyer, you
handled it fine, real fun.

Now look, this goes
for both of you,

we're all three of us
in this thing together,

now let's keep that
absolutely straight,

and if you want to check the facts,
we'll get out of in here right now.

That won't be too easy.
Otto died an hour ago.

Accidentally from bullets.

The cops never got around
to talking to Otto,

it was like you said,
just one of those things.

You look sick Meyer, awful sick.

But you gotta remember one
thing Otto made a big mistake,

there was no need for
murder as you say,

no need to give old man
Combs and the grand,

jury the kind of help
they've been waiting for.

-Come on.
-I don't undertand, just like that?

-You tell me that and then you walk out.
-Sorry Meyer,

there's a meeting at the dutchman's,
we don't have any extra time.

Wait a minute, nobody
told me about any meeting.

Dutchman didn't say anything
to me about a meeting.

He didn't?

They're making up
their minds about me,

I?ve never been left out
of a meeting before never.

Or maybe you don't
mean nothing?

No no no, maybe they've already made
up their minds I could see it but,

I saw something in
the Masotti's face,

that's why I wasn't invited I?ve never
been knifed out of a meeting never.

-I might just be a mistake.
-Dutchman doesn't make mistakes.

I have to call him.

After all he's heard their side of it,

there's no reason why
I shouldn't hear mine.

Try, why not?

Number please? What
number are you calling?

Plaza 368 please

-Hello dutch, it's Meyer.

Ah listen dutch I
just saw the boys,

frank and Joe dropped in, you know,

and uh, listen there's
been a very serious,

misunderstanding and I have
to talk to you about it.

Dutch you are listening?

Do we have a good connection?

I have to go see him,

after all I?ve known the man in a
great many years we've been very close,

he's heard their side of it there's
no reason why you shouldn't hear mine.

That makes sense, doesn't it John?

I?ll get your coat and hat mr Fine.

I know it hurts mr Fine but it's
really not much more than a singe.

Overcoat helps, so lucky
thing he wasn't a better shot.

I?m lucky.

I?ve been better off
if he hadn't missed.

John, John I went to beg the
dutchman on my hands and knees,

like little Eva without
the pride of a cat.

Was one of the dutchman's
boys that fired the shots.

What is it, what do you see?

Oh it's nothing mr Fine, just
some guy getting out of a hack.

I?ve seen him before,
he's going into his house.

-Nothing else?

No nothing else, now
the hack's moving away.

Like I said mr Fine, I got your bag
all packed we can get out of here?

No John, John please.

I?ll never get out of
here. They'll see to that.

I know a nice little
place in Jersey,

friend of mine hid out
there for over a year.

What? No Jersey no. John, jersey
doesn't make any difference. I,

I can't get
away from him.

But at least you might have a
chance if you try to break out.

I could never let him
see how frightened I am.

-I couldn't stand that.
-I?ll get your bag.

Try to fool myself John, I thought
I could beat him to the punch,

but I don't have the courage.

John, don't leave me, stay with me.

You're the only friend I have.
You're the only one. John,

John, I don't have it, I
don't have the courage,

help me, help me, John please.

please please help me.

-Number please?
-Give me the police.

Why did you kill him? Why?

I couldn't believe it
when I heard it was you.

Why, why did you do it?

Meyer was the only one of that pact
that ever had an ounce of decency.

He took you in fed you and
clothed you young punk,

he gave you a job, when you couldn't
have found the bed in a kennel,

and for that just shoot him?

And I?d like anything human,

and I?d like anything
I?ve ever seen.

Did you ever hear of a
thing called gratitude?

This concludes our
story for tonight,

we shall give you a
scene from our next tale,

immediately after this preview
of next week's commercials.

I?ve been asked to announce
that next week's commercials,

will be just as witty,
just as engrossing,

just as exciting and
entertaining as that last one.

And now before I say good night, here
is that scene from next week's play,

The Time 1879,

the place Fargo North Dakota.

Didn't I meet you once
in Tombstone Arizona?

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