Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 29 - The Pearl Necklace - full transcript

Howard Rutherford is a very rich, elderly gentleman. Out of the blue, he proposes to his young secretary, Charlotte Jameson. He tells her that he is not in good health and that she will inherit his entire $11 million fortune. Charlotte initially dismisses the idea but her fiancé, Mark Lansing, thinks that a one year delay is very little to pay given the size of Charlotte's potential inheritance. Charlotte eventually marries Howard, who turns out to be in far better health than he let on. Every year on their wedding anniversary Howard gives her a beautiful pearl to add to her ever-growing collection. When Howard finally dies on their 25th wedding anniversary, Charlotte plans on re-marrying but it's not Mark that she has in mind.

Good evening ladies and
gentlemen and boys and girls.

I am seeking the fountain of youth,

unfortunately I?ve had
absolutely no luck at all,

I keep finding oil instead,

of course oil has
its good point too,

it may not make you young but it can
make old age much more tolerable.

My task is made more difficult
because I don't know what to expect,

when searching for
the fountain of youth,

one doesn't know whether to look
for a milk bar or a water pistol,

while I continue my search,

suppose you watched
tonight's story,

it was especially written
to elucidate our theme.


Ah darn it I should
have had that one too.

Come on I?ll give
you the booby prize.

You're too good for me.

Hey what do I get for win?

-How about that?
-That's better than the gold cup.

Oh you know it.

Charlotte over here.

-Over here. -Hello mr Oliver.
-Mr Rutherford how are you?

Run along young man, run along now.

Yes sir, thanks for the use
of the car mr Rutherford.


You're becoming a real tyrant I still
have five minutes of my lunch are left.

Sit down.

Oh I have to go and change my clothes
before I start taking dictation.

I?m not going to dictate
I?m going to talk.

Sit down.

I was hoping to get in a
swim before I started work.

I want to talk to
you about marriage.

All right that's a nice subject,

whose marriage should we discuss, mine?

I am worth over 11 million
dollars give or take a few,

not one of my ex-wives has that
much claim to any inheritance,

they were paid off,

every one of them.

-Well, it's very nice.
-So? The new mrs Howard Rutherford,

will inherit absolutely everything,

a distinct advantage over
the others, you follow?

Well is it anyone I know?

Really Charlotte
my dear girl,

instead of 85 a week as my
secretary, I am offering you,

upward of 11 million, what a few
months you would spend as my wife.

As you know I I have a weak heart,

I haven't longed to live,

Why, I?m sorry I was so slow
getting it mr Rutherford,

-it just never occurred to me.
-Perfectly understandable my dear.

Oh I?m very flattered
really I am,

and if I?d met you
before I met Mark well,

I I?m sure I would have
jumped at the chance,

but I am marrying Mark.

You'll have all the time in
the world for marrying Mark,

after I?m
gone my dear,

at the very most my
prognosis is a year.

I don't think Mark would
like loading me out,

but thanks anyway.

You talk it over with
Mark and let me know.

But you're worth losing
11 million dollars.

Pie in the sky you probably
never get it anyway.

Don't you minimize my
sacrifice, is your thing.

I said how is it a sure thing?

Oh he can't possibly last
more than a year or so.

-You didn't tell me that part.
-Who cares?

Wait a minute,

eleven million bucks
is another doll.

-I told you you're worth every
penny of it -Oh wait Charlotte.

I mean when you come
right down to it,

how much is a year
out of a lifetime?

This is 12 months right?

So if somebody drives
up and says here,

here's 11 million bucks
for a year's work,

how do you turn that down?

-Mark Lansing...
-Oh come on Charlotte,

you know how much I make as a
salesman, where's my future?

when you come right down to it, what
have we got to look forward to?

-I thought we had love.
-Oh baby come on.

Love girl, use that
gorgeous head of yours,

can't you put up with him for a
few months or a year if necessary?

If that meant we
have everything.

You realize what we could do with 11
million bucks, do you have any idea?

Oh Charlotte all the rest
of our lives together,

every day and every night,

-I thought you'd love me.
-I do I do love you.

Sure, but not enough to give up a
few months of your life is that it.

Mark, he wants to marry me.

Charlotte, he's 65 years old
with one foot in the grave,

is it gonna kill you
to hold his hand.

Will there be anything
else mr Rutherford?

Oh I don't think so uh unless it's a cup
of tea, if it's not, too much trouble.

No trouble at all.

Lovely you're so lovely.

Thank you heart.

-What is it?
-Open it my dear.

Oh a small token of
an old man's love,

-in gratitude for sharing his last days.
-One pearl, well,

I guess it's real.

To commemorate our wedding
day one perfect pearl,

I only wish that
I might be around,

to give you a pearl for
every year of bliss,

that we share together.

Certainly beginning
to shape up isn't it?

Here's to five
beautiful years my dear,

and thank you.

What would you like to
do tonight my pet, huh?

-Oh I don't mind.
-I want you to have a good time.

I really don't care hard.

Penny for your thoughts,

Mark, is that who's on your mind?

Really hard.

No no my dear plenty of time
for that after I?m gone.

It's open.


You shouldn't be here
you might be seen.

Oh it's all right he's sleeping off his
anniversary celebration no one saw me.

I know I know but you you
wouldn't have come here,

-one little slip up he divorced you.
-Oh don't talk about that,

it's just so wonderful will be.

Darling you've taken
down my pictures.

-But baby I had to.
-Why have you taken them down?

Because they were driving me out of my mind
oh you please be a good girl and leave.


No Mark. I decided tonight I?m leaving
it. I?ve been away from you too long.

Oh Charlotte
you can't,

darling you've invested five years of
your life you're gonna throw that away?

-I want to be with you.
-And I with you but,

he can't last much longer.

I?m 30 years old I?m not gonna
waste any more of my life.

Charlotte, would you listen to me please?
We can't quit in this stretch now,

we're gonna let all that
money go to some cd charity?

We've got to hang on.


We? Oh brother...

Well do you suppose
it's been easy for me?

Night after night without
you alone here but it's fire,

you have any idea
what I go through?

I know that sounds
selfish I realize,

you've had a difficult
time too, but darling,

we've got it right in our
hands let's not drop it now.

I love you.

And I love you.

Hi lover boy, am I late?

Well that's pretty fancy
competition but uh,

-I?ve handled worse
-Oh Charlotte...

Mark how could you? How could you?

Charlotte, you
don't know...

Oh tell me more about your lonely
nights go on break my heart.

-And thank you very much for the advice,

I?ll stick around long
enough to collect the payoff,

11 million that's a lot of money
mister, well kiss it goodbye.


Happy anniversary my love,

fifteen down my pet,

but I?m afraid this
looks like the last one.

-I doubt it.
-No I don't see how I can pull through this time,

bad relapse, doctor said.

I think you're
indestructible Howard.

-And I think you're lovely.
-You'll be fine.

Yeah there's still
some things that money,

can't buy and I?m
afraid health is one.

Well never said that.

-now get some sleep.
-Oh where are you going?

Well I
have a gentleman caller.

Oh I know I know, time for
that after you're gone,

-I?ll be back.
-Want me to hold my breath? -No.

Charlotte you've looked wonderful,

clock stood still for you.

-What do you want?
-Well I saw a piece in the paper about your husband,

being I thought I?d drop over
and see if you needed me,

anything I could do for you like
hold your hand or something.

When my ship comes in you don't really,
think you'll get a ride on it do you?

Billy I told you to
wait for me please.

No wait a moment.

-What's your name?
-Billy Billy Lansing.

His mother and I were
divorced some time ago.

-How old are you Billy?
-10, is that your tennis court out there?

-Yes. -I?ve never seen one in
the backyard before, it's a beaut.

-Do you like to play tennis.
-Oh sure I do.

I haven't been able to afford
lessons uh quite good though.

I don't have a racket or nothing
but I can hit the ball pretty hard.

-Would you like to play on my court?
-Hey that'd be great.

Well you must come and
play with me sometime.

Oh for a girl I hit a
ball quite hard myself.

-You want to swat a few now?
-Oh well um not just this moment.

Well, well,

Okay you run along now Billy I want
to talk to mrs Rutherford alone.

-Thank you. Goodbye.
-Thank you.

I knew what I thought
in my heart was true.

It's not dead between us, you still
feel something for me don't you?

-I still feel something for you.

Take your hands off me.

I think my racket's
got a hole in it.

My backhand's worse now
than it was when I started.

Well that's because
you're chopping,

you're not following through
as I showed you yesterday.

-Billy that's pretty good you're
getting better. -Thanks dad.

Oh you can leave
that Billy?

Would you like to run along now,
I want to talk to your father.

-Sure bye.

Well it's about time I was wondering
how long you can keep this up.

You haven't spoken a
word of me all summer.

School starts in two weeks time.
What are your plans for Billy?

Well go of course
what else would he do?

As you know I become very
fond of him during the summer.

I?ve spoken to
Howard about him,

and he has agreed to
send him to prep school,

in fact the one he himself went
to back east that is if you agree.

Of course what a break for the kid.

He's a very attractive
boy, very intelligent.

I tried to bring him
up the best I knew how.

Just because you and I once
had an unpleasant relationship,

there's no need to deny
the boy opportunities.

Unpleasant, you must be kidding.

As you know Howord and I
have no children of our own,

if Billy does well
at prep school

then we are prepared to
continue helping him.

Well that's really
wonderful of you Charlotte.

In the future my chauffeur will pick
him up whenever he cares to visit me.

I see no reason for you and I
to have any contact whatsoever.

Thank you for 25 years,

of unbelievable happiness,

my pet.

I?m not even going
to give any speeches,

about this, probably
being the last pearl,

excuse me my love,
uh what was I saying?

I believe you were suggesting that
you would doubtless outlive me.

Ever ever hear the saying,

money can't buy happiness.

Old wives tale,

I bought 25 years of it,

hasn't been too bad for you,

-Has it?
-I confess,

I?ve grown rather fond of you.

There'll never be another like you.

Oh hello Mark I?ve been
expecting you, have you been...

So you got it all
Charlotte at last?

Down to the last million, oh but don't
talk about me what have you been doing?

Oh stop it there's nothing ever new with
me and that's not what I hear about.

Are you still selling shoes
or whatever it is you sell?

No I know it's all very
amusing to you isn't?

To me it's downright
and decent.

Oh there's nothing indecent
about sellingshoes dear.

I am not talking about
that you know it.

-You can't marry him.
-We have everything in common.

-I?m sure we'll be very happy.
-Oh come off it's Charlotte, at your age?

You can't get back the years you've lost
you'll only make a fool out of yourself trying.

Maybe I?ll live to be a happy female
Methuselah you never can tell.

After all old age
runs in the family.

Call yourself a drink
Mark you're overwrought.

That car is the sweetest
little job on the road,

I wish we could take it with us.

I?ll buy you another
one in Paris.

-He doesn't approve of us Billy.
-hi dad.

What are you doing here?

Oh what's the problem father?

Oour marriage was made in
heaven wasn't it Charlotte?

I?m sure you will agree that
Charlotte's marriage to her young man,

has a very good
chance of success,

they have at least one
thing in common: Mark.

This is the famed fountain of youth,
it must be very powerful stuff indeed,

I had to show my draft
card to get in here,

I haven't noticed any change I think
I'll have another rejoin you in a minute.

He says night night till next week.