Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 32 - Self Defense - full transcript

Gerald Clarke interrupts a robbery when he stops at a liquor store while en route to a friends house to play cards. He's quite terrified when the young hoodlum pokes the gun in his back but recovers and shoots the robber with the liquor store owner's gun. He subsequently learns that that the robber's gun wasn't loaded and tries to make amends for what he has done by paying part of the boy's funeral. When Gerald is visited by the boy's mother, tragedy results.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

tonight's topic is self-defense,

a matter of importance to everyone,

especially the ladies,

the first rule is to be
suspicious of strangers,

especially if they are
stripped to the waist,

and have arranged mattresses
on the floor in advance,

in nine cases out of ten
they are jujitsu instructors,

put out your hand and
appear to be friendly,

then pick out a corner of the room,

I have a feeling I?m not
going to pass this course,

I won't tell him why it
was he couldn't throw me,

he was standing
on my foot,

now our story follows
this one minute attack,

on your sensibilities against
which there is no defense.



I?m sorry I
haven't any change.

You can't break a five?

No, it's all right you, you
take the beer and pay me later.

I must have an
honest face.

Uh no I I have some change here...

Oh no mr please,

never mind and don't
worry about the beer.

Don't turn around,

stay right where you are
and don't turn around.

Go, you got the money, go go.

My husband's gun, I was
afraid to reach for it.

It keeps here.

-Gerald R Clark is that your name?

-Age? -38.

2114 North Hope Street,

That's apartment 11.

-Single. -Occupation?

I?m a radio engineer
at station WLPQ.

Lieutenant, how's the boy?

Pretty badly wounded
but he's still alive.

-Who is he?
-Kid named Phillips.

Jimmy Phillips, 18
no previous record.

-What's the rest of that lil?
-Uh mother divorced,

works as a switchboard operator
for an answering service,

father remarried living
somewhere in New Jersey,

unable to locate.

Mr Clark,

-Would you mind telling us something?

-You've never been that liquor store
until tonight. -No.

How'd you happen
to go there?

Well I was on my way to a friend's
house to play some cards and I,

decided to pick up some beer so I just
stopped off at the first place it was open.

-Never saw the lady who owns a store before?


now please don't misunderstand me,

I think you shed a lot of
nerve going after that kid,


that thing had been
stolen from you,

and you didn't even
know mrs Grubber,

why'd you take such a risk?

Because he pointed his gun at me.

I?ll get you.

Look when I was in the
army in world war II,

I served in France and
Belgium and Germany,

never on the line though I
never had to kill any, but,

I did see a man get
killed once though.

I uh was outside a bar in Brussels,

a british soldier,

a friend of his shot him,

by mistake I think,

they were having an argument about a girl
and and this one fellow had a gun and,

and he kept pointing at the other one
and they kept yelling at each other,

and and all of a sudden
that the gun went off,

and that was the
end of a man's life,

and and the one who got
shot I was watching him and,

he kept wanting to do something,
he kept looking at that gun,

was pointed at him,

and he he didn't know what to do,

it made me realize how special a
load gun is when it's pointed at you,

and tonight when that kid
pointed that gun at me,

and I thought what makes him
think that he can do this to me?

and I I had to fight back, I...


homicide lieutenant Schwartz,

oh yeah,

oh well uh haven't called me
back as soon as he's free, huh?

Look lieutenant uh do you suppose I could
make a phone call my friends are probably,

wondering what happened to me.

Yeah, sure, as far as that
goes you can leave now.

Now we know where to
get in touch with you.

I suppose it sounds empty to
say I wish it hadn't happened.

Mr Clark,

don't let it throw you,

man's got a right
to defend himself.

Oh yeah, yeah.

Right over here ma'am, have a seat.

I?ll tell the
lieutenant you're here.

-Uh, no I?m not a policeman.


-Can I help?

Lieutenant we'll
see you in a minute.

Right here.


Thank you.

I can't believe,

I don't understand it,

you think you're doing your
best for your children,

try to give them things,


I tried with Jimmy,

-I can't give him everything,

I did help him buy
his automobile that I,

I guess he must have
needed something else,

nobody was caught tonight, only
a store with an empty gun.

Empty gun?

He was shot three times and
the gun wasn't even load.

Wait a minute hold on.

-Yes mr Clark.
-Is it true?

-Is what true? -That the kid
I shot was carrying an empty gun.

Yes but there wasn't any way
you could have known that.

Excuse me doc go ahead,

hmm, yeah,

she's waiting outside the office,

yeah I?ll tell her, well
you did the best you could,

okay doc thanks for calling.

Philip?s boy died five minutes ago.

...that are the dead
who die in the lord,

from henceforth yea
saith the spirit,

that they may rest
from their labors and,

their works do follow them,

the peace of God which
passes all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in
the knowledge of love of God,

and of his son Jesus
Christ our Lord,

and may the blessings
of God almighty,

the father the son
and the holy spirit,

be upon you now and
remain with you all,


Excuse me, uh,

-are you a relative of mrs Phillips.

-She works for me, why?
- You run the answering service?

That's right. Who are you?

My name's Clark, Gerald Clark,
I?m the man who killed her son.


What do you want?

I know how she must feel about me and
I, I don't expect to change that but I,

I was wondering if there isn't
something that I could do to help,

uh uh I?m not trying to
buy my way out of this but,

but well the funeral maybe
I could pay for that.

I?ve already taken care of it.

-Then may I share the cost with
you. -Well this isn't necesary.

she wouldn't have to know about
it I wouldn't want her to,

I would consider
it a favor,


-Is it enough?
-This is very thoughtful of you.

That's the least I can do, mr uh...

-Will, Henry Will.
-I?m I?m glad to know.

-Thanks for letting me help.
-Forget it,

and don't punish yourself
too much about this,

I knew jimmy, his
mother's a fine woman but,

he wasn't the angel she
likes to think he was,

his death's been very
hard on her sure but,

no matter how you add it
up it was his own fault,

eventually she's going
to have to face that.

Uh, mrs Phillips.

Mr Clark?

Mr Clark,

the reason I,

came here today is because this
morning when I came to work,

mr Willet told
me about the,

money you gave him yesterday.

Oh I wish he
hadn't done that.

I?m glad he did I I?m
I?m very grateful,

Well, it's nothing
it's nothing at all,

-I just wanted to help.
-Well you you've helped,

and it was
most generous,

I um,

I had a a long talk with
lieutenant Schwartz,

and he's trying to make me see
what happened and how jimmy...

Uh, mrs Phillips.

Thank you, I?m trying to
come to terms with it and I,

I thought maybe
perhaps you might help.

Well certainly uh,

anything mrs Phillips.

I wondered if you'd talk to me.

Well uh, anytime mrs
Phillips anytime at all.

-Well I?d like to.

But I?m just on a coffee break I,

how about when I get through
working tonight I?m off at 8:30?

-That will be all right.
-Um, well where should we meet?

It doesn't matter, somewhere
where we might talk.

Uh, there's a coffee shop
right around the corner Al's.

Yes I I know the place but,

isn't it rather noisy?


Well my place is just
a few blocks from here,

could we meet there?


yes I think that
would be fine.

That's 2114 Hope
street apartment 11.

Apartment 11. All right.

-Nine o'clock?
-Yes nine o'clock we'll be fine.

Thank you.

Good evening mrs Phillips,
won't you come in?

Thank you.

-May I take your coat.
-Yes thank you.

-Did you have any trouble finding the place?

The numbers on the
mailbox are in sequence,

but the way they have the apartments
ringed around the swimming pool,

it's pretty easy to miss
the one that you're looking for.

You have a lovely
apartment mr Clark.

Well thank you it's uh it's
comfortable may I get you something a,

coffee or a drink I have some imported beer.
-Coffee would be fine.

I won't be a minute.

-Mr Clark.

As I told you I had a long
talk with lieutenant Schwartz.

Well maybe it's too
soon to talk about it.

-We don't have to.

Yes we do I want to.

Whatever you say.

Lieutenant Schwartz explained
to me what happened that night,

and I read mrs Grubber?s
statement so I?m,

not trying to minimize
what jimmy did.

Mrs Phillips there's no
point in blaming Jimmy now.

Oh what he did was
wrong, walking into the,

store with a gun scaring
people half to death,

that poor old lady mrs Grubber.


And you,

you were frightened too,

-Weren't you?

Because you thought he'd shoot you,

-kill you.
-That's right.

After Jimmy left the store you took
the Grubber?s gun and followed him.


-And shot at him.
-I shot at the car.

How many times did you shoot?

I don't remember.

Lieutenant said four
shots had been fired.

-Then I guess they were.
-And the three of them hit Jimmy.


After you fired the first shot
why did you fire the second?

Because all it did
was smash the window.

But you just said you were
only shooting at the car.

I meant I was shooting
to stop the car.

And after the second
shot did the car stop?


Then why did you fire the third?

-Because I was afraid.
-But Jimmy didn't fire back at you.

But that didn't mean he wouldn't
I didn't know his gun was empty.

And even after that,

after shooting at him three times
and not having any fire return,

you still walked up to the car,

and fired
another shot.

Yes because he might have been
lying there waiting for me.

-With an unloaded gun?
-But I didn't know that.

-And it never occurred to you?
-Why should it.

He stuck a gun in my back and he threatened
me you don't know what that's like,

you don't know how it feels
having a gun pointed at you,

I had every reason to
believe that gun was loaded,

what would you think,
what would anybody think?

I?m sorry about your
son mrs Phillips,

I?m so sorry I can't see straight,

but I I don't know
what else I can say.

I didn't start this,
I didn't want it to...

This gun is loaded mr Clark.

Listen you don't know
what you're doing.

Don't, don't I didn't
know his gun was empty,

-I was just frightened.
-The way you're frightened now?

I was trying to defend
myself that's all,

what good will it do to kill me?
you'll just ruin your own life,

what will it solve it
won't bring it back,

you'll be killing
me for nothing,

for no reason in the whole world,

I?m not the one who started this trouble
with your son mrs Phillips he did,

I thought his gun
was loaded I swear,

You don't have to be
afraid anymore mr Clark,

I?m not going to kill you,

goodbye mr Clark.

I told you not to
point a gun at me.

I realize it's impolite to point,

but Gerald?s reaction
was a trifle drastic,

I think you too will
be glad to know,

that he was subsequently

as he emptied his
revolver into the figure,

of uncle Sam in an
army recruiting poster,

and now I shall be back after this
word from a very prudent gentleman,

who points with pride
but only to himself.

That is all we have
to offer tonight,

we shall be back next week
with more of the same,

until then, good night.