Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 33 - A Secret Life - full transcript

James Howgill is bored with his life and his marriage and announces to his wife that he is leaving her. She tells him to do what he likes but that she will never grant him a divorce. In time, he takes up with an attractive young woman and decides to try to force the divorce issue with his wife. His lawyer however informs him that he has no grounds for a divorce and suggests that he hire a private detective to see if his wife may have taken up with another man. He agrees but is quite sure that it is not in his wife's character to carry on. Needless to say, he is astounded when the detective reports that his wife is dating and that a man has spent the night in their house. Howgill begins to see his wife in a new light and decides he wants her back. But just who is this woman that he has returned to?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen I
hope you didn't mind that interruption,

this trip was my
sponsor's suggestion,

he wanted to show off
his diving prowess,

you see he's the gentleman
who just went over the side,

now he's jerking on the
line I intend to ignore him,

his messages are
always the same,

always just like
this one coming up.


The coffee's getting cold dear.

-Yes dear. -I want a divorce.

-That's what I said I want a divorce.

-No special reason.

Well there must
be a reason dear.

Well, just let's say
I I want to be free.

Well, you are free.Yyou
have the gallery and,

this lovely house and you
come and go as you want.

-Jim it's not another woman? -Oh no
it's nothing like that it's just a,

well I?m bored I guess that's
just nothing to look forward to.

I mean you got to admit we don't
mean very much to each other anymore,

-I wouldn't say that.
-Well I say it.

There's nothing left of our
marriage and you know it.

Oh what you need
is a good holiday.

I don't need a good
holiday or any other,

kind of holiday I
just want to be free,

Jim I don't understand you,
is it something I?ve done?

No no it's nothing
you've done is just,

well I just can't stand this sort of
existence any longer we're just molding

away to nothing, well I don't want it
like this for the rest of my life.

What do you want me to do about it?

-Nothing, I?m going away.
-Going away?

-Yes. -Where are you
going? -Well I I don't know.

-Well you just can't take off into the blue.
-Oh yes I can.

-You can?

Well Jim whatever you do
I?ll never divorce you,

I don't believe in it as far as I?m
concerned we're married and that's that.

Oh we'll see about that.

-I?m uh going now.
-Very well,

-then I?ll pack for you.
-No don't bother,

just have Nancy send my
things down to the gallery.

The music is just great you know the
sand just feels great on your toes.


-No this isn't right.
-What do you mean what isn't right?

You've got your shoes on.

Oh no isn't that better.

Yes much better.

I wish this didn't
have to end.

Oh so do I.

-but it's your wife...
-Yes I know.

-Why is she so difficult?
-Let's not talk about her.

Let's talk about us.

But how can we still living?
If we're ever going to,

be together something has
got to be done about Marge.

-Well, something will be done.

I don't know but uh,

-you'll think of something.
-You bet I will.

We're going back to LA
tomorrow and I?m going to,

see Johnson my lawyer and
get something started.


I?m afraid mr Howgill that uh
lacking an agreement between the,

parties involved, there's just no
way of being free of your wife.

You mean as there's
nothing you can do for me?

I could take action if
she provided the ground,

you know mental or
physical cruelty perhaps,

-but you've indicated there's nothing in that area.
-Oh, no no no,

-my Marjorie?s not like that.
-And you are the one who deserted.

Now you're quite sure that
she won't take action?

Oh I?m yeah I?m quite
positive mr Johnson here,

Margie said she'd she'd
never give me a divorce.

Um, you know there's really nothing
unusual about your case mr Howgill,

may I be personal
for a moment,

when a man married
as long as you have,

been reaches your age he
sometimes becomes restless,

cases like yours can be
resolved through reconciliation,

Oh no,no mr Johnson, look I
assure you that I?m quite serious,

I have no intention of
ever going back to Mageory.

I see.

You were mentioned having
been away for a couple of months,

had the thought
occurred to you that uh women,

not accustomed to living
alone sometimes seek the uh,

-companionship of others.
-Oh yes yeah well,

Marjorie has a lot
of friends you know.

That wasn't what I meant I,

I had referenced to the uh
companionship of the opposite sex.

No mr Johnson
oh not Marjorie,

oh no, I bet on that.

That may be so but it does seem
my only promising possibility.

Yes I?m sure but you you obviously
don't know much mr Johnson.

Well it is an avenue that we'll
bear looking into at any rate,

I?m going to send a
man around to see you,

his name is uh Bates, now
where are you staying?

Well I?m staying at the gallery for
the moment uh did this man Bates sir,

is he a detective?

Yes he is and you'll find him
most discreet and quite capable,

and if there is any uh uh activity,

in the field to which
I had reference,

he'll be the one to uncover it.

Well frankly I think this is a
waste of time mr Johnson but,

well I suppose if it's
the only thing to do, we,

we've got to do it haven't we?

Oh good morning can I help you sir?

-You're mr Howgil?
-Yes I am. -Bates.

Oh yeah yeah, Bates won't you
sit down, and please mr Bates.

From what mr Johnson had to say about
your case I can see no great difficulties,

he said you seemed a little
reluctant to employ our firm,

let me assure you that mrs Howgill
will never know she's being watched.

No, look Bates I
didn't say that...

I am a private investigator,

investigator mr Howgill
not private eye,

you mustn't confuse the genuine article
with what passes for him on television,

neither I nor any of
my men ever become,

involved personally
with any of our clients,

what's more we don't
even carry guns,

well let's get down to business now to
begin with there must be eight-hour shifts,

union rules mr Hawgil
and Bates associates is,

prepared to work with three
shifts around the clock,

-now I suggest...
-Now wait a minute, Bates...

-Something wrong mr Hawgil?
-Yeah something certainly is wrong.

Now look I wasn't too
sold on the idea of,

spying on my wife in
the first place but I,

need a camp on a doorstep
24 hours a day? well,

it it seems to me it's
overdoing it a little.

Please sir we don't
camp as you put it we,

merely blend with the
scenery we're not amateurs.

No of course you're not amateurs
face I fully realize that but I,

do you think we're going
to need all that watching?

8 a.m to 4 p.m, 4 p.m to midnight,

midnight to 8 a.m which
ones do you prefer?

Well leave the 4 p.m now
midnight ought to be enough.

Mr Howgill how will we
know where your wife,

is if we start at
four in the afternoon?

Well all right then make
it two watches then.

Which one shall we leave out?

Midnight to 8 a.m.

Mr Howgil, that watch has proved
to be the most rewarding of all.

I said leave it out Bates.

Very well, now we can
get started,

if you'll just give me your wife's
description her address...

It was yesterday that
it happened I had the,

4 p.m to midnight
watch myself you see.

Look I don't care who had the
watch baits just get to the point.

Uh all right ah here
we are at 8:05 pm,

the subject left the house in
the company of a man who called,

for her in his car, they seemed
on good terms with each other,

-and then... -You can stop right
there Bates and explain that point?

Since you asked, she kissed him
when she got into the convertible.

Kissed him in
the convertible.

A black convertible
with a white top,

rather fancy if I may
say so, but to go out.

Yeah yeah go on Bates.

They drove to the sky house where they
held hands and had three martinis,

Three? Marjorie, Marjorie
had three martinis?

Three martinis,

they left the sky house at 1007,
went to the club royale on the,

strip for supper and dancing
returning to the house at 11:51 p.m.

-Well and then Bates?
-And then,

it was midnight mr Howgill
the male escort was still,

in the house when I was
forced to abandon the watch.

You mean to tell me
Bates you were banning,

the watch when the guy was
still on on the premises?

Please sir you could hardly
expect me to work into,

the third watch when it
hadn't been agreed upon,

but I dare say it
would have worked out,

to your advantage had
I been able to do so.

Yes well do it then Bates, I want
to know everything the whole story.

The third watch then?

Yes Bates the third watch.

Soda or water?

Uh please dear.

Now what kind of an answer
is that I said soda or water?

Oh I?m I?m so sorry
Estella, soda please.

-Yeah this will make you feel good.
-Oh yeah yeah thank you doll.

Are you perfectly

Oh yeah yes I?m quite
comfortable thank you.

-Well may I join you?
-Oh I mean please do.

Oh there that's better.

-Oh what's the matter?
-No nothing, what, why?

Well tonight you just
seem sort of different,

distant, are you are you
thinking about someone else?

Oh don't be foolish as still you know
perfectly well there isn't anybody else.

Yes there is there's Marjorie.

Oh yes I know we we both
know about that and well uh,

nothing we can do about
her at the moment.

Do you know how many times you've
looked at your watch tonight?

-Do you? -Well I?m sorry
still it's it's uh, it's business I,

-I was gonna tell you but uh but...

what did you mean to tell me?

Well you see I, I got a business
appointment at the gallery tonight.

-At this hour?
-Yeah, yeah I was going to tell you but,

well I thought you
might misunderstand,

you see in this kind of business
there are no regular working hours,

I?ll be back.

-Wait for me now.
-I live here remember?

Mr Howgill, mr Howgill...

-Oh it's you Bates...
-You shouldn't be seen here.

-How long has this been going on?
-The last car drove up about,

half an hour ago, the black
convertible the one in front,

-that's mr Brandon?s.

Niles Brandon the actor.

-Darling, that wasn't too long was it?

Would you mind turning
that thing off?

Well I thought you
liked that record?

If you want my frank opinion
I think it's insipid,

I?ll tell you what
I think is insipid

you were saying one
thing and doing another,

there was no business at the gallery,
I called and there wasn't any answer.

You had no right to
go checking up, I,

mean even Marjorie wouldn't
do a thing like that.

Well I am not Marjorie and that
is just the sort of thing I do.

All right asel all right I, I went
for a ride I I wanted to think I,

oh I don't know what's wrong with.

I shouldn't have
said those things,

I?m sorry.

Just isn't the same since we came
back from Acapulco, just not the same,

I?m sorry Estelle
what did you say?

Oh, never mind,

you don't even
know that I?m here.

Oh of course I know you're here.

Well you give very
little evidence of it,

once more I?ve come to the conclusion
that you don't even want a divorce,

I think you'd like to be rid
of me and go back to her.

Oh Estelle that's not
true not true at all.

-Isn't it?


It's for you.

Yes, what?

it's the only car left,

no no no you don't need
to do anything more,

Baits now you've done
quite enough already yes,

yeah I?ll handle
it from here on,

no of course I wouldn't
do anything like that,

yes I said I?ll handle
it from here on,



And just what are you
going to handle or maybe I,

should say who are you going
to handle, Marjorie or me?

-Oh come come Estella.
-It evidently it hasn't occurred to you,

that I might be very interested
in the status of your marriage.

-Oh but I wouldn't. -No no you're too
interested in looking at your watch,

and keeping phony
business appointments,

well for your information mr Howgill I
have finally had it I am calling it quits.

-Oh no you can't.
-No no I refuse to play,

nursemate to that battered
psyche of yours any longer,

goodbye mr Howgill. Goodbye.

Goodbye, goodbye Estelle.


Oh why hello there Marjorie.

-How nice to see you.
-Well I just thought I?d,

drop by.

Oh, well I?m glad you did.

You're a glad?


Why, why should you be glad?


I suppose it's because it's been
so long since I?ve seen you.

Oh yes yes it certainly has been a
long time since you've seen me but,

uh I expect you've been keeping
yourself fully occupied lately, eh?

-Well I?ve managed to keep busy yes.
-How Marjorie?


Oh I uh been to the bridge club and
I visited my cousin in san Francisco,

I saw a few plays and I
developed a few new uh,

-Oh really?

But you wouldn't be
interested in those.

On the country I would be
most interested in those,

what sort of hobbies Marjorie?

-Well, mosaics for one thing.

Say, nothing else?

But Jim why are you so curious?

Oh Marjorie, don't
uh, don't you know?

-Should I know?
-Oh come Marjorie,

now look you haven't just been
playing around with mosaics,

I mean you've acquired some new and
interesting friends now, haven't you?

Well how did you know about them?


Well I mean, I?ve talked a lot about you,
is it someone happened to mention it to you?

Oh so you admitted that you admit
you've been getting around a bit later,

you've been having
a very gay time, eh?

-Well of course.
-Good heavens I might have known.


why wasn't the same
as being with you.


it's so nice to be home again.

-Why don't you stay darling.
-Believe me I,

never leave you alone again.

-Oh it's Perry.
-Hello mrs Howgill.

I thought you
were in New York?

Darling that's films for you
I fully expected to be gone today,

but it's just been one
conference after another.

Oh yes of

Darling did you find
my cigarette lighter?

Oh yes yes I just
have it right here.

Oh good Niles would never
forgive me if I?d lost it.

Now where is that oh
here it is. Oh Jim,

this is my husband, Jim I?d like
to have you meet miss Perry.

All right.

-How do you do miss Perry?
-How do you do?

-here you are dear.
-Thank you.

Miss Perry sublet the house for the past
month while I was away in san Francisco.

Oh yeah miss Perry sublet the house
the whole time you were in San...

Well I do hope the house wasn't left in
too much of a mess, I had the cleaners in...

Oh not at all dear everything
looked beautiful, thank you.

And I do know that your neighbors
will be relieved your back.

Why should they beam sperry?

Well I had a couple of
rather noisy parties,

especially the last one.

Well I really must
fly now. Goodbye.

-Goodbye mr Hawgill.
-Goodbye miss Perry.

You, you mean Marjorie,
that, that, that,

she sublet the house and all
the time you were away?

Yes darling I told you while I was
in san Francisco to cousin Bridgette,

wasn't it lucky that I could
support it for the whole month?

Yes yes darling, yeah,

very lucky.

Those of you who admire
our dear sponsor,

as much as I, will be glad to
know he's approaching a record,

for staying underwater without air,

he left this note
to be opened,

in the event he didn't return,

let's have a look at it.

That sneaky sponsor of ours came
up on the other side of the boat,

he holds me responsible for
the defective equipment,

next week I should be
back with another story,

actually I suspect
I?ll be here all week,

until then,

good night.