Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 6, Episode 4 - The Contest for Aaron Gold - full transcript

Bernie Samuelson is a ceramic arts teacher at a children's summer camp. From the very first day, he notices that young Aaron Gold has a real talent for sculpture. Aaron much prefers ceramics to swimming classes but when the camp Director criticizes Bernie for Aaron's lateness at swimming, Bernie promises not to hold him back. After a few weeks though, Bernie lets Aaron skip swimming and then learns that Aaron is has yet to complete any of the camp activities. As parents' day approaches, the Director flies into a rage when he realizes Aaron has yet to complete his sculpture. When Aaron's Dad shows up, things become a little clearer.

Good evening ladies
and gentlemen.

I've just been terribly hurt.

My ceramics instructor just insulted my pot.

The one I made in his class.

He says it isn't fit to
be put in the kiln,

and he'll probably be
throwing it out in a moment.

He's in there now
cleaning up the kiln.

Tonight's play is the
Contest for Aaron Gold.

And it begins after the usual one,

minute pause for sponsor identification.

Well it'll mean lighting it
myself and i've never done that.

Don't blame me what can you
expect from a generation,

that was raised on
Hansel and Gretel.



-Angelo, please.
-I shouldn't have to listen to excuses.

Let me remind you that in
five days, five miserable days,

no more no less, we
are opening this camp.

The parents are going to be
driving their children up here.

And they can't park
their cars in the lake!

I understand that, mr Stern.
You told me that.

You can't park the parents in the lake.

And tell that to those zombies that work
for you. I'll talk to you later, Angelo.

-Bernie Fernie Samuelson.
-Mr Stern.

Bernie boy you're right on time.
I just finished putting,

up the sign and who should show
up but mr ceramics himself.

-How do you like it?

-Fine looks real nice i'm
sure i'll like it fine.

I thought you would. And we've
got every facility and I mean,

every facility, exactly as
stated in the new catalog.

We got kind of a motto here at
lakeside you will never repent,

what you don't misrepresent.
Am I right or am I right?

Uh excuse me a minute, Bernie.

Lefty, Lefty, up
there on a tower.

That's Lefty James a head
counselor I told you about him.

Lefty, say hello to
Bernie Samuelson.


Sir M X.

Watch this. This beats the fire department

the way this guy goes into action.

You know it's no fluke he was once
in a tizen picture watch him now.

Knowing your background in sculpture Bernie
and i'm not going to buy a pig in a poke.

Knowing your background i'm
confident that you'll agree with me,

that ceramics has taken a large
step forward here at camp lakeside

Like I told you in New
York at our interview,

our motto is top-notch
performance for top-notch clients.

Or in other words let's have
something to show the parents.

This instrument, fellas, as many of you know,

is called a potter's wheel. Men have been,

using them for hundreds of years to make
themselves many beautiful and useful things.

You know once upon a time, not so very
long ago, there was no such thing as a,

neighborhood variety store
or a or a department store,

or a hardware store
where people could,

buy the things that they
now take for granted.

Men had to make things
with their hands.

-And that's how, well that's how craftsmanship began.
-Uncle Bernie?

Why do we call you
uncle uncle Bernie?

Oh, well uh it's uh policy uh gives the,
camp more of a family atmosphere.

Last year I went to camp Whispering
Willow and it was different.

We call the, council's cousin Whispering
Willow like, cousin Leo, or our cousin jerome.

I see well uh the counselors
were probably younger,

there henry that could be
why you called him cousin.

Cousin herman at
Whispering Willow,

-he was twice as old as my father.
-Bless him.

He should live to
be a thousand.

Right now we're talking
about the potter's,

wheel henry the thing that's made it
so remarkable through the centuries...

Hey, uncle Bernie he's
still a dog in my ear.

He's a liar it wasn't no dog it
was nothing but a mouse.

All right, knock it off.

Uh, suppose everybody
helps himself to clay.

Not for sticking it in
each other's ears mind you.

But just to get the feel of
what we're trying to do here

All right come on, come on.

What do you think
it is uncle Bernie?

i'll give you a hint.

it wriggles.

And it also crawls on its
belly uncle Bernie.

-You get it yet? -A snake.
-You knew it all the time.

That's because I had
certain advantages, Henry.

Three special courses at one
of our finest universities

Otherwise I might
never have known.

Pancake, huh?

Always a great favorite.

Something you can depend on.

Pancakes, snakes,

and ashtrays.

It shows great promise.

All right you guys,
the doubles.

junior parker says

Out of the water.
Intermediate dolphins there.

I said intermediate dolphins.

That feeds all you
guys to ceramics.

Rock the mud pies
and hit the dick.

Hey, wait.

Uncle Bernie,
we are going swiming.

Yeah sure i'll mind it but i
won't be responsible for it.

Thing like this
should be insured.

Well we seem to have
missed each other.

What's your name?

It's, uh, it's Aaron.

-Aaron what?

Uh, Aaron Gold, uncle Bernie.

I did mean to forget
about the swimming.

I promise to play with
everybody else the next time.

And I promise I won't
go off by myself either.

-You're gonna report me.
-Take it easy, Aaron.

There's nothing to worry about.

You mind letting me
see what you made.

Oh, it's nothing it's just an
old thing, really. It's nothing.

Well i'll say this for it Aaron, it looks like
a pretty interesting nothing, do you mind?

I like this Aaron,
I like it very much.

And you don't have to worry i'm
not going to report you I promise.


Hey, come on.
Now it's not such a big thing.

Besides you better hurry you're gonna be
late for swimming. Come on, come on.

Thank you uncle Lionel.

Hey that's all right fellas.

I smell that man
there, huh Bernie?

I t's kind of tonic you
don't buy in a bottle.

-Real nice mr Stern real nice.
-How'd it go today with ceramics?

-The boys are catching on?
-Well yes and no.

It it varies with group
the group of course.

-No projects yet?
-Not yet, not the first day mr Stern.

Oh some of these kids
come from autistic,

families Bernie they
catch on quick, believe me.

Quick, quick, quick,
like lightning. These,

boys have a tough time
keeping up with them.

Uh, one thing i
thought i'd mention,

Lefty was a little
annoyed this morning.

The Gold kid coming 15
minutes late for swimming.

I told Lefty i'd
mention it to you.

You know that couldn't
be helped mr Stern.

What happened was
the kid was...

Oh, please Bernie.
I'm not for one moment,

suggesting that you held
the kid back on purpose.

I know how kids are.

I'm just trying to give it to
you from Lefty's point of view.

From Lefty's point
of view, huh?

Another thing...

Lefty says the
Gold kid is kind of peculiar.

Teaching him to swim he says,
like trying to float a rock.

-Peculiar? Why?
-Oh please Bernie don't ask me.

Ask Lefty. I can tell you one thing,
though from my own experience.

Swimming is very
important. If there's,

one thing parents
like to see when they,

come on visiting day, It's their
kids, swimming back and forth.

Back and forth
like fish in a tub.

I never thought of
that before.

Oh we aim to develop a well-rounded
boy here at camp lakeside

Let's face it. Even Lefty
can't teach a kid to swim,

if he's not there.

Hey fellas, and uncle Leo.
I'll have the ball.

The air in the legs,

the legs are beautiful.
How'd you manage that?

Well I worried uncle

For the whole two whole weeks I
worried about the legs.

Okay so you're worried.
So what else did you do?

Well last night in bed,

I worried some more.

And then I started
to feel my own legs.

You know the way
things really are.

So today I started over.

You like the way
he's standing?

I like very much the
way he's standing.

-Standing brave isn't it.
-I don't get that Aaron.

I mean I don't
understand exactly what you mean.

Well it's no good at all unless
he's, really standing brave.

Well he could be standing brave,

certainly no one can say
he's not standing brave.

What kind of a dragon do you think
the knight is fighting uncle Bernie?

-You're gonna make a dragon there?

Excuse me Aaron but if
you're not gonna make a,

dragon then what difference,
does it make what kind.

You mean, you don't understand?

I'm sorry I guess I don't.

Well, the more terrible
the dragon is uncle Bernie,

the braver the night would have
to be for fighting such dragon.

Even if we can't
see what it is.

-Okay fellas there it goes.
-Intermediate dolphins.

-And the dolphin.
-All right fellas let's go. Come on.

Aaron, didn't you
hear the whistle?

Aaron did you or
did you not hear the whistle?

-Well I was working.
-That's fine.

That's great you can work
some more on wednesday.

Now let's spoil a nice attendance record
you've got for the last two weeks.

-Uncle Lefty you'll be weird come on.
-Please uncle Bernie.

Please what please won't
you let me finish the legs.

Now while I know what
the dragon looks like.

While I have it all in my mind.

Can I go on uncle Bearny, please.

All right. Go on.

Whose side do you think
i'm on anyway, the dragons?

Bernie i'll go straight to the,
fundamentals. You're lucky it's me not,

Lefty James is
calling on you now.

-Lefty's so mad he could chew the yours right out of his robe.
-Now wait.

Did I or, did I not tell you to get the Gold
kids a swimming instruction on time. Did I?

-I tried. -You tried? i'm telling
you for the last time, Bernie.

Letting a kid play
potsy with clay all,
day long is not my idea of
the, well-rounded approach

A parent who pays a
lot of money is not,

going to be satisfied
with a lousy clay pot.

Mr Stern...

This is the work of Aaron Gold.
Does it look like a lousy clay pot?

It's promising i'll grant you.

Why doesn't he finish it?

-Should a thing that size take a 40-hour week.
-Why not?

If the boy cares enough,

mr Stern if his heart and
soul are wrapped up in...

What he's trying to do me Bernie?
Angelo asphalted the whole entrance road,

and parking lot in
five stinking days.

Five days.

This is not a parking lot mr Stern.
Aaron, was not working with asphalt.

Asphalt. In two weeks time Lefty James,
has got 111 kids swimming like they was,

mackerels without
bored motors on them.

Eevery kid in camp
except little ceramics.

-You heard me. Little sir amex.

Otherwise known as Aaron Gold.

That's what
Lefty calls him though.

Will you tell Lefty
James for me mr Stern.

You tell that big
mouth muscle-bound,


what would you like me to
tell them for you, Bernie?

Never mind forget I said it.

We understand each
other, don't we Bernie?

-I guess we do.
-Good then there's no hard feeling.

As long as Lefty's
not screaming in this,

uh, whatchamacallit
of Aaron Gold has,

two arms on it when his
parents come on sunday

-All right?
-I guess it'll have to be all right.

Uh, couldn't you work
a little faster, huh?


Well uncle Bernie how can I go
faster when I wanted to be right.

Aaron it's going to be great.
It's going to be fine. But you.

only got this period
to finish it.

Your parents are coming on
sunday. Don't you see what I mean?

Only my father
uncle Bernie.

Only my father will
become on sunday.

see he doesn't marry
my mother anymore.

Your father what would
he think if after,

three weeks time you hadn't
even finished one thing.

He wouldn't care.

Not if it was beautiful.

I'm sorry uncle Bernie,
I can't go faster.

-Your father wouldn't be disappointed, huh?

-Aaron think of mr
Stern. -Who? -mr Stern.

-What's he got to do with it?
-But mr Stern,

is the owner of camp lakeside.
You know, how proud,

he is the way they get
things done here on time

-The cooking meaning that?

That is not what
I mean. What I mean.

Is mr Stern he wouldn't want
your father to be disappointed.

-Aaron pay attention.

It's all right uncle

My father won't get
mad tell mr Stern.

My father's like you.

Like who?


That's what I thought you said.

-You know something uncle Bernie?
-I doubt it.

I doubt very much
that I know anything.

My father could lick uncle Lefty.

You know what I said?

Yeah I heard you.

You said your father
could lick uncle Lefty.

I'm sorry I couldn't
go any faster.

I like the snake Bernie. Cute as a
bug. Look at the smile on his face.

I like it. The parents
will appreciate it tomorrow.

Nice, uh, ashtray?

Nice turtle Bernie. You know you could,
easily recognize it for a turtle.

Another ashtray.


One advantage to an
ashtray is a boy can,

make a practical
gift for his dad.

Oh incidentally
Bernie, you should hear this.

Uh we were talking
about Aaron Gold,

-Yes. -His father owns
the Daisy Dooley,

chain of supermarkets. 47 stars.

Live wire merchant
he wouldn't want a,

boy who's half a bump on a log.

-Who, Aaron?
-It's almost hopeless.

He hasn't got the intermediate
dolphin swimming,

badge to show his father
in the first place.

He hasn't got the woodcraft badge,
doesn't have a softball stripe in fact,

he just ain't got it and I say
thank goodness for ceramics.

-Where's that thing he was making?
-Oh it's over here.


Dragon? What dragon?
Well the dragon is,

Well we must assume
there's a dragon.

Are you kidding me Bernie?
The arm is still missing.

Why this thing is as ridiculous
as it was five days ago?

Are you trying to
cover up for that boy?

Is there something you're
deliberately trying to hide from me?

-No, there's nothing.
-I asked you well in advance.

While there was still
plenty of time,

I warned you. I begged you.
I said something has to be,

finished to show
on visiting day.

-Did I or didn't I?
-Yes mr Stern you told,

me in plenty of time.

?Then finish it!

I don't understand.

I'm telling you to get a lump of clay,

and put our right arm on this two-legged,

jackass of a one-armed knight. The
dragon we will not even discuss.

I couldn't do that
mr Stern, I couldn't.

-You couldn't do what?
-I couldn't do that to Aaron.

This whole thing is his every
little bit of it conception.

-Execution loving care i'd
only spoil it for him -Spoil it?

-That's what you said?
-Well yes.

Bernie, Bernie, I
pay you six hundred,

dollars for the season
that's more than,

anybody in this whole camp.
Lefty James accepted.

I appreciate that mr Stern.

Would you like to
call it quits right now?

Third week in july
prorate the season?

II couldn't do that mr Stern.

My shop's closed up all
my things are in storage.

There's no business before
september or october.

I couldn't do that.

And you put an arm and a
sword on Don Quixote here.

Do it now, or else i'll
help you pack your bag.

Ladies and gentlemen
allow me to bid you,

okay good welcome
to camp lakeside.

In your honor we are
giving a diving exhibition.

We hope you like it.

Hey Jeff, bring your parents
right down to the lake.

You too Mike.

Attaboy, ruby ready
going one minute.

Aaron? Aren't you supposed to be down
at the lake at the welcoming exercises?

Oh well I snuck out of there.

Nobody knows it
just you and me.

Uh do you think that was
a nice thing for you to do?

Well I wanted to wait
for my father here.

I wrote him in a letter.

I said: Meet me at ceramics.

-Come here a second Aaron


It's got an arm and a sword.

He's got an arm.

-Who put them on?
-I did.

Well you can't expect a knight
to fight without two arms, okay.

-I hate it. You won't it's not mine.

Aaron, I was only trying
to help. Aaron listen.

Please listen to me, AAaron.

Crying out loud Bernie, what's
the matter with the Gold kid?

-What you do put a bomb on her today of all day?
-That's right.

I put a bomb under him last
night then I added a sword.

Aaron doesn't have your passion for
getting things done on schedule mr Stern.

-You mean the arm that was
only a suggestion -Yeah.

But I got a better suggestion.

Now my suggestion
mr Stern is that you...

Excuse me, my name is Herbert
Gold. I'm looking for Aaron.

My son.

Seeing that story almost makes
me want to let my instructor out.

However, he's not done yet.

Perhaps he will be in
another minute. We shall see.

I wonder if the sponsor could be
persuaded to clean out the kiln sometime.

My vows turned out
beautifully, don't you think?

I'm going to use it
to hold these ashes,

I found on the floor in there.

As my dear instructor
used to say:

"Art is long, life is brief".

So until next week at
this time, good night.