Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 7, Episode 14 - Bad Actor - full transcript

Bart Collins is a frustrated actor who hasn't had much success in landing roles lately. He's in line for a part in a play but Bart parties hard and shows up late for his audition. He finds he's in competition with another actor, Jerry Lane and in a rage, strangles Jerry in his apartment. Before he can dispose of the body he is visited by a detective looking into Jerry's disappearance. Bart's odd behavior however, gives him away.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
Good evening,

before we begin our play I
would like to demonstrate the,

training method we use here at
the Hitchcock actors studio,

you see, we give the
students symbols or certain,

images to assist them
in portraying character,

because of the type of character
our miss Schmeltz was to portray,

we suggested that she
think of herself as a tree,

I think she projects it very well,

thank you miss Schmitz,

our next student mr Blackwood,

was asked to portray a large
jowly captain of industry,

and to help him, we suggested that
he think of himself as an elephant,


in all honesty I must
admit that mr Blackwood,

has been with us longer
than miss Schmelz,

and now after this brief
acting demonstration,

we bring you tonight's story
preceded by tonight's commercial,

thank you mr Blackwood, that
will be all, mr Blackwood,

I said that we'll
be all mr Blackwood,

mr Blackwood...


Bart, Bart you there?

hey Bart, open up,

it's me Ed,

hey Bart...

Hey Robert...

Not again.

just about had it,


come on Bart wake up,


Hey cut it out!

what is this the Johnstown flood?

Looks like a disaster area to me.

Well I had a little eh,

bash up here
last night, I was,

entertaining a couple
of old buddies.

So I see...

You won't tell Marge will you?

I’m your agent not
your bodyguard.

Sure my agent so what do
you want, 10 % of my hangover?

All I want is you dressed
and sober for that audition.


so help me anyone
clean out of my mind.

Yeah I’ve been out of my skull
trying to get hold of you.

-So how'd you get in?
-Marge gave me your key.

- Good girl.
- Yeah, why don't you marry her?

Well the audition huh,

- how much time we got Ed?
- We're an hour late already.

- I'll take some showers in 10 minutes.
- You sure you feel all right?

Well there's nothing wrong with
me that a good embalm couldn't fix.

Bart listen though an audition
with Wellman is important,

believe me you could
use a partner hit play.

Yeah I know it eh,
my landlord told me,

look don't worry probably will be sitting
in a Wellman's lap in half an hour.

Yes mr Robinson I do realize
you've called several times,

but you must understand
he's terribly busy...

45 minutes we've been hanging
you know, where's the action?

Relax baby you kept him
waiting he keeps you waiting.

You want to bet?

excuse me Cleopatra, thought
I heard your boss calling me?

- Oh he didn't ring.
- Well of course not, he's uh too impatient,

uh just can't wait to see his old friend
Bart Collins all the way from Hollywood,

- But he doesn't like to be disturbed.
- Oh sure he does, now you go ahead...

...and see my people.
- Yes sir I certainly do.

Bad boy, it's good to see you,

- hello Ed. - Mr Wellman please forgive us,
I’m sorry we were late.

You both know jerry lane don't you?

No I’m not,

Jer was the life of my party
last night, weren't you Jer?

oh this guy drinks straight
orange juice like it was water,

he's wild.

Many thanks mr Wellman.

I’II contact your agent tomorrow,

- that's a nice reading Jerry.
- Thank you sir. - Very nice.

That boy's an interesting actor.

Too bad there isn't
something to play for him.

I’m not so sure.

- Well there's only one part open.
- That's right.

- The lead, my part, wait a minute...
-Now hold it Bart...

you'll get your chance,

mr Wellman this boy went
to the expense of flying,

all the way back from California
just to audition for you.

I appreciate that Ed, and I
want very much to hear him,

but that doesn't mean I
can't consider other actors,

let's go inside, shall we?

Bart come on.

I think you've had enough.

Yeah I’ve had it, all right,
all the way up to here,

let's face it Marge
things are getting rough,

I bombed that on the television,
I goofed on the movie,

and now I’m following
up on a play.

Come on Bart it's not
the end of the world,

now you'll get another chance.

I had my chance today until
Jerry Lane got into the act.

But didn't you tell me
Wellman hasn't decided yet?

and jerry has a perfect right
to try he's a good actor.

What are you his
lawyer or something?

hey, wait a minute,

don't tell me that you
and old Jerry have been,

swinging while I’ve
been out on the coast.

Of course not,

we've just had a few dates
together, fun things.

Fun things, huh?

you an old Jer, oh,

hey lady Chatterley why don't
you get us another jolt, huh?

Not for me thank you.

Well I’m celebrating.

There's nothing to celebrate yet.

Oh yes there is, chick,
there's lots to celebrate,

here's to you and my good friend Jerry
Lane he's just the guy for the part,

thank you little Lidia,

hey why don't you drop back here after
you knock off maybe we can work out,

and a fun thing
together, huh?

Hello boy.

- Hello creep.
- Mind if we uh sit down?

I don't care if you drop dead.

Oh yeah, I want to explain
about the audition,

you mentioned the part last night but
I never gave it another thought then,

this morning my agent called and said
he'd set up an audition with Wellman,

that's how it happened.


Say uh,

not to change the subject
but you owe me 10 bucks.

-10 bucks?
- Yeah don't you remember the other night at the party?

you borrowed it for the dice game.

Oh yeah, and I got total,

sorry chum no
bread today,

come on let's get out of here let's
go someplace where it's quiet,

we go to my place, I can't
stand these crazy drums.

Come on Bart knock it off,

hey Bart...

What's the matter don't
you dig the classics?

it's Beethoven’s fifth,

- and speaking of fifth.
- Hey come on lay off Bart.

Don't you
think I’m close enough?

you see the encyclopedias?

Marge gave me tomes for
my birthday last year,

never opened,

I don't have to because I
got it all right up here,

-Marge is a wonderful girl.
-Yeah she's a real swinger.

when I got back last
week she gave me that,

that's the
best ice bucket in the world,

that's what I call
really a useful gift,

'Alas, poor Yorick',

'I knew him, Horatio',

-'a fellow of infinite jess'.
-Come on Bart let's cut all this jazz.

What's matter don't you
appreciate my acting?

what do you know about
acting anyway?

I’m learning.

Learning what how to steal somebody
else's part?

Now look let's not start that again!

I told you, as my
agent who sent me up there.

Look you have no right
to read for a Wellman,

because you're a rotten actor Jerry,
you're rotten.

-Look who's talking. -Yeah well,
at least I know what I’m doing,

I live my roles, that's the big
secret you got to feel the part.

Wwith all that booze floating in you
you're too numb to feel anything.

That's a lie, look, you've seen my
pictures you know that I can project.

so to the critics, that's why you're here.

I’m here because I’m right for that part,
and Wellman knows it,

you couldn't play that part
in a million years.

Yeah? why not?

Because you haven't got the guts,

it takes guts feeling and emotion,

now listen Jerry
this uh,

this character's got a temper, hasn't he?

-huh? -I visualize him
as a,

an emotional type, yes.

Yeah well never mind there never
mind visualize but you got to live it,

I take the scene
where he flips his wig.

You mean the one where he
chokes his father-in-law?

Yeah he really means it,

he wants to strangle him,

-here let me show you.
-I’m not up on the lines Bart come on.

Who needs the lines? it's a feeling
that counts, you play for real,

you want to show hate and you think
hate that's that's the secret,

here I’II demonstrate,

now I’m not thinking
about any lines now,

-because I have come on the real hate.
-Hey come on,

-let go.
-Now you're feeling Jerry? the real hate,

now because you drink your
orange juice like a good boy,

and you wake up younger than fresh for
the audition,

hey, because you're taking my part Jerry,
my last chance,


cause I hate you Jerry, you feel it Jerry?

do you feel it?



Mr Collins...

maid service mr Collins.

-I don't need, you go away.
-But it's Friday.

So let it go until Monday.

Don't you even want your beds made and
fresh towels for the bathroom?

Don't worry about the bathroom I
clean up the mess in there myself.


oh yeah Marge,

I know you couldn't reach me I had the
phone shut off,

I told you I’d be busy for a couple of days,

maybe I could see
you this afternoon,

where are you now?

downstairs in the

Marge wait,



Bart are you there?


Just a minute,

sorry I was uh just
straightening up.

Sure you weren't
hiding another woman.

Now why would I hide
anyone around here?

Well you managed to
hide yourself pretty good.

Oh hello Ed I didn't
expect to see you.

He came with me.

What gives here you
two ganging up on me?

I couldn't reach you by phone so I
thought I better get in touch through mine.

Hey where are you going?

Powder my nose if that's all right with you.

Not in there.

Why not?

Bart have you got somebody hidden?

Nobody, go ahead.


Hey level with me,

what's been happening?

I just been straightening
out that's all.

By straightening out you mean uh,

getting stiff?

No Ed, that's finished uh,
I’ve sworn off.

Well fine that's the only
thing I was worried about,

Bart I’ve got
some good news for you.

Let me tell him,

Wellman’s changed his mind
darling he's giving you the part,

we're gonna celebrate,

thank you it's

That's full of ice

-I don't yoy see too excited by the news.
-No, I am, I am,

I’m just stunned sort,

of this grand central station.

Lieutenant Gunderson in special
detail, like talk to you for a moment.

Sure come in.

Oh I didn't realize you
had company.

Quite all right
lieutenant this is uh,

my fiancé miss Ridgeway,

and my,

agent Ed Bowling.


Hot day isn't it?

uh tell you why I’m

we're checking up on a friend of yours
named Jerry Lane.

Jerry, what's the matter?

is he in trouble?

Well that's just it, miss,
we don't really know,

he seems to have dropped out of
sight since last Thursday evening,

his agent asked us
to try to locate him.

Well I wish we could
help you lieutenant.

Oh maybe you can,

according to reports you were
the last person he was seen with.

-Thursday evening at the Empty Room cafe,

you and he left there
together around 11 o'clock.

That's right,

poor guy was so loaded I
had to help him into a cab.

Go on.

That's all, he climbed into a cab
and I came home.

You sure Jerry lane
didn't come home with you?

-Why should he? -Now you tell me, I have
the night clerk's word for it,

he saw you and another man come in
downstairs around midnight last Thursday,

the other man answers Jerry Lane's
description but nobody's seen lane come out.

Well in that case lieutenant
must still be here,

why don't you take
a look around.

-Well thanks, if if you
don't mind. -Be my guest,

the bedroom through
the alcove,

the bath and the,

Bart ,

Jerry wasn't up here was he?

Of course not.

I’ve been so worried about you lately
I just didn't know what to think.

Well now you know I was fighting
off the temptation of that demon run,

it's as simple as that.

I’m glad,

funny isn't it?

here I spend all my hard-earned
money to buy you this,

beautiful ice bucket and
then you swear off drinking,

-maybe I better
take it home with me. -No!

I was only kidding.

I want it for sentimental reasons,

-Bart is something wrong?

I’m worried
about Jerry,

where do you think
he disappeared to?

Well that doesn't
seem to be anything here,

thanks for letting me look around.

Anytime lieutenant.

I’II have to have
another talk with that night clerk.

Don't lean on him too much,
no, we all make mistakes.

Would you care for a drink before
you go, lieutenant?

-we're celebrating getting a job.
-Yeah well thanks but I’m on duty.

You see, nobody wants
a drink.

Well I do.

Bart if you've really sworn off you'll just,

have to get used to watching
other people drink.

Sure you won't change your mind
lieutenant? after all it is a celebration.

Just one, lieutenant.

Well maybe I
will have a glass of ice water,

that isn't too much trouble.

-What are you doing?
-Just getting some ice for the lieutenant.

-Well I’II get some ice cubes out of the
refrigerator. -But darling,

don't you remember you told
me this was stirred up...

I told you keep your hands off!

How did you dispose of the rest of the body?

Mr Blackwood,
mr Blackwood this is most upsetting,

especially to miss Schmaltz, he had a
date to take her to dinner after class,

perhaps you should give me
another minute, mr Blackwood

next week we should be back with
another story,

as for this incident,

I have become
philosophical about it,

after all, we may have lost a

but we have gained a mascot, good night.