Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 7, Episode 25 - The Last Remains - full transcript

Amos Duff is a mortician whose business if failing. The bills are piling up and Amos laments the fact that he has never sold his top of the line class A funeral. He does finally get a client when Marvin Foley makes arrangements for his business partner's funeral. Supposedly, the partner was killed in a car accident but Amos discovers a bullet wound. Foley agrees to buy the class A funeral provided Amos cremates the body but after several months has yet to settle his final account for the funeral. With the body cremated Foley refuses to pay but Amos reports the case to the police with a convincing piece of evidence.

Good evening,

and welcome to tonight's pleasure cruise,

our social director is very resourceful
and cooperative,

our friend is getting a bit nervous,

however he doesn't
mind darts,

but some of the passengers are
interested in skeet shooting,

using him as a skeet,

tonight our crowded schedule,

of fun and games includes a drama called,

The Last Remains,

first however,

a word from our skipper.


Silver Glen mortuary,
Amos Duff speaking,

oh oh, good morning sir uh,

oh I have your bill right here at my

I’ll get a check in
the mail this morning,

yes sir, yes uh goodbye.

Good morning mr Duff,
nice day for a change, huh.

Well Stanley I’m glad to
see you're over your virus.

Oh yeah I’m okay now myself.

-Stanley... -Yes sir? -That shirt.

You like it? I got four of them on sale.


do you really think a shirt like that,

is in keeping with the dignity
of this establishment?

-Oh the stiffs don't mind. -Don't ever use
that vulgar word,

and I’m not referring to the deceased,

I’m referring to customers.

Oh them,

ain't seen many of them around

Oh you're mistaken I had one only

while you were recuperating, I picked up the body myself,

the late mr Robert Kessler,

he's in the back now.

He's swell?

I mean I’m glad business is
picking up mr Duff.

Well I’m afraid it isn't picking up in
the grand style,

the gentleman who made the arrangements
is mr Kessler’s business partner,

Foley, Marvin Foley,

seems that mr Foley doesn't care very
much about his partner's farewell rights,

he's ordered the number five funeral.

Number five?

The economy service,

I mean we won't get
rich on that.

Gee, I’m sorry mr Duff.


we're living in a chain society

the old values are disappearing,

you know how many class a funerals I’ve
sold in the past five years?

-No sir.
-Not a single one,

and yet for the splendid services I
offer the price is remarkably low.

That's too bad mr Duff.

I mean no funeral director in this city,

can offer a more elaborate service,

I mean not just flowers Stanley but,

but a gigantic wreath in the shape of a

-you see the significance?
-Yeah sure.

I put my heart and soul into
designing the class A funeral,

and what happens?

I mean all they want is a,

is a plain box with with brass handles and,

and a rush, rush service,

is that any way to treat our loved ones?

That's a shame,

not a single class A funeral?

Not a one,

sometimes I, I think the only class A
funeral I’ll ever sell will be my own,

however with the way business is now,

I doubt if I could afford it myself.

Well I guess I better go take a look at
the old boy.


I mean mr Kessler.

-That's better, you go ahead Stanley.
-Yes sir.

Silver Glenn Mortuary,
Amos Duff speaking,

oh good morning mr Davis uh,

yes uh yes I know it's two months overdue
I’ll get a check in the mail this week,

oh you can count on it, yes,

uh goodbye.

-I just saw Kessler.

You know
the new job,

boy is he a mess, hey what
happened to him mr Duff?

Oh auto accident poor fellow,

I’m afraid the damage was rather extensive,

but mr Foley doesn't
wish any major repairs.

Hey you know there's a funny kind of a
puncture right over his rib cage.

-Puncture? well I didn't notice that.
-Yeah well it's there all right.

Well I think I’ll go
have another look at it.

Hey you want me to vacuum up front?


-oh I first throw that rubbish out in the
back. -Yes sir.

You were right Stanley, there is a

-Well I got good eyes, 20/20.
-Well so you have,

it's a strange kind of wound,
I mean for an accident,

well I suppose some foreign
body could have lodged there,

some mechanical part perhaps.

but then again it
could be something else,

I’ve seen similar wounds before but
they were usually caused by a,

buy a bullet.

A bullet?

well you said the guy was in a crash.

Well that's what the
death certificate stated,



I suppose it's just a puncture of
some sort nothing to worry about,

you know, Stanley,

you still don't look
very well to me.

-I don't.
-Well you have to be careful with these viruses,

very easy to have a

uh maybe you should take the day off.

You mean it mr Duff?

-Certainly go ahead.
-Gee thanks,

so long mr Duff.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

Here you are,

the march 9 newspaper you requested,

-be sure to return it to my desk
when you're through. -Yes thank you.

Executive killed in crash march 8th,

Robert D Kessler, 51,

president of the KJ toy company,

was killed last night in an auto owned
and driven by his business partner,

Marvin J Foley,

both men are of Harrington,

mr Kessler and his partner were
returning from a hunting trip in Maine,

hunting trip in Maine?

Mr Foley has seen the toys,
and you maybe come out now,

-I’d uh like to see mr Foley please.

Do you have an appointment?

Oh well no,

my name is Amos Duff, I’m the
proprietor of the Silver Glen mortuary,

I want to see mr Foley about,

-well about the arrangements for mr
Kessler. -Oh I see,

mr Foley there's a mr Glenn of
the Silver Duff mortuary here,

do you want to see him?

It's a Silver Glenn, I’m Duff.

You may go in mr Glenn.

Well what is it mr Duff?

I thought we
settled everything yesterday.

-Oh yes so we did.
-That's right I ordered your,

uh what do you call it? your,

uh economy
class funeral?

and that's what I want,

as I told you mr Kessler had no family,

so I see no point in having
anything any more elaborate.

Oh yes I recall that,

I, I didn't come to
talk about the funeral mr Foley.

-Not exactly,

it's just that I uh,

well I discovered something rather...


sit down mr Duff,

what do you mean unusual?

Well you remember that you
instructed me not to bother,

about cosmetic repairs
to uh poor mr Kessler?


Well nevertheless I did find a,

well shall I say unsightly wound.

Go on.

Perhaps I don't have to be

Oh no, I rather think that you do.

Oh, oh I’m sorry,

I, I suppose I just made
a mistake,

I’ll fill out the customary police

Just a minute,

sit down,

-here have a cigarette mr Duff.
-Well thank you.

-You're welcome. -It's not that I want to
make any kind of fuss mr Foley but,

I’ve been embalming bodies
for a good number of years,

now and I can pretty well spot
a bullet wound when I see one.

Bullet wound?

but mr Duff that's

mr Kessler was killed in an automobile

I think I should know,

I was there.

Yes of course,

but about this puncture,

it does rather resemble a bullet hole,

of course I haven't probed for any
bullets yet,

but I could do that,

it looks like the sort of
wound that might be made by say,

a high-speed rifle with
a steel jacketed bullet,

you know the kind they use for hunting.

this bothers you, does it?

Oh no, no, I I wouldn't say that,

well to be blunt mr Foley,

it seems a shame that,
that a man of mr Kessler’s standing,

should should be put to rest
with so little fanfare,

I mean it's like an insult to his memory,

don't you agree?

Well I don't know I’ve got quite a few
reminders of my old partner,

the factory,

even this office,

it belonged to him too.

Well it just doesn't seem right to me,

an economy-class funeral for an
executive like mr Kessler.

And what do you suggest mr Duff?

Well I would suggest something more fitting,

a full-scale funeral with all the
trimmings nothing but the best,

in our catalog we refer to it as the
class A.

Class A, huh? I see.

Frankly mr Foley I doubt if
there's a better funeral value in town,

than our class A service,

not just flowers mind you,

but a gigantic wreath in the shape
of a lovely harp,

-you see the significance?
-Yes I do,

and I think it's very very
clever of you mr Duff.

And not just music mr Foley but,

a special recording I had made of
angels sing thee to thy rest,

as for the coffin itself...
-Mr Duff...

exactly how much will this class A
funeral of yours cost me?


eighteen hundred dollars,

-but let me tell you what it is...
-Eighteen hundred dollars, huh?

eighteen hundred dollars,

would that include cremation?



-Well yes it could I suppose.

you know, now that I stopped
to think of it mr Kessler,

once mentioned something
about wanting to be cremated,

and I think we should respect that wish,
don't you?

Oh by all means.

Now here,

here's a check for six hundred

-I paid you 150 yesterday...

That's a total of 750 dollars,

the rest of it you'll get just as soon
as mr Kessler has been cremated.

Well thank you mr Foley that's very
thoughtful of you.

Oh I certainly hope we can do more
business together.

-Good morning mr Duff.
-Good morning Stanley.

Well it's a payday today mr Duff.

Well anything wrong?

Well it's just that you sort of promised me
a raise if I stayed with you three months.

Well I’m sorry about that Stanley,

but business hasn't been so good lately,

what with the recession and all.

Well I didn't think that would affect your

Well you'd be surprised,

besides I’m having a little
trouble with accounts receivable.

Well what about the
Kessler funeral last month?

that was a blockbuster mr Duff I never
saw so many flowers in my whole life.

Well that's just what I mean, mr Foley
hasn't paid the balance of his bill yet,

I’ve sent him three notices already and
I haven't heard a word.

Why don't you call him at his office?

Well you think I haven't tried?

I’ve called him five times this
week and he's always in conference.

Mr Duff,

do you think
that he's a deadbeat?

Well he'd better not be.

Hello I want to speak to
mr Marvin Foley please,

never mind who this is, just put me
through to mr Foley,

what? well uh all right, it's,

it's Amos Duff of the Silver
Glen mortuary and,

now look you've been giving me that
story every time I’ve called,

I want to speak to mr Foley and
I want to speak to him right now,

well now listen here...

I’ll disturb him plenty
if he won't talk to me.

No if you'd like to leave a message...

-Wait a minute what's going on out here?
-Oh hello mr Foley.

Oh so it's you.

I just thought I’d drop by and discuss
that little business matter of ours.

Okay come on inside.

I’m sorry to break in on
you like this mr Foley but,

it's been so difficult to reach you.

Well why'd you want to see me about?

Well you know your bill,

you know I’d almost given up hope,

I’ve sent you three notices for the
balance and you haven't answered.

I don't know what you're talking about.

Why, why of course you do mr Foley,

the bill for mr Kessler’s funeral,

the class a arrangement,

oh it was really a beautiful affair.

But I was under the impression that
bill had already been paid in full.

Well no sir I I mean we discussed it
right here in your office.

Oh yes I remember the
conversation very distinctly,

you were very persuasive
about getting mr Kelsey,

your class A service and
that's what mr Kessler got,

-your class A service.
-Well yes sir, but what about the bill?

The bill has already been
paid in full mr Duff,

if you don't believe me I suggest that you
consult the price list in your own catalog,

you don't have a service that
cost more than 750 dollars,

and I have cancelled checks
for exactly that amount.

But these circumstances were different.

Different how?

Will you know I mean you were
gonna pay me 1800 dollars.

I was gonna pay you 1800 dollars
dollars for a750 dolalrs funeral?

you apparently don't think I’m
much of a businessman mr Duff.

Well now look if you think
you can get away with this...

Get away with what?

Well you know darn well what, with murder.

Well what do you intend to
do about it, call the police?

-Well you think I won't?
-And what will you show the police mr Duff?

the bullet hole in mr Kessler’s body?

no, you're not going to be
foolish enough to make,

a ridiculous statement
like that to the police,

after all there's a death
certificate that proves,

that mr Kessler was killed
in an automobile accident,

and you have no proof to the contrary,

you ought to know that mr Duff,

you buried the evidence yourself,

now look,

why don't you be a nice fellow
and forget the whole thing, huh?

Suppose we make it 1500?

Not another penny,

if I pay you one cent more than you're
entitled to I’ll be paying you forever,

so I don't intend to start now,

you're a pretty shrewd businessman mr Duff,

and this is just good business,

don't you agree?

Thank you John.

All right,

you just signed that statement
mr Duff,

it's just as you dictated it,

you uh better check it over to be sure,

okay sarge you can bring him in now.

Uh lieutenant uh do I have to be here
when uh mr Foley comes in?

I’m afraid you do mr Duff,

but it won't take long.

Look this is ridiculous, absolutely

dragging me down here like this.

Take it easy mr Foley,

I’m lieutenant Morgan,

okay boys.

So it's you,

I suppose this was your idea you
jerky little crackpot.

I said take it easy mr Foley,

perhaps you don't realize it but,

-you're facing a very serious
charge. -A serious charge?

-Are you kidding?
-No I’m not kidding.

But this man is a screwball,

uh look look tell him I don't
know what he's been telling you,

all I know that he's nothing
but a liar and a thief.

That's what we're here to find out mr

now if we just sit down we
can talk this over calmly.


Mr Foley this rifle belong to you?

Well of course it does,
you men took it out of my apartment.

They hit a warrant sir,

just a nice looking weapon.

Thank you.

I uh suppose I have a hunting
license for it?

Well it's a hunting rifle naturally I
have a hunting license.

Mr Duff here seems to think that uh,

you had another use of this weapon,

the dispose of your late business

Robert Kessler.

What is this some kind of a joke?

Mr Kessler was killed in an automobile crash,

-I have a death certificate.
-We have a photo start of it.

-Well have you read it?
-Of course I’ve read it.

Can you still believe this? this
penny any little grave digger here.

Mr Duff told us a very
disturbing story mr Foley,

it uh,

raises a possibility that the coroner might
have missed something during his examination.

What possibility?

That you shot and killed your partner
before your car went over the aqueduct,

trusting that the body would be so damaged,
the bullet hole would go unnoticed.

But lieutenant this whole thing is
absolutely ridiculous,

-it's just not true.
-But I’m afraid it is mr Foley,

we got evidence of the contrary,

that's why we brought you down here.

What do you mean evidence, what evidence
could you have?


well you see mr Foley,

you requested that mr
Kessler’s body be cremated,

and in such cases we like to supply a
little memento of the,

loved one to the closest kin or friend,

it's all part of the class A service,

you see, the bullet was steel jacketed so
it didn't really melt,

when they found the bullet among the ashes,

they included it among the remains,

that's why I had to come to the police.

Too bad mr Foley didn't consider burial
at sea,

it's simple and inexpensive,

besides, the trip back can be much
more enjoyable for the bereaved,

all that sierra, you know,

and now that I
mention it,

I see a quantity of hot air coming our way,

I shall re-emerge after it has passed by.

I am pacifying our social director,

by playing a game of his choosing,

I’m to pin the tail on the donkey,

fortunately you do not have to suffer
through this childish nonsense,

you may be excused
until next week at the same time,

so until then, good night.