Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 7, Episode 30 - What Frightened You, Fred? - full transcript

Fred Riordan is an ex-con who is re-arrested less than 48 hours after his release on parole. He served four years for robbery and on his release, seems like a mild mannered man who is intent on making a go of it. He recounts to the warden and prison psychiatrist the events during his two days of freedom as they try to determine what may have caused him to get drunk and break up a bar in his old neighborhood. The psychiatrist is convinced that something in the outside world frightened him and probes to determine exactly what that was. Little do they know that there is something altogether different taking place.


good evening ladies and gentlemen

we have been trying to track down an

escaped convict

but we seem to have lost him here

where he stopped to take some dancing

lessons obviously

what's worse my friend the hound now

runs with a definite cha-cha-cha

motion it's rather embarrassing

he also insists that i lead and you

can't track down anyone that way

of course it's fine while we're dancing

while i cope with the problem of a

convict at large in a dance school

and a hound who wants to learn the tango

suppose you take up the case of the


who merely wants to be liked


it's almost midnight we can check in

no no it's always fried

so we want to spend an extra hour

booking a trunk come on let's move on

the bomb he only got out of jail


i set him up at the house and what does

he do he breaks my window

should be a long
time before he breaks

another we're
in for a long night

he's a parole violator

come on let's go

go man

wait outside callahan

welcome home you set a new record

out for exactly 48 hours

i know sir this is
dr cullen prison


hello glad to meet you doctor what's the

matter with you anyhow

old are you fred 55 doctor

i wish the parole commission would let

me spend some time with these men before

they released

it might help us to discover their

problems this one's given other people a

few problems too

of the past 25 years he spent a total of


15 in one pen or another

why well perhaps on the outside he's a

frightened man

what frightened you fred traffic

buildings the people
we have movies

every wednesday
night he's seen traffic

on people before

that's not the same
as seeing them in

real life is it fred

no sir then you were frightened

i guess so doctor he wasn't frightened

when he left here 48 hours ago

were you fred

i guess not sir

well that's a better outfit than the one

you've been wearing isn't it

yes sir
- Make sure that's all you wear

now on

don't worry sir
this time i've had it

let's pay envelopes

fine for it

86 how much for a
man to earn with four

years of his life is it

no sir

don't forget the instructions about

reporting your parole officer

say that suit
fits like it's been

tailored for you

it was one of the advantages of being

the warden's clerk

and the best one i
ever had fred you can

make more outside
in a week than you've

gotten here for four
years you know that

but who wants an ex-con with my

background i'll
leave that to your

parole officer

there's no reason why you can't

straighten up after all you and i were

raised in the same neighborhood now i'm

running for governor

you'd get my vote warden
bregen i had a vote.

goodbye fred now if
we ever meet again

let's hope it's on the street

it will be so the bus is waiting

you'll be in the city in an hour.

hello kowalski fred fred

reardon long time
no see fella a long time.

that was a jump
trick sticking up that

gas station thanks
for telling me ah

i've been waiting
four years to get your


i didn't mean that
like it sounded was

it rough

nothing's ever as
bad as you'd expect it

to be look

how about coming
inside for a few brews

i'm out i'm on the road

i even go through
that door and get

caught it'll cost me two years

the back room who's
gonna know i will

suit yourself but
if you change your

mind guys gotta
cut loose a little after

four years i'll let people know you're

around again

if you run into anybody who cares

found a place to stay at

i thought maybe
the old place if mae's

still there

you mean you don't
know something

happened to her

no she's there you
haven't kept in touch

with anybody have you

she wrote a few
times i'm just not much

for answering

yeah i'm like that myself

good luck fred drop
in any time thanks

for watching

Come on

he was the first one you spoke to a

saloon keeper

he was the first one i knew

you refused his
invitation then tell me

why did you go back the next night and

break up the place

i don't know sir something
happened in between.

what made you go back to your
old roaming house a habit pattern

like going home

i guess so doctor.
- like coming back here again.

place i knew that's all

sorry to keep you waiting i would.

- hello may.
- what do you want?

well i just got out i i got no place to

you still haven't.
- made please i

i need a things
you left her in a

suitcase in the cellar

if the rats haven't
gotten to them

get it get out

you know where to look and
don't slam the door when you leave

oh please may

you got an empty room
the sign's in the window.

for rent to someone who pays
no more freeloaders around here.

a month in advance i've changed me
my parole officer's lining me up a job

i won't make no trouble for you

i've got no place else to go.

let me think about it

one cup of coffee?
- thank you

it's still hot i just had some

you don't look too bad
a little older well fed

and rested.

they say people live longer
in prison, regular hours.

What have you been doing mate?

not waiting for you.

- cream of sugar?

I guess i got used to black.

Is mike still here or harry?
- Nobody left you know.

yeah the only one i saw today was
kowalski not the tavern

he never were loaded
with friends buddy boy.

i wrote you a couple
of letters mate.

I use them to light the fire.

all i'm asking for is a room

to be near somebody i know.

forty dollars in advance

this time he ever gave me any money there
wasn't a cop behind you to take it back


can't we.

you're a roma fred that's all

someone else isn't there.

i wasn't in prison for it
you were

i'll go downstairs and get my things

what did you do that night friend

and i just uh stayed in

i see.

what time did you go to bed?
- nine o'clock

just when the lights
go out here?

- did you sleep well.

no sir i i kept waking up

about about every half hour

that's how often the cell
guards make their rounds

a sound he's been used to hearing every
night for the last four years

subconsciously you missed
hearing that sound didn't you.

I guess you're right doctor.

What did you do when you woke up?
did you go to the door and check the key.

not to open it but to be
sure that it was locked

you wanted to experience
that same sense of

security you felt in
the cell didn't you faint

well he's going to experience that
security again for the next two years.

people get into habits of living one

when the familiar routine
is disturbed they become

confused and panic you
said he was a good clerk.

- The best.
- And you'd be prepared to use

him again wouldn't you.
- I suppose so..

- A good clerk has a certain
amount of organizational

ability fred an intellect
and intelligence.

Thank you doctor.

Yet even a stupid person occasionally
gets away with a crime for a long time.

but everything you've done
every conviction in that folder

you've been arrested and
booked in a matter of hours

- Yes sir.
- Can't you account for that

why fred.

i don't know sir.

there you are always the
same answer that's why fred

is back again

it's the only safe
place he knows

what was it fred what frightened you out

i don't know doctor, i
just, felt like having a drink.

well something made
you want that drink?

something that happened earlier perhaps..

- What did you do?
- Well, i just took a walk.

that's all?

- Yes sir.
- Where did you walk?

no place in
particular just to walk

nothing happened you didn't
see you speak to anyone?

no sir. i was alone all day...

yeah, i'll see if he's here

fred! fred?


- Get wandered on the
phone - Who knows i'm here


Maybe your parole
officer has a job for you

sounded like a chinese laundry.

hello? yeah this is fred riordan

hello fred welcome home

never mind you'll recognize
the voice in a minute.

tony what... - i said

- Yeah yeah i'm sorry.
- It's wednesday fred

the day i go to visit my
mother's grave every wednesday


i go at two o'clock.

But there's a grave next to hers
that nobody ever seems to visit


somebody named

james fallon.

maybe an old friend of yours

- Who?
- It'd be kind of nice

if somebody showed up.
Like and bring a few flowers

yeah i was figuring on taking
the bus out that way today

be kind of nice kind of thoughtful

so long fred

would you bring
me out here for tony.

don't look at me.

like it inside i'd rather be on the

you'll go up again with
some stupid small time grift

and you know it.

you never did give me a chance
at anything big

you're getting it now.

a thousand bucks a
month for two years

we'll make it a flat
25 grand.

how much did you say?

keep your eyes off me kneel down.

you go on salary tonight

for what?

gonna get drunk tonight fred

you're gonna break

you mean you're gonna,
pay me, just to go back in jail you

notice how many empty
plots there are here

i want to fill one of them.


you think i'm crazy

you're good with a knife.

you used one once before fred. The only
job you ever pulled, that you got away with.

how do you know about that

i got where i am by knowing

put the flowers down and act
as if you're fixing up the grave

what did you get for that job
killing a delicatessen owner

they couldn't have been 100 bucks in a

- Was there?
- No

this time there's 25 000.

why do i have to break parole?

because the man i
want is behind the walls

and if he ever comes out, i'm finished.

One of your own boys?

He was, i put him in
there to take care of

any of the other boys.
who had to take a fall

make it easy for them
but he stopped playing ball

why can't it be handled
when he gets out?

it'll be too late then.

you can make it look
good you could make it look

like anyone of a thousand
guys could have done it

suppose i'm in a
different cell block

- Suppose i can't get near him.
- Don't worry.

you'll be nearing

who is he

when did he get out

i'd say about the beginning of
november around election day

you have your mind not him

don't look at me i
made him what he is

now he's biting the
hand that feather

building himself up to
put the squeeze on me

25 grand fred

not even for 50.

i could send you to the death
house with a 10 cent phone call

a guy saw you throw a
paper bag down a sewer

the night that delicatessen
owner was murdered

a guy who works for me
there was a knife in the bag fred

i still got it i'll bet your
fingerprints are still on it

- Tony you wouldn't?
- Wouldn't I?

i'm not going to let
him become governor

whose grave do i put
flowers on the next time fred

yours or warden bregenz

i have a feeling you're
holding back on something fred

so do i something did
happen that frightened you

no sir, like i said..
i just took a walk

i didn't see or i speak to anyone

send callahan in

put him to work in the laundry

then i'll reassign him to my office

thank you warden

this is all that is left of
the dance school orchestra

they were playing the twist when it
happened when they began

this was a saxophone i
would say dancing the twist

is like scratching your back on a post

without the post

now for those of you who
wish to practice the twist

this would be an excellent time in fact

if you twist around far enough
you might miss the next commercial

after which i shall waltz back

we don't intend to
turn our convict in

we just want him to
show us how he did it

we shall probably still
be waiting here next week

when we return with another
story. until then.. good night