Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962): Season 7, Episode 33 - The Opportunity - full transcript

Paul Devore is an unhappily married department store manager who hatches a scheme to avoid sharing any community property with his wife, who loathes him. He blackmails a thirty-something shoplifter into coming to his house the following Sunday evening. Assuming he was going to force her to have sex, she is surprised to find the master bedroom ransacked and all of the valuables missing. She realizes Devore has staged a robbery and all he wants the shoplifter to do is tie him to the bed to make it look like a robbery. But what will Mrs. Devore say when she gets home and finds her husband in this state?

Good evening fellow astronauts,

we seem to have encountered several

the first balloon did not withstand the
launching ceremony,

but it became deflated when a bottle of
champagne was smashed over it,

this time however,
we have found a better use for the wine,

I sincerely hope,

unfortunately the
ground crew managed to get most of it,

and as a result they have lost some of
the dedication to duty,

which once characterized their work,

the countdown has begun,

but it will take some 25 minutes,

just long enough for a story and a few


Yes I know,

well we made a deal, didn't we?

then we should have a display by Friday,


yes I know,


that's right,

well we'll put in uh four aisle displays
if we get the usual discount,


no no no more french wallets
we're overstocked as it is,



that's right, thanks for calling,

-yes mrs Ranwiller.
-I caught a lady shoplifting,

that's the ninth this week.


-where is she? -I left her in the
anterior room with mr Muller,

I thought I ought to talk to you first
before we notified the police.

Yes, What did she steal?

Costume, jewelry,

a necklace worth about eighty dollars.

-Did you get a statement? -Of course it's
all here mr Devore.

-Any witnesses?
-Yes a sales girl in the perfume department,

miss Cosgrave,

as usual she one claims
she didn't mean to do it.

-Don't they all? -Well that's why I wanted
to talk to you first,

-should I call the police now?
-Um not just yet I think,

I'd like to talk to the woman myself,
send her in please.

Would you come in mrs Callen?

Uh that'll be all mrs Ranwiller thank
you very much.

Please can't we get this over with?

Your name please.


-mrs Callen.
-Your first name.




Well mrs Callen,

was it worth it?


-Then why did you do such a thing?

I didn't mean to do it.

This is your

you admit that you stole the necklace,

that is your signature isn't it?


I don't know what came over me
I just...

Whatever came over you mrs Callen,

you illegally confiscated a
necklace worth 80 dollars,

it's incredible,

it really is.

I was just looking at it,

-and then the next thing I knew...
-You were a thief.

where do you live?


It's an expensive neighborhood,

house or



-Yes, but what...
-I'll ask the questions,




a boy and a girl.

And you steal.

I tell you I don't know what came over me,

I didn't really want it,

I must have been

Yes I know mrs Callen, kleptomania,

working here I've become a reluctant
authority on the subject,

it's a nice convenient term that,

sometimes relieves thieves of

It's the first time I've ever done such
a thing.

Sit down.

what your husband do mrs Callen?

where can he be reached?

-Must he know?
-I'm afraid he's bound to know.

-Isn't there any other way?
-None that I know of,

where can he be reached?

mrs Callen,
where can your husband be reached?

First Western Bank, Lakewood.

-Do you love your husband?

Those two lovely children,

and you steal what amounts to nothing
more than a piece of junk,

and I'm afraid what makes it even worse mrs
Callen, the fact that this is your first offense,

won't keep it from being
a case of grand theft.

-Grand theft?
-Yes, you see, 75 dollars,

is the line of demarcation
between petty and grand theft,

I'm afraid you stepped over that line.

Oh but surely you don't
mean to press charges.

Why not?

I'm sure your husband would
press charges if someone robbed his bank.

Oh you must believe me,

I swear it never
happened before,

I swear it won't happen again.

That's right mrs Callen, you
have yourself a nice good cry,

get it all out of your system,

then maybe we can talk,

you see, we all
have our problems,

I even have some of my own,

but if we
talk about them,

you might find a way out.

A way out?

There might be.

What is it?

please tell me.

Well, that would depend on
what you are willing to do.

What do you mean?

This is my address ,714 Bradshaw,

I'll expect you at my house,


-So that's it?
-That's it mrs Callen,

I I, I don't believe it

it's ridiculous,

I would advise you to take me seriously,

mrs Callen,

if you go through that door,
I'll call the police,

then I'll call your

I'll leave it up to him
to tell the children.

All right,

I'll do what you say.

That's fine,

conveniently my wife will
be away for the weekend,

so I'll expect you at 7,

meanwhile I'll
just keep your sign statement,

goodbye mrs Callen,

until Sunday.

Good evening.

Have a nice day at the store?

plenty of nice little customer problems
to keep you busy?

You enjoy the idea of my
working there, don't you?

that's why you got me the job in the
first place.

Well I got you the job because
you couldn't get one for yourself.

And so you could keep your little eye on
me that was part of the idea too, wasn't it?

Oh, maybe it was then,

now it really doesn't matter Paul.

Yes, you changed a lot in four years Kate.

I think we both have Paul,

perhaps for the better,

if you don't mind you're
in my way.

Oh so sorry,

well where's the trip this weekend? San
Francisco, Acapulco?

No it's really none of
your business where I go,

since I start meddling in your...affairs?

least you can do is to
start meddling in mine.

Yes we are easily the most intelligent
couple in town,

you go your way I go mine,

no tears, no questions,
and no recriminations,

beautiful relationship.

Please Paul...

You know we could do something
even more intelligent?

You know I hate arguments,

-especially old ones.
-It isn't an argument?

it's common sense,

you know I see women like
you at the store all day long,

they buy themselves some
nice charming little bobble,

they think it's exactly what they
want until they get it home,

and then they realize they
don't like the merchandise,

so they bring it back and demand a

you'd like a little refund on me,
wouldn't you Kay?

well we're running a
special on refunds today,

it's called: community property.

I'm not giving you a divorce Paul,

for the ten
thousandth time,

I am not.

And what do you expect me to do? you don't
want me around and you won't let me go,

what do you think I am?

I know exactly
what you are.

I told you I'd be willing to forget
about that community property business,

-we could make a settlement.

not a nickel.

Why not Kate?

you've got enough jewels in that safe
to take care of me for a long long time,

wouldn't a handful of jewels be worth it?

I've given you enough in this marriage Paul.

I've been liberal with your allowance,

I managed to get you that job in the
department store,

oh yes I think, I think you can consider
yourself very well paid for,

services rendered.

Then the answer is still no.

Oh I want
you out of my life Paul believe me,

but I'm not willing to pay for that
privilege too.

Allow me.

Staying home this weekend?

Oh yes just a quiet weekend
at home that's all I want,

but when will you be back?

Not into late,

-goodbye Paul.
-Goodbye Kate,

have a wonderful trip.

Ah mrs Scallen.

You said Sunday at seven
mr Debore.

Right on time.

-I'm glad you showed up.
-Do I have any choice?

Of course you do,

we all have a choice in
this world, don't we?

in your case it was this or jail.

-I don't consider that a choice.

here, let me take your coat,

well shall we step
inside, have a drink?

well we have plenty of everything,

my wife is an excellent hostess,

-what would you like?
-Nothing for me, thanks.

Well you don't mind if I do?

Is this your wife?

Yes that's Kate.

-She's very attractive.
-Isn't she?

I don't understand you,

with a house like this,
an attractive wife...

I never said my wife wasn't
attractive mrs Callen,

but she has a congenital ailment.


She loathes me.

Listen mr Devore isn't there
some other way we can settle this?

I'll do anything you say couldn't I just
pay for the merchandise?

That's exactly why you're here isn't it?

Oh don't.

You know women are really very funny,

that's exactly the same
reaction I get from my wife,

but then my wife doesn't have a signed
confession in my office safe,

come with me please.

What's this for?

Never mind,


now mr Callen,

will you tie my left
foot please to the bed?

-Tie your foot?
-Please hurry mrs Callen,

tightly please,


now the other one,

and don't worry about that
tie it's good strong nylon,

hurry please,

that's the idea,

now my right hand please.

-Why are you making me do this? -Don't ask
stupid questions, just use your toes,

that's two loops tighter please,

that's it,

now you're doing fine,

that's the idea mrs Callen,

tighter please,

-now I want you to bring
me some adhesive tape. -Tape?

There's some on the vanity table in the
dressing room,

hurry mrs Callen,

-No word...
-Hurry with that tape please.

-what happened in there? it looks like...
-Yes mrs Callen,

it looks like what?

So that's indeed?

The tape please,
put a strip of it over my mouth.

You're nothing but a thief yourself.

-The tape please.
-Phony burglary that's your idea isn't it?

-you robbed that safe.
-Forget it,

just in case you have any
funny ideas remember,

I have your statement, your
signed confession in my office,

so you forget everything you've seen
here tonight.

Don't worry I'll be only
too happy to forget it.

Then put the tape over my mouth turn
off the lights and get out of here.


what happened?

gone everything,

oh but you are lucky,

you're so

oh they must have been very
desperate burglars darling,

they might have killed you,

and what in the world
would I do without you?

what in the world will I do...

without you?

I wish I could say that everyone
lived happily ever after,

but that would not be quite true,

perhaps you notice that Paul Devore was
not at all well when we last saw him,

as for Kate the poor child found herself
accused of murder,

by an overly conscientious district

furthermore he managed to convict her,

most peculiar,

now a commercial but hurry
back I blast off in one minute.

With luck I shall be out of orbit in
time for next week's story,

until then, good night.