Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 3, Episode 35

   Alfred Hitchcock
   Robert C. Dennis (teleplay); Roald Dahl (story)
   Keenan Wynn, Fay Wray
   01 June 1958
   25:00 (total) • 21:20 (film) • 2:17 (Hitchcock)

Dip In The Pool
On board the luxurious Queen Mary ship, William Bobitol (Keenan Wynn) and his wife (Louise Platt) are bound for Italy but they argue over the last of their money ought to be spent. He wants to buy drinks; she wants to visit the popular tourist places. Frustrated, William leaves the cabin and bumps into a lady by the name of Emily in a doorway who regards him with fondness to her mother who appears shortly afterwards.
Bobitol wanders into the lounge and finds fellow passenger Mr. Renshaw whom he sits with and orders drinks. Renshaw invites Bobitol to join him later in the ship's pool; an auction run by the captain who estimates the distance covered by the ship whereby passengers can bet on it and the winner keeps the proceeds. With the prospect of winning thousands of pounds from only a few hundred pounds bet Bobitol appears tempted. Their conversation is broken up with the arrival of Mrs. Rensaw (Fay Wray) who takes an immediate disliking to Bobitol.
At dinner Bobitol tries to chat up the purser for information pertaining to the captain's estimate but he gets nowhere before excusing himself from the table. Later that evening Bobitol asks Renshaw's advice on the captain's prediction after a storm comes up which aims to slow down the journey. Based on this assumption, Bobitol bids £350 on the ship only being able to cover a distance of less than 500 miles in the day. The next morning Bobitol confesses to his wife that he has had some bad luck with gambling but doesn't tell her the amount.
Faced with losing so much money, especially after the captain tells him the ship has all but made up the lost time Bobitol realises that he needs to slow the ship down. Bobitol decides he will jump overboard, thus causing the ship to stop so he goes to the stern where he meets the lady passenger he bumped into earlier. It's perfect. After some small talk Bobitol makes his play and leaps off the back of the ship, hoping that she will raise the alarm....
[Hitch is sitting on a deckchair reading a book which has his name on it. There is also a life preserver on some railings with the words "S.S. HITCHCOCK" written on it.] "Oh good evening. I'm on vacation from the rigours of television and coming to you by remote pickup. Our cameras are quite ordinary but they are fastened to the longest extension cords in history. However, I find this vacation quite exhausting. Shuffleboards simply cannot be played from the prone position. Incidentally the captain informs me that changing channels is not only foolhardy but also extremely dangerous so I don't believe you ought to try it. I understand that in my absence you are to see a play based on the story 'Dip In The Pool'. Having said that I now return you to our studios." [Hitch pulls up a blanket and continues reading his book, making sure that the cover with his name on it is directly facing the camera!]

HITCH'S EPILOGUE (1 min 18 secs):
[Hitch is still asleep in his deckchair and suddenly opens one eye] "You will be pleased to know that our story had a happen ending. The ship was delayed by engine trouble. So Mr. Botibol won the pool. Regrettably Mr. Botibol was not there to enjoy the money. But his wife and her second husband had a very good time with it. Our voyage should be over in a few minutes but we're approaching rough water. I think I shall move nearer the railing. You stay here however for I shall weave back in just one minute. [fade to black, then returns] That was worse than I expected, and to add insult to injury the captain has asked me to get off the ship. He claims I'm tipping it over. It's absurd of course but all the passengers are with him. And it's 'jump or be pushed'. So until next week bon voyage." [Hitch climbs the railings and jumps off - we hear a loud splash as the episode ends].

Bobitol banks on Emily raising the alarm after he leaps from the ship but he doesn't realise that she is mentally challenged and therefore she doesn't react.

Based on a story written by Roald Dahl, this was one of the few episodes to be directed by Hitchcock himself, I thought this was quite a bland episode to be fair, with no really distinguished characters to warm to. The ending was pretty much predictable to some degree and reminds me of Hitch's movie "Rich And Strange". I did think that Hitch's remarks were rather humorous, however!

(click any image to enlarge)

William Botibol... KEENAN WYNN
Mrs. Renshaw... FAY WRAY
Ethel Botibol... LOUISE PLATT
Ship's purser... RALPH CLANTON
Emily's mother... DORIS LLOYD
Captain... ASHLEY COWA
Passenger #1... MARGARET CURTIS
Passenger #2... JUDITH BRIAN

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 29 June 2020