Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 2, Episode 26
Francis Cockrell (teleplay); Alec Coppel (story)
John Williams, Rosemary Harris
24 March 1957
25:30 (total) • 21:31 (film) • 2:24 (Hitchcock)
|I Killed The Count (Part 2)|
Picking up from where part 1 ended: Lord Sorrington (Alan Napier) tells Inspector Davidson (John Williams) that the now-murdered Count Mattoni was his former son-in-law, having been married to his daughter Helen. Sorrington tells the inspector what sort of a bad man Mattoni and on top of it all, reveals that his wife also died recently. Sorrington then reiterates that he killed the Count and starts to tell the story of how he did it. At this point the story switches into flashback with Sorrington entering the Count's room with a gun to confront him. The count begs for mercy and the two men begin fighting during which time Sorrington shoots the count in the struggle. He explains how he dragged the body across the room and sat it in the chair. Sorrington's pistol is recovered from the apartment and his fingerprints are taken as a formality.
Sorrington is detained, but also thanked by the inspector for being so cooperative. A telephone call informs the inspector that the Count scratched his attacker in the struggle before his death which forms an important clue. The inspector then questions Froy, who had also confessed to the murder. Froy tells Davidson that he killed the count because he was in love with his wife (which of course is Lord Sorrington's daughter). The count is painted as a domestic abuser who treated his wife badly and wouldn't give her grounds for a divorce. Froy describes how he sneaked into the count's apartment that night with a duplicate key to demand a letter he had written to the count which incriminates himself but the the two men get into a struggle before Froy shoots him dead.
The inspector finds the letter in the cabinet and asks Froy whether he noticed the count's missing wallet during the altercation but Froy tells him he didn't. The inspector, who is baffled as to why two men are 'competing for the same murder' vows to discover the truth. Just then Louise Rogers, an attractive young tenant in the building (Rosemary Harris) is called into the apartment for questioning by the inspector but she offers nothing in the way of any clues. Then it's the turn of Miss LaLune (Roxanne Arlen), a dancer, who is questioned. She says she came home with a gentleman friend but was frustrated that she had to walk up four flights of stairs because the lift wasn't available. The night lift operator Johnson is then called to answer the inspector's questions, followed by Mullet who allegedly swapped shifts with Johnson on the night of the killing. A telephone call from the lab confirms that the fingerprints found on some bank notes found in the count's wallet do not match either Froy or Lord Sorrington's, but rather, a Pat Lummock - a known criminal whom the inspector suddenly remembers is none other than Mullet.
The episode ends on another bizarre cliffhanger as Mullet also confesses that HE in fact killed the count. The plot thickens....
•Originally aired as three separate parts (part 1, part 2 and part 3) between March 17-31, 1957.
•24 seconds of footage from part 1 are shown after Hitch's opening remarks which show both Froy and Sorrington both confessing to the Count's murder.
•The opening title card is different from the one shown in the previous episode. Rosemary Harris's name is given second billing next to John Williams.
•Lord Sorrington is frequently seen wearing only one glove. Special emphasis is shown on a glove when the inspector opens the count's cabinet to retrieve Froy's letter, offering a potential clue.
•Rosemary Harris receives a star billing in the opening credits and makes her first appearance in the episode after 16 minutes! Her screen time is barely 1 minute!
•Once again, Inspector Davidson remarks that he recognizes Mullet but cannot remember where. He does this in the previous episode too. All is revealed at the end of this episode.
HITCH'S PROLOGUE (1 min 34 secs):|
"Good evening. Tonight's play is called 'I Killed The Count'. Now I know what you're thinking - last week's play was also called 'I Killed The Count' and you think tonight's is just a revival. On the contrary, since we were unable to finish the story last time we shall have another stab at it tonight. I'd better fill in some of the details. For those of you who were careless enough to miss the first episode. I hope you realise the trouble you're putting us to. Just don't let it happen again. First of all Count Victor Mattoni was found quite dead in the living room of his London flat. There was a single bullet hole in his forehead. It's my personal opinion that this was a contributing factor to his death. Inspector Davidson and his assistant Raines, the investigating detectives, have uncovered a number of clues. Among them two letters; one led them to a Bernard K. Froy, and another written by Lord Sorrington, an industrialist. Before the detectives have quite settled down to work they are faced with an embarrassingly over supply of confessions. Before both Froy and Lord Sorrington confess to a murder that only one of them could have committed. I'm certain this is all quite clear but for the benefit of any small children who may have missed some of the plot machinations, here to clarify are two brief scenes from our last show after which our story continues."
HITCH'S EPILOGUE (50 secs):
"Well we've done it again. We still haven't finished the story. How extremely careless of us. But I promise you on my honour the truth will be out next time. I've excused the actors until we return when we will present the final act of our play. Unfortunately since you are all accessories after the fact I cannot permit you to leave the room. You may, however, discuss the case among yourselves. Who killed the count? And why? Only one person could have done it. Was it Mullet the lift man? Did Bernard Froy do it? Was it Lord Sorrington? Or was it a fourth person? Who is the guilty party? Tune in next time and find out. Good night."
IN MY HUMBLE OPINION...
The first episode was perfect. This follow-up episode was almost equally as compelling but we still are left not knowing who did the deed. John Williams is wonderful again, Alan Napier doesn't have much screen time and Rosemary Harris had one scene and spent only a minute on camera despite her billing at the beginning. This leaves you wanting more and intrigued by the eventual outcome. No Pat Hitchcock this time, but we do get to see some flashback sequences which throw some light on the events of the evening involving the murder. Another strong episode.
"But it's a pity it couldn't have been the American." "Well, don't give up hope, sir !" Even though this deals with the serious business of murder, part 2 starts in a light-hearted way as Hitch runs completely out of breath explaining the complexities of part 1, and admonishing those of us careless enough to miss it. Beautifully done, Hitch. It's all played "real" by these splendid actors, but this second episode ramps up the sly comedic elements : a stunning and startling close-up of Charles Cooper is followed by an even closer close-up of the inspector in which we can even see the tiny hairs under his left eye. Mr. Cooper plays his part as the suave American with the same self-assurance, and even the vocal inflections, of Orson Welles in The Third Man. With Anthony Dawson as the murdered Count, it's all starting to bear even more of a family resemblance to Dial M For Murder, and there's a flashback sequence in which the cuts from present to past and back again are absolutely seamless. As a feature film, instead of "just" three episodes of ephemeral 50s telly, this production would be most highly regarded. Mr. Williams' little soliloquy about "We'll get to the bottom of this, you'll see" is addressed straight to camera. He's telling US. Yet at the end, another cast member confesses to the crime and Mr. Williams' exasperation goes through the roof. While all this is going on, Charles Davis as Detective Raines quietly enjoys his superior officer's discomfiture, and does his very best to stay in shot. And I STILL haven't worked out who did it !
(click any image to enlarge)
Inspector Davidson... JOHN WILLIAMS
Louise Rogers... ROSEMARY HARRIS
Lord Sorrington... ALAN NAPIER
Bernard K. Froy... CHARLES COOPER
Mullet, night porter / Pat Lummock... MELVILLE COOPER
Detective Raines... CHARLES DAVIS
Count Victor Mattoni... ANTHONY DAWSON
Miss LaLune... ROXANNE ARLEN
Clifton... ARTHUR GOULD-PORTER
Johnson, lift operator... GEORGE PELLING
Peters, fingerprints... JERRY BARCLAY
(click any image to enlarge)
This page was last updated on: 15 August 2020