Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 2, Episode 27

   Robert Stevens
   Francis Cockrell (teleplay); Alec Coppel (story)
   John Williams, Rosemary Harris
   31 March 1957
   25:22 (total) • 19:48 (film) • 2:39 (Hitchcock)

I Killed The Count (Part 3)
Picking up from where part 2 ended: Inspector Davidson (John Williams) has shut himself away in the bedroom, frustrated with all the people who keep coming forward with their confessions of having killed the Count. When he emerges, he prompts the most recent confessee Lummock (Melville Cooper) to tell him HIS version of what happened. Lummock obliges and tells how he put the Count to bed on occasions owing to the Count being so drunk. In the flashback sequence, Lummock sneaks into the Count's room in the middle of the night to 'borrow' some money from the Count's wallet after having had some bad luck betting on some dog races but the Count catches him in the act of stealing the money. But when the Count threatens to call the police Lummock has no choice but to punch him. They get into a struggle until eventually Lummock shoots the Count and then drags his body into the chair. He panics and thinks twice about taking money from the wallet, despite leaving his fingerprints on it, and quickly leaves before he is discovered.
Mullet's blood-stained uniform is brought to the inspector who examines it and finds a tassel missing from it which was discovered in the apartment earlier. Inspector Davidson admits he has no idea who has done what and asks that all three suspects be taken down to the police station separately. When there the inspector introduces Froy to Mullet and then leaves the room. Froy and Mullet quietly discuss the murder and reveal that everything had gone as they had planned. This is where it starts to get very interesting....
Lord Sorrington is brought into the room and it is here Inspector Davidson tells all three of them they they each have separately admitted to the killing. The three men look puzzled until the inspector is called out of the room and then they begin discussing the murder which reveals all three of them conspired together to kill the Count. But after some discussion it transpires that none of them actually did it?
Inspector Davidson is called away to speak with Louise Rogers whom he discovers has fainted outside the office. The inspector is told that the woman is the Count's wife and she also has confessed to the killing! She tells the inspector that she had come to London in an effort to convince the Count to agree to a divorce but he just laughed at her. She then says that in their struggle he scratched her and shows off the marks on her shoulder. This is the vital piece of evidence the inspector needed, but he is confused by her admission that the Count's body was left on the floor - and not in the chair as he was discovered.
The Countess Mattoni (as she is now called) is taken to see her father where he is waiting with Froy and Mullet. Now all four of them admit to the killing. And none of them can be changed because.... (see spoilers)

•Originally aired as three separate parts (part 1, part 2 and part 3) between March 17-31, 1957.
•1 minute 40 seconds of footage from parts 1 & 2 are shown after Hitch's opening remarks which show all three suspects confessing to the Count's murder.
•The opening title card is identical from the one shown in the previous episode. Rosemary Harris's name is given second billing next to John Williams.
•Rosemary Harris once again leaves it late - coming in after 15 minutes!
•A portrait of Winston Churchill hangs in the office of Inspector Davidson.
HITCH'S PROLOGUE (1 min 47 secs):
"Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Those of you who have been sitting on the edge of your chairs since last time will be glad to know that tonight we shall definitely present the final chapter in our story, 'I Killed The Count'. For those of you who have missed the earlier installments or have lost your score cards I shall present a résumé. Within a few hours after Count Victor Mattone was found dead in his London flat with a single bullet hole in his head the detectives found themselves with three persons, each of whom confessed that HE and he alone killed the Count. They were Bernard Froy, an American; Mullet, the lift man; and Lord Sorrington, an important industrialist. In each case there is some corroborating evidence. Mullet obligingly left his fingerprints on the Count's wallet. Froy had written an incriminating letter. And Lord Sorrington's pistol was found on the scene. There was also a fourth bit of evidence: skin and blood under the Count's fingernails indicated he had scratched his assailant. Yet none of the three suspects bore any scratches; neither Froy nor Lord Sorrington, nor... I don't know why I bother to explain all of this. For the brief three scenes which preface tonight's story will make everything quite clear."

"I knew we'd finish that story if we kept at it. I'm sure Inspector Davidson is longing for the good old days when on investigating a robin's death he simply went out and arrested the first sparrow he saw carrying a bow and empty quiver. A policeman's lot is not a happy one. However the inspector's bulldog spirit did finally pay off and our little band of conspirators eventually faced trial. Fortunately they were let off with light sentences. In fact, when the jury found out what kind of a chap the Count was it recommended the defendants for the Order of the Garter. This of course was the end of our trilogy. Next time we shall resume our policy of telling a complete story on each programme. I hope you will join us then. Good night."

Do you really want to know who killed the Count? The four of them conspired to kill him and cover for each other knowing they would get away with it because of an old law which states: "Two or more persons cannot be charged as principals of a crime known to have been committed by only one person." Oh by the way, it was the Count's wife who did it!

After two very strong episodes and the suspense going into this final installment not knowing who actually killed the Count I was so excited to know how this ended. I have to admit I didn't guess it right and the twist at the end did feel a little bit like a cop out, but John Williams is just brilliant. Even his comic timing and mannerisms are a delight to behold. I had a suspicion that it was the maid - just shows you how far wrong I was! This worked well as a three-part episode as opposed to an all-in-one episode. Very well executed. Believable to a point, though some of the explanations into the killing from the three perspectives just don't add up. So logically this seems like a failure, but in the name of sheer entertainment it was absolutely compelling viewing!
"Might be shrouded in mystery till the end of all time, sir !" says little Charles Davis as Detective Raines, gleefully annoying his boss and easily walking away with this third installment, especially when he points out that Inspector Davidson is "two killers ahead". Mr. Williams, as the Inspector, momentarily enjoys the uniqueness of this situation before realising that he's being sent up by a subordinate who's enjoying his frustration immensely. Mr. Williams is splendid, as always (please imagine the word "splendid" as Mr. Williams would say it) but this final part also benefits from the beauteous serenity of Rosemary Harris, and the great old character actor Melville Cooper, who can register stubborn contempt - disguised as an innocent willingness to help - without moving a muscle of his face. As an experiment, this trilogy is a triumph. Everybody involved in the production - including Hitch - put in their best effort to make it memorable and special. Now if you'll excuse me, my brain's a bit tired from all that deduction (I didn't work it out) so I think I'll watch something a little less complicated, where there's only one possible killer. How about Murder on the Orient Express ?

(click any image to enlarge)

Inspector Davidson... JOHN WILLIAMS
Louise Rogers / Countess Helen Mattoni... 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
Policewoman... NORA MARLOWE

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 16 August 2020