Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 2, Episode 17

   Herschel Daugherty
   Royal Dano, Inger Stevens, Harry Townes
   20 January 1957
   24m 02s

My Brother, Richard
Burton Reeves, who is about to be nominated for governor is shot and killed while taking a shower at the country club. The killer is construction company owner Richard Ross who then turns up at his brother Martin's home. After giving Martin's wife Laura a gift, he engages his brother in conversation. Martin, a public servant and district attorney, is getting ready to attend a state committee meeting to earn a nomination for governor and has prepared an important speech for the occasion. Richard tells Martin that he doesn't have to worry about his opponent, Burton Reeves, because he just killed him. In doing so it means Martin can easily win the nomination he seeks.
The telephone rings and it's the sheriff who informs Martin of Reeves' murder (why do the cops keep telephoning members of the public to inform them of such crimes? They did this in another episode, Mr. Blanchard's Secret. Surely if the cops had any sense they would link Martin to the deceased by way of their shared interest in being governor and identify Martin as a suspect with a motive. Why would they phone him?) Richard seems proud of his dastardly deed, boasting about it and how both he and Martin will benefit from it. But when Martin refuses to cooperate with his brother's plan to frame another man for the murder Richard blackmails him by threatening to kill Laura.
Martin and Laura walk to the front door in an attempt to leave the house but they are seen and Martin fires his gun, missing them deliberately but to serve as a warning. The telephone rings (again) and the sheriff informs Martin that they have the murderer of Burton Reeves in his office and tells Martin to come down.
At the sheriff's office Martin walks in to find Tommy Kopeck, a young man who worked as a caddy for Martin, accused of having an argument with Reeves shortly before he was found dead. Martin speaks to Tommy alone and tries to encourage him to sign a confession to the killing but Tommy accuses him of being just like all the others, always picking on him. But Martin explains his plan: he wants the young man to help catch the real killer by playing along with the confession so Tommy finally agrees.
Martin telephones his wife and tells her that Tommy has confessed to the killing; as Richard listens in. Laura is confused and thinks it is out of character for her husband to force an innocent man to take the blame for a crime he didn't commit. Martin returns home and is forced to hand over the signed confession to Richard at gunpoint. But things don't go according to plan as Richard takes Laura with him and only agrees to return her unharmed after Tommy is executed. In desperation Martin launches himself at Richard, who slugs him with the gun. Just as Richard is about to shoot Laura, she is saved by the doorbell. It is Tommy's mother who has come to plead for her son's innocence after he is on the front page of the newspapers for the murder. She is distraught and begs Richard to intervene but he refuses to engage with her. His attitude towards her proves to be fatal....
[Hitch is standing by a rocking horse and wearing a bowler hat] "Good evening. I firmly believe that everyone should indulge now and then in some form of athletic sport, don't you? Personally I don't require much exercise since I live a very spartan existence. But when I do I find my needs are adequately filled by such sports as riding, or reading the less violent portions of the Sunday papers. Of course for a true test of bodily coordination I think there's nothing better than lying in a hammock. But I suppose that would only appeal to those of you who enjoy living dangerously. As for tonight's play, it is called 'My Brother Richard' and it begins in a country club. By the way, golf is one game I've never cared much for. I don't like the paperwork. I find adding up my strokes too fatiguing."

"Thus ends, 'Mr Brother Richard'. Needless to say Mrs. Grant was brought to trial but fortunately the jury took into account many of the circumstances which we saw re-enacted tonight. [Hitch takes off his hat] On our next programme we shall present another story. And I will also be back to provide the marginalia. Until then good night."

After a lengthy intro from our esteemed host, this story wastes no time in getting straight to the point, with a murder committed inside the first five seconds! It bothered me somewhat that whenever Laura cried (or in her case squeaked) there were absolutely no tears. I found it hard to like the characters and in turn it made it difficult to apply myself to caring about the outcome, which was a bit messy to be fair. Not one of my favourite episodes of the series, I'm afraid. Also, did you notice the same silver cigarette lighter on the table that was from "Mr. Blanchard's Secret"?
Justice is served when Richard is murdered (from behind in a cowardly manner) in the same manner he himself murdered the guy in the shower. Tommy's mother stabs him with a pair of scissors when he gloats that her son will be hanged. Martin, being a district attorney witnesses it and thanks her and agrees he will defend her in court when the time comes.

(click any image to enlarge)

Martin Ross... ROYAL DANO
Richard Ross... HARRY TOWNES
Sheriff Briggs... RAY TEAL
Tommy Kopeck... BOBBY ELLIS
Mrs. Kopeck... LISA GOLM

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 26 April 2020