Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 3, Episode 20

   James Neilson
   Irving Elman (teleplay); Henry Slesar (story)
   Jan Sterling
   16 February 1958
   25:00 (total) • 21:36 (film) • 2:03 (Hitchcock)

On The Nose
Fran Holland (JAN STERLING) and her husband Ed (KARL SWENSON) are having breakfast one morning when Ed notices that Fran's wristwatch is missing. She tells him she broke it and it is being fixed. Fran's friend Lila telephones and tells Fran she is going shopping that afternoon but Ed is suspicious that his wife may in fact go to the races instead. Ed expresses his concerns over Fran's gambling problems and warns her that if he catches her doing it again he will walk out and leave her for good.
Lila Shank (LINDA WATKINS) comes to the apartment and boasts about winning nearly $300 on a gamble yesterday and offers to take Fran out to celebrate. Fran reluctantly declines the offer and tells Lila that she would rather save her marriage than to be tempted into betting on the horses. After Lila leaves, Fran goes into the kitchen to clear up. She glances at the newspaper and reads the name of a horse named "Pink Angel" before the radio station she is listening to suddenly begins playing the song "Pink Angels". Fran sees this as a sign that she should place a bet on the horse and attempts to telephone her broker but has second thoughts and puts the phone down. The broker then phones Fran and tells her he is coming round to get the debt that she owes him - over $26, but she can only muster a measly $1.55.
The debt collector, Mr. Cooney (DAVID OPATOSHU) comes to collect the money but leaves only with a little more than a dollar, leaving Fran with just 15 cents. He suggests she could hock her watch but Fran insists she must have it for when her husband gets home. Mr. Cooney tells Fran he will return later that afternoon to collect the rest of the amount.
Fran comes up with a clever plan by waiting at a bus stop and playing on people's sympathies by pretending she doesn't have enough money for her bus fare. The plan works and a few people give her money totaling five dollars. Needing just a little more money Fran visits a store and steals an expensive compact. She is challenged outside by the store detective who escorts her into his car and drives her to a police station. Fran pleads for leniency and explains how she needs money to pay off her gambling debt before her husband gets home from work. He propositions her with $20 and expects some, shall we say "special favours" from her to work off the money but she fights off his advances and causes him to crash the car.
That afternoon two policemen visit Fran and give her back her purse, which was found at the scene of the crash. The $20 note, along with her stolen compact is in it. She tells the officer the compact is not hers and gives it back to him. With her conscience now clear she also pays Mr. Cooney his money and gets rid of him but not before he tempts her with a bet in the last race of the day. She declines the offer and tells him she has learnt her lesson. Her husband telephones to tell her he is flying to Washington. After she puts the phone down she picks up the newspaper and reads the name of a horse in the last race: "Washington Flyer". She picks up the telephone and calls Mr. Cooney....

•Fran Holland lives in apartment 3-D.
•Why does Lila Shank sound like a helium balloon?
•Lila's gambling debt is $26.40. The compact she steals is priced at $49.50.
•How does the store detective know Fran stole the contact?
•When Fran hits the store detective with her bag she hits him on the nose... the title of the episode.
•The entire story takes place between 8:25am and 5pm on the same day.
•Fran gives the policeman the stolen compact and claims it isn't hers. The only person who knew she stole it was the store detective, who is wrecked in the car accident so she could have kept it and nobody would have been any the wiser.
HITCH'S PROLOGUE (1 minute 9 seconds):
[Hitch is standing next to a 'Fortune & Weight' scales] "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and good evening to the rest of you as well. We've ceased being particular. I'm training to become a jockey and this is the mount they assigned me. [Hitch gets on the scales and puts a coin into the machine] This is an improvement, it usually takes three cents. [Hitch reads a ticket from the machine] Will one of you please get off! I forgot to tell you this machine is very impudent. It's all very discouraging. I don't know what to do. [Hitch reads a second ticket from the machine] Why don't you cut out that two o'clock feeding. [Hitch throws the ticket into the air] I think I better get off these scales. Tonight's story touches on racing and is called 'On The Nose'. But before we see it, a very worthy organization would like to make this urgent appeal."

"So much for our story.. I've decided to give up horse racing. The shirts are much too loud. Besides, I couldn't go on after the touching tribute I received. The horses chipped in and bought me an automobile. But the show must go on. You understand of course, that all you have seen so far, is merely a prelude to the extravaganza which follows. [commercial break] I do wish we had longer commercials. They are so short that one must be very agile to get to the kitchen and back. [the machine behind him starts making a noise and flashing the word "Tilt"] I know, you've said that. Next week we shall be back with another story, but without the services of my rude friend. Until then, good night."

Fran seems to have learnt her lesson with the events of the day playing out in the way it does. She pays her gambling debt, saves her marriage and avoids a potential rape. But her resistance is broken when temptation takes a hold of her when her husband telephones her and tells her he is flying to Washington for a business trip. This reminds Fran of the name of a horse which is due to run in a race later in the day. She picks up the phone and places her bet...

Really good episode with some decent actors and an intriguing storyline. From the opening scene the viewer is left guessing about Fran's suspicious story about her watch and the telephone call she receives at breakfast. The suspense is always there and as the story winds down to its ending the viewer is left on the edge of their seat wondering how it would pan out for Fran. What a shame about the ending. It was all going so well up until then.

(click any image to enlarge)

Fran Holland... JAN STERLING
Ed Holland... KARL SWENSON
Store detective... CARL BETZ
Man at bus stop... J. ANTHONY HUGHES
Man at bus stop... BILL BAUCOM
Elegant lady... SONDRA RODGERS
Miss Reid, saleslady... JENNIFER WEST
Detective... MIKE RAGAN

(click any image to enlarge)

The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion by Martin Grams Jr & Patrik Wikstrom (book) [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 03 December 2021