Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Series 2, Episode 28

   Alfred Hitchcock
   James P. Cavanagh (teleplay); F.J. Smith (story)
   David Wayne, Steve Brodie
   07 April 1957
   24:07 (total) • 20:47 (film) • 1:38 (Hitchcock)

One More Mile To Go
Sam Jacoby (David Wayne) is being nagged by his wife one evening when he kills her. He then wraps her in a sack and dumps the body in the back of his car, adding weights intended to hold her body down after he disposes of her in a lake. He drives out and heads for the lake but is pulled over en route by a motorcycle cop who notices Sam's tail light is out and insists he gets it taken care of immediately at a nearby service station.
Not wishing to bring any further attention to himself or his vehicle for obvious reasons Sam complies withe the officer and pulls in at Bob's Super Service Station to buy a new bulb for the light. The mechanic attempts to replace the broken bulb and discovers it is in fact a faulty wiring that is causing the issue. The cop also pulls into the station and tries to assist the mechanic and tells Sam to open the trunk of the car. Sam pretends to have left the key to the trunk indoors (he actually hides it under the drivers seat) so the cop tries to pry the trunk open with a crowbar when suddenly the light comes back on.
Satisfied, the cop tells Sam to make sure he gets the light fixed in the morning. Sam drives off and heads for the lake, but he doesn't get far when the cop pulls him over yet again for the broken tail light which again has stopped working. This time the cop insists the problem gets fixed immediately and tells Sam to follow him for one mile to the station where there is a mechanic "who will get that trunk open in about two seconds".

•The first dialogue comes on 8 minutes 55 seconds into the episode (10:15 if you count from the very beginning). Shocking!
•The storyline of a cop pulling over somebody who is in a hurry seems like a precursor to "Psycho"?
"Good evening. Most of you have doubtlessly read how Anne Boleyn lost her head. King Henry 8th no longer fascinated, said 'let her be decapitated'. Thereupon the legend goes her ghost roamed about each night with utmost dignity and charm. With her head tucked underneath her arm. [camera pulls back to reveal a bust of Hitch's head in his left hand] Now with two heads it occurs to me I can think more clearly than three. However, if the worst should come one head's a basic minimum. Therefore in my work I hardly dare to roam about without a one spare. Tonight's legend tells of modern life and how to solve a problem: wife."

"Thank you. One LESS mile to go. Next week another script, another show. When electrons glide across your screen bringing some new and unforeseen brand of murder. I mean the quiet kind. Perpetrated solely in our mind. A gentle thump, a soothing splash. No bullet, shriek or livid gash. No stains, no fumes, no ugly splatter. We use only the purest subject matter. Good night." [Hitch goes to walk off camera, stops and turns back to pick up his bust from the table and then walks off]

Although we never get to see the trunk of the car being opened we get a pretty good idea that it will only be a matter of time when it is after the motorcycle cop orders Sam to follow him to the station to get the tail light fixed and have the trunk forcibly opened. Sam has the option here of making a run for it or risk being caught with the body. But we never get to discover what happens; we can only speculate.

Hmmm a tough one to call in terms rating this episode. Yes, it was directed by Hitchcock himself, yes it has a lot of suspense, especially in the scene at the gas station and yes it is well filmed but it also has a few down sides as well. The first audible dialogue doesn't come until almost ten minutes into the episode and the ending is a massive let down.
Episodes directed by Hitch himself aren't necessarily head and shoulders above those crafted by "lesser" hands, but this one is a stunner and has many of the trademarks of the Master of Suspense. Firstly, it's not a whodunnit : we know who the murderer is. Mercifully we only hear a muffled version of the ferocious domestic argument that provokes the attack, as it's viewed from outside the house, through a cracked window. The argument is probably about money, or the absence of it : these people are not prosperous. The first nine minutes of the story are entirely dialogue-free. David Wayne was not a conventional Hollywood leading man. Small, nervy and pointy-faced, he was nonetheless successful for many years because of his adaptable personality, and he's perfect here in the role of the wife-murderer who just wants to get away. We've only seen his version of events - his wife seems quite a harridan - and Hitch builds the tension to such an extent that we almost want the little guy to escape from all the tiny problems that keep trapping him and putting him under the gaze of the seemingly-friendly but persistent cop who clearly enjoys his bit of authority. We're spared the inevitable conclusion, the trunk being opened not in some dark lonely place by a lake, but in a well-lit garage full of cops. We can imagine it, and that's enough. Hitch's stuff is all in rhyme, and some of it is quite sublime. This is telly for the brain, thanks to Hitch and David Wayne.

(click any image to enlarge)

Sam Jacoby... DAVID WAYNE
Motorcycle cop... STEVE BRODIE
Ed, gas station attendant... NORMAN LEAVITT

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Acknowledgements: [IMDb]

This page was last updated on: 19 August 2020