Gerald Swinney is a henpecked husband suffering under the constant verbal abuse of his overbearing wife. Gerald devises a plan to rid himself of her and begin his life over again, but the results have unexpected consequences.



(based on a teleplay by)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock - Host
Gerald Swinney
Edith Swinney
Rosie Feather
Pet Shop Proprietress
William Wellman Jr. ...
Delivery Man
Joseph Hamilton ...
Oscar - Stage Doorman
Helene Winston ...
Mrs. Penny
District Attorney
Mr. Penny
Harry Hines ...
Rat poison salesman
Mrs. Harris


Gerald Swinney's wife Edith is a termagant who won't give him a divorce, so he devises a scheme to get rid of her. He makes everyone believe that he might commit suicide, then puts rats in the kitchen. When Edith buys rat poison, Gerald gives her a note that sounds suicidal, entrapping her into trying to poison him. She reports his death, but the police are surprised to find him sleeping in bed. When Edith is sentenced to five years for attempted murder, Gerald visits Rosie, a sex kitten that was part of his scheme, and they make a date. Unfortunately, Gerald is apprehended before he can make the date by the lonely woman who sold him the rats. Written by Lewis O. Amack

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Plot Keywords:

plot to murder wife | See All (1) »




Release Date:

20 December 1963 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The address of Gerald and Edith Swinney is 206 Locust Ave. See more »


The newspaper account of the crime lists Bob Newhart's address as 206 Locust Avenue. But in an earlier scene when he returns home late from a bar, the house number by the door reads "1326." See more »

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User Reviews

A WITHERing Disappointment...
19 January 2007 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

OK, I'm a Jane Withers fan, so I had high hopes for this episode co-starring the 1930's child star. I have to admit that she mugged her way through the whole hour-- with the director's approval, no doubt. Very tiresome. Bob Newhart was deadpan throughout the proceedings. The theme for this Hitchcock teleplay-- like so, so many before and after its airing-- was Husband vs Wife or Man vs Woman. A few clever plot turns here and there (even though "holes" in the script were abundant), but otherwise, I was grateful when the show finally came to an end. I did enjoy the "dumb blonde" performance of the stripper character, Rosie Feather. And I truly enjoyed the all-too-brief bit by Ann Morgan Guilbert who (in the 1960's) was well-known for her brilliant portrayal of Millie Helper on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Final note: The loud, cheesy soundtrack added nothing to this disappointing episode.

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