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?


Filmed using the 'Leave it to Beaver' house on Colonial Street, Universal Studios. The matching interiors were also used, except the kitchen island was turned 90 degrees. 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

Perfect vehicle for Bob Newhart
16 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This show aired when Bob Newhart was flying high as one of the top comics in the country. The character he plays here, a henpecked husband, is ideal for his comic personality. He's too meek to actually murder his harridan of a wife (Jane "Josephine the Plumber" Withers), so he devises a clever plan to get her out of the picture without really breaking any laws. There are plenty of familiar character players in this hour, including Bill Quinn, Anne Morgan Guilbert, and Joyce "Fun Girls" Jameson, and it's enjoyable to watch Bob's plot unfold. Of course, like every Hitchcock story, nothing works out quite the way it was intended.

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