The Alfred Hitchcock Hour: Season 3, Episode 27

The Second Wife (26 Apr. 1965)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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A mail order-bride begins to believe her husband killed his first wife and wants to kill her as well.



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Title: The Second Wife (26 Apr 1965)

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Martha Peters / Martha Hunter
Luke Hunter
Alice Backes ...
Helen Fiske
Eve McVeagh ...
Sylvia Boggs
Jim Boles ...
Reverend Gilfoyle
Gertrude Flynn ...
Peggy Gilfoyle
David Fresco ...
Sam Ogle
Vincent Chase ...


A mail order-bride begins to believe her husband killed his first wife and wants to kill her as well.

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Release Date:

26 April 1965 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Many Are Chilled But Few Are Frozen.
2 February 2012 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

In this episode, the chief honors have to go to Set Decoration by John McCarthy and Perry Murdock, and to the Art Direction by Alexander Mayer. In this drama, June Lockhart is the new correspondence bride of John Anderson. They've never met before. Anderson is not exactly a warm person and when he takes Lockhart into his working-class house and shows her around, the viewer's heart sinks.

You have rarely seen such a dump. It makes my hovel look like the Vanderbilt House. Anderson's house is cold and damp -- and looks it. The few electric lights only add to the gloom. The furniture is scattered about in an unsightly way, looking like the remnants of some yard sale from 1935. Anderson shows off the kitchen, in which he himself has installed the appliances. The basement is freezing. Lockhart does her best to provide him with a wife -- the previous one died while on a vacation -- but neither the dwelling nor Anderson improve. Anderson seems to have no friends and doesn't attend church. Lockhart: "You don't mind if I go, do you?" Anderson: "Suit yourself." Lacking heat, the pair must wear their coats indoors.

From the women she meets at a quilting bee, Lockhart learns that the first wife went on vacation with Anderson to his home town of Small Boot, Texas, and there died of food poisoning, leaving him the pick up truck and a few other goods.

Inevitably, Anderson insists that he and Lockhart go on a vacation over Christmas to Small Boot, where she'll at least be warm. Well, at the moment, she may be chilled but she's not stupid. She discovers what appears to be a freshly dug grave in the basement. And Anderson lugs home a box that appears to contains a coffin and then lies about it.

She buys a pistol and when Anderson tries to hustle her down into the frozen basement where he has a "surprise" ready for her -- well, she doesn't go gently into that trap.

The two leads are almost perfect for their roles. Lockhart is vaguely middle aged, vaguely pretty, and one can understand the desperation that drove her to this sort of problematic marriage. Anderson is a good actor. He was the pilot in a Twilight Zone episode, the one in which the jet passenger liner hits a strange air stream and gets bumped into the past. He was also the used car salesman in "Psycho." He has the kind of ruggedly lined face that can go either way. Here, he's a fountain of total indifference -- which, in the end, weakens the plot a bit.

Nice job though. It will make you proud of the shack you now occupy. At least it worked for me.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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