When an office worker is fired from his job, he shoots his boss to death, but when he returns to the office his boss is alive, and has no recollection of the incident.


(as Justus Addiss)


(teleplay), (teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock - Host
Mr. Stepp
Nathaniel Baldwin / Mr. Davidson
Walter King (as Philip Reed)
Ruth Lee ...
Cheryll Clarke ...
Miss Abigail Wilson - Secretary
James Adamson ...
Don Mcart ...
Albert (as Don McArt)
Kate Drain Lawson ...
Detective (as Bob Patten)
David Dwight ...
Arthur D. Gilmour ...
Neighbor (as Arthur Gilmour)


Mr. Stepp has just been fired from Baldwin, King & Co., and he goes to see Baldwin one more time to plead for his job. When Baldwin refuses to discuss it, Stepp takes a gun from his desk drawer, returns to Baldwin's office, and shoots him to death. After wandering the streets aimlessly, Stepp decides to go back to his lodgings to wait to be arrested. Instead, he is awakened by a telephone call from Baldwin's secretary, asking why he is not at work. When Stepp arrives at the office, Baldwin is alive and well, and everyone acts as if nothing is out of the ordinary. The baffled Stepp even gets his job back. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

1 January 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in San Francisco in November 1909. See more »


Mr. King uses the word "stress" in its modern sense of mental or emotional strain, but that sense of the word did not arise until the 1920s. See more »


[showing a gun]
Alfred Hitchcock: It is an amazingly simple device. An idiot can operate it, and indeed, many do.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Cleverly Written Story
24 February 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" features a cleverly written story that makes it pretty interesting to watch. It also gives character actor John Qualen a chance to play a starring role, in a part that fits his talents well. This is a good example of the kind of story that works by putting you in the position of the main character as he tries to figure out a baffling situation.

The story starts with Qualen, as a timid office worker, impulsively gunning down his boss after getting fired. But when he returns to his office, the boss seems to be alive and well, with no recollection of any part of their confrontation. Things get even more inexplicable from there, and the story is written carefully so that the viewer knows only what Qualen's character himself knows.

Qualen is a good choice for the part, since he often played this kind of downtrodden but sympathetic character, here adding a believable dose of bewilderment as things get stranger. Sebastian Cabot and Philip Reed head up the supporting cast.

The story is resolved neatly, and there is a morbidly witty parallel between the beginning and the ending that certainly would have pleased Hitchcock himself. A fair amount of exposition is needed at times, but the script (which two of the show's regular writers adapted from a story by Joseph Ruscoll) handles it rather well, keeping things from bogging down as they can do in such scenes. While this episode may not have quite as much depth to it as the best episodes of the series had, it's an entertaining mystery that also represents a skillful adaptation of its story to the anthology show's format.

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