Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 6, Episode 16

A Crime for Mothers (24 Jan. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 73 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Jane and Ralph Birdwell get an unexpected and unwelcome visit from Mrs. Meade, their foster daughter's biological mother. It's been seven years since they took responsibility for the girl, ... See full summary »



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Title: A Crime for Mothers (24 Jan 1961)

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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Mrs. Meade
Phil Ames
Patricia Smith ...
Jane Birdwell
Mr. Maxwell
Robert Sampson ...
Ralph Birdwell
King Calder ...
Charlie Vance
Gail Bonney ...
Sally Smith ...


Jane and Ralph Birdwell get an unexpected and unwelcome visit from Mrs. Meade, their foster daughter's biological mother. It's been seven years since they took responsibility for the girl, but an adoption was never formalized as Mrs. Meade had simply disappeared. Meade now wants money from the Birdwells and threatens to sue to get her daughter back. A private detective suggests that Mrs. Meade just take her daughter and demand $25,000 from the Birdwells to give her back. She agrees but things don't quite go as the planned. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

24 January 1961 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The amount of extortion money was $25,000, which in 1961 had the same purchasing power as $179,000 in 2009. See more »

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User Reviews

Not Exactly Motherly Love
8 May 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A slender but satisfying episode. Claire Trevor was always good at playing slatternly types as she does here.

The Birdwells are a nice young couple with a young daughter Eileen about to celebrate her birthday. Then without warning, up pops Eileen's real mother Mrs. Meade (Trevor) demanding that the adoptive parents return the girl to her real mother. Worse, Meade is to motherly types what Lindsey Lohan is to polite society, so naturally the Birdwells refuse. Undeterred, Meade demands a payoff instead. However, the young couple can't afford that amount. So what's the luckless Meade to do. Then up pops PI Phil Ames at Meade's door saying he's got a "can't miss" plan for shaking down the young couple. Naturally, the ethically challenged Meade is interested. But what happens next?

The 30 minutes is essentially a Trevor showcase. It's probably a credit to her that she would take on such an unflattering role at this later career stage. No chills or mayhem here, but there is genuine curiosity at how this unusual premise will end, and a neat, unexpected twist it is. Be sure also, to catch Hitch's funnier than usual wrap-around. This is not a front-rank entry, but remains entertaining nonetheless.

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

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