Professor Rankin's buddies Wally and Bud stop by to take him fishing. They find him in his cellar, filling in a hole with cement. They suspect he may have also filled it with his wife.



(teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell), (story)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Professor Rankin
Irene Rankin
Wally Long
Truck Driver (as Haim Winant)
Bill McLean ...
Benny the cafe owner (as William McLean)


Professor Rankin's two buddies want to take the prof out fishing. But he doesn't seem to be home. They see that coffee is percolating, figure he's about to come back any minute, and wait for him. Meanwhile, they gossip about his wife. Much younger than the prof. A dish, they call her. She's also--though they don't use the word--a slut. Bud tells the story of the time she let a truck driver pick her up. Wally tells the story of the time she hit on him. They're just about to leave when they hear him down in the cellar. He's filling in a hole. The two men begin to suspect there's more in that hole than just cement. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

14 October 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title is a shortened version of the Latin phrase "de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est" or "Speak no ill of the dead". See more »


[first lines]
Bud: Anybody home? Eh, prof? Prof, fish are biting right now. What about it? You in here? Guess he's not home.
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Version of Lights Out: De Mortuis (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

Not bad...not great.
4 September 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a pretty ordinary episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and this isn't necessarily a bad thing as this anthology show was generally very watchable. The show begins with a couple of the professor's 'friends' coming by the house to take him fishing. However, they cannot find him and do what anyone would do in this situation--they stand around reminiscing about what a slut the professor's wife is! Later, they find the professor in the cellar filling a hole in with cement and they assume the worst. Then, a few moments later, comes the twist.

The best thing about this episode for me is seeing some old familiar faces. Henry Jones and Robert Emhardt did a lot of TV appearances during this era and seeing them was pleasant and familiar. As for the plot, it's not great but was also darkly funny and worth seeing.

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