Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 2, Episode 3

De Mortuis (14 Oct. 1956)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 235 users  
Reviews: 6 user

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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Title: De Mortuis (14 Oct 1956)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Robert Emhardt ...
Professor Rankin
Cara Williams ...
Irene Rankin
Wally Long
Philip Coolidge ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

14 October 1956 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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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User Reviews

5 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For me, Robert Emhardt and the Brit John Williams are the two acting heroes of AH Presents. Here Emhardt gets the lead.

I like how the story is told. We see him lugging cement in his cellar. His friends arrive and can't find him (one friend is played by Henry Jones, who was in 3:10 to Yuma with Emhardt around this time). In conversation with one another, they give us the information we need: our protagonist's pretty young wife is unfaithful to him.

The script heaps a world of suspicion on Emhardt as the murderer of his wife. So much so, we wonder whether it could be that simple. The ending is clever and doesn't go on longer than it needs to.

AH's wrap is characteristically wry and dark.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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