Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 3, Episode 28

Lamb to the Slaughter (13 Apr. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 445 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

When Mary Maloney's police chief husband is found murdered, the police investigate and have a hard time trying to find the murder weapon.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Lieutenant Jack Noonan
Mike - Policeman assistant
Robert C. Ross ...
Forensic doctor
William Keene ...
Fingerprint policeman
Thomas Wilde ...
Photographer policeman (as Thomas Wild)
Otto Waldis ...


Mary Maloney is a devoted wife and an exceptional housekeeper. One day, her husband, the police chief, announces that he wants a divorce because he has met another woman. Mary is quite angry and kills him with a blow from a frozen leg of lamb. She calls the police and provides an alibi for herself with the story that she'd been out to the store when the murder took place. The investigating officer, Lieutenant Noonan, is further frustrated when he cannot find the murder weapon. Knowing of the long and hard hours spent looking into the case, Mary invites Noonan and the other investigators for a bite to eat. They dig into Mary's leg of lamb and Noonan, still thinking about the missing murder weapon, says "For all we know, it might be right under our very noses." Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

13 April 1958 (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?


In the following season's offering Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Cheap Is Cheap (1959), a hit man describes having seen this TV program, and thinks it was a good way to bump someone off. See more »


Referenced in Uit de wereld van Roald Dahl: Een frisse duik (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

The book was better
8 May 2006 | by (Paris, Fr) – See all my reviews

Yup, Roald Dahl's short story was much more engaging. The build-up before the husband arrival was really important to set up the atmosphere and it seems it has been underestimated at the time of the choices for the adaptation into a half-hour TV episode.

Maybe it's because it's television and nobody cared too much about making it a tremendous rendition of the original material. Let alone improve on it.

Maybe it's because Roald Dahl was miscast to adapt his own story and he had no idea what he needed or could bring along into the teleplay.

Maybe Hitchcock was not very good with stories requiring more "full performances" from his cast. This drama would definitely have required the directorial skills of Elia Kazan for instance. Lamb to the slaughter is more about putting us into the wife's mind than about the immanent suspense. Don't get me wrong: Barbara Bel Geddes is wonderful as the main character but the story deserved something more than this down-to-earth rendition.

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