Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 2, Episode 34

Martha Mason, Movie Star (19 May 1957)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 172 users  
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A vain, querulous woman can't get a divorce from her husband. Luckily, he loves to garden. And he's just dug a nice big hole in the backyard.


(as Justus Addiss)


(teleplay), (story)
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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Judith Evelyn ...
Mabel McKay
Robert Emhardt ...
Henry G. McKay
Vinton Hayworth ...
Mr. Abernathy
Rusty Lane ...
Police Detective
Karen Norris ...


Plain, dull, middle-aged Mabel McKay deludes herself into believing that she bears a striking resemblance to glamorous movie star Martha Mason. The indolent Mabel suddenly conks her solid, devoted husband with a hammer, and buries him in their garden which he tended with care. Mabel covers up the murder, but will people believe the note she fakes that her equally dull husband felt he was totally unworthy of her magnificence, so he impulsively ran off with a lesser woman ? Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

19 May 1957 (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?


[first lines]
Mabel McKay: Henry!
Henry McKay: Coming right up. Sorry, my dear. I'm afraid I overslept this morning. The lodge lasted till all hours. Reading of the treasurer's report. It was very interesting, though.
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User Reviews

Queen of the Fan Mags
28 April 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Pity poor husband Henry. He's middle-age, over-weight, and not very attractive, but what did he do to deserve wife Mabel. She's so deluded about her plain, average looks, she thinks she resembles movie glamour girl Martha Mason. And when not in one of her dramatic poses or fishing for compliments, she treats poor Henry with arrogant disdain even though he works hard at his office job. No wonder he looks forward every week to Wednesday night at his lodge meetings or to his afternoons gardening in the flower bed. Together, they're really just an average middle-age couple if only she would give up her extravagant illusion.

In my book, it's a really delicious twist ending, fully deserving of the Hitchcock brand name. Also, the episode provides the great Robert Emhardt one of his few sympathetic roles showing the considerable range of his talent-- no wonder he was a Hitchcock favorite. Judith Evelyn also excels as the vain, silly wife, all meaningful pauses and dramatic poses. I wouldn't be surprised writer Mason based her on a real life character who sat through too many Joan Crawford matinées. Anyway, I didn't see that ending coming and I bet others won't either. It's really a fitting lesson in manic self-absorption.

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