After arguing with her boyfriend, Karen wakes up in a jail cell with no recollection of what transpired and is told that she committed murder.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Karen Stewart
Renee (as Louise Albritton)
Jeff Simmons
Joan Banks ...
Mason Curry ...
Mr. Sterling
Karine Nordman ...
Tipsy Woman
Marion Gray ...
Party Goer
Bar Patron
Carol Veazie ...
Jack Ramstead


Karen wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, with a hangover that's even worse than usual. She knows that by getting drunk again she has once more broken her promise to her boyfriend Jeff. Then she realizes that her hand is bandaged and badly injured, and she struggles to remember what happened the night before. She had gone to a party with Jeff, but she felt uncomfortable and lonely, and had started to drink. She tries to piece together the rest of the night, but all she can remember is being angry and drunk. Written by Snow Leopard

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Release Date:

22 April 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?


One of the few episodes in which the serious subject matter (in this case, alcoholism) prompted host Alfred Hitchcock to deliver a straightforward closing monologue, rather than his usual humorous quips. See more »


When Karen drinks her martini, she drinks every drop. One second later when the shot changes, there are several tablespoons left in the glass. See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant Cautionary Tale
12 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

An excellent sketch from the first season. Seems to be essaying the cocktail culture of the organizational man. We see the pressures wrought by the Madison Avenue set of the high 50s and how only a few were allowed to feel comfortable there.

Phyllis Thaxter, as the protagonist Karen Stewart, got her start in some Peyton Place type movies of the 1940s and then quickly moved into early television theater, performing multiple stints on venerable TV drama showcases as both the Ford and Motorola playhouses.

She does a spectacular job here as a woman past her youth who does not belong to the "smart talk" of the account exec peers of her fiancé, Jeff, played by a natty Warren Stevens. Her fight to stay whole is beclouded by a desperate descent into drink.

She staves it off through most of the sketch, but the inevitable incursion of an aggressive Madison paramoor, competing for the attentions of Jeff, pushes her over the edge and she goes into a violent drinking rampage.

I'm rooting for Karen until the end, seeing her basic intentions and sincerity as the match for any of those fast-talking ad ladies. And yet she has no sense of how to use that gift to compete. She simply panics and eventually turns to the martini for protection.

Hitchcock often created highly neatened vignettes about murder and personal sabotage, but in this one, he lets all the messiness hang out, the rage and the raw feelings of self doubt, to great effect. It is one of the most shocking of all Hitch's TV efforts because of the way the unprotected self is stripped down to its bare bones to survive, brilliantly demonstrated by Ms. Thaxter.

In the epilogue, the master provides an apologia for the power of the episode, saying he will not go into his usual tongue in cheek bit about the fate of a deserving antagonist. Instead, he suggests this is more of a cautionary outing in the hopes that it will prevent some struggling soul from a similar fate.


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