Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 5, Episode 12

Specialty of the House (13 Dec. 1959)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Mr. Laffler invites Mr. Costain to join him for dinner at a private club that he describes as a very special experience. To his disappointment, Laffler is informed that the house specialty,... See full summary »



(short story), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Specialty of the House (13 Dec 1959)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Himself - Host
Mr. Laffler
Kenneth Haigh ...
Mr. Costain
George Keymas ...
Bettye Ackerman ...
Mrs. Inkel
Charles Wagenheim ...
Tetsu Komai ...
Lum Fong Ho
Lee Turnbull ...
The Chef
Madame Spivy ...
Spirro (as Spivy)


Mr. Laffler invites Mr. Costain to join him for dinner at a private club that he describes as a very special experience. To his disappointment, Laffler is informed that the house specialty, a lamb dish, is not being served. They continue to visit the club and one evening, the famous dish is served. It also happens that a long-time member has resigned. What, if anything, do the two events have in common? Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

13 December 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hitchcock said he had to overcome fierce resistance from TV executives in order to do this story. See more »

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User Reviews

Pure Hitchcock
19 March 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

One of the half-dozen or so most talked about entries of the series. With the delicious black humor, it's pure Hitchcock. The plot revolves around an ultra-exclusive dining club and the house specialty. Since nothing much happens until the climax, a lot depends on the actors' holding audience interest. Getting the one-and-only Robert Morley for the lead was a real casting coup. He's perfect as a corpulent club member who lusts for every meal and absolutely squeals with delight on those occasions when the specialty is served. And, of course, with his perfect enunciation and snobbish bearing, no one would expect to see him ordering up a burger and fries at McDonald's. Then there's Madame Spivy as Spirro, the overseer of the establishment. For 1950's TV, she's a real oddity in appearance and perfect for her exotic role. Between them, they'll keep you riveted to the end. Note the scuffle in the alley with the waiter and his subsequent warning. Likely the producers added this incident to guarantee that the audience would "get" the ending. Too bad. The episode is better without the greater obviousness. So, just what the heck is going on at this club and why is it not such an honor to become a life-member. Tune in and find out.

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