Howard Rutherford is a very rich, elderly gentleman. Out of the blue, he proposes to his young secretary, Charlotte Jameson. He tells her that he is not in good health and that she will ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Host
Charlotte Jameson Rutherford
Ernest Truex ...
Howard Rutherford
Mark Lansing
Michael Burns ...
Billy Lansing
David Faulkner ...
Older Billy Lansing
Diane Webber ...
Shirley O'Hara ...


Howard Rutherford is a very rich, elderly gentleman. Out of the blue, he proposes to his young secretary, Charlotte Jameson. He tells her that he is not in good health and that she will inherit his entire $11 million fortune. Charlotte initially dismisses the idea but her fiancé, Mark Lansing, thinks that a one year delay is very little to pay given the size of Charlotte's potential inheritance. Charlotte eventually marries Howard, who turns out to be in far better health than he let on. Every year on their wedding anniversary Howard gives her a beautiful pearl to add to her ever-growing collection. When Howard finally dies on their 25th wedding anniversary, Charlotte plans on re-marrying but it's not Mark that she has in mind. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

2 May 1961 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

No murder, just a great irony
9 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock was not just about murder and the wrongly accused, he also had a great deal of insight into human behavior and was a master of irony. I'm just going to spoil this episode outright to prove my point. Plus it is one of my favorites. Charlotte, a 25 year old woman has a poor boyfriend, Mark, but a rich old man (65 years old),Howard, wants to marry her. Mark urges her to do so. He is in poor health and plus he is old! This just shows how much things have changed in 55 years. A 65 year old man, especially with the money to buy state of the art medical procedures, could today be expected to perhaps reach the century mark. But back to our story.

Thinking she'll be free in two or three years tops, Charlotte marries Howard and figures that once a widow she will inherit millions and then marry the boyfriend. Five years pass and the old man lives on! Charlotte wants to leave and goes to talk it over with Mark - who technically has NOT been her boyfriend since she married. She is true to the old man. Charlotte wants to leave Howard and salvage what she has of her youth - remember 30 was reaching middle age in 1961 - with the man she loves. Instead she walks in on Mark with another woman. And they are NOT having a quilting bee! Charlotte then leaves and goes back to her rich husband, Howard, cutting off any communication with the untrue boyfriend.

Several (10?) more years pass, and Charlotte hears from Mark again. This time he brings a son with him - a son Charlotte has never had given the age of her husband, and he uses her affection for the boy to get back in her life. His son, Billy, is motherless, the mother having died a few years back.

Well Howard just keeps on going like the energizer bunny and finally dies on Howard and Charlotte's 25th wedding anniversary at the age of 90, just as he has given her the 25th pearl for her anniversary necklace - he gave her one for every year of their marriage.

Is Mark in like flint with Billy bridging any past problems between himself and Charlotte? Not see Billy is now 18, and 50 year old Charlotte decides to reclaim her youth by marrying Billy! Maybe Billy does love her in some odd way, or maybe he is figuring she is 50 how long can she live? And so the whole thing starts all over again, with Mark still out in the cold.

Don't think it isn't worth watching just because I told the entire story to you. The fun is in the little touches that Hitchcock does in the direction. Highly recommended, and I haven't seen this episode in decades!

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