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The Gazebo (1959) - Plot Summary Poster

(1959)

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Summaries

  • TV writer Elliott Nash buries a blackmailer under the new gazebo in his suburban backyard. But the nervous man can't let the body rest there.

  • Television writer and director Elliott Nash and his wife Nell have a happy marriage. One day a blackmailer informs Elliott that he has nude photos of his wife Nell, taken when she was only 18 years old. The blackmailer, a certain Dan Shelby, threatens to ruin Nell's reputation and her Broadway stage career if Elliott refuses to pay a ransom. Elliott agrees to pay the blackmailer but the demands increase and Elliott becomes a nervous wreck and a workaholic in his attempt to earn more money for the blackmailer. Elliott even considers selling his house in order to raise the 25 thousand dollars the blackmailer demands. Nell is unaware of the blackmail scheme and often worries about Elliott's state of mind. In desperation, Elliott decides to lure the blackmailer to Elliott's home for a large final payment and kill him. But Elliott is no killer and his planning for the imminent premeditated murder is amateurish at best.

    nufs68
  • Elliott Nash, who works as writer and sometimes director on a New York based live television fictional crime series, is more anxious than usual. People around him believe it's because his latest foray in both writing and directing the same episode does and did not go well especially in the latter category. However, the show is only one small part of his current problems, the bigger part being that he has been contacted by an unseen man named Shelby, who claims to have provocative photographs of his wife - Nell Nash, currently in a Broadway musical in her first starring role - when she was younger, and is blackmailing Elliott not to publish the photos. Elliott does not tell Nell of the blackmail in wanting to protect her. Elliott does whatever he can to raise what ends up being the demanded $25,000 blackmail ransom, which is why he went through the agony of writing and directing the same episode, and why he wants an advance on a script he's writing for Alfred Hitchcock, that script which he hasn't even started. He decides the best way to raise the bulk of the money is to sell their suburban house to live more cheaply in accommodations back in the city. After Nell refuses to sell, Elliott begins to booby trap the house in small ways to convince her that the house she loves so much is falling apart. Elliott gets what he believes is a better and more definitive idea to solve the problem after Nell purchases an antique gazebo to place in their backyard: lure Shelby to the house, kill him and bury him under the gazebo. The timing has to be perfect as no one should be at the house except him when he lures Shelby there, and he has to do it on the night that the contractor, Sam Thorpe, pours the concrete foundation to harden before he actually moves the gazebo in place on top of the concrete the next morning. Carrying out the plan will be difficult enough, but is made all the more difficult by Elliott's very nature, where he would not harm a flea let alone kill a human being, as witnessed by him currently nursing a pigeon, who he's named Herman, back to health following almost running over it. As with the old adage, things do not go according to this best laid plan. Beyond the human equations, other items factoring into what happens are some shower curtains that Nell knows he hates, a few rainstorms, a swimming pool, and of course Herman most specifically with a stale peanut.

    Huggo

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