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Day of Reckoning 

An unfaithful wife taunts her husband that she's ditching him for a real man. As the drunken couple argue on the stern of a yacht, the normally-timid husband shoves her overboard to drown. ... See full summary »


Jerry Hopper


John Garden (novel), Richard Levinson (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Self - Host
Barry Sullivan ... Paul Sampson
Claude Akins ... Sheriff Jordan
Katharine Bard ... Caroline Sampson
Hugh Marlowe ... Harold
Jeremy Slate ... Trent Parker - Golf Pro
K.T. Stevens ... Alice
Louis Hayward ... Judge David Wilcox
Les Tremayne ... Dr. Felix Ryder
Robert Cornthwaite ... The District Attorney
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Dr. Campbell - Psychiatrist
James Flavin ... The Coroner
Tom Begley Tom Begley ... The Court Clerk
Buck Taylor ... Officer Frazier
Hinton Pope Hinton Pope ... The Police Officer


An unfaithful wife taunts her husband that she's ditching him for a real man. As the drunken couple argue on the stern of a yacht, the normally-timid husband shoves her overboard to drown. The society party-goers on the boat support his tale that the wife accidentally fell overboard that night, and the police believe the husband too. At first, he's relieved, then gradually guilt takes him over, but friends feel his panicky behavior is grief. The widower blurts the murder to his friends, but his story was so convincing they downplay his confession, not wanting to be involved in an embarrassing murder inquiry. As his internal pressure mounts, the killer desperately seeks a way out. Written by David Stevens

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Plot Keywords:

boat | judge | sheriff | golf pro | drowning | See All (5) »



Did You Know?


Hugh Marlowe and K.T. Stevens, who played husband and wife Harold and Alice, were actually husband and wife since 1946 until their divorce in 1967 5 years after this production. See more »


At about 35:48, right after Paul Sampson's remark about his needing to get used to wearing a leash, he turns to leave. Black tapes are then visible on the carpet for two actors hitting their marks, in the place where he stood. See more »

User Reviews

The Guilty Party
12 November 2013 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Day Of Reckoning is an at times confusing first season entry of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and while not dreadful it doesn't live up to its intriguing premise, which is what's a man to do his beautiful young wife, who has just told him that she's leaving him for (an unnamed)other man impulsively pushes her off his yacht and she drowns? As he is rather an "accidental perp", and none of his bridge playing friends down below saw anything, the man can get off scot free if he behaves himself (he's not really under suspicion) and plays his cards right.

Lawman Claude Akins asks an awful lot of questions, which makes the perp feel guiltier than he actually is and paranoid that he's being singled out. He isn't. The cop's just doing his job. The man's friends, professional country club types, rally round the troubled, grieving widower, but to no avail. A ghastly looking Barry Sullivan plays the accidental murderer, and his unsympathetic performance, while in keeping with his character's self-absorbed nature, make him seem more evil than he is. There was always a seedy dandy quality to Sullivan, even when he was young, which made him a hard sell as a hero. He was best when cast as ambiguous characters: urbane, good seeming bad guys or shady types who turn out to be decent sorts after all. Sullivan should have been good casting for the lead but his near catatonic performance is alienating and, quite frankly, boring.

The supporting cast is, marginally, more lively, if only because they're not Barry Sullivan; and especially not in the predicament Sullivan's character is in. Akins, K.T. Stevens and Hugh Marlowe seem well at ease in their roles, as does an ashen but still game Louis Hayward, erstwhile costume picture star who appeared in all kinds of movies but, like Sullivan, fell short of major stardom that seemed, for a brief period, within his grasp. Hayward's casting as a judge reminds me of his role as one of the many suspects in the 1945 Rene Clair film And Then There Were None, from an Agatha Christie story, in which a judge featured more prominently in the film than one might have initially expected. It's the same in Day Of Reckoning, but with a very different outcome. Hayward gives a charming performance, seems to enjoy playing his role.

The ending, which I gather was intended to be shockingly ironic, was easy to see coming by the half-way point. Still, the episode featured some good acting, was well written, yet I rank it as just barely above average due to its trying to do too many things at once. It's as if the writers and director couldn't settle for a tone, an attitude. A little dark humor might have helped. Also, more things for the secondary characters to do.

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Release Date:

22 November 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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