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How to Get Rid of Your Wife 

Gerald Swinney is a henpecked husband suffering under the constant verbal abuse of his overbearing wife. Gerald devises a plan to rid himself of her and begin his life over again, but the results have unexpected consequences.


Alf Kjellin


Robert Gould (based on a teleplay by)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Bob Newhart ... Gerald Swinney
Jane Withers ... Edith Swinney
Joyce Jameson ... Rosie Feather
Mary Scott ... Laura
George Petrie ... Henry
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Pet Shop Proprietress
Robert Karnes ... Sergeant
William Wellman Jr. ... Delivery Man
Joseph Hamilton Joseph Hamilton ... Oscar - Stage Doorman
Helene Winston Helene Winston ... Mrs. Penny
Harold Gould ... District Attorney
Bill Quinn ... Mr. Penny
Harry Hines Harry Hines ... Rat poison salesman
Gail Bonney ... Mrs. Harris


Gerald Swinney's wife Edith is a termagant who won't give him a divorce, so he devises a scheme to get rid of her. He makes everyone believe that he might commit suicide, then puts rats in the kitchen. When Edith buys rat poison, Gerald gives her a note that sounds suicidal, entrapping her into trying to poison him. She reports his death, but the police are surprised to find him sleeping in bed. When Edith is sentenced to five years for attempted murder, Gerald visits Rosie, who was part of his scheme, and they make a date. Unfortunately, Gerald is apprehended before he can make the date by the lonely woman who sold him the rats. Written by Lewis O. Amack

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Plot Keywords:

plot to murder wife | See All (1) »





Release Date:

20 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed using the 'Leave it to Beaver' house on Colonial Street, Universal Studios. The matching interiors were also used, except the kitchen island was turned 90 degrees. See more »


The newspaper account of the crime lists Bob Newhart's address as 206 Locust Avenue. But in an earlier scene when he returns home late from a bar, the house number by the door reads "1326." See more »

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User Reviews

Perfect vehicle for Bob Newhart
16 December 2011 | by LCShackleySee all my reviews

This show aired when Bob Newhart was flying high as one of the top comics in the country. The character he plays here, a henpecked husband, is ideal for his comic personality. He's too meek to actually murder his harridan of a wife (Jane "Josephine the Plumber" Withers), so he devises a clever plan to get her out of the picture without really breaking any laws. There are plenty of familiar character players in this hour, including Bill Quinn, Anne Morgan Guilbert, and Joyce "Fun Girls" Jameson, and it's enjoyable to watch Bob's plot unfold. Of course, like every Hitchcock story, nothing works out quite the way it was intended.

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