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A Bullet for Baldwin 

When an office worker is fired from his job, he shoots his boss to death, but when he returns to the office his boss is alive, and has no recollection of the incident.


Justus Addiss


Eustace Cockrell (teleplay), Francis M. Cockrell (teleplay) (as Francis Cockrell) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
John Qualen ... Mr. Stepp
Sebastian Cabot ... Nathaniel Baldwin / Mr. Davidson
Phillip Reed ... Walter King (as Philip Reed)
Ruth Lee Ruth Lee ... Neighbor
Cheryll Clarke Cheryll Clarke ... Miss Abigail Wilson - Secretary
James Adamson James Adamson ... Janitor
Don Mcart Don Mcart ... Albert (as Don McArt)
Kate Drain Lawson Kate Drain Lawson ... Landlady
Robert Patten ... Detective (as Bob Patten)
David Dwight David Dwight ... Fireman
Arthur D. Gilmour Arthur D. Gilmour ... Neighbor (as Arthur Gilmour)


Mr. Stepp has just been fired from Baldwin, King & Co., and he goes to see Baldwin one more time to plead for his job. When Baldwin refuses to discuss it, Stepp takes a gun from his desk drawer, returns to Baldwin's office, and shoots him to death. After wandering the streets aimlessly, Stepp decides to go back to his lodgings to wait to be arrested. Instead, he is awakened by a telephone call from Baldwin's secretary, asking why he is not at work. When Stepp arrives at the office, Baldwin is alive and well, and everyone acts as if nothing is out of the ordinary. The baffled Stepp even gets his job back. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

1 January 1956 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Shamley Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode takes place in San Francisco in November 1909. See more »


Mr. King uses the word "stress" in its modern sense of mental or emotional strain, but that sense of the word did not arise until the 1920s. See more »


[showing a gun]
Alfred Hitchcock: It is an amazingly simple device. An idiot can operate it, and indeed, many do.
See more »

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User Reviews

Which Road Shall We Take?
10 April 2010 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Meekly submissive Stepp (Qualen) is fired by overbearing boss Baldwin (Cabot) after 20 years of loyal service. In an uncharacteristic rage, he shoots Baldwin, only to discover the next day that Baldwin is back at his desk as if nothing happened. So what's going on— was it all a dream.

What's interesting in this entry is a strategic decision the screen writers (the Cockrells) choose to make as to the story's direction. On one hand, they can play up the suspense by withholding the mystery's solution until the end; on the other, they can play up the irony of that solution by tipping us off early so that we watch the irony unfold.

Whichever option, it's a clever premise that rivets audience interest from the get-go. Qualen is so good at playing these long-suffering little-guy characters-- no wonder, he was an early series favorite. Nothing special here, just a good solid reputation-building entry.

(In passing—come to think of it, you can figure out which direction the screenplay takes if you reflect on Hitchcock's direction in his classic Vertigo {1958}.)

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