Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Bull in a China Shop (03/30/58)

ahpbull03Sweet Jeebus!  I take a few weeks months off and Netflix removes seasons 2 and 3 from streaming.  Hulu did the same thing with Outer Limits last year.  Oh the humanity!  The nooses are tightening, sheeple.  Hulu, as always, sucks.

Mr. O’Finn goes to see his neighbor Miss Hildy-Lou across the court, at her invitation.  She is 75 years old — 30 years older than O’Finn — but can’t stop making googly cataracts at him.  She invites him into the parlor where her similarly old friends are just as enamored of their hunky young neighbor.  There is Miss Bessie (83), Miss Birdie (76), and Miss Samantha (47).

Wait, what?  This is strange — she is only 2 years older than O’Finn but fits right in with the other much older ladies.  I would suspect an error on IMBd or that she lied about her age, but IMDb has her dying at 88 in 1999.  So unless she really lived to be 108, 47 would be about right.  Safe to say Miss Samantha was not aging gracefully.


The Walkers Dead

The ladies know his morning work-out routine and know that he is a homicide detective.  That is why they invited him over.  Not for some squat-thrusts, but because another of their superannuated friends (Miss Elizabeth, uncredited, but probably about 103) is dead on the sofa.

They are disappointed when he tells them to call a doctor to get a death certificate. They were hoping to be questioned by him, but he says his business is murder.  They try their best to get him to stay, but he wants to get back to investigating more alluring women like gun-molls, hookers, and crack-whores [1].

ahpbull04Back at the station, he tells his partner he “felt like a bull in a china shop in that place,” speaking the title, but lending it no more logic.  He gets a call from the crime lab — Miss Elizabeth was poisoned with arsenic.

The old girls get giddy when O’Finn comes back to, you know, investigate the death.  They explain that the arsenic is kept in a sugar bowl as rat poison.  Once O’Finn determines that the death was an accident, he begins to leave, breaking the hearts of the giddy bitties that they won’t see him again.  But Miss Hildy-Lou has a plan.

When O’Finn sees the ladies spying on him through his window, he pulls the shades. Completely cut off from him, they must come up with a new plan to reel in this handsome devil.  But how . . . oh yeah, kill Miss Samantha.

ahpbull05No dummy, O’Finn — except for not seeing the first death was murder, and not getting that leaving your bathroom window wide open just invites peepers — he announces that Miss Samantha’s death by tea deserves a full investigation.  The olden girls are giddy to have his attention again . . . well, the ones still alive are.

O’Finn cracks the case and comes to arrest Hildy-Lou.  At the announcement, she goes all giddy again.  He asks if she understands what he is saying, since dementia is a strong possibility.  “Oh, yes,” she swoons.  “And I think it was very clever of you to have found out.”  When he tells her he must take her to the station, she runs to her room and comes out dolled up in a fancy new hat like they’re going out on a date.

ahpbull07For the two murders, she’ll probably get life — which in her case would be about 3 weeks.[2]

This is all pretty silly stuff, but there is a nice twist at the end.


  • [1] OK, there were no crack-whores in 1958, but the word just has a great sound.
  • [2] Actually the actress lived another 26 years, dying at age 101.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  No survivors.  But, Christ, how could there be?
  • Title Analysis:  Hunh?  I guess is O’Finn is the bull, but he isn’t reckless as the cliche suggests, I doubt it was a reference to bullshit, and I can’t imagine what else it would be.
  • Hulu sucks.

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