Alfred Hitchcock Presents – Disappearing Trick (04/06/58)

ahpdisappearingact08Usually an oasis among some of the other shows and movies, this outing has dull performances (but by beautiful people) and a fairly dull story.  It is a sad commentary to say that this episode is barely worthy to share the week with the last few 20-for-$7.50 movies.

Bookie Walter Richmond — one of them suave, handsome, stylish  suit-wearing, coiffed, tennis-playing bookies you always hear about — strolls into the office just in time to get a call.  His weekend plans in La Jolla are ruined by his boss who wants him to check on an old client who has suddenly stopped making bets.  Also by his inability to find “Lahoya” on the map.  He gets some expense money and sets out to find this mysterious Herbert Gild.

ahpdisappearingact10In La Jolla, Richmond drops by the fabulous casa de Gild and rings the bell.  The girl answering the door — his wife Laura — kind of rings my bell.  She is an exotic blonde who looks like she was all dolled up in a cat-woman suit waiting for someone to drop by.  She invites Richmond in and tells him her much-older husband has been dead for six months — if only there were some sort of notice in the newspapers about that sort of thing.

Back in the office, Richmond learns that Gild last placed a bet 3 months ago; 3 months after his supposed death.  He finally does think of checking the newspapers, and the obit is there just as Laura said.  Body count:  Herbert’s was mysteriously never found, and Laura’s is simply unbelievable.

ahpdisappearingact28Richmond makes another unannounced call on Laura.  He tells her his theory that she was cheating on him with younger men, and he just wanted to get away from her. She admits to the cheating, but plays dumb about the faking of his death.

Richmond tracks Herbert Gild down in Tijuana and poses as an insurance investigator.  Had he posed as an insurance salesman, maybe Gild would have been more evasive.  Gild offers him $10,000 to say he was not found, and Richmond takes it.  When they get back to Laura’s apartment, Gild is there.  After the slightest of struggles, Gild shoots Richmond in the shoulder.

He gets a doctor to work on it.  He says the shoulder will heal, but will always be stiff.  “Not too bad unless you’re a tennis player.”  Oh, and Laura fled with the $10,000 of cash that he stupidly left in his jacket pocket in the waiting room.  Richmond laughs, as you do when you lose a hot babe, are robbed of $10,000, your favorite hobby is ruined, and your hook for picking up chicks is compromised.

“I can’t understand why the customers aren’t beating down my door.”


  • AHP Deathwatch:  Robert Horton is still hanging on, and Betsy Von Furstenberg just died this year.
  • You can always trust a business card with no address or phone number.
  • Laura was 27 years younger than Gild.  Which is starting to make more sense to me.

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