Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Diamond Necklace (02/02/59)

ahpdiamondnecklace04 Mr. Thurgood marshalls the staff for another day at Maynard’s Jewelry. The all-male sales staff is nattily attired, and the elderly doorman Henry is in a spiffy uniform.  As Henry is carrying the jewels from the safe to the display case, he accidentally drops a $165,000 necklace [1].  As is always the case in real life, this is the moment the boss chooses to walk in.

Maynard calls Thurgood into the office to show him plans for a renovation to the store. Thurgood prefers it the way it has been for 50 years, but Maynard wants it airy and full of light.  Unfortunately one of the musty old relics wants to get rid of is Thurgood.  The Thurgood family has worked at Maynard’s for 117 years, but the owner can’t wait just 3 more years until Thurgood was going to retire anyway.  He is given 5 days notice.

Thurgood is a bloody pro! [2]  He works diligently that last week, calling old customers, making sales.  On the afternoon of his last day, a woman sporting a mink and unidentifiable accent is shopping for an anniversary gift for her husband, the psychiatrist Anton Rudell, to give her.  The $165,000 necklace catches her eye.  The lady clearly has an eye for jewelry and idiot-men.  She instructs Thurgood to bring it to Dr. Rudell’s office.

ahpdiamondnecklace11Mrs. Rudell meets Thurgood there and puts on the necklace.  She goes into an office to put it on.  She just misses Dr. Rudell as he comes out to the lobby.  AWKWARD!  Not awkward because Thurgood is about to spoil the surprise.  Awkward because Dr. Rudell calls his wife out of a different office to give her hell, and it is a different woman.

Back at work, Thurgood is distraught.  He is near tears at having disgraced the name of Maynard and his family name Thurgood; although, to be honest both monikers are a little silly to begin with. Maynard is actually pretty cool, allowing the police and insurance company to take care of things.  Maynard offers to call Thurgood’s daughter to pick him up, but Thurgood is too ashamed for her to know.

Thurgood gets home somehow and calls for his daughter Thelma.  She is not home, but the doorbell rings.  It is the woman who stole the necklace.  “Daddy, we did it!” she says.

He says he is going to invest the money the same way his father and grandfather did.  There were two previous robberies in Maynard’s history and both were also inside jobs by the Thurgood family.  He says that is the Thurgood tradition, taking what is rightfully theirs.  Sadly it can’t be carried out by his daughter as they only hire men.

ahpdiamondnecklace19They are surprised by Maynard at the door.  He tells Thurgood, “I suppose you know you can’t get away with this.”  Psych!  He hands Thurgood his gold watch and severance.  He says he knows that “forgetting” them was his way of making restitution.  Thurgood calls his daughter out to meet Maynard.  He is so overwhelmed by Thurgood’s loyalty that he breaks the men-only tradition and offers the daughter a job at Maynard’s beginning Monday morning.

It is all well-done and it has a nice, if not entirely surprising, twist.  It was just a little bit too much of a happy ending.  Sure, there is the obligatory suggestion in the coda that they were caught in another robbery, but I don’t consider the epilogues to be canon. So, in effect, the Thurgoods stole a $165,000 necklace, got away with it, and invented equal rights for women.


  • [1] That would be $1.35M in 2016 dollars — about 2.5 Hillary Clinton speeches, or an Ambassadorship to be named later.  But I would suggest rounding up to $2M so she provides adequate security for the Embassy.
  • [2] Claude Rains (Thurgood) is a bloody pro too.  He might be the most natural actor I’ve encountered so far.
  • AHP Deathwatch:  Both actors credited as Jewelry Salesman are still alive.

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