Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Diplomatic Corpse (S3E10)

ahpdiplomaticcorpse02Evan and Janet Wallace are showing Janet’s old battle axe aunt around California and she hates it.  She hates the desert, hates the rocks, hates everything.  When Evan points out a 200 year old Spanish mission, she has to trump him by saying, “Westminster Abby was consecrated in 1050 — that’s over 900 years old.”  Although she and her niece are supposed to be English,I don’t detect much of an accent.

She does, however, appreciate the mission in contrast to her feelings about the dreadful modern buildings that Evan designs — which she is not shy in sharing.

She insists on going to Tijuana despite not having the papers to get back into the US –this is back when there used to be a border.  Luckily, they get a pretty lax officer who peeks in the car, sees a nice couple and an old lady snoozing in the back seat, and waves them through.

After they cross the border, they try to wake up Janet’s aunt but discover she is dead. Of natural causes?  On Alfred Hitchcock Presents?  WTH?  They pull up to a cantina and throw a coat over Auntie while they have a drink and plan what to do.  If nothing else, a dead body in a hot car in Mexico might draw some flies away from the cantina.

No slur there — there is a huge roll of flypaper hanging in the restaurant, so they must have a problem.  That’s gonna cost them a Michelin star.  When they come out, they see the car has been stolen.  Not wanting to involve the police, they go to private detective Peter Lorre.

ahpdiplomaticcorpse10Back at the hotel, they get a visit from the Policía.  They have found a car like the Wallace’s. They go downstairs and confirm that it is their car, but it is missing its third wheel — Auntie has disappeared.  It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but they stand to get a large inheritance and need Auntie’s body to prove she is dead.

They go back to Lorre to see if he can locate the old bag.  He consistently nickel-and-dimes them like Mr. Haney on Green Acres.  He finally comes up with the body.  They follow the hearse to a funeral home in the states.

ahpdiplomaticcorpse13The funeral director calls them in to view the corpse — Lorre has sent them home with a man, man.

Strange episode.  The heart of the story is really Lorre’s huckster private detective rather than the . . . well, there really is no crime.  The dead body is just a macguffin — no murder, no cover-up, no irony, no self-incrimination.

With the story and the cast, more could have been done with the episode.  The opening of the casket feels more like the cliff-hanger of a two-parter than a satisfying conclusion.  Part two would be where Evan drives back to Mexico and beats Lorre like a piñata.


  • AHP Deathwatch:  No survivors.
  • Sadly, no way I could I could reference Michael leaving Egg in Mexico.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.