Starring Richard Long, Leo G. Carroll, and Joyce Bulifant.
Written by Robert Arthur from his story.
Directed by John Brahm.
The Farringtons have made a practice of offing new additions to the family, inheriting the wealth of their dearly departed along the way. Their latest plan goes awry when they find they need to rid themselves of a new sister-in-law (Bulifant), or risk losing the part of the family fortune they haven't already spent.
PE: The Psycho house is an icon to us, of course, but I always wonder (when it pops up every other episode) if the folks back in the early 60's noticed that all the creepy goings-on in this show happen in the same old house.
PE: I liked the long run down the hill for Bulifant. When she starts hearing voices, I thought we were seeing the return of Mr. George (with some new friends). Bulifant's got an annoying voice and I couldn't stop thinking of Georgette on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Ironically, Bulifant went on to have a recurring guest role on that show.
PE: Agreed. I did appreciate its mean streak. The two kills are handled with a large dose of sadism. Dick and Marian (Joan Tetzel) almost seem to enjoy the murder aspect of their game more than the profit. Both smile after their handiwork.
JS: Yeah, I thought it was going to be one of the better black comedies, but I didn't feel that it lived up to that early promise. The last line/shot was nice, but by then it was too little, too late.
PE: This one's about as right down the average-o-meter as they get. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. Richard Long went on to have a major career in television, first in a supporting role on 77 Sunset Strip and then on to fame with The Big Valley and Nanny and the Professor, before dying too young (4 days after turning 47 years old). Joan Tetzel makes her second and final Thriller appearance. She was previously seen as Marie Vane in "The Devil's Ticket." According to the IMDB, Bulifant was originally to play Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch but was jettisoned for Florence Henderson. Small miracle there. The Brady Bunch was annoying enough without Bulifant's vocal chords. She was married for nine years to James MacArthur ("Book 'em, Dano!"), which makes her the ex-daughter-in-law of Helen Hayes and a perfect climax to our trivia section.
Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, November 1957.
PE: No wonder Hitch was pissed. Thriller was not only using most of his TV talent, now it was mining his pages for gold.
JS: Something tells me he wasn't too upset with this particular Thriller...