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14 user 4 critic

Lamb to the Slaughter 

When Mary Maloney's police chief husband is found murdered, the police investigate and have a hard time trying to find the murder weapon.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Roald Dahl (teleplay), Roald Dahl (story)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Mary Maloney
Harold J. Stone ... Lieutenant Jack Noonan
Allan Lane ... Patrick Maloney
Ken Clark ... Mike - Policeman assistant
Robert C. Ross Robert C. Ross ... Forensic doctor
William Keene ... Fingerprint policeman
Thomas Wilde Thomas Wilde ... Photographer policeman (as Thomas Wild)
Otto Waldis ... Sam
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Storyline

Mary Maloney is a devoted wife and an exceptional housekeeper. One day, her husband, the police chief, announces that he wants a divorce because he has met another woman. Mary is quite angry and kills him with a blow from a frozen leg of lamb. She calls the police and provides an alibi for herself with the story that she'd been out to the store when the murder took place. The investigating officer, Lieutenant Noonan, is further frustrated when he cannot find the murder weapon. Written by Anonymous

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 April 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the following season's offering Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Cheap Is Cheap (1959), a hit man describes having seen this TV program, and thinks it was a good way to bump someone off. See more »

Quotes

[afterword]
Himself - Host: Well, that's the way the old meatball bounces. As for Mary Malone, she would have gone scott-free if she hadn't tried to do in her second husband the same way. Unfortunately, he was the forgetful type and had forgotten to plug in the freezer. The meat was as soft as jelly. Speaking of plugs, that is precisely what our sponsor wants to do for his product, after which I'll wheel back.
[commercial break]
Himself - Host: And now, ladies and gentlemen, those of us who work in television have a technical ...
[...]
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Connections

Version of What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The book was better
8 May 2006 | by vostfSee all my reviews

Yup, Roald Dahl's short story was much more engaging. The build-up before the husband arrival was really important to set up the atmosphere and it seems it has been underestimated at the time of the choices for the adaptation into a half-hour TV episode.

Maybe it's because it's television and nobody cared too much about making it a tremendous rendition of the original material. Let alone improve on it.

Maybe it's because Roald Dahl was miscast to adapt his own story and he had no idea what he needed or could bring along into the teleplay.

Maybe Hitchcock was not very good with stories requiring more "full performances" from his cast. This drama would definitely have required the directorial skills of Elia Kazan for instance. Lamb to the slaughter is more about putting us into the wife's mind than about the immanent suspense. Don't get me wrong: Barbara Bel Geddes is wonderful as the main character but the story deserved something more than this down-to-earth rendition.


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