John Collier's original story is masterly in its brevity. The process whereby a couple of Rankin's fishing buddies first come to the conclusion that he's killed his wife and then reveal, unintentionally, that she was a chronic adulteress is done with the utmost economy and elegance. To adapt it, even for a half-hour episode (and when you account for Hitchcock's introduction and wrap-up, the story itself only occupies about twenty minutes), is to risk tampering with that concise form - which, alas, does happen. Brief as it is, "De Mortuis" is still too long; we don't really need to see so much of Cara Williams as the wife. But Emhardt, Jones and Coolidge are just fine as the old man and his chums and the twist in the final moments has the same indirect understatedness as on the page.
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