Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 2 Episode 32

The Hands of Mr. Ottermole

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM May 05, 1957 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • The theme of a serial killer in this episode who whistles the same tune ("Greensleeves") preceding each murder is reminiscent of the killer in Fritz Lang's M, who whistles "In the Hall of the Mountain King" before he strikes.

    • When Hitchcock is wrestling with the man trying to tie his bowtie in the last scene, one can see Hitchcock smothering a smile.

  • Quotes

    • [Opening Narration]
      Alfred Hitchcock: (Hitchcock is grappling with a man) Help! Stop it! Stop it! (The man backs off and the audience sees that the two were grappling over Hitchcock's necktie) I'll tie it myself. It won't take long. I'm sure to be ready by next week's show. (points to camera) And you be ready, too!

    • [Opening Narration]
      Alfred Hitchcock: (standing in front of a mirror wearing his dressing gown) Good evening. I hope you'll excuse me for not being ready at show time, but my watch is slow (glances at his wrist, and he's not even wearing one). As a matter of fact, it hasn't even gotten here yet. First, I would like to announce a change in our program. Shakespeare's Hamlet will not be presented tonight. We don't feel it is suitable to show in the home - all those corpses, you know. Instead, we are offering a story called "The Hands of Mr. Ottermole." Most of our stories have taken place in the United States, or one of the other colonies. But tonight we offer a new locale. "The Hands of Mr. Ottermole" is laid in that far-off land of mystery and enchantment - England. And now, suppose you continue squinting at this little screen while I slip into something more uncomfortable.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • Several real-life murderers were mentioned in this episode:

      Dr. Thomas Neill CREAM (A.K.A.: "The Lambeth Poisoner"): Serial killer who used poison (strychnine) on at least 5 victims in Illinois, USA (1881) and United Kingdom (1891-92). Sentenced to life in prison in Illinois in November 1881. Released in 1891. Arrested July 13, 1892.  Executed by hanging at Newgate Prison in London on November 15, 1892.

      Dr. William PALMER (A.K.A.: "The Rugeley Poisoner"): Serial killer who used poison (strychnine) on at least 13 victims in Staffordshire, England, UK during 1846 - 1855.  Arrested January 1856. Executed by hanging at Stafford prison on June 14, 1856.

      Dr. Hawley Harvey CRIPPEN: Murderer who killed 2nd wife (Cora Turner) using poison (hyocine) on January 31, 1910 in London, England, UK. Arrested  July 31, 1910. The first criminal to be captured with the aid of wireless communication. Executed by hanging at Pentonville Prison in London on November 23, 1910

      George Joseph SMITH ("The Brides in the Bath Murders") Serial killer and bigamist who killed 3 women by drowning during 1912 - 1914 in England, UK. Arrested February 1, 1915. Executed by hanging at Maidstone prison on August 13, 1915