Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 1 Episode 17

The Older Sister

2
Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Jan 22, 1956 on CBS
7.6
out of 10
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38 votes
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Episode Summary

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A reporter discovers the truth about the infamous Lizzie Borden murder case.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • What really happened to Mr. and Mrs. Borden that hot morning in Fall River? A journalist tries to find out.

    9.0
    This episode proposes an entirely speculative solution to the Borden case, one for which no hard evidence exists - which maybe should have been made clear (and wasn't). Carmen Mathews was so good at playing dragon ladies (and did so in many episodes of this series) that her casting here as a severe, cold-eyed, profoundly intimidating Lizzie Borden is no great surprise; but this Lizzie, formidable as she is at all times, is innocent, not to say selfless. Who is she protecting, and will the nosy lady from the fourth estate discover the truth? The plotting is ingenious, the acting fine - a memorable segment, whether or not it has any truth to it.moreless
Joan Lorring

Joan Lorring

Emma Borden

Guest Star

Polly Rowles

Polly Rowles

Nell Cutt

Guest Star

Kay Stewart

Kay Stewart

Neighbor

Guest Star

Pat Hitchcock

Pat Hitchcock

Margaret

Recurring Role

Carmen Mathews

Carmen Mathews

Lizzie Borden

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The positioning of the cat in Lizzy's arms changes dramatically from one shot to the next in the scene in which she shows the reporter the door.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Nell: Tell me, Miss Emma. Is it true that on the morning of the murder, breakfast consisted of bananas, cookies, and cold mutton soup?
      Emma: I don't know. I wasn't here. I was in Fairhaven.
      Nell: Cold mutton soup in August, no wonder somebody committed murder!

    • Closing Narration
      Alfred Hitchcock: Did she seem a trifle overwrought to you? She did to me. But I react in precisely the same manner whenever I hear a child singing "Davy Crockett." Being more civilized, of course, I don't go around hitting tables. I hit the child instead…not with the axe, of course, but in a nice way. It's so much better to end the program on a pleasant note, don't you think? Good night.

    • Alfred Hitchcock: (Holding up an axe) This is an axe. I say this for the information of those of you whose television tubes may have burnt out. I wish to reach the widest possible audience. Tonight we have a story based on one of our most celebrated murder cases. One that rocked Fall River, Massachusetts and the entire country, late in the last century. The crime was and still is a shocking one. But since it actually happened and is a matter of record, we felt it unwise to pretty up the details to make them palatable for the squeamish. Tonight's theme song will be that familiar little ditty everybody knows. "Lizzy Borden took and axe, gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one." I venture that by this time you can see we are not presenting a romantic comedy tonight. However, we shall not re-enact the crime. We had intended to, but casting difficulties interfered. Oh, we had no trouble casting the mother and father, but we kept losing them in rehearsals. So, instead, we shall show you a slightly different interpretation of the Lizzy Borden story. It begins just one year from the time of the murder.

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