Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Season 4 Episode 27

The Waxwork

Aired Sunday 9:30 PM Apr 12, 1959 on CBS

Episode Recap

A reporter approaches Mr. Marriner, the owner of a wax museum, and asks him to allow him to spend the night in the exhibit of famous murderers. The reporter wants to do a story on the exhibit, and tries to convince Mr. Marriner that it will bring a lot of interest to his museum. The reporter needs the money generated from obliging his editor to cover a check that bounced for a large debt. Mr. Marriner takes his time making such a decision, and spends a great deal of it showing Houston the intricacies taken in his work. Particularly, he shows him the figure of a barber named Bourdette, a man just executed that morning. Bourdette was a barber with mesmerizing eyes - hypnotic - who killed his victims with a razor blade to their necks.

Houston spends the night in the basement of the museum, after agreeing to be locked in their for the security of the exhibits not being stolen. After a while, his claustraphobia, combined with the eerie wax figures surrounding him, take their toll on Houston's nerves. When the guillotine in an exhibit falls and "beheads" the wax figure beneath it, Houston almost loses it altogether. Finally, he sits back down and begins typing. As he notices the figure of Bourdette seemingly moving, he rubs his eyes and writes that that statue appears to be menacing him. As he looks up, Bourdette is suddenly there, speaking to him, gazing into him with the menacing eyes of his. Bourdette explains to the frozen-with-horror Houston that he had escaped earlier that day, and had taken refuge in the museum after getting curious stares from a police officer. Then, he whispers to the reporter to get ready for a shave.

In the morning, the reporter's body is discovered. He sits in a barber chair as if ready for a shave. His body is unmarred. Marriner's associate says to chalk up another murder to Bourdette. But at that moment, the porters come downstairs carrying the wax figure of Bourdette, finished only that morning. Marriner concludes that Houston must had died of fear, brought on by an overactive imagination.