15 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.


Alfred Hitchcock


Roald Dahl (teleplay), Roald Dahl (story)




Episode complete credited cast:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Self - 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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

13 April 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Lieutenant Jack Noonan: Whatever it is will sure as heck be ruined by now. Hey, that looks all right.
Mike - Policeman assistant: It sure does.
Lieutenant Jack Noonan: That's mighty peculiar, isn't it. I thought it'd be burnt to a crisp by now.
Mike - Policeman assistant: Me too.
Lieutenant Jack Noonan: Maybe it takes longer according to how big it is.
Mike - Policeman assistant: This is big one all right.
Lieutenant Jack Noonan: You're darn right it's big.
See more »


Version of Tales of the Unexpected: Lamb to the Slaughter (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Bel Geddes Has The Last Laugh!
1 March 2008 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is one of the most famous episodes in the history of this long-running series. I am glad it is because one of my favorite actresses, Barbara Bel Geddes, was the star of this particular story.

She plays a sweet wife, something she was good at doing with her soft voice and pleasant face. (See "Caught," with Robert Ryan.) Her husband comes home from work and is strangely silent. Mary (Bel Geddes) couldn't be nicer to the crabby hubby and finally he speaks up, saying coldly that we wants a divorce because he loves another woman. Although devastated, Mary exacts revenge pretty quickly by slugging the brute in the back of the head with a big club of frozen lamb as he is about to leave the house. It kills him.

The rest of the show, which comprises the bulk of it, is the police investigation headed by Lt. Jack Noonen (Harold J. Stone).

The fun part is near the end when we see what happens to the murder weapon.

I defy anyone to watch this episode and not laugh at Barbara's smile and chuckle at the end! She was such a good actress. It's one of Hollywood crimes that she never was given the opportunity to be the movie star she should have been.

Note: Roald Dahl, who became famous for writing "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory" and other bizarre kids' stories, wrote the screenplay!

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