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How to Get Rid of Your Wife 

Gerald Swinney is a henpecked husband suffering under the constant verbal abuse of his overbearing wife. Gerald devises a plan to rid himself of her and begin his life over again, but the results have unexpected consequences.


Alf Kjellin


Robert Gould (based on a teleplay by)


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Episode cast overview:
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself - Host
Bob Newhart ... Gerald Swinney
Jane Withers ... Edith Swinney
Joyce Jameson ... Rosie Feather
Mary Scott ... Laura
George Petrie ... Henry
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Pet Shop Proprietress
Robert Karnes ... Sergeant
William Wellman Jr. ... Delivery Man
Joseph Hamilton ... Oscar - Stage Doorman
Helene Winston ... Mrs. Penny
Harold Gould ... District Attorney
Bill Quinn ... Mr. Penny
Harry Hines Harry Hines ... Rat poison salesman
Gail Bonney ... Mrs. Harris


Gerald Swinney's wife Edith is a termagant who won't give him a divorce, so he devises a scheme to get rid of her. He makes everyone believe that he might commit suicide, then puts rats in the kitchen. When Edith buys rat poison, Gerald gives her a note that sounds suicidal, entrapping her into trying to poison him. She reports his death, but the police are surprised to find him sleeping in bed. When Edith is sentenced to five years for attempted murder, Gerald visits Rosie, who was part of his scheme, and they make a date. Unfortunately, Gerald is apprehended before he can make the date by the lonely woman who sold him the rats. Written by Lewis O. Amack

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Plot Keywords:

plot to murder wife | See All (1) »





Release Date:

20 December 1963 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed using the 'Leave it to Beaver' house on Colonial Street, Universal Studios. The matching interiors were also used, except the kitchen island was turned 90 degrees. See more »


The newspaper account of the crime lists Bob Newhart's address as 206 Locust Avenue. But in an earlier scene when he returns home late from a bar, the house number by the door reads "1326." See more »

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User Reviews

Newhart Meets Hitchcock
10 April 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

When you think Hitchcock, Bob Newhart doesn't exactly spring to mind. In fact, I was ready to skip the episode, thinking it was too much of a mismatch. I'm glad I didn't. It's a really clever script, and Newhart's perfectly cast as the meek and mild hen-pecked husband. But don't let that bland exterior fool you as it does his shrewish wife (Withers). He's got unseen resources, even for a bank clerk. He wants to get out from under her bullying, but she won't give him a divorce. Plus she gets meaner all the time. So it's time for Bob to go into low-key action, which he does in somewhat amusing fashion, befitting a Newhart persona. And what about that blonde stripper, a perfect prize for poor Bob. Still, it's a great ironical ending; plus he was so deliciously close too. Oh well, that's why I love Hitchcock.

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