Twilight Zone – The Four of Us Are Dying

★★★ 1/2  January 1, 1960 Season 1 Episode 13

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

The first episode of a brand new decade that would see the world change immeasurably.

This episode has a great what if story. What if… you could change your face just by looking at a picture or from memory? Many times in the Twilight Zone these talents are given to people who want more out of life than they have earned. Instead of using this for the good…we have a small time crook trying to take advantage people.

He had his own face and he ended up changing into 3 different faces. He would scanned the paper and changed into people who he could take advantage of their situation. They were going to cast the same actor and use makeup but they decided to cast 4 different actors with same eye color and build.

This show was written by  Rod Serling  and  George Clayton Johnson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

His name is Arch Hammer, he’s 36 years old. He’s been a salesman, a dispatcher, a truck driver, a con man, a bookie, and a part-time bartender. This is a cheap man, a nickel-and-dime man, with a cheapness that goes past the suit and the shirt; a cheapness of mind, a cheapness of taste, a tawdry little shine on the seat of his conscience, and a dark-room squint at a world whose sunlight has never gotten through to him. But Mr. Hammer has a talent, discovered at a very early age. This much he does have. He can make his face change. He can twitch a muscle, move a jaw, concentrate on the cast of his eyes, and he can change his face. He can change it into anything he wants. Mr. Archie Hammer, jack-of-all-trades, has just checked in at three-eighty a night, with two bags, some newspaper clippings, a most odd talent, and a master plan to destroy some lives.

Summary

Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster’s death, and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn’t go over well, however.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

He was Arch Hammer, a cheap little man who just checked in. He was Johnny Foster, who played a trumpet and was loved beyond words. He was Virgil Sterig, with money in his pocket. He was Andy Marshak, who got some of his agony back on a sidewalk in front of a cheap hotel. Hammer, Foster, Sterig, Marshak—and all four of them were dying.

CAST

Harry Townes … Arch Hammer
Phillip Pine … Virge Sterig
Ross Martin … Johnny Foster
Don Gordon … Andy Marshak
Harry Jackson … Trumpeter
Bernard Fein … Penell
Peter Brocco … Mr. Marshak
Milton Frome … Detective
Beverly Garland … Maggie

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Four of Us Are Dying”

  1. I didn’t see your 1/2 on the 3 1/2 at first and was going to say- I’d give it a notch higher than you did- 3 1/2 but then I saw the 1/2! A good one- he had a great talent there that got him into trouble!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sounds like another good one… another of the “monkey’s paw” style ones perhaps that Serling seemed to love. Looks like they did a good job casting… the four guys look different but close enough that one could believe them to be the same man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was a good one. It was above average so for the Twilight Zone that is really good.

      The next one on Saturday is as close to perfect as you can get…to me anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Agree with the rating – falls in the category the best laid plans…. although I did have a bit of a quibble with the plot – when’s he’s about to be cornered in the alley why didn’t he just turn back into Arch Hammer? – he did it before outside the club. Maybe because he was panicked??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the only thing I can think of…also with a gun pointed at me I would change in front of the guy…no one would believe him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the video review and it does look really good from a technical perspective. It’s a really cool twist on identity theft. I also love poetic nature of the opening narration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one has a great story. I saw one last night that I forgot about…the one with Mickey Rooney as the jockey.

      the one tomorrow is one of my favorites and should have been in my top ten.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s