Twilight Zone – A Passage for Trumpet

★★★★  May 20, 1960 Season 1 Episode 32

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

This show was written by Rod Serling

Jack Klugman was a great character actor and he was always excellent in the four Twilight Zones that he was in. In this one he conveys depression, suicidal behavior, and alcoholism.

This is a touching episode that works well. It shines the spotlight on a down on his luck alcoholic trumpet player…and this visit in The Twilight Zone gives a chance for salvation if he takes it . This is not a scary, weird, or funny episode…it’s a well written story that works outside of the Twilight Zone. 

John Anderson who plays the Angel Gabriel is believable as a jazz goatee wearing Gabriel. Rod Serling must have been a lover of jazz music because there are a few episodes that feature jazz players and he has the lingo down. 

When Baron is talking to Joey in the alley, he compares him to three famous trumpeters of the big band era. Harry James was a trumpet playing band leader known for his technical proficiency as well as his tone. Max Kaminsky played with big bands like Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw, his style was full toned and economical in the style of Louis Armstrong. And Billy Butterfield played trumpet, flugelhorn, and coronet with Artie Shaw, Les Brown, and Benny Goodman.

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, whose life is a quest for impossible things like flowers in concrete or like trying to pluck a note of music out of the air and put it under glass to treasure…Joey Crown, musician with an odd, intense face, who, in a moment, will try to leave the Earth and discover the middle ground – the place we call The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Musician Joey Crown is down on his luck. An alcoholic, he can’t find work because no one trusts him. Broke, he hocks his trumpet but then steps in front of truck which knocks him onto the sidewalk. He awakens in a strange world where no one can see him and he presumes that he has died. He eventually bumps into someone who can in fact see him, a fellow horn player who tells him that it’s still within Joey’s power to decide on life or death.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Joey Crown, who makes music, and who discovered something about life; that it can be rich and rewarding and full of beauty, just like the music he played, if a person would only pause to look and to listen. Joey Crown, who got his clue in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Jack Klugman … Joey Crown
John Anderson … Gabriel
Frank Wolff … Baron
Mary Webster … Nan
James Flavin … Truck Driver
Ned Glass … Pawnshop Man

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

21 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – A Passage for Trumpet”

  1. Klug was great in the TZ episodes he was in -last night I caught the one early in season 3 -the pool playing episode.. this one- a solid 4.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes- i am not sure but I don’t think either Klugman or Winters were that big at the time they made that one. excellent..

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Coroner, sports writer, horn player… Klugman could do it all! Sounding like a broken record but this sounds like yet another one worth watching. Is no way I’m going to see all the worthy episodes on Netflix before the end of the month . Maybe a box set of DVDs will end up being on a Christmas list or something

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea might be one to have since it’s not readily seen on TV. I’ve bought a few series seasons (the Simpsons, King of the Hill) but only complete multi-year one I’ve bought was ‘Friends’ and that was more for my sweetie (though I quite enjoy watching them too)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m fortunate to be in IT and all of us have shared through the years…I got all of Friends, Seinfeld, Andy Griffith, and more that way….and Doctor Who….but I did buy the TZ

        Like

  3. I really liked this one and thought Kaufman was great – agree a solid 4 stars. I like how this one and the Mr Bevis one coming up take a different tack in terms of the protagonist’s visits to the TZ – doesn’t always have to be weird or bizarre or scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do relate to each other…both are offered a choice and see what life is like after that choice…the main thing is…unlike other episodes…they can come back.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like that scene at the end of the clip where his inert body is reflected in the window of the pawn shop. The pawn shop owner is another very familiar face in a lot of TV shows/movies. Klugman is good in whatever he’s in. Will need to watch this epi while I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate to this story as I’ve seemed to hock my trombone lifestyle like Klugman did with his trumpet and been given a chance to redefine myself in other ways. It seemed to work.

    Liked by 1 person

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