Twilight Zone – Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room

★★★★  October 14, 1960 Season 2 Episode 3

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

If you want to see The Twilight Zone now that Netflix lost the rights to it…you can see it on Hulu.

Rod Serling could write about a certain kind of character better than most. The small time criminal who is a loser. They are not or ever will be a successful crook or human being just the B level kind…forever bench warmers.

In this episode Rod took a different approach to the crook (Jackie Rhoades) played by Joe Mantell and you have some sympathy for him…which usually is not the case in the Twilight Zone. In Jackie you can find a trace of conscious although it’s buried in his cowardice.

Jackie battles himself in this episode and Mantell pulls this off wonderfully. Like King Nine Will Not Return, Mantell turns this into a one man show for most of the episode. His boss (George) played by William D. Gordon takes advantage of the coward Jackie and wants him to do the ultimate crime. The battle begins between Jackie and himself in his hot cheap motel room.

The special effects with the mirror in this one are really good.

This one is about redemption or the chance of redemption if you can find it in yourself.

Something I noticed in this episode is Joe Mantell talking into the mirror at himself said “You talking to me?” and I had to wonder if Martin Scorsese was taking notice before he made Taxi Driver.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

This is Mr. Jackie Rhoades, age thirty-four, and where some men leave a mark of their lives as a record of their fragmentary existence on Earth, this man leaves a blot, a dirty, discolored blemish to document a cheap and undistinguished sojourn amongst his betters. What you’re about to watch in this room is a strange mortal combat between a man and himself, for in just a moment, Mr. Jackie Rhoades, whose life has been given over to fighting adversaries, will find his most formidable opponent in a cheap hotel room that is in reality the outskirts of The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Exit Mr. John Rhoades, formerly a reflection in a mirror, a fragment of someone else’s conscience, a wishful thinker made out of glass, but now made out of flesh, and on his way to join the company of men. Mr. John Rhoades, with one foot through the door and one foot out of the Twilight Zone.


Joe Mantell … Jackie Rhoades
William D. Gordon … George
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

18 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room”

  1. Another good one. I read where Rod wrote this one and included only two actors- as a result of a request to use as few actors as possible to cut down costs- and this one came in at under $5000.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This looks like another great episode. The man in the mirror is a simple yet very effective idea!

    And good catch about “You talking to me.” Given this is such a distinct phrase, one has to wonder whether Scorsese got inspired by it. As we know, in music this happens all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. p.s. This one looks really good. How many of us have had those conversations with ourselves, albeit without a part of us alive in the mirror independent of us! I’d be freaking out bigtime if something like that happened. :::praying it never does:::

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And again – love his opening – “this man leaves a blot, a dirty, discolored blemish to document a cheap and undistinguished sojourn amongst his betters.” Classic!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: