Twilight Zone – The Rip Van Winkle Caper

★★★★  April 21, 1961 Season 2 Episode 24

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

This episode shows what greed and selfishness can do to the best laid plans. Oscar Beregi Jr who plays Farwell, was in three Twilight Zones including the classic  Deaths-Head Revisited and is very good. This is a time travel episode…sort of. Four expert criminals and one is a professor (Farwell) rob a gold shipment. There is no way they can cash in with everyone looking for the gold and them.

The professor Farwell devised a way ( suspended animation) for them to sleep a 100 years so they would be able to sell the gold in the future . The show is carried by the two veteran character actors, Oscar Beregi, Jr. and Simon Oakland. Like most Twilight Zones…I  enjoyed the twist at the end. It’s a good solid episode.

If Farwell would have used his head,  he could have patented the suspended animation process and would have been rich without turning to a life of crime.

The Rip Van Winkle Caper was filmed at the same location as the previous episode “A Hundred Yards Over The Rim.”

The futuristic vehicle which is shown at the end of the episode is a modified version of Robby the Robot’s car, first constructed by MGM for the science fiction classic Forbidden Planet

$1,000,000 in gold in 1961 ($35.50/oz.) would weigh over 28,000 ounces or 1760 lbs.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Introducing, four experts in the questionable art of crime: Mr. Farwell, expert on noxious gases, former professor, with a doctorate in both chemistry and physics; Mr. Erbie, expert in mechanical engineering; Mr. Brooks, expert in the use of firearms and other weaponry; and Mr. De Cruz, expert in demolition and various forms of destruction. The time is now, and the place is a mountain cave in Death Valley, U.S.A. In just a moment, these four men will utilize the services of a truck placed in cosmoline, loaded with a hot heist cooled off by a century of sleep, and then take a drive into The Twilight Zone.


Four thieves steal $1 million in gold bullion in a train robbery and hide the money in a mountainside cave. The four plan to go into suspended animation for approximately 100 years when they hope to awaken as extremely rich men with their heist long forgotten. When they awaken, they’re not quite sure what year it is. One of them, De Cruz, has his eye on getting as much of the gold for himself as he possibly can. The world they have awakened in isn’t exactly what they had hoped for.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

The last of four Rip Van Winkles, who all died precisely the way they lived, chasing an idol across the sand to wind up bleached dry in the hot sun as so much desert flotsam, worthless as the gold bullion they built a shrine to. Tonight’s lesson – in The Twilight Zone.


Rod Serling…Narrator
Simon Oakland…DeCruz
Oscar Beregi Jr….Farwell
Lew Gallo…Brooks
John Mitchum…Erbie
Wallace Rooney…George
Shirley O’Hara…George’s wife


Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

32 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Rip Van Winkle Caper”

  1. this one really grabs me from the description. I figure, btw, that gold would be worth about $40M now, 60 years on. I love the idea you had about how he could have patented that suspended animation process and gotten richer. I think that of the immoral semi-brains who hack people’s e-mail to use for spam or to order stuff that will probably get them caught. If they put that tech savviness to work, they could probably work for Apple or Google and make a lot more legitimate money, or write their own software and become moguls.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The problem is with those hackers…they have no patience for rules and doing things the right way…I’ve met a few. You are absolutely right though…they could make a fortune if they could change their frame of mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s terrible Dave…two 8 month old twins were swept away while the family was trying to get out of their house…it’s awful…but nothing where I am.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. that’s good. I saw a map on TV, Nashville itself got 4.2″ of rain – quite a lot, but shouldn’t do anything except maybe flood a few streets briefly. But that one county, 15-18″ rain. The damage is unbelievable… but then so too is nearly half a year’s rain in one day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Waverly got it bad…it’s two counties over from us…that is where Lorretta Lynn lives and has her ranch…the one I went to as a kid and a few years ago. It’s very rural…much more rural than my rural city lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really good episode and I also was very surprised by the ending. I was also struck by how handsome Lew Gallo is. I looked at imdb and see he never broke out of TV. That’s a real shame because he had some acting chops (not to mention stellar looks.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes his stay in this one got cut short…The part I didn’t understand is when the evil guy ran the truck off in the ravine…I guess his breaks went out but it almost didn’t look like an accident.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah I was also confused fused as to why he crashed the truck. – it did look like the brakes didn’t work but he didn’t mention it and then he made it sound intention.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A
    Pretty good episode that shows the perils of depending on human nature and how hubris can lead to ruin – they. Assumed they knew how the future would be

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll see if you think it is…who knows…it might not be to you…but it is one of the worse to me.

      Oh…just curious Paul…how did you meet Hiatt? Greet and meet or did you and your wife just meet him? That is so cool. I listened to him today.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We saw him a few years ago at a club in Annapolis. After the show we just hung out outside next to his tour bus and after a bit and he came out to meet folks and chat. There were a few folks waiting but not too many so it was nice. Nicest guy. When we mentioned the wedding song he asked how long we’d been married and when we said 20 years he was like “me too” Just a normal conversation. That’s the great thing about following a guy who’s been around but is not that popular is not too difficult to see him live and easy to meet him

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is so cool that he is that nice…and for him to take an personal interest with you two is all you could ask. So many stars turn out to be jerks…Thanks for the story Paul.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love to meet him. I’ve only met a few country people and an ex-Beatle…lol that is misleading but he is an ex-Beatle…Pete Best.

      I had breakfast with Loretta Lynn when I was 8 years old. My mom and I were at her Dude Ranch or whatever it is and she came out of nowhere and picked us…one of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met…she didn’t talk down to me but to me.

      I also grew up in the same town as Don Williams….I talked to him a few times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Best I met at a book signing…I was a young teenager and broke…had him sign a program with Ringo on the front. He was cool about it though lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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