Twilight Zone – It’s A Good Life

★★★★★  November 03, 1961 Season 3 Episode 8

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

Meet the monster…it won’t look like a real monster but yes it is real…just ask relatives, friends, and neighbors stuck in the cornfield.  This is one of the best known episodes of The Twilight Zone and a 5 star classic. It also is the start of a 5 star classic 3 episode run. The brightest part of the 3rd season.

Keep happy thoughts and whatever you do…be nice to Anthony.

Lets look at the cast. Cloris Leachman plays Agnes Freemont and would appear in many movies and play the role of Phyllis on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Bill Mumy would portray Anthony and would later be best known for the role of Will Robinson in Lost In Space. Most of the others are faces that you have have seen in movies and tv shows as character actors during that time.

This episode was remade in the 80s as part of The Twilight Zone movie but it doesn’t match this. Bill Mumy does make a brief appearance in the movie.

The episode caught on with the stagehands and the crew. Around the set, when somebody would goof, people would say, Well, that’s a good thing you did, which they would always say to Billy Mumy when he killed a cow or what not That’s a good thing you did.

The first Serling script to be produced this season was an adaptation of Jerome Bixbys classic short story, Its a Good Life, which originally appeared in 1953 and was reprinted in Science Fiction Hall of Fame (Doubleday, 1971). Telling the story of a monstrous, conscienceless child with enormous powers and no restraints, it is truly a horrifying story.

I remember I showed this to my dad…he downright hated Anthony…”I would sneak up behind the little ****** and  crack his head.”

Bill Mumy: I’ve always liked Anthony, and I’ve kept Anthony with me. Ill send people to the cornfield when I’m really pissed at them. I mean, Ill do it. Not that it works, but its a release for me.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Jerome Bixby

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there’s a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines—because they displeased him—and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages—just by using his mind. Now I’d like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It’s in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn’t like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you’re looking at now. She sings no more. And you’ll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because, once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.

Summary

In a small farming community in Ohio, a young boy by the name of Anthony Fremont terrorizes those around him. Anthony has the ability to command anything he wants simply by thought. The community is cut off from the outside world and the boy insists that those around him think only pleasant thoughts, and if they don’t, he eliminates them. Everyone walks in fear of the lad who ably demonstrates what he’s prepared to do at a small party in his home.

This is the best I could find…someone tried to colorize the Twilight Zone…NO NO NO…it doesn’t work as well in color.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age six, who lives in a village called Peaksville, in a place that used to be Ohio. And, if by some strange chance, you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony, you can be sure of one thing: you have entered The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator
Bill Mumy…Anthony Freemont
Cloris Leachman…Agnes Freemont
Liliana Mumy…Audrey Freemont
Chilton Crane…Lorna
Robert Moloney…Joe
Kerry Sandomirsky…Cynthia
Samuel Patrick…Timmy
Paul McGillion…Chu George
Kirsten Kilburn…Timmy’s mother

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

18 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – It’s A Good Life”

  1. Yes fantastic episode! Another one where if they lengthened it to an hour might have interesting possibilities about how the adults get out of it. Somewhere in this episode there is a a social commentary about what might happen if children are always praised for everything they do without learning that you can’t always have everything you’re way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. a great episode- which holds up after numerous viewings- Billy Mumy was perfect in that role. I am sure we’ve all been around kids who- if they had that power would be more than willing to use it.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. It reminds me of some of the say under 7 children who come into the library with their mums- some are little gentleman and ladies- who know how to behave in public… the ones who are hellions – well their mums and sometimes fathers seem to treat the kids like they do Billy in this episode- afraid to discipline them– for fear of being zapped… it always makes me shake my head- a 4 or 5 year old in control of an adult. We have all seen it though.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. It’s amazing how many parents we met since we became parents do that. We have been asked our secret…we say discipline…pointing out wrong behavior and then….after being asked…some have said no…they should be able to think free and “act on emotions.”
        I just shrug and leave at that point.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. extra creepy edition… definitely a Halloween week watch. It’s become engrained in our culture… I honestly can’t remember if I’ve seen it or just little clips of it, but the story line is very familiar and has been referenced here, there and everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anything with the awesome Cloris Leachman in it is going to be good by virtue of her being in it. If its great anyway she makes it greater. Billy Mumy is one of the great child actors of american TV. Most child actors dont impress, many are annoying, but id stick him up there with Jodie Foster, Cirroc Lofton, Joseph Gordon Levett and a few others as remaining likeable even if the role demands unlikeable

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Cloris also. She was in the Last Picture Show which was great… Mumy is really likeable as an actor and as a human…he seems to be a really good person.

      Liked by 1 person

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