★★★1/2 April 18, 1963 Season 4 Episode 15
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
Pat Hingle who plays Horace Ford is emotionally little more than an oversized child, lives with his wife Laura and his mother. He spends most of his time reminiscing about what he recalls as an idyllic childhood that was all play and no responsibility. This one is similar to “Walking Distance” but just not as effective…Horace isn’t as mature as the Martin Sloan characer in that episode. He fails to get the viewer’s compassion because of his imaturity.
When looking back on childhood with rose colored glasses… Horace may get a chance to peel back the nostalgia and find out what really happened in his youth. It does have a good story but some will be put off by the exaggerated aspect of Pat Hingle’s performance. I liked it and the more times I’ve watched this episode the more I appreciated it.
I have to ask this before I end. Pat Hingle who plays Horace Maxwell Ford…does he not look like Nick Nolte? It’s too bad when Hingle got older he didn’t play Nolte’s dad in a movie.
The writer to this one is Reginald Rose who wrote the great 12 Angry Men.
Reginald Rose: What I meant to do with The Incredible World of Horace Ford, was to tell a simple horror story about an everyday man with a somewhat exaggerated but everyday kind of problem and, in so doing, point out that the funny, tender childhood memories we cling to are often distorted and unreal. What happened to Horace when he finally made it back to his childhood was typical of what actually happened to so many of us again and again when we were children. He was ridiculed, rejected, beaten up. These are all familiar experiences to us, yet somehow we tend only to remember, as Horace did, the joys of swiping pomegranates from Ippolitos.
This was not an original screenplay for The Twilight Zone (1959). It’s a remake of Studio One: The Incredible World of Horace Ford (1955), which was a live TV version starring Art Carney and Jason Robards.
This episode revisits themes used in The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance (1959) and The Twilight Zone: The Trouble with Templeton (1960) – namely, a person’s propensity to romanticize and try to relive a past that may not have been at all as good as they like to remember it.
The blueprints of Harold’s new robot toy are copies of the actual blueprints Bob Kinoshita made for the design of Robbie the Robot in Forbidden Planet.
This show was written by Rod Serling and Reginald Rose
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
Mr. Horace Ford, who has a preoccupation with another time, a time of childhood, a time of growing up, a time of street games, stickball and hide-‘n-go-seek. He has a reluctance to check out a mirror and see the nature of his image: proof positive that the time he dwells in has already passed him by. But in a moment or two he’ll discover that mechanical toys and memories and daydreaming and wishful thinking and all manner of odd and special events can lead one into a special province, uncharted and unmapped, a country of both shadow and substance known as the Twilight Zone.
Toy designer, Horace Ford’s very enthusiastic about what he does, and his memories of childhood are beginning to become an obsession. But, those childhood moments which brought him great joy aren’t remembered by anytime else – even his mother. She doesn’t recall their time living on Randolph Street as such a great time. Horace goes to visit the old neighborhood, but when he gets there, he seems to have stepped back in time, and the past starts to spill over into the present. He returns to the street several times, and the scene repeats itself. He begins to realise -his childhood wasn’t the wonderful one he remembered
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Exit Mr. and Mrs. Horace Ford, who have lived through a bizarre moment not to be calibrated on normal clocks or watches. Time has passed, to be sure, but it’s the special time in the special place known as the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
Pat Hingle…Horace Maxwell Ford
Nan Martin…Laura Ford
Ruth White…Mrs. Ford
Phillip Pine…Leonard O’Brien
Vaughn Taylor…Mr. Judson
Jerry Davis…Hermie Brandt
Mary Carver…Betty O’Brien
Jim E. Titus…Horace…a boy