Twilight Zone – The Four of Us Are Dying

★★★ 1/2  January 1, 1960 Season 1 Episode 13

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

The first episode of a brand new decade that would see the world change immeasurably.

This episode has a great what if story. What if… you could change your face just by looking at a picture or from memory? Many times in the Twilight Zone these talents are given to people who want more out of life than they have earned. Instead of using this for the good…we have a small time crook trying to take advantage people.

He had his own face and he ended up changing into 3 different faces. He would scanned the paper and changed into people who he could take advantage of their situation. They were going to cast the same actor and use makeup but they decided to cast 4 different actors with same eye color and build.

This show was written by  Rod Serling  and  George Clayton Johnson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

His name is Arch Hammer, he’s 36 years old. He’s been a salesman, a dispatcher, a truck driver, a con man, a bookie, and a part-time bartender. This is a cheap man, a nickel-and-dime man, with a cheapness that goes past the suit and the shirt; a cheapness of mind, a cheapness of taste, a tawdry little shine on the seat of his conscience, and a dark-room squint at a world whose sunlight has never gotten through to him. But Mr. Hammer has a talent, discovered at a very early age. This much he does have. He can make his face change. He can twitch a muscle, move a jaw, concentrate on the cast of his eyes, and he can change his face. He can change it into anything he wants. Mr. Archie Hammer, jack-of-all-trades, has just checked in at three-eighty a night, with two bags, some newspaper clippings, a most odd talent, and a master plan to destroy some lives.

Summary

Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster’s death, and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn’t go over well, however.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

He was Arch Hammer, a cheap little man who just checked in. He was Johnny Foster, who played a trumpet and was loved beyond words. He was Virgil Sterig, with money in his pocket. He was Andy Marshak, who got some of his agony back on a sidewalk in front of a cheap hotel. Hammer, Foster, Sterig, Marshak—and all four of them were dying.

CAST

Harry Townes … Arch Hammer
Phillip Pine … Virge Sterig
Ross Martin … Johnny Foster
Don Gordon … Andy Marshak
Harry Jackson … Trumpeter
Bernard Fein … Penell
Peter Brocco … Mr. Marshak
Milton Frome … Detective
Beverly Garland … Maggie

Twilight Zone – What You Need

★★★1/2 December 25, 1959 Season 1 Episode 12

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

This is a good solid episode but not a classic. The thing about the Twilight Zone is… even the average episodes (average for the Twilight Zone) can become personal favorites.

An old man (Pedott) with a gift that can give you what you need. It could be cleaning fluid, a bus ticket, or a pair of scissors. You would not believe so, but you would end up needing them. He doesn’t use his gift on anyone but the ones he does bestow things to…they are usually grateful. What you need could be something small or something important to save your life.

Enter Mr. Fred Renard played by Steve Cochran. He is a nobody…a nothing that wants to be a somebody and not earn it. He sees the old man with a gift and wants everything. Cochran plays this bad guy well. He is a bully and blames the world on his problems.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Henry Kuttner

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

You’re looking at Mr. Fred Renard, who carries on his shoulder a chip the size of the national debt. This is a sour man, a friendless man, a lonely man, a grasping, compulsive, nervous man. This is a man who has lived thirty-six undistinguished, meaningless, pointless, failure-laden years and who at this moment looks for an escape—any escape, any way, anything, anybody—to get out of the rut. And this little old man is just what Mr. Renard is waiting for.

Summary

An old street vendor goes to a bar to sell his wares. However, he foresees what each costumer will need in a short period, selling precisely what they need. After selling in the bar, the crook Fred Renard mocks him and the peddler gives a pair of scissors for him. When Fred arrives at the hotel where he is lodged, his scarf is trapped on the elevator door and he only survives due to the pair of scissors. Now Fred believes that the peddler has a gift and he decides to force the old man to tell him the name of the horse that will win a race. The greedy Fred earns a large amount and seeks out the peddler threatening him again that the old man gives him a pair of shoes to Fred. But who needs the pair of shoes?

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Street scene, night. Traffic accident. Victim named Fred Renard, gentleman with a sour face to whom contentment came with difficulty. Fred Renard, who took all that was needed—in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Steve Cochran … Fred Renard
Ernest Truex … Pedott
Read Morgan … Lefty
Arlene Martel … Girl in Bar (as Arline Sax)
William Edmonson… Bartender
Doris Karnes … Woman
Fred Kruger … Man on Street
Norman Sturgis … Hotel Clerk

Twilight Zone – And When the Sky Was Opened

★★★★★ December 11, 1959 Season 1 Episode 11

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

This is one of my favorites. Rod Taylor from the Time Machine drives this episode. I won’t give out 5 star ratings on just anything but this one does it for me. Each character goes through the same situation and there is no way they can explain it to anyone else. There is a little…just a little of “It’s A Wonderful Life” in this one. When George Bailey goes to his mother’s door and she said she didn’t know him…because he didn’t exist. What would happen if a friend you have known for years was wiped out of existence in everyone’s memory but yours?

Halfway through, you get an idea of what is going to happen but that doesn’t matter. You can feel the desperation in Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes (Rod Taylor) as he tries to put together what happened to his friend and why no one else knows…and then it starts happening to him. 

  Also (Spoiler!) the character Major William Gart quickly vanished at the end. Rod Serling explained in a lecture that without his fellow astronauts to anchor him to this world, he had no way of holding on. It furthered the idea that Rod Taylor’s Forbes’s denial kept him in the world longer, and having heard the story of Harrington’s disappearance and seeing Forbes taken out, he had no way of denying the possibility.

Look for Miss. Landers (Sue Randall) from Leave it to Beaver as the Nurse.

This show was written by Rod Serling and Richard Matheson

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Her name: X-20. Her type: an experimental interceptor. Recent history: a crash landing in the Mojave Desert after a thirty-one hour flight nine hundred miles into space. Incidental data: the ship, with the men who flew her, disappeared from the radar screen for twenty-four hours…But the shrouds that cover mysteries are not always made out of a tarpaulin, as this man will soon find out on the other side of a hospital door.

Summary

The X-20 experimental spacecraft recently returned after venturing into a 900 mile orbit around the Earth. At one point, the craft disappeared for about 20 seconds and then suddenly reappeared before crashing in the Mojave desert. One of the crew, Maj. William Gart broke his leg on reentry but is recovering. Another of the astronauts, Lt. Col. Clegg Forbes, visits him but is obviously quite shaken. His recollection is there were 3 astronauts in the craft but the newspaper accounts mention only two. The third was Col. Ed Harrington but Gart says he never heard of him. As Forbes remembers it, he and Harrington went out the night before and Harrington begins to have a sense of not belonging. He then vanishes. As he searches for his friend, he can find no one who ever met the man.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Once upon a time, there was a man named Harrington, a man named Forbes, a man named Gart. They used to exist, but don’t any longer. Someone – or something – took them somewhere. At least they are no longer a part of the memory of man. And as to the X-20 supposed to be housed here in this hangar, this, too, does not exist. And if any of you have any questions concerning an aircraft and three men who flew her, speak softly of them – and only in – The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Rod Taylor … Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes
Jim Hutton … Major William Gart (as James Hutton)
Charles Aidman … Colonel Ed Harrington
Maxine Cooper … Amy
Paul Bryar … Bartender
Sue Randall … Nurse
Joe Bassett … Medical Officer
Lisabeth Field … Nurse (uncredited)
Logan Field … Investigator (uncredited)
John Launer … Mr. Harrington (uncredited)
Oliver McGowan … Officer (uncredited)
Gloria Pall … Girl in Bar (uncredited)
Bernard Sell … Bar Patron (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Judgment Night

★★★1/2 December 4, 1959 Season 1 Episode 10

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

Rod Serling served in WW2 and he does have quite a few episodes about war. It’s been said that you pay for everything you do in this life. The character Carl Lanser will be paying for an eternity. World War II hadn’t been over for 15 years when Judgment Night premiered. It was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Serling had a message starting with this episode. When Nazi’s fall in the Twilight Zone they will get their comeuppance. Serling didn’t make light of Nazis, pull any punches,  or turn them into a cartoon stereotype. Carl is portrayed as someone who perpetuated a deep evil and will be punished by God for it…and punished he is.

I love the twist in this episode but I think it is a little slow moving…but still a good one to watch. There are better WWII episodes.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Her name is the S.S. Queen of Glasgow. Her registry: British. Gross tonnage: five thousand. Age: Indeterminate. At this moment she’s one day out of Liverpool, her destination New York. Duly recorded on the ship’s log is the sailing time, course to destination, weather conditions, temperature, longitude and latitude. But what is never recorded in a log is the fear that washes over a deck like fog and ocean spray. Fear like the throbbing strokes of engine pistons, each like a heartbeat, parceling out of every hour into breathless minutes of watching, waiting and dreading… For the year is 1942, and this particular ship has lost its convoy. It travels alone like an aged blind thing groping through the unfriendly dark, stalked by unseen periscopes of steel killers. Yes, the Queen of Glasgow is a frightened ship, and she carries with her a premonition of death.

Summary

During World War II, a confused Carl Lancer finds himself as one of only a few passengers on a freighter, the S.S. Queen of Glasgow, traveling from London to New York. As he sits with other passengers, he begins to realize that he is the captain of a U-Boat that is at that very moment tracking the freighter with a view to sinking it. He also knows that in just over an hour the freighter will be attacked.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

“The S.S. Queen of Glasgow, heading for New York, and the time is 1942. For one man it is always 1942—and this man will ride the ghost ship every night for eternity. This is what is meant by paying the fiddler. This is the comeuppance awaiting every man when the ledger of his life is opened and examined, the tally made, and then the reward or the penalty paid. And in the case of Carl Lanser, former Kapitan Lieutenant, Navy of the Third Reich, this is the penalty. This is the justice meted out. This is judgment night in the Twilight Zone.”

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Nehemiah Persoff … Carl Lanser
Deirdre Owens … Barbara Stanley (as Deirdre Owen)
Patrick Macnee … First Officer McLeod
Ben Wright … Captain Wilbur
Leslie Bradley … Major Devereaux
Kendrick Huxham … Bartender
Hugh Sanders … Jerry Potter
Richard Peel … 1st Steward
Donald Journeaux … 2nd Steward
Barry Bernard … Engineer
James Franciscus… Lt. Mueller

Twilight Zone – Perchance to Dream

★★★ November 27, 1959 Season 1 Episode 9  (Episode 8 is Time Enough At Last which I covered in my top 10)

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

This one gets really creepy. Filmed in black and white works in the favor of this episode. It’s never been a favorite of mine but does have some scary scenes. I like the way they do the eerie dream scenes. A carnival at night with a cloudy atmosphere that is downright creepy. Suzanne Lloyd is stunning as Maya in Edward’s nightmares and as the secretary Miss Thomas.

The end has a nice twist but it’s not a classic episode but a good one.

This was the first Twilight Zone episode aired that was written by Charles Beaumont and also the first that was not written by Rod Serling. This episode was based upon a short story of the same name by Beaumont that was first published in the November 1958 issue of Playboy magazine.

This show was written by  Charles Beaumont

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Twelve o’clock noon. An ordinary scene, an ordinary city. Lunchtime for thousands of ordinary people. To most of them, this hour will be a rest, a pleasant break in a day’s routine. To most, but not all. To Edward Hall, time is an enemy, and the hour to come is a matter of life and death.

Summary

Edward Hall seeks the help of a psychiatrist, Dr. Rathman. He tells the doctor he hasn’t slept for days, and has been taking pills to stay awake, because he has a fear that if he does go sleep, he’ll die. He’s been having a series of dreams where each on’s part of a long story – like chapters in a book. The main character in his dream other than himself is a beautiful young woman, named Maya. He’s now reached the point of the story where he believes Maya will kill him and so he’s terrified to fall asleep.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

They say a dream takes only a second or so, and yet in that second a man can live a lifetime. He can suffer and die, and who’s to say which is the greater reality: the one we know or the one in dreams, between heaven, the sky, the earth – in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Richard Conte … Edward Hall
John Larch … Dr. Eliot Rathmann
Suzanne Lloyd … Maya / Miss Thomas

Twilight Zone – The Lonely

★★★★1/2 November 13, 1959 Season 1 Episode 7

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

This one is an excellent episode. This one probably isn’t recognized as a classic episode but it’s great. Two great character actors John Dehner and Jack Warden are in this episode. Plus you have a future star in Ted Knight that would go on to star as Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler Moore show.

This episode…you feel the heat and the guy’s loneliness being a prisoner on a distance barren planet. This show makes you think…about the loneliness of the prisoner and when Captain Allenby gives the Jack Warden character a big box to open… makes you wonder what constitutes a human being.

The Lonely was filmed on location in Death Valley. Unprepared for the terrible conditions they would face, the crew suffered extreme dehydration and heat exhaustion and director of photography George T. Clemens even collapsed, falling from a camera crane while filming continued.

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Witness if you will, a dungeon, made out of mountains, salt flats, and sand that stretch to infinity. The dungeon has an inmate: James A. Corry. And this is his residence: a metal shack. An old touring car that squats in the sun and goes nowhere for there is nowhere to go. For the record, let it be known that James A. Corry is a convicted criminal placed in solitary confinement. Confinement in this case stretches as far as the eye can see, because this particular dungeon is on an asteroid nine million miles from the Earth. Now witness, if you will, a man’s mind and body shriveling in the sun, a man dying of loneliness.

Summary

James A. Corry’s a man sentenced to prison; 50 years solitary on a distant asteroid. After 4 and a half years, James anxiously waits for Captain Allenby and his crew who every now and then bring him supplies, and also give him someone to talk to. When Captain Allenby arrives, he brings a suprise box for James; the ultimate female robot, named Alicia that is human-like and has feelings. James initially rejects her but soon falls in love with her. On the Captain Allenby’s next visit, he informs James he’s been pardoned and will return to Earth. But the ship only has enough room for him.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

On a microscopic piece of sand that floats through space is a fragment of a man’s life. Left to rust is the place he lived in and the machines he used. Without use, they will disintegrate from the wind and the sand and the years that act upon them. All of Mr. Corry’s machines, including the one made in his image, kept alive by love, but now obsolete—in The Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Jack Warden … James A. Corry
John Dehner … Captain Allenby
Jean Marsh … Alicia
Ted Knight … Adams (uncredited)
James Turley … Carstairs (uncredited)

Twilight Zone – Escape Clause

★★★★ November 6, 1959 Season 1 Episode 6 (Episode 5 is Walking Distance which I covered in my top 10)

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

In this episode we meet the Devil for the first of many times in The Twilight Zone. We also meet the sad little man…hypochondriac Walter Bedeker. This guy is so unlikable that you have no feeling for him whatsoever. You actually root for the devil.

David Wayne does a great job playing Mr. Bedeker and Virginia Christine is very good as his put upon wife. Thomas Gomez is a very business like devil who lays it out straight for Bedeker. I had it at 3 1/2 stars until I watched it again…the ending is worth it.

Saying that a Twilight Zone episode has a great twist is like saying the sun will rise but this one…is wonderful…and you feel some justice.

A couple of facts about this episode: The cast includes two actors each best known for starring in a long-running TV commercial: Virginia Christine (Mrs. Olson for Folgers Coffee) and Dick Wilson (Mr. Whipple for Charmin Bathroom Tissue).

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

You’re about to meet a hypochondriac. Witness Mr. Walter Bedeker age forty-four. Afraid of the following: death, disease, other people, germs, draft, and everything else. He has one interest in life and that’s Walter Bedeker. One preoccupation, the life and well-being of Walter Bedeker. One abiding concern about society, that if Walter Bedeker should die how will it survive without him?

Hypochondriac Walter Bedeker has once again had his doctor come to his bedside but he can find absolutely nothing wrong with him. The doctor tells him his aches and pains are psychosomatic but he refuses to accept it. Later that night, a Mr. Cadwallader suddenly appears in his room and has a proposition for him: in return for his soul, he will give him immortality. He even has an escape clause in that if he ever gets tired of living, Cadwallader will provide him with a hasty demise. He accepts the deal and soon collects 14 insurance claims over a variety of accidents. He finds it all very boring however but his quest for a thrill brings results with an unexpected outcome.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

There’s a saying, “Every man is put on Earth condemned to die, time and method of execution unknown.” Perhaps this is as it should be. Case in point: Walter Bedeker, lately deceased. A little man with such a yen to live. Beaten by the devil, by his own boredom, and by the scheme of things in this, the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
David Wayne … Walter Bedeker
Thomas Gomez … Cadwallader
Virginia Christine… Ethel Bedeker
Raymond Bailey … Doctor
Wendell Holmes … Cooper
Dick Wilson … Jack
Joe Flynn … Steve
Nesdon Booth … Guard (as Nesden Booth)

Twilight Zone – The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine

★★★1/2  October 23, 1959 Season 1 Episode 4

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

This episode has more than a strong resemblance to the film Sunset Boulevard. Barbara Jean Trenton who is played by the great actress and director Ida Lupino is an aging actress who continually looks back at her old films and forgets the world has gone on. The ending has a good twist but something about the episode just doesn’t live up to some of the great ones. Saying that, it still is a very good episode…an average Twilight Zone is better than many other’s best shows. 

Martin Balsam makes an appearance as her agent Danny Weiss. We will see Martin again in the fourth season in a much scarier role. He was also in the 1985-87 reboot Twilight Zone. I remember him the most in 12 Angry Men and his appearances many 60s and 70s tv shows. 

Ida Lupino, who starred in this episode, would later direct The Twilight Zone: The Masks. She became not just the only woman to direct an episode of the The Twilight Zone, but also the only person to both star in an episode and direct one.

Ida Lupino has 42 credits to her name as a Director. 

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Picture of a woman looking at a picture. Movie great of another time, once-brilliant star in a firmament no longer a part of the sky, eclipsed by the movement of earth and time. Barbara Jean Trenton, whose world is a projection room, whose dreams are made out of celluloid. Barbara Jean Trenton, struck down by hit-and-run years and lying on the unhappy pavement, trying desperately to get the license number of fleeting fame.

Summary

Former queen of the silver screen, Barbara Trenton’s a woman who lives in her past – watching her movies from more than 25 years earlier. Her housemaid, Sally’s worried by her behavior, and tells Barbara’s friend, and agent Danny Weiss. He tries to make Barbara move on, even getting her a role in an upcoming film. But Barbara lives in the past and won’t accept that she’s older now

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

To the wishes that come true, to the strange, mystic strength of the human animal, who can take a wishful dream and give it a dimension of its own. To Barbara Jean Trenton, movie queen of another era, who has changed the blank tomb of an empty projection screen into a private world. It can happen in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Ida Lupino … Barbara Jean Trenton
Martin Balsam … Danny Weiss
Jerome Cowan … Jerry Hearndan
Ted de Corsia … Marty Sall
Alice Frost … Sally

Twilight Zone – Mr. Denton on Doomsday

★★★★1/2  October 16, 1959 Season 1 Episode 3

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

I think very highly of this episode. The more I watch it the more I enjoy it. We travel to the old West for this episode. We meet the town drunk Al Denton who was brilliantly played by Dan Duryea. A gunfighter named Dan Hotaling played by a young Martin Landau is making a fool of Denton by making him sing “How Dry I Am” for whiskey. He picks on Denton one too many times.

The show also has a mystical character (but of course…it’s the Twilight Zone) named Henry J. Fate and he tries to help Denton to redeem himself. I can’t say enough about Dan Duryea’s acting in this episode. The transformation of Denton and the nice twist at the end  makes this a great episode.

You get to know Al Denton and feel for him as he was an old gunfighter and it drove him to drinking…will he be forced into that line of work again?

This episode was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Portrait of a town drunk named Al Denton. This is a man who’s begun his dying early—a long, agonizing route through a maze of bottles. Al Denton, who would probably give an arm or a leg or a part of his soul to have another chance, to be able to rise up and shake the dirt from his body and the bad dreams that infest his consciousness. In the parlance of the times, this is a peddler, a rather fanciful-looking little man in a black frock coat. [A revolver mysteriously appears on the ground next to Denton] And this is the third principal character of our story. Its function: perhaps to give Mr. Al Denton his second chance.

Summary

In the Old West, the drunkard Al Denton is bullied by the gunman Dan Hotaling to get some booze. The mysterious Henry J. Fate observes the humiliation and Al Denton finds a revolver on the street. When Dan sees Al Denton with a revolver in his hand, he challenges the drunk to a gunfight. Fate observes again and makes a movement with his hand that will change the life of Al Denton.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Mr. Henry Fate, dealer in utensils and pots and pans, liniments and potions. A fanciful little man in a black frock coat who can help a man climbing out of a pit—or another man from falling into one. Because, you see, fate can work that way, in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Dan Duryea … Al Denton
Martin Landau … Dan Hotaling
Jeanne Cooper … Liz
Malcolm Atterbury … Henry J. Fate
Ken Lynch … Charlie
Arthur Batanide … Leader
Bill Erwin … Man
Robert Burton … Doctor
Doug McClure … Pete Grant

Twilight Zone – One for the Angels

★★★½   October 9, 1959 Season 1 Episode 2

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

This is a good episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s the first time we meet Death. He comes in different forms in the Twilight Zone. 73 year old Ed Wynn does a superb job as a salesman and a Santa Claus figure in the neighborhood. He is beloved by people but especially kids.

Murray Hamilton also is great as Mr. Death. He is very business like and he treats the job like any other job with deadlines and commitments. I must wonder what people thought in 1959 watching a show with Death stalking someone so businesslike.

Murray Hamilton is probably better remembered for his role playing Mr. Robinson in the 1967 film The Graduate.

Dana Dillaway who played Maggie: The scene where I was hit by the car was kind of morbid… I remember they kept spritzing the actor who was driving the car with a water spray bottle, who came around to see if I was okay while laying in the street… there is a publicity shot of me laying there and it’s kind of morbid!”

This show was written by Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Street scene: Summer. The present. Man on a sidewalk named Lew Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Lew Bookman, a fixture of the summer, a rather minor component to a hot July, a nondescript, commonplace little man whose life is a treadmill built out of sidewalks. And in just a moment, Lew Bookman will have to concern himself with survival – because as of three o’clock this hot July afternoon, he’ll be stalked by Mr. Death.

Lou Bookman is a street vendor; a pitchman, making a living selling what he can from his valise – radios, toys, ties and the like. After a long day, he returns to his shabby apartment to find someone waiting for him, someone he saw near where he had been selling that day. That person turns out to be Mr. Death who is there to tell Lou that his time on Earth has come to an end and that his “departure” will be at midnight. Lou tries to forestall his death by asking for a delay until he’s able to make a big sales pitch. It’s all a ruse however and Mr. Death shows him that his actions have consequences. As a result, Lou makes the pitch of his life.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Lewis J. Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July. But, throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore, a most important man. Couldn’t happen, you say? Probably not in most places – but it did happen in the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling … Narrator (voice)
Ed Wynn … Lou Bookman
Murray Hamilton … Mr. Death
Dana Dillaway … Maggie Polanski
Jay Overholts … Doctor
Merritt Bohn … Truck Driver