Monday, May 7, 2012

Twilight Zone Tuesdays: The Silence Bewilders Gambler

The Twilight Zone pushed a lot of boundaries in regards to horror and science fiction, and it was quite the showcase of twists and turns. In this episode in which the viewer gets sent into a dimension of not only sight and sound, but of mind. Rod Serling writes up a story that is based on an old short story by famed author Anton Chekhov, and we get to see quite the interesting drama of life and times.

A supposed rich man is tired of hearing a loud mouth ramble on about things, so he proposes a sinister bet. He wants his foe to stay inside a glass cage for a year without saying one solitary thing. If he says something he will lose the bet and be forced into ridicule. If he doesn’t say a word he will gain $500,000 and be quite the maverick.

What happens is quite good, and for a 30 minute episode, a great deal of interesting things happen. The gambler is stuck in a box and the rich man provokes him by hurling insults and lots of different things to break his walls down, knowing that the twist is held on his end.

The twist really takes double turns as we find out that the rich man is broke and the loud mouth has altered his vocal box to stay silent chemically. The episode is one of great acting ability, featuring a great attention to slow and methodical pacing. It’s quite interesting to see it all play out, but it is not an episode filled with a lot of the same tactics that made other twists so compelling in the series.

This season 2 episode aired in 1961, and starred four main actors. They were Franchot Tone, Liam Sullivan, Jonathan Harris, and Cyril Delevanti. This episode and far more are available now on blu Ray here, and this is one of the more low key episodes from the iconic series. I recommend it, I thought it was a classic drama.

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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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