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The Twilight Zone: One for the Angels

Mr. Bookman, a sidewalk salesman convinces Mr. Death to allow him the one big pitch he has always dreamed of, before he is to die.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x2
Production Number: 173-3608
Airdate: Friday October 09th, 1959

Director: Robert Parrish
Writer: Rod Serling


  • Currently 8/10
8/10 (6 Votes cast)

Trailer


 
Flash
Guest Stars
Dana Dillaway
As Maggie
Recurring
Ed Wynn
As Lew Bookman
Recurring
Jay Overholts
As The Doctor
Recurring
Merritt Bohn
As The Truck Driver
Recurring
Mickey Maga
As Ricky
Murray Hamilton
As Mr. Death
Main Cast
Rod Serling
As Narrator/Host

Recap

Lew Bookman, a sidewalk salesman is informed by a man in a black suit that he is to die at midnite. Lew begs Mr. Death to allow him to make that one big pitch he has always desired and then would gladly go with him. Having tried to deceive him Mr. Death makes a truck hit a little girl from the neighborhood who would take his place if he didn't come with him in time. In order to take Maggie with him he must be in her room by midnite. Lew makes his big pitch watched by Mr. Death and makes him miss his deadline. Having saved Maggie and made his best ever pitch, Lew happily goes off with Mr. Death...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Ed Wynn is the father of Keenan Wynn, who appeared in "A World of His Own."

The toy Robby the Robot featured in this episode is the Nomura 1957 Robby Mechanized Robot. Someone in the prop department applied a sticker of a blood shot human eye onto its dome to give it a distinctive, different look. The Robot, Robby "himself" was later featured in some Twilight Zone episodes.

Ed Wynn returns in "Ninety Years Without Slumber."

Dana Dillaway also appears in "I Sing The Body Electric."

Jay Overholts appears in 8 episodes.

Merritt Bohn returns in "Steel."

Murray Hamilton appears in the short lived B.J. and the Bear as Rutherford T. Grant, but may be best known as the mayor in the film Jaws.

This episode takes place on July 19, 1960.



Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Narrator: 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. 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.

Mr. Death: Now don't you think you'd better start making your arrangements?
Lew Bookman: Arrangements for what?
Mr. Death: For your departure.
Lew Bookman: My departure where?
Mr. Death: You still don't get it. I just never will understand you people. You get the idiotic notion that life goes on forever and of course it doesn't. Everyone has to go sometime.
Lew Bookman: Go? You mean …
Mr. Death: That's right. And what I further don't understand is how little you appreciate the nature of your departure. Think of all the poor souls who go in violent accidents. We're not permitted to forewarn them. You, Mr. Bookman, fall into the category of natural causes.
Lew Bookman: Natural causes? Number one, I find you a very devious sort. Number two, I think that you're dishonest. Number three, why don't you say what you mean?
Mr. Death: Mr. Bookman, I've done everything but phone your own undertaker. How much clearer do you want it? If you still don't know who I am, then you're the most dense man I've come up against.
Lew Bookman: You're … you're Death?
Mr. Death: Exactly, Mr. Bookman. Now, shall we get down to business? Time of departure is midnight tonight. I trust that will suit you. The preordination is for death during sleep. I assume this too will meet with your approval. You'll find this a relatively simple and painless process...
Lew Bookman: Now just a minute. I don't want to go!
Mr. Death: No, they never do.

Lew Bookman: Well, just between you and me, I never made a truly big pitch. I mean, I mean a big pitch, a pitch big enough for the skies to open up. You know, a pitch for the angels. Of course, that wouldn't mean very much to you, but it would mean a great deal to me. It would mean that for one moment in my whole life I would have done something successful. It would mean that maybe the children would be very proud of me.

Lew Bookman: Ladies and gentlemen, if you will feast your eyes on probably the most exciting invention since atomic energy, a simulated silk, so fabulously conceived as to mystify even the ancient Chinese silk manufacturers. An almost unbelievable attention to detail. Witness, if you will, a demonstration of tensile strength. Feel that, if you will sir. Unbelievable, isn't it? As strong as steel, yet as fragile and delicate as Shantuang Silk. Picture if you will, three hundred years of backbreaking research and labor to develop this, the absolute ultimate in thread. And what would you expect to pay for this fabulous, I say fabulous, incredible amazing development of the tailor's art? Would you pay thirty dollars a spool? Twenty five? Twenty? Ten? Well very well you might, sir, if you were trying to purchase this in stores. But this fantastic thread is not in stores. It is smuggled in by Oriental birds especially trained for ocean travel, each carrying a minute quantity in a small satchel underneath their ruby throats. It takes eight hundred thirty two crossings to supply enough thread to go around one spool. And tonight, at my special get-acquainted introductory mid July Hot Summer Sale, I offer you this fabulous thread, not at twenty dollars a spool, not at ten, not at five, but at the ridiculously low price of twenty five cents a spool!
Mr. Death: I'll take all you have!

Lew Bookman: And now for the piece de resistance. An item never before offered in this or any other country. One guaranteed live human man servant.
Mr. Death: How's that?
Lew Bookman: For what I ask, you shall receive a willing, capable, highly sophisticated wonderfully loyal right-hand man to use in any capacity you see fit.
How's that?
Lew Bookman: Me! Lewis J. Bookman! The first model of its kind. He comes to you with an absolute guarantee all parts interchangeable, with a certificate of four years serviceability. He eats little, he sleeps little. He rests only occasionally, and there he is at your elbow, at your beck and call whenever needed.
Mr. Death: Mr. Bookman, you are a persuasive man.
Lew Bookman: I challenge any other store, wholesale house or industry to even come close to matching what I offer you here, because my dear man, I offer you, I offer you... (clock chimes midnight)
Mr. Death: It's midnight! It's midnight and I've missed my appointment!
(Bookman smiles with delight; he's succeeded)
Doctor: Give her the sedatives every three hours, Mrs. Polanski. She'll be alright. She just needs a lot of rest now.
Mr. Death: One minute past twelve, Mr. Bookman, and you made me miss my appointment.
Lew Bookman: Thank God.

Lew Bookman: Oh, excuse me. I forgot something. I'll be back in a minute. You never know who might need something up there. Up there?
Mr. Death: Up there, Mr. Bookman. You made it.

Closing Narration
Narrator: 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.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorLyle Boyer
CastingMillie Gusse (1)
Set DesignerHenry Grace
Set DecoratorRudy Butler
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorWilliam Ferrari  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Jean Valentino
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Sound Effects EditorVan Allen James
 
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 1 episode 2 guide may contain spoilers
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