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The Twilight Zone: A World of Difference

A businessman discovers his office is really only a set for a movie in which he is a character.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x23
Production Number: 173-3624
Airdate: Friday March 11th, 1960

Director: Ted Post
Writer: Richard Matheson


  • Currently 8/10
8/10 (2 Votes cast)

Trailer


 
Flash
Guest Stars
David White (1)David White (1)
As Brinkley
Recurring
Gail KobeGail Kobe
As Sally
Recurring
Bill IdelsonBill Idelson
As Stagehand
Howard DuffHoward Duff
As Arthur Curtis
Susan DornSusan Dorn
As Marian Curtis
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host

Recap

Businessman Arthur Curtis finds his office phone dead. He is surprised by hearing someone yell ''CUT!,'' and turns to find that his office is nothing more than a sound-stage. Everyone explains to him that his name is really Jerry Raigan, a washed up movie star and that Arthur Curtis is just a character he is playing. He goes outside where his wife was to be waiting for him, but the woman in the car had no recollection to who he is. Curtis drives to where he knows his home to be, but finds no evidence to him every living there. Raigan's agent, believing his client is having a nervous breakdown, tells him not to worry about returning to finish the movie because it has been canceled and the sets are to be dismantled. Curtis, realizing that this is the only link to his world and must not let it be destroyed. He arrives just in time on the set to plead not to be left in this uncaring world. Curtis finds himself back in his office, while the agent arrives on the set and finds that Jerry Raigan has vanished...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
David White also appeared in "I Sing the Body Electric." He may be best known for his role as Larry Tate on Bewitched.

Gail Kobe starred in Charlton Heston's movie The Ten Commandments. She would return for "In His Image" and "The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross."

Howard Duff was once married to actress/director Ida Lupino.

Eileen Ryan is the mother of actors Christopher and Sean Penn.



Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Narrator:
You're looking at a tableau of reality, things of substance, of physical material: a desk, a window, a light. These things exist and have dimension. Now this is Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six, who also is real. He has flesh and blood, muscle and mind. But in just a moment we will see how thin a line separates that which we assume to be real with that manufactured inside of a mind.

Arthur Curtis: I don't know what's going on! I don't know what's going on!
Brinkley: Jerry?
Nora: Alright, get over here now.
Brinkley: Nora, don't!
Nora: Look, you stay out of this!
Brinkley: Nora, please, can't you see he's upset?
Arthur Curtis: Leave me alone.
Nora: You're going to sign this check, Jerry! You're going to sign it right now!! Gerald Raigan! (taking his hand with pen) G-E-R! A-L-D!
Arthur Curtis: That is not my name!
Nora: (screaming loudly) R-A-I-G-A-N!
Arthur Curtis: That's not my name! Now, listen, this has gone far enough! I'm not Gerald Raigan. I don't know any of you. My name is Arthur Curtis. Do you hear me? Arthur Curtis, and I work for Davis... (calls directory assistance) I'd like to have a telephone number of the Davis Morton company. 189 Brand Street, in Los Angeles. (a beat) Of course there is! I work there! I've worked there for the last seven years. Hello?! Hello?!

Brinkley: Feeling better?
Arthur Curtis: You don't believe me, do you?
Brinkley: I believe you've been overworked and under a terrible strain. You need help, Jerry.
Arthur Curtis: Help?
Brinkley: It's not my province but I've known you a long time. Can't you see what's happened? Cast of characters: Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six. A young business executive, happily married. Curtis lives in Woodland Hills with his wife and child. Marian Curtis, age thirty-three. A charming young woman. Typical of that efficient breed which can manage a house and family and still have ample time...
Arthur Curtis: Stop it!
Brinkley: The only information you have about Arthur Curtis is what's written in this script.
Arthur Curtis: No.
Brinkley: Jerry, sometimes I'd like to escape myself. Away from this turmoil to some simpler existence.
Arthur Curtis: You're telling me that this is a delusion, that I'm really Gerald Raigan, a drunken...
Brinkley: Gerald Raigan, a sweet, unhappy man, burdened with that...that harpie. Jerry Raigan, trying to find a little happiness, that's all.
Arthur Curtis: No, it's real. It's real.
Brinkley: I wish it were. For your sake Jerry, I wish it were. I've got to go, Jerry. Try and get some rest. Forget about the picture. You don't have to finish it. I just spoke to the studio a few minutes ago. They're canceling production. Arthur Curtis is dead. (he drops the script in the wastebasket)
Arthur Curtis: I've got to get back.
Brinkley: It's too late, Jerry. It's finished.
Arthur Curtis: I've got to get back to my office!
Brinkley: Your office? If you mean the set, they're probably tearing it down right now.
Arthur Curtis: They can't! They can't do that! (he bolts down the stairs and out to his car, driving wildly through LA back to the studio)
Brinkley: Jerry!

Arthur Curtis: Let's get out of here.
Marian Curtis: Artie, are you alright?
Arthur Curtis: Yes.
Marian Curtis: Well, where were you?
Sally: Mr. Curtis, are you leaving now?
Arthur Curtis: Yes.
Sally: Well, I have your tickets for Saturday night. Here you are.
Arthur Curtis: Fine, thanks.
Stagehand: (O.S.) Alright, let's get those lamps and tables out of here!!
Marian Curtis: Honey, what's the matter?
Arthur Curtis: Please. Honey, let's not wait. Let's go on our vacation right away.
Marian Curtis: Hey, what's wrong?
Arthur Curtis: Nothing, darling. I just don't want to lose you.

Closing Narration
Narrator:
The modus operandi for the departure from life is usually a pine box of such and such dimensions, and this is the ultimate in reality. But there are other ways for a man to exit from life. Take the case of Arthur Curtis, age thirty-six. His departure was along a highway with an exit sign that reads 'This way to escape.' Arthur Curtis, en route to the Twilight Zone.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJoseph Gluck
MusicVan Cleave
Set DesignerHenry Grace
Set DecoratorRudy Butler
Director of PhotographyHarkness C. Smith
Art DirectorWilliam Ferrari  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Jean Valentino
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
 
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 1 episode 23 guide may contain spoilers
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