<-- Previous EpisodeNext Episode -->

The Twilight Zone: The Big Tall Wish

A young boy tells a washed-up prizefighter that he will make a "big tall wish" so he wins his comeback fight.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x27
Production Number: 173-3630
Airdate: Friday April 08th, 1960

Director: Ron Winston
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Ivan DixonIvan Dixon
As Bolie Jackson
Stephen PerryStephen Perry
As Henry (as Steven Perry)

Co-Guest Stars
Henry ScottHenry Scott
As Thomas
Kim HamiltonKim Hamilton
As Frances

Carl McIntireCarl McIntire
voiced Announcer
Charles HorvathCharles Horvath
As Joey Consiglio
Frankie VanFrankie Van
As Referee
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


In a New York City tenement, over-the-hill boxer Bolie Jackson is preparing for his comeback fight against Joey Consiglio. His admirer and biggest fan, a young boy named Henry, is watching him. Henry assures Bolie that he’ll be watching him tonight on TV, and Bolie looks in the mirror and fingers all the scars on his face. He admits to himself that he’s an old man, and Henry promises that he’ll make a big tall wish so that Bolie won’t get hurt...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Boxer Archie Moore was originally cast to play Bolie Jackson but couldn't keep up with the pace of filming, so was replaced by Ivan Dixon.

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
In this corner of the universe, a prizefighter named Bolie Jackson, one hundred and eighty-three pounds and an hour and a half away from a comeback at St. Nick's Arena. Mr. Bolie Jackson, who by the standards of his profession is an aging, over-the-hill relic of what was, and who now sees a reflection of a man who has left too many pieces of his youth in too many stadiums for too many years before too many screaming people. Mr. Bolie Jackson, who might do well to look for some gentle magic in the hard-surfaced glass that stares back at him.

Henry: Feelin' good, Bolie? Feelin' sharp?! Take a tiger tonight, huh, Bolie?!
Bolie Jackson: Take a tiger. I'm gonna take a tiger, Henry. I'll give him a left then a right and one to the stomach and then pick him up by the tail and throw him right up into the ninth row.
Henry: You're lookin' good, Bolie. You're lookin' sharp.
Bolie Jackson: You gonna watch?
Henry: You fooling? I'll yell so loud you'll hear me all the way to St. Nick's.
Bolie Jackson: You know, a fighter don't need a scrapbook, Henry. You want to know what he's done, where he's fought? You read it in his face. He's got the whole story cut into his flesh. St. Louis, 1949. Guy named Sailor Leavitt. A real fast boy. And this--Memorial Stadium. Syracuse, New York. Italian boy. Fought like Henry Armstrong. All hands and arms, just like a windmill on the wind. First time I ever got my nose broke twice in one fight. And move south, Henry. Miami, Florida. Boy got me up against the ring posts. He did this with his laces. Tired old man. Tired old man trying to catch a bus, and the bus has already gone. Left a couple of years ago. Arms are heavy, legs like rubber, short of wind, one eye almost gone. There I go, running down the street trying to catch that bus to glory.
Henry: Bolie, you are going to catch a tiger tonight. I'm gonna make a wish. I'm gonna make a big tall wish, and you ain't gonna get hurt none, either. You hear, Bolie? You've been hurt enough already, and you're my friend, Bolie. You're my good and close friend.

Bolie Jackson: Little boys, little boys with their heads full up with dreams. When do they find out, Frances? When do they suddenly find out that there ain't any magic? When does somebody push their face down on the sidewalk and say to them, "Hey, little boy, it's concrete. That's what the world is made out of—-concrete." When do they find out that you can wish your life away?

Bolie Jackson: Listen, kid, I've been wishing all my life. You understand, Henry, I got a gut ache from wishing, and all I've got to show for it is a face full of scars. And a head full of memories of all the hurt and misery I've had to live with and sleep with all my miserable life.

Bolie Jackson: Henry, I can't believe. I'm too old. And I'm too hurt to believe. I can't, boy, just can't. Now, Henry, there ain't no such thing as magic. God helps us both, I wish there were.

Henry: I ain't gonna make no more wishes, Bolie. I'm too old for wishes. And there ain't no such thing as magic, is there?
Bolie Jackson: I guess not, Henry. Or maybe... maybe there is magic. Maybe there's wishes, too. I guess the trouble is--I guess the trouble is not enough people around to believe. G'night, boy.
Henry: Goodnight, Bolie.

Closing Narration
Mr. Bolie Jackson, a hundred and eighty-three pounds, who left a second chance lying in a heap on a rosin-spattered canvas at St. Nick's Arena. Mr. Bolie Jackson, who shares the most common ailment of all men, the strange and perverse disinclination to believe in a miracle. The kind of miracle to come from the mind of a little boy, perhaps only to be found in the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
When Bolie confronts Henry on the roof, the boy pushes the rabbit hutch door shut, but it bounces open. When he turns back to the hutch a few seconds later, the door is closed.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorBill Mosher
MusicJerry Goldsmith
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  Keogh Gleason
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorMerrill Pye  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Philip Mitchell
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorKurt Neumann
Missing Information
Click here to add Music
Click here to add Cultural References
Click here to add Episode References
Click here to add Analysis