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The Twilight Zone: The Man in the Bottle

A genie grants an impoverished pawnbroker four wishes which hasn't exactly turned out as he had hoped.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x2
Production Number: 173-3638
Airdate: Friday October 07th, 1960

Director: Don Medford
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Vivi JanissVivi Janiss
As Edna Castle
Luther AdlerLuther Adler
As Arthur Castle

Co-Guest Stars
Joseph RuskinJoseph Ruskin
As Genie
Olan SouleOlan Soule
As I.R.S. Agent
Lisa GolmLisa Golm
As Mrs. Gumley

Albert SzaboAlbert Szabo
As Second German
Peter CoePeter Coe
As First German
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Arthur and Edna Castle own a rundown pawnshop and are ceaselessly in debt. The good-hearted Arthur can’t resist when neighbor woman Mrs. Gumley comes in and tries to sell an old bottle claiming it’s a family heirloom. He finally gives her a dollar for it but as she leaves she starts crying and explains that she found it in a garbage can. After she goes, Edna complains about how Arthur is driving them further into debt. Arthur in turn notes how the shop destroyed his grandfather and father, and will destroy him too. He picks up a handful of bills and knocks the bottle to the ground where it breaks… and a mist pour out. A well-dressed gentleman appears from the mist and introduces himself as a genie...

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Episode Notes
Luther Adler was the brother of famed acting coach Stella Adler and had previously portrayed Adolf Hitler in the 1951 biopic of General Erwin Rommel entitled The Desert Fox.

Joseph Ruskin returns in "To Serve Man."

Olan Soule returns in "Caesar and Me" and is a veteran tv and cartoon voice actor.

Vivi Janiss appeared previously in "The Fever."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, gentle and infinitely patient people, whose lives have been a hope chest with a rusty lock and a lost set of keys. But in just a moment that hope chest will be opened, and an improbable phantom will try to bedeck the drabness of these two people's failure-laden lives with the gold and precious stones of fulfillment. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, standing on the outskirts and about to enter the Twilight Zone.

Genie: Rather than go into lengthy generic explanation of my existence, suffice it to say that I am a genie.

Arthur Castle: I think we'd better call the police.
Genie: Wish for them. I can bring you Scotland Yard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or every bobby in the city of London. Is it the police you want?

Arthur Castle: What about it, genie? What can we wish for now? What can come to us without tricks?
Genie: "Without tricks"? I question the semantics here, Mr. Castle. There are no tricks involved. There are simply normal and understandable outgrowths and conditions that go with any windfall. No matter what you wish for, you must be prepared for the consequences.

Edna Castle: What's the matter, Arthur? You look so funny. What happened?
Arthur Castle: I had a wish fulfilled. Number four. All the wishes ended the same way, in fragments and little pieces. Funny thing though, this place...this place doesn't look half bad.
Edna Castle: You alright?
Arthur Castle: Oh, I'm fine. Well, maybe we'll stop wishing for awhile. And since we obviously can't afford a brand new life, suppose we give the old one a paint job or something.
Edna Castle: I think that's a very good idea. (Laughs)
Arthur Castle: What are you laughing at?
Edna Castle: We came out of it ahead anyway. (Points at the fixed display case)
Arthur Castle: Shouldn't be a total loss, huh.

Closing Narration
A word to the wise now to the garbage collectors of the world, to the curio seekers, to the antique buffs, to everyone who would try to coax out a miracle from unlikely places. Check that bottle you're taking back for a two-cent deposit. The genie you save might be your own. Case in point, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, fresh from the briefest of trips into the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
The swastika on Arthur/Hitler's armband is rotated clockwise, but the flag on the wall is counterclockwise. The flag is incorrect: all Nazi flags used the clockwise/right-facing image.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
CastingEthel Winant
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorGeorge W. Davis  |  Philip Barber
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Charles Scheid
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Film EditorLeon Barsha
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