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The Twilight Zone: It's a Good Life

A town fears a six-year-old boy who possesses the power to change things with a thought inside his mind.


Episode Info


Episode number: 3x8
Production Number: 4801
Airdate: Friday November 03rd, 1961

Director: James Sheldon
Story: Jerome Bixby
Teleplay: Rod Serling


  • Currently 8.6/10
8.6/10 (5 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
John Larch
As Mr. Fremont
Recurring
Don Keefer
As Dan Hollis
Recurring
Bill Mumy
As Anthony Fremont (as Billy Mumy)
Recurring
Alice Frost
As Aunt Amy
Recurring
Cloris Leachman
As Agnes Fremont
Max Showalter
As Pat Riley (as Casey Adams)
Jeanne Bates
As Ethel Hollis
Lenore Kingston
As Old Woman
Tom Hatcher
As Bill Soames
Main Cast
Rod Serling
As Narrator/Host

Recap

A monster has removed the town of Peaksville, Ohio from reality. Or has destroyed the entire world and left only Peaksville behind. The monster has cut off all electricity to the town and destroyed all of the machines, using just the power of his mind. He lives at the home of Mr. Freemont and his wife. When Aunt Amy accidentally sang, she upset the monster which destroyed her mind. Now everyone has to keep smiling and think happy thoughts, or the monster will mutilate or kill them as well by reading their minds and sending them to the cornfield...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This episode contains the longest opening narration on the entire series.

A sequel - "It's Still a Good Life" - was made for the 2002 version series, with Billy Mumy and Cloris Leachman reprising their roles.

This episode was remade as a segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie in 1982.

Alice Frost is also in "The Sixteen-Millimeter Shrine."

Billy Mumy was also in "Long Distance Call" and "In Praise of Pip."

Don Keefer is also in "Passage on the Lady Anne" and "From Agnes - With Love."

John Larch is also in "Perchance to Dream" and "Dust."

This episode is based on the short story "It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby in the Frederik Pohl edited anthology "Star Science Fiction Stories #2" (1953).

In 1974 Rod Serling finished writing a full screenplay of this episode to be made into a movie. But he died in 1975, and the film was never made.



Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Narrator:
Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines - because they displeased him - and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages - just by using his mind. Now I'd like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It's in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn't like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you're looking at now. She sings no more. And you'll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion. Oh yes, I did forget something, didn't I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He's six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you'd better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.

Anthony: No kids came to play with me today, not a single one, and I wanted someone to play with!
Mr. Fremont: Well, Anthony, you remember what happened the last time some kids came over to play. The little Fredricks boy and his sister.
Anthony: I had a real good time.
Mr. Fremont: Oh, sure you did, you had a real good time, and it's good that you have a good time, it's real good. It's just that...
Anthony: It's just that what?
Mr. Fremont: Well, Anthony, you uh... you wished them away into the cornfield, and their mommy and daddy were real upset.

Anthony: You're a bad man! You're a very bad man!

Mr. Fremont: It's snowing outside! Anthony, are you making it snow?
Anthony: Yes, I'm making it snow.
Mr. Fremont: Why that'll ruin half the crops! You know that, don't you, half the crops! That's what that...
(Mrs. Fremont runs over to her husband to stop him from saying anything which would anger Anthony)
Mr. Fremont But it's good that you're making it snow, Anthony, it's real good.

Closing Narration
Narrator:
No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony you can be sure of one thing: you have entered the Twilight Zone.



Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorJason H. Bernie
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
SoundWilliam Edmondson
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
 
Warning: The Twilight Zone season 3 episode 8 guide may contain spoilers
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