Thursday, May 7, 2015

Twilight Zone: The Silence (1961)

On  April 28, 1961, CBS aired what would become my second favorite Twilight Zone episode of all time, "The Silence." (Nothing has ever topped "The Hitchhiker" episode for me, but "The Silence" is a close second.) Franchot Tone gives one of his finest performances as Colonel Archie Taylor, an esteemed man who is eternally annoyed by the incessant chatter of a younger member (Jamie Tennyson, played by Liam Sullivan) of the men's club.

Taylor challenges Tennyson in a bet: Remain silent for one year and Taylor will pay him $500,000. All of the elder members of the men's club influence Tennyson to take the bet after speaking highly of Taylor's credit and reputation.

Tennyson accepts the wager and moves into a glass room in the club. Taylor does not expect Tennyson's tenacity and all of Taylor's attempts to break Tennyson's silence fail.

A year passes and Tennyson exits the glass room to the cheers of his fellow clubmates. What occurs next is a classic Twilight Zone twist and one that will stay with you long after you've finished the episode. I won't spoil it for you here. But if you're up late one night and spot the opening of "The Silence" on your television, don't change the channel. You don't want to miss this smart and entertaining episode of classic television!

"The Silence" is episode 25 of Season 2 of The Twilight Zone. You can purchase the Season 2 DVD set online at

At the time of this writing, the episode is also streaming at Netflix and HuluPlus.

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