Friday, March 21, 2008

The Twilight Zone Diaries, episode 13

The Four of Us Are Dying

originally aired: January 1, 1960
written by: Rod Serling
starring: Harry Townes, Ross Martin

"His name is Arch Hammer. He's thirty-six years old. He's been a salesman, a dispatcher, a truck driver, a con-man, a bookie, and a part-time bartender. This is a cheap man, a nickel and dime man, with a cheapness of mind, a cheapness of taste, a tawdry little shine on the seat of his conscience, and a dark-room squint at the world whose sunlight has never gotten through to him. But Mr. Hammer has a talent, discovered at a very early age. This much he does have. He can make his face change. He can twist a muscle, move a jaw, concentrate on the cast of his eyes and he can change his face. He can change it into anything he wants. Mr. Arch Hammer, jack of all trades, has just checked in at $3.80 a night, with two bags, some newspaper clippings, a most odd talent, and a master plan to destroy some lives."

classification: drama

story: A con artist who has the ability to make his face change sucessfully impersonates four people but ends up being shot by the father of one of his victims.

my summary: A clever story, I always enjoy tales about creepy twins. Good use of urban settings, neon signs, hotels, skyline, etc. I always wondered what this one would be about when I heard the title. It was toward the end of the series of the videotapes, probably one of the last ones I got.

"He was Arch Hammer, a cheap little man who just checked in. He was Johnny Foster, who played a trumpet and was loved beyond words. He was Virgil Sterig, with money in his pocket. He was Andy Marshak, who got some of his agony back on a sidewalk in front of a cheap hotel. Hammer, Foster, Sterig, Marshak---and all four of them are dying."