The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 10

A Most Unusual Camera

2
Aired Unknown Dec 16, 1960 on CBS
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
142 votes
2

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Episode Summary

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Chester Diedrich and his wife Paula, after burglarizing a curio shop, end up with a camera that takes pictures of events five minutes into the future.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A camera can take picture of the future.

    8.0
    While on the surface, the episode may seem boring and awful, if you watch it a second time, you'll learn to love it. The husband is delightfuly angry, always upset with his wife. his wife is quite amazing as the shrewdy character who thinks he loves the two men in here life, only to get over their deaths in a second. Woodworth is the only sympathetic character, and even then we can assume that his stupidity is, indeed, HIS fault. The french waiter's small role is memorable enough, but I would think that an expanded role could have explained it better. The characters are all wicked, making their deaths all the more guiltily delightful.moreless
  • A cautionary tale about greed and foreknowledge.

    6.5
    Serling was never above "borrowing" plots and situations now and then. Not plagiarism, you understand, just a little "deriving." Sort of like the Milton Berle of drama.



    This episode, for example, has always reminded me of the Nelson Bond tale, "Johnny Cartright's Camera," published in 1940 (Unknown magazine) and anthologized in Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies and Other Fantastic Tales (1946).



    A small-time second-story man and his wife discover, in the swag from their latest heist, a camera that takes Polaroid-style photographs of events occurring five minutes in the future. As always, there's a hitch. The camera will deliver only ten snapshots to a customer, and several shots are wasted before the hapless owners learn this fact.



    The fun starts after the thieves make a big score at the racetrack.



    Bond's story was played mostly for laughs while Serling, as he generally does, goes for the moral object lesson.



    Mildly amusing and worth watching.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Trivia: The inscription on the camera reads dix a la proprietaire.

    • When Chester's wife wakes up in bed and Chester is looking over the camera, in the wide shot Chester flips the camera to where the handle is pointing towards the ceiling, but then the next shot has him holding the camera with the handle facing the window.

    • How did the brother know where his sister and her husband were at after he escaped and jimmied open their door? The couple was staying in a hotel and they acted like they haven't seen him in quite a while when he appeared on the picture of him walking in the room. They said he couldn't possibly walk through the door cause he's been in prison for a year already.

    • How did the French waiter manage to plummet to his death at the end? It wasn't clear whether he tripped over something, fainted, or simply hurled himself over the sill, as the focus was taken off of him and placed on the camera.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: A hotel suite that in this instance serves as a den of crime, the aftermath of a rather minor event to be noted on a police blotter, an insurance claim, perhaps a three-inch box on page twelve of the evening paper. Small addenda to be added to the list of the loot: a camera, a most unimposing addition to the flotsam and jetsam that it came with, hardly worth mentioning really, because cameras are cameras, some expensive, some purchasable at five-and-dime stores. But this camera, this one's unusual, because in just a moment we'll watch it inject itself into the destinies of three people. It happens to be a fact that the pictures that it takes can only be developed in the Twilight Zone.

    • Chester: This thing could come from witches or... sorcerers. It could be loaded with black magic.
      Paula: And what are you loaded with?

    • Chester: Three posters in frames. The guy that painted these thinks that Picasso is a foreign sports car.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Object known as a camera, vintage uncertain, origin unknown. But for the greedy, the avaricious, the fleet of foot who can run a four-minute mile so long as they're chasing a fast buck, it makes believe that it's an ally, but it isn't at all. It's a beckoning come-on for a quick walk around the block in the Twilight Zone.

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  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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