The Twilight Zone

Season 3 Episode 29

Four O'Clock

Aired Unknown Apr 06, 1962 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
105 votes

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Episode Summary

Oliver Crangle is a bitter, prejudiced man. Through unknown means he intends to shrink every evil person in the world at four o'clock.

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  • A McCarthyite fanatic claims that he can make something terrible happen at four o'clock - and it does, but not in the way he expects.

    A very typical TZ episode, dominated by the grandstanding performance of Theodore Bikel as the extreme-right-wing nut-case who claims he can make all the evil people in the world (i.e., the ones he disagrees with) shrink to one-third of their normal size at four o'clock today. Bikel, wearing big glasses with enormous lenses, has a whale of a time portraying this poisonous bigot, a classic reactionary paranoid of a type all too commonplace in the heyday of Senator McCarthy (about a decade before this episode aired). His views are so extreme that even one of J. Edgar Hoover's G-men is appalled by him. His comeuppance is guessable, but satisfying. Was his parrot supposed to be a kind of familiar?moreless
  • The episode focuses on Oliver Crangle, a right wing fanatic who is obsessed with reporting people as evil.

    This is a really funny episode. This is maybe Serling's own punch on right wing paranoia and McCarthyism. A fanatic

    and his parrot is obssessed with compiling people as evil.

    Nothing wrong with that but as the FBI agent investigates his claim there really isn't any proof of it not even a parking ticket or a hate claim (like some right wing claiming that all Mexicans go illegally through the border).

    However, that was the focus of the episode fanaticism it's executed really well , and the episode is quite well done especially the twist at the end with person becoming a little midget.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: That's Oliver Crangle, a dealer in petulance and poison. He's rather arbitrarily chosen four o'clock as his personal Gotterdammerung, and we are about to watch the metamorphosis of a twisted fanatic, poisoned by the gangrene of prejudice, to the status of an avenging angel, upright and omniscient, dedicated and fearsome. Whatever your clocks say it's four o'clock - and wherever you are it happens to be the Twilight Zone.

    • Mrs. Williams: Are you threatening me?
      Crangle My dear lady, I don't threaten people. I compile them. I compile them and I investigate them, analyze them. Then I categorize them and I judge them. If they're impure and evil then they must be punished. On the other hand, if they're simply mislead or naive or unsophisticated, then I point out to them the right way.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: At four o'clock, an evil man made his bed and lay in it, a pot called a kettle black, a stone-thrower broke the windows of his glass house. You look for this one under 'F' for fanatic and 'J' for justice... in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (2)

    • In recent years, this episode was remade for radio...with Stacy Keach as the narrator, and Stan Freberg picking up the role of "Crangle."

    • This episode is based on the short story "Four O'Clock" by Price Day. This story was first published in Alfred Hitchcock Presents: 14 of My Favorites in Suspense (1959).