One of the better ones. Certainly this is better for Anne Francis than that later episode "JEss Belle" in which her talents were just wasted. The only complaint I have is that the "New "Twilight Zone" did a remake in which the maniquin woman doesnt accept that she only comes alive for a week and still tries to act human.
Anne Francis is wonderful here, in a role that seems tailor-made for her: where she can tilt her head to the side and look puzzled and say, "Wait, that doesn't seem to make sense at all..." The dark-featured lady who waits on her is a perfect combination of elegance and menace, and of course we also get to see the redoubtable James Millhollin (who has to be a cousin of Franklin Pangborn) doing a redoubtable double take. This episode btw features the second-most famous "Marcia Marcia Marcia..." in TV history. Okay, the premise is arguably a bit on the silly side, but it's done so consummately well (and with touches of humor and panache throughout) that it passes muster and then some...kind of like the best TZ episode that John Collier never wrote.
The relatively everyday setting of a department store becomes an eerie backdrop for this highly imaginative tale. What I found fascinating were the subtle editing and directing hints dropped throughout the episode, that not all the "people" you were seeing were actually people. The odd leg movements, stiff hand gestures, the tight shots of feet. They are suggesting the limited range of mannequin motions, though you may not realize it on the first viewing. The actors were well cast physically, which was essential to make the premise believable. What could have been cheesy, with the wrong actors or director, instead is a classic.
I just saw this episode last night and believe me this episode still holds up today! A woman goes to a nonexistent floor at a department store with nothing except what she seeks and only one strange saleswoman that knows her name. Suspense builds later where she is all alone and hears voices and the mannequins move silently and eerily. This gives me a good lesson: never enter a clothing shop alone. The only complaint I have is the how Marsha realizes she too is a mannequin. Was it magic practiced? Are they spirits of the dead? Or are they aliens? We'll never know.
"The After Hours" is the episode title for tonight's show, and it was just what you expect from The Twilight Zone: a little spooky and a little creepy, but a good story. The ending was not a moral one or anything of that sort, but it was a well-written episode that while it was definitely predictable, the viewer could still enjoy this; it definitely has replay value.
The Twilight Zone was such a groundbreaking series at the time and today it still resonates well with most people. This may not be considered a classic, but it is still a strong ep.
This story is rightly regarded as a classic. Anne Francis plays Marsha White to perfection, highlighting a human's insatiable hunt for a thimble and receiving so much more. Also worth a mention is Elizabeth Allen, who grasps the role of the saleslady with some sort of callous behaviour(the start), yet prudent manner (the end). When White is locked on the third floor of the department store alone, save for the mannequins, it is one of the most tense moments of 'The Twilight Zone' as solitude can be a curse in a place where so much mystery has already happened. The direction is flawless, with several shots of White's feet showing desperation of what can be looked at if one was retreating from an unseen fear. Of course, the ending has an unforgettable quality to it, as the mechanics of White's 'life' are revealed.
Anne Francis plays Marsha White, a woman who is taken by a mysterious express elevator to the non-existent ninth floor of a large department store. She is waited on by a lady who later turns out to be a mannequin. Marsha is looking for a gold thimble to give to her mother as a gift. All of the glass display cases on this ninth floor are empty except one and it contains only a single item: a gold thimble just like the one Marsha is looking for. After buying the thimble Marsha discovers as she descends the elevator that the thimble is scratched and dented so she wants to return it. That is when the macabre events begin happening to her. Another O'Henry-like surprise ending from Mr. Serling on this one....
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