The Twilight Zone

Season 3 Episode 23

The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank

5
Aired Unknown Feb 23, 1962 on CBS
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
135 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Jeff Myrtlebank comes back to life at his own funeral and soon begins to act very strangely...

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • One of my all time favorites.

    9.0
    This is one of the episodes that I can watch over and over again and be both spooked and amused at the same time.



    James Best is just grand as Jeff Myrtlebank, who had apparently died of one of the worst cases of influenza his doctor had ever seen and on the day of his funeral had come back from the dead.



    Everytime I watch this episode I always try to think about what could have brought him back from the dead and what is the reason for his strange behaviour.



    One of the greatest episodes from my favorite show that I never get tired of.moreless
  • Fear ensues when an entire town shows up for the funeral of young Jeff Myrtlebank, only to have the deceased sit up in his coffin, with some slight changes.

    9.1
    Not necessarily the best or the best-known episode, this is superb in its own right. The premise is simple yet effective: A young man returns to life at his own funeral. He has undergone some distinct changes--an improved work ethic, a skill in fisticuffs, a touch that kills flowers, and the ability to light matches without striking them. Given the backwoods community in which he lives, the natural assumption is that Jeff isn't really Jeff--that an evil spirit has taken over his body.



    A lot of good things can be said here, but I'd like to focus on this one: The characterization of the people of this "Midwest, Southernmost section" community. It would have been really easy for the writer to present them as caricatures that would have been insulting to almost anyone of Southern lineage. Instead, writer Montgomery Pittman perfectly walks the tightrope of having characters who are Southern without making them into caricatures. This complements a script that is well-crafted overall.



    Look for a young James Best (Roscose from "Dukes of Hazzard") and even the Dub Taylor ("The Hubba-Bubba Man" from commercials here. Also, the final special effect with the match is quite memorable. If you get a chance to watch this episode (like on one of Sci-Fi channels July 4th or New Year's marathons), you need to watch it.moreless
  • Jeff Myrtlebank has a problem. Almost the whole town shows up for his funeral, and watches in horror as he raises up from his casket. He's not dead! Or is he? soon the town becomes very uneasy and afraid of him,all exept his lovely fiance.moreless

    8.5
    A must see for Zonies. The viewer is not really sure what gives, untill the GREAT ending! James Best pulls off another great performance as a Jim Lindsay/Roscoe P Coltrain type character. This is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes. A lot of them, even the better ones let you kind of suspect where it is going. This episode has you scratching your head until the end.
Dub Taylor

Dub Taylor

Mr. Peters

Guest Star

Ralph Moody

Ralph Moody

Pa Myrtlebank

Guest Star

Jon Lormer

Jon Lormer

Mr. Strauss

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Time, the mid-twenties. Place, the Midwest, the southernmost section of the Midwest. We were just witnessing a funeral, a funeral that didn't come off exactly as planned, due to a slight fallout from the Twilight Zone.

    • Doc Bolton: I know what it is. I know what it is. The miracle that happened here in our country. The medical term for it: ipso suspendo animatus. Very rare. In fact there's only been 30 cases in the last 1,500 years.
      Pa Myrtlebank: You just covering up for your own miscalculations, Doc? I ain't never heard of no sickness like that.
      Doc Bolton: Ain't likely you would, with only 30 cases in 1,500 years. all them in Europe. Best thing for you to do is quit slandering my name, take that boy home.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Jeff and Comfort are still alive today, and their only son is a United States Senator. He's noted as an uncommonly shrewd politician, and some believe he must have gotten his education in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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