The Twilight Zone

Season 2 Episode 25

The Silence

Aired Unknown Apr 28, 1961 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
136 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A talkative man takes an offer to keep silent for a year for $500,000.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • a man bets he can keep quite for a year so he can prove a point to a rich man, and earn a couple dollars. he succeeds in humiliating the rich man...but goes too far and pays a harsh pricemoreless

    this episode is what got me into this show. i remember falling asleep by my bed and then all of a sudden jumping when i saw this ending. its such a brilliant twist that i definatly never saw coming. many of the episodes in twilight zone are amazing, but are different because it involves some sort of supernatural element in the episode. the reason i liked this one so much was because it was all so real, and could have all happend. i reccomended this episode to many people and got them into the show as well. poor guy...he just wanted to prove what type of a person he was while making a couple bucks...shows in life that nothing is 100% and we should never make long term changes(like cutting ur vocal cords!)moreless
  • At a gentlemen's club an elderly man grows tired of a boasting young man who claims he can make money. He offers him a bet of half a million to keep quiet for six months. Spoilers in reviewmoreless

    A wager is made that a young man can not keep silent for six months. The man who offers the wager is known of substantial means and can afford him the wager. As time nears the end, we see the old man lose his composure and try to convince the man taking the wager, that it is not worth it with immoral lies. After the man keeps silent for six months, the elderly gentleman reveals that he has squandered his money and can not pay him. When asked to say something, TO RESPOND, the young man writes on a peice of paper, I can't... I cut my vocal chords.moreless
Cyril Delevanti

Cyril Delevanti


Guest Star

Everett Glass

Everett Glass

First Club Member

Guest Star

Felix Locher

Felix Locher

Second Club Member

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: The note that this man is carrying across a club room is in the form of a proposed wager, but it's the kind of wager that comes without precedent. It stands alone in the annals of bet-making as the strangest game of chance ever offered by one man to another. In just a moment, we'll see the terms of the wager and what young Mr. Tennyson does about it. And in the process, we'll witness all parties spin a wheel of chance in a very bizarre casino called the Twilight Zone.

    • Jamie Tennyson: May I ask what is the reason for this wager?
      Archie Taylor: What I'm about to say might horrify the average person, but to someone as insensitive as you, it probably won't mean a thing. I dislike you intensely, Tennyson. It goes much beyond the ordinary distaste I feel for someone without breeding, without principles, without manners. Your voice has become intolerable. I sit here each night and the sound of it makes me wince. I cannot ask you to resign from the club. I haven't got that right. So, it occurred to me that I'd be willing to offer a large sum of money just to have some quiet. You see, Tennyson, you could not possibly remain silent for a year. It's not in your nature. You're a shallow, talkative, empty-headed ne'er-do-well, and to remain silent would destroy you. So what I assume will happen. You will perhaps withstand the pressures for... three or four weeks, maybe a couple of months, and then you will succumb. That's again, your nature. In the meantime, I will derive, oh, several months of exquisite silence. Well, Tennyson? Does it appeal to your sporting blood?
      Jamie Tennyson: Oddly enough, it does appeal to my sporting blood.
      Archie Taylor: Now that, too, is patently ridiculous. There's nothing sporting about you, Tennyson. I happen to know that you're delivering your nightly financial fahlderal because you're in desperate straits. You've run through your inheritance, your debts are insurmountable, and you'd do practically anything for money, except perhaps to remain silent for a year.

    • Archie Taylor: You'll have to take my word.
      Jamie Tennyson: I see. It's my courage against your credit. Well a year from tomorrow night both can be proved.

    • Jamie Tennyson: Do you know my wife, sir? Her name is Doris. She's a lovely thing, frail, beautiful, fragile. Like a cameo brooch, but her tastes run to unfragile things. Sizable baubles with sizable price tags. She shops at Tiffany's the way other women enter a supermarket. My miserable misfortune is that I happen to be very much in love with her.

    • George Alfred: But the ugly affair has proved two things, hasn't it, Archie? That that boy down there is stronger than you gave him credit for, and you are considerably weaker.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: Mr. Jamie Tennyson, who almost won a bet, but who discovered somewhat belatedly that gambling can be a most unproductive pursuit, even with loaded dice, marked cards, or as in his case some severed vocal cords. For somewhere beyond him a wheel was turned and his number came up black thirteen. If you don't believe it, ask the croupier, the very special one who handles roulette in the Twilight Zone.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Franchot Tone filmed the club sequences in the early part of production. Then, something happened that caused him damage to the left side of his face. Tone's account of the incident, according to Liam Sullivan, is that it was an accident. He fell off a terrace trying to pick a flower for his girlfriend and fell on a driveway. Serling says it was Tone hitting on someone else's girlfriend in a parking lot. The boyfriend took offense and beat up Tone. Regardless of the cause, the left side of his face was temporarily puffed up. Rather then reshoot with a different actor, the director filmed the remainder of Tone's scenes, in the glass-room chamber, with the actor in profile so that you never see the left side of his face. This means that Tone's character is taunting Tennyson without ever actually facing him, giving the character an even more sinister aspect.