The Twilight Zone

Season 5 Episode 24

What's in the Box

6
Aired Unknown Mar 13, 1964 on CBS
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
86 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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A cheating husband sees his secret revealed and its horrible consequences on his just-repaired TV set.

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  • Joe Britt, a leacherous cab driver, discovers a channel that never existed before an odd TV repairman finishes with the set. Joe witnesses scenes of his past, his present, with his miserable wife, and scenes of his future, including his wife's death.moreless

    9.0
    I find this episode absolutely delightful in that it depicts two of the most miserable people in the confinement of their New York apartment. Joe Britt is a classic curmudgeon, an adulterous cabbie with a foul mouth (full of swell vintage slang), and the sensational Broad of all Broads, Joan Blondell, portraying Phyliss, his equally foul-mouthed and most unpleasant wife. The actual story itself, involving Joe's seeing himself on the recently "repaired" TV, in his past, present, & future is almost secondary to the magnificent and incredibly over-the-top argumentative squalor which has existed between the Britts for over some 27 years. WHY is this wretched couple together at all? Even Joe queries to himself, "what did I ever see in her in the foist place?" The shows resolves in a classic trash-marriage brawl; much use of period slang-cursing, throwing of books, breakables, and lamps, wrestling on the floor, and the eventual demise of Phyliss after an infuriated Joe SOCKS her but good and knocks her out the window. The verbal exchanges, the vulgarity, their appearance, and even the choreography of their motions as they swear and nag is just brilliantly horrifying, and, I think, VERY funny. Particularly in an obscenely unflattering close-up of Blondell's learing face, eyes WIDE open, as she mocks Joe for what she thinks he thinks he is seeing on the TV - in particular, "Fan Dancers from YONKERS, YONKERS, YONKERS!"moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • QUOTES (4)

    • (Opening Narration)
      Narrator: Portrait of a TV fan. Name: Joe Britt. Occupation: cab driver. Tonight, Mr. Britt is going to watch 'a really big show,' something special for the cabbie who's seen everything. Joe Britt doesn't know it, but his flag is down and his meter's running and he's in high gear--on his way to the Twilight Zone.

    • Joe: (about his wife) Why, she wouldn't know sympathy if it bit her in the back side!

    • Woman: Marry me.
      Joe: Marry you? Oh, now, look, baby, we're talking about two different things. Love is flowers and wine with the dinner. Marriage is a floor mop and two pounds of hamburger.
      Woman: Oh, well, I don't mind hamburger. Uh, with onions.

    • (Closing Narration)
      Narrator: The next time your TV set is on the blink, when you're in the need of a first-rate repairman, may we suggest our own specialist? Factory-trained, prompt, honest, twenty-four-hour service. You won't find him in the phone book, but his office is conveniently located--in the Twilight Zone.

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