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"Dead Woman's Shoes" is the first segment of the ninth episode from the first season (1985–86) of the television series The New Twilight Zone.

Plot

Maddie Duncan (Helen Mirren) is a timid thrift store employee. One day at work, she finds a pair of expensive looking high heeled shoes in a box of donations. Upon fitting them on, her personality completely changes to become confident and assertive. She storms out of the store and catches a cab to a mansion, where she is strangely comfortable. When the maid asks who she is, she claims that she is Susan Montgomery, the wife of Kyle Montgomery, a wealthy big city lawyer and the owner of the house. She then shares tales of the maid's life which a stranger could not know. She tells the maid she is having a bath and runs up to change. When Maddie takes the shoes off, she turns back to the timid girl she was at the start. The maid proceeds to run her off, but once the shoes return to her feet Maddie regains the confidence and knowledge she had when she first entered the house. Maddie had acquired the shoes shortly after the death of Susan Montgomery, when Kyle ordered the maid to dispose of Susan's remaining clothing at the thrift store where Maddie works.

When Kyle returns home, he finds Maddie sitting on his couch dressed in his dead wife's clothes. Maddie, as Susan, retells the events of her death, revealing how Kyle killed her. She then picks up a gun and begins shooting at him. After a bit of a chase, Maddie's feet begin to hurt. She takes off the shoes and returns to her usual personality. Afraid when she sees the gun in her hand, she suddenly drops the gun, dumps the shoes in a garbage can and runs off.

Another maid from a different house where the garbage can is, preparing to move belongings from the house, sees the shoes and puts them on. As soon as she does she picks up the gun and walks back into Kyle's house. A single gunshot is heard.

Closing Narration

"As we walk through life, if we learn nothing else, we learn the only sure things are death and taxes. Well, one out of two isn't bad. And haven't we all said "You can't take it with you"? Another comforting adage without exceptions in the real world, that somehow goes all wonky when considering exit lines, delivered...in the Twilight Zone."

Themes

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