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"Night Call"
Telephone1964b
Series:The Twilight Zone (original series)
Episode:Season 5, Episode 139 (S05E19)
First Aired:February 7, 1964
Teleplay:Richard Matheson
Story:Richard Matheson
Director:Jacques Tourneur
Music:Stock
Guest Stars:Gladys Cooper
Lead Character:Elva Keene
Previous Episode:Black Leather Jackets
Next Episode:From Agnes—With Love

"Night Call" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.

Episode Details

Opening Narration

"Miss Elva Keene lives alone on the outskirts of London Flats, a tiny rural community in Maine. Up until now, the pattern of Miss Keene's existence has been that of lying in her bed or sitting in her wheelchair, reading books, listening to a radio, eating, napping, taking medication - and waiting for something different to happen. Miss Keene doesn't know it yet, but her period of waiting has just ended, for something different is about to happen to her, has in fact already begun to happen, via two most unaccountable telephone calls in the middle of a stormy night, telephone calls routed directly through - the Twilight Zone."

Episode Summary

An elderly woman, Elva Keene (Gladys Cooper), receives strange anonymous phone calls. During the first calls she hears only static. Later she hears a man moaning and she repeatedly demands to know who is calling. Finally he says "Hello? Where are you? I want to talk to you." Elva, terrified, screams at the man to leave her alone. The phone company traces the cause to a telephone line that has fallen in a cemetery. Elva and her housekeeper visit the cemetery where she finds that the line is resting on the grave of her long-deceased fiancé, Brian Douglas. Elva says that she always insisted on having her own way, and Brian always did what she said. A week before they were to be married, she insisted on driving and lost control of the car. The accident killed Brian and crippled her. Now that she can talk to him again she won't have to be alone. At home she picks up the phone and calls out to Brian's ghost, pleading with him to answer. He replies that she told him to leave her alone and that he always does what she says. Then the line goes dead, leaving Elva alone and crying in her bed.

Closing Narration

"According to the Bible, God created the heavens and the Earth. It is man's prerogative - and woman's - to create their own particular and private hell. Case in point, Miss Elva Keene, who in every sense has made her own bed and now must lie in it, sadder, but wiser, by dint of a rather painful lesson in responsibility, transmitted from the Twilight Zone."

Response and Analysis

Often thought of as one of the finest episodes.

Production Companies

Distributors

  • Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)

Memorable Quotes

Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series

External Links

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