"One More Pallbearer" is an episode of the The Twilight Zone.
"What you have just looked at takes place three hundred feet underground, beneath the basement of a New York City skyscraper. It's owned and lived in by one Paul Radin. Mr. Radin is rich, eccentric and single-minded. How rich we can already perceive; how eccentric and single-minded we shall see in a moment, because all of you have just entered the Twilight Zone."
Millionaire Paul Radin invites three people to the bomb shelter that he has built. He greets them politely but without genuine warmth as he holds a personal grudge against them all. One is a high school teacher (Mrs. Langsford), who failed him as he was caught cheating on a test and attempted to frame another student to avoid being caught; second is Colonel Hawthorne, who had him court-martialled as he endangered lives due to disobeying orders; and the third is Rev. Hughes, who made a public scandal out of a woman who committed suicide over him.
Radin (with the aid of sound effects and fake radio messages) convinces the trio that an apocalyptic nuclear war will occur in just moments. He offers them refuge in the shelter if they do one thing: apologize for their actions. All refuse, valuing honor above life, and exit.
Mrs. Langsford, believing Radin will be alone and that everyone will die, tells him to try to cope. She tells him all his life he has been deluding himself about his own character and what is right and wrong. Radin screams hysterically that this is not true.
Suddenly, the sound of a bomb detonation shakes Radin's shelter. He takes the elevator to the surface and sees that a nuclear war really has occurred, and the world is in ruins. This twist ending is given another twist, however, when we learn that Radin, devastated by his hoax's failure, has lost his mind and is only imagining that the world has ended. Radin sobs helplessly at the foot of an "art" fountain outside his intact building.
"Mr. Paul Radin, a dealer in fantasy, who sits in the rubble of his own making and imagines that he's the last man on Earth, doomed to a perdition of unutterable loneliness because a practical joke has turned into a nightmare. Mr. Paul Radin, pallbearer at a funeral that he manufactured himself in the Twilight Zone."
Preview for Next Week's Story
Next week, through the good offices of Mr. Charles Beaumont, we take a walk in some dead man's shoes. It's the story of a hobo who takes some shoes off a recently-deceased hoodlum, and then discovers that if the shoe fits, you have to wear it. And in this case, you have to do as the shoes do - go where they tell you to and then perform some services above and beyond the norm. I hope we see you next week for "Dead Man's Shoes".
- Cayuga Productions
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (in association with)
- Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) (1959) (USA) (TV) (original airing)
- Main article: List of memorable quotes from the first series