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Twilight Zone, Episode 1.02: One for the Angels
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by Charles Tatum

"Send me an Angel"
4 stars

Ed Wynn is Lou Bookman, a pitchman who tries to sell anything he can out of his suitcase, usually embellishing facts about ordinary things like thread and neckties.

He is being watched by a mysterious man played by Murray Hamilton. The man follows Lou back to his modest one room apartment, and tells him he is Death and must take him at midnight, unless Lou can delay it with one of three loopholes. Lou has no family, save a bunch of neighborhood children who love playing with his toy merchandise, he is not on the verge of a scientific breakthrough, and he has no unfinished business. Lou convinces Death that he wants to make a big sale, a big pitch that would cause the skies to open, "one for the angels." Death concedes, and Lou promptly retires, never to pitch again, and buying himself a few years. Death has another plan, and decides to take one of Lou's neighborhood kids instead. Lou then decides to delay Death's appointment with the child, by giving a delaying pitch.

While this episode, written by Serling, is more predictable than others, it succeeds thanks to Wynn and Hamilton. Wynn has always been great onscreen, and the viewer quickly likes him and feels for him. Hamilton's Death is not threatening at all, he is more of a bureaucrat, but he plays the role coolly.

This is a good entry in the "The Twilight Zone" body of work.

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originally posted: 11/13/03 02:24:59
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This episode of Twilight Zone has been reviewed as part of an ongoing retro TV series. For more in the Twilight Zone Episodes series, click here.

User Comments

2/18/08 Pamela White Ed Wynn's acting is outstanding 5 stars
1/02/08 Ira Superb acting and story 5 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini classic 5 stars
7/28/06 David Cohen Wynn gets to do what he does best, ooze sincerity 4 stars
4/04/04 Matt Vandermast In my Top 10 TZs, for story, Wynn, and outstanding background music 5 stars
1/14/04 tatum Very good 4 stars
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  09-Oct-1959 (NR)



Directed by
  Robert Parrish

Written by
  Rod Serling

  Ed Wynn
  Murray Hamilton
  Dana Dillaway
  Jay Overholts
  Merritt Bohn

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