The Ray Bradbury Theatre: Season 2, Episode 1

The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (23 Jan. 1988)
"The Ray Bradbury Theater" The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
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A guest murders his host after an argument, then becomes increasingly worried about removing all his fingerprints from the crime scene.


(as Gilbert Shilton)


(screenplay), (story)
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Episode cast overview:
Himself - Introduction
Sonja Smits ...
Barry Greene ...
Gun Salesman
Wally Bondarenko ...
Tom Harvey ...


A guest murders his host after an argument, then becomes increasingly worried about removing all his fingerprints from the crime scene.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Release Date:

23 January 1988 (France)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Version of The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

The Ray Bradbury Theater--The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl
13 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Michael Ironside doesn't hold anything back as an emasculated writer falling prey to his rage when a publisher who took his wife, Huxley (Robert Vaughn, adding a lot to mere minutes he's featured "alive"), mockingly has him perusing the valuables throughout the house, seemingly pushing him towards murder. What "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" is truly about is Ironside trying to clean his prints from places he left them while moving about the house when Vaughn wanted to show him his antiques (it was all about setting aflame Ironside's pent-up bitterness and angst; the reasoning is revealed at the very end). Vaughn offers him a drink, purposely places antiques in Ironside's hands, and forces his hand when the piece is revealed in its holster. Because Ironside can't seem to stop seeing fingerprints throughout the house, he keeps cleaning, and sweating, and obsessing. It is quite a treat to see Ironside just defeating himself. The episode seems to move backwards, alternating within the framework of Ironside and his cleaning prints. The motive, besides being ridiculed as a worthless writer, behind Ironside's anger is Vaughn's securing the love of his ex-wife. Vaughn seems to freely rib him without any form of subtlety. The camera is put right into Ironside's face, his teeth often clinched as the mouth is open, sweaty forehead, methodically using his handkerchief, then up the stairs to raid the dressers for a pair of gloves. Once he gets those gloves, then the cleaning so becomes progressively worse until the police find him working over the silverware (in a room he never stepped foot in!). It could have been just repetitive motion, but I have to say I remained strangely compelled even as I understood the outcome. Maybe Ironside just losing it had something to do with it.

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