Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
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Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow 

A gambling safe cracker with a slight hearing loss gets entangled in a game between a mobster and his beautiful, exotic wife and ends up getting the auditory system he could only dream of.




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Episode cast overview:
Glynn Fennell
Kate Lawson
Crypt Keeper (voice)


A gambling safe cracker with a slight hearing loss gets entangled in a game between a mobster and his beautiful, exotic wife and ends up getting the auditory system he could only dream of.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

safe | nudity | See All (2) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Release Date:

12 July 1996 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the original comic, the main character is given the auditory system of a vampire bat, but in the televised version, he has the auditory system of an owl. See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

Quite entertaining in a silly sort of way.

Tales from the Crypt: Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow starts as safe cracking gambler Glynn Fennell (Robert Lindsay) fails to impress big time crime-lord Malcolm Lawson (Richard Johnson) as he fails to crack a safe because of hearing loss he suffered in jail. The fact that Glynn can no longer crack a safe together with his huge gambling debts he owes Lawson that he can't pay off means that Lawson decides to kill him but Glynn is saved by Lawson's beautiful young wife Kate (Gretchen Palmer) who convinces Lawson to keep Glynn alive, at least for the time being. With Lawson away on business in Paris his wife Kate tells Glynn the reason she kept him alive, she wants him to crack her husband's safe so they can steal his fortune. Glynn reminds her that he can't hear properly but Kate has a very unusual solution to the problem & sets up a meeting between Glynn & her very special surgeon who offers unique surgery that can have some unwanted side effects...

This Tales from the Crypt story was episode 12 from season 7, directed by Christopher Hart I actually quite liked this oddball little offering that doesn't have much horror in it until the rather bizarre twist ending but is good fun & the episode does come together rather nicely. The script was based on a story from the 'Tales from the Crypt' comic book, the actual story was based upon the comic strip Bats in my Belfry in which the main character received the auditory senses of a Bat rather than an Owl as in this adaptation while the title Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow was taken from a story in the comic book 'The Haunt of Fear' which are totally different expect that they share the same titles. So basically the main plot comes from one comic book story while the title comes from another, got that? Good. Like a lot of season seven Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow sets itself up initially as a thriller with it's typical gangster character's & the whole plot that at first seems to revolve around a job rather than having a straight horror theme running through it but it's saved by a memorable & frankly bizarre twist ending in which after having the auditory senses of an Owl surgically given to him a guy's face splits open, a large bird like beak protrudes from it & he twist's his head around 180 degrees! It's one of the more oddball & off beat endings to what had been a fairly run of the mill episode dealing with pretty standard themes of double crosses, lies, affairs & greed like a lot of these short single episode style anthology show's revolve around. I rather liked it but more for the ending than anything else.

I personally consider Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow as the last regular Tales from the Crypt episode as the thirteenth & last episode from the final seventh season is the oddball out-of-place animated episode The Third Pig (1996). There's no real gore here or scares. Award winning British actor Robert Lindsay is good in the lead while it's nice to see Richard Johnson of Italian gore classic notoriety Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979) fame minus stubble. Actress Gretchen Palmer takes her clothes off & there's some gratuitous nude breast & bum shot's.

Ear Today... Gone Tomorrow like a lot of season seven isn't really a straight horror & at times doesn't feel like the Tales from the Crypt of previous (excellent) seasons but it does have a bizarre twist ending that saves it to some extent. Some may find the twist rather silly while I found it memorable & different if nothing else.

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