An unscrupulous free-lance writer extorts the elderly owner of a seedy second-hand shop who is prescient about the future.



(teleplay), (story) (as Lewis Padgett)

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Episode cast overview:
Tom Carmichael
Peter Talley


An unethical free-lance writer, desperate for money, has noticed that many well-to-do businessmen frequent Peter Talley's seedy second-hand shop, where they buy seemingly mundane items for large sums of money. He browbeats mild-mannered Talley into giving him "what he needs," an ordinary pair of shears, and is cautioned to always carry them on his person. The greedy writer, anxious to obtain money to marry his slatternly girl friend, finds the shears to be a life saver. When his scarf is caught in machinery and threatens to strangle him, the scissors literally save his life. Sensing there is money to be made, he extorts the store owner into revealing himself as a scientist whose back room machine gives him a window into a man's future. Written by (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

8 February 1952 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Peter Talley: He was evil, but death is for God to decide.
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Version of The Twilight Zone: What You Need (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Good, but the later "Twilight Zone" version is better.
16 October 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This Harry Kutner short story was remade later on "The Twilight Zone". This later version is definitely better but both are good and well worth your time. The acting is quite good and it's certainly one of the better episodes in this series.

The story begins outside an odd little shop that advertises it has what you need. A nasty reporter enters the place looking for a story and bullies the nice man who runs the place. Eventually, to get rid of him, the old man gives the reporter just what he needs--a pair of scissors. The reporter is angry--he KNOWS he needs something else. But, when his coat gets caught in some machinery and extricates himself with the scissors, he realizes how much money and power he can get by going back to the shop. But the owner is afraid--his machine that shows the future indicates something BAD will happen if the reporter is given what he WANTS. How does it all end up? See this clever episode for yourself.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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