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Reviews & Ratings for
"Tales of Tomorrow" What You Need (1952)

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Thumbs up for "What You Need".

7/10
Author: Chuck Straub from Mansfield, CT USA
1 March 2009

Tales of Tomorrow offers this nice little gem in the realm of science fiction. Drama, intrigue, and insights into human behavior highlight this episode from early television. The DVD I saw had 6 other episodes on it. I liked this episode the best. It contained good acting, plausible reactions from the characters, an interesting sci-fi plot. All the episodes on this disc come complete with the original commercials. Masland Sportswear sponsored this episode. Both the show and the commercial are interesting if for no other reason but to view an early part of television history. "What you Need" though is more than just a part of history. It can still hold your interest today and it makes an enjoyable story. Well worth the short amount of time it takes to watch it. Thumbs up for "What You Need".

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

He Got What He Needed!

8/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
2 August 2013

Not as well done as the Twilight Zone version, but it keeps us in suspense, wondering what indeed he does need. This is certainly a tale of morality as much as science fiction, given the acceptance of such a machine. It gets down to the greatest good for the greatest number, a dilemma faced time after time throughout history. The old man is doing good. Unfortunately, it is his advertising that brings a slimy reporter to his door, observing the people leaving with baubles, wondering what sort of impact such things could have. Once the leech gets his suckers in, it's a battle to the finish, literally. The joy in the story is seeing how seemingly insignificant things, like a simple shears, could be worth the kind of money people are paying. The sad thing is that the young man would never relent. His drunken aspirations have made him a juggernaut and he resolves to impress his equally unimpressive barfly girlfriend. This one is pretty good.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

He has what you need!

6/10
Author: woodfan from Tucson, AZ
20 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not a bad little episode! It was based on a Henry Kuttner "Astounding" story from October 1945.

The acting is pretty good and it's early live television production was better than could be expected. William Redfield as the reporter Carmichael was a strong performance. I enjoyed this version better than the Twilight Zone episode of just a few years later. Both versions were basically the same, but the Twilight Zone version was a little moodier and a touch more mystical, because the old man's ability was psychic and not derived from a machine. I prefer the Tales of Tomorrow version because of the machine, and I believe a time viewing machine is science fiction and psychic abilities are fantasy, and I think SF is the superior of the two forms. (I'll exempt "More Than Human" by Sturgeon from this distinction). I have not read the original story, so I don't know which show's version sticks closest to the story.

Henry Kuttner was one of the leading SF writers of the 40s and 50s. He also had a successful collaboration with his wife, C.L. Moore. Individually and together as Lewis Padgett, they were both great. Unfortunately, Kuttner died young in the late 50s.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good, but the later "Twilight Zone" version is better.

7/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
16 October 2012

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.

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