The Twilight Zone: Season 3, Episode 5

A Game of Pool (13 Oct. 1961)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 910 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

A frustrated pool champ has beaten everyone. Everyone except one man; the legend, Fats Brown. Brown is dead, and the champ can only curse his name. But guess who just walked in.



, (created by)
Watch Episode
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb


The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 321 titles
created 10 Jan 2012
a list of 20 titles
created 04 Jul 2012
a list of 15 titles
created 02 May 2013
a list of 246 titles
created 01 Sep 2013
a list of 23 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Search for "A Game of Pool" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Game of Pool (13 Oct 1961)

A Game of Pool (13 Oct 1961) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Twilight Zone.
« Previous Episode | 70 of 156 Episodes | Next Episode »




Episode complete credited cast:
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dee Sharon ...
Brown's Girlfriend (scenes deleted)


Jesse Cardiff is a frustrated pool player. He's very good at his game but his frustration comes from the fact that no matter how well he plays or how often he wins, onlookers always conclude that he's not as good as the late, great James Howard "Fats" Brown. He says he would give anything to have had the chance to play Fats and his wish comes true when the man himself suddenly appears. They agree to a game but Fats warns his eager opponent that winning has its consequences as well. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

13 October 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Narrator: [Opening Narration] Jesse Cardiff, pool shark. The best on Randolph Street, who will soon learn that trying to be the best at anything carries its own special risks in or out - of The Twilight Zone.
See more »


Remade as The Twilight Zone: A Game of Pool (1989) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Outstanding Episode
12 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"A Game of Pool" is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, in the top half dozen or so. No need to summarize the episode here, others have done that well, but the reasons I favor this episode boil down to three: 1) It has the same simplicity, focus and intensity that made "12 Angry Men" a great movie. The story takes place entirely in one room - a dingy pool hall, in this case (except for a brief glimpse of a rather cheesy afterlife) - and involves an intense competition between two men. The contest is as much a mind-game as it is a game of pool, and the stakes could not be higher. The writing is excellent.

2) Jack Klugman - who also had a role in "12 Angry Men". Although Klugman was known primarily as a comedic actor, he displays real chops as a dramatic actor. Indeed, Klugman showed off his dramatic skills in four excellent TZ episodes, all favorites of mine: A Passage for Trumpet, A Game of Pool, In Praise of Pip, and Death Ship. The man knew how to act.

3) Jonathan Winters - also known primarily as a comedian, Winters, too, put on a fine dramatic performance in A Game of Pool. Interestingly, the episode was filmed not long after he was released from an eight-month stay in a mental hospital, during which he was treated for manic-depression. I don't know whether that experience informed his acting in this episode, but he displays real intensity in the part of Fats Brown. Mr. Winters was a multi-talented guy.

Sadly, as I write this, news has come out that Mr. Winters has died, joining Mr. Klugman in whatever comes after this life. Who knows, perhaps they're engaging in a throw-down match of their own - comedy, I suppose, rather than pool. They were both fine performers, and I miss them both.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Large plot hole in Perchance To Dream? dinkywinky123
Best season four episode? rogers-kyle
Five Characters in Search of an Exit rogers-kyle
July 4th Marathon steely3000
I Sing the Body Electric gasmaskproductionsbooks
This might be a good time to start the hotties of the TZ thread gary135r
Discuss A Game of Pool (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: