The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
12 user 1 critic

A Piano in the House 

Sadistic and hated theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune buys a player piano that has the power to reveal the souls of all who hear it.



(as Earl Hamner), (created by)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Fitzgerald Fortune
Esther Fortune
Gregory Walker
Marge Moore
Cyril Delevanti ...
Marvin - Butler


Theater critic Fitzgerald Fortune is looking to buy a different sort of gift for his wife's birthday. In a curio shop, he buys an old player piano. It's delivered to his home and when he starts it up it has a strange effect on his manservant, a normally dour man who breaks into mirthful laughter. When he plays another song, this time for a guest, the man breaks down and admits he's in love with Fortune's wife Esther. He decides to have fun with his party guests that evening but Esther decides to turn the tables on him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

16 February 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the opening scene, the lively song played by the player piano is "I'm In The Mood For Love"; however, the music roll reads, "Three O'Clock In The Morning", which is a slow waltz with music written by Julián Robledo. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, theater critic and cynic at large, on his way to a birthday party. If he knew what is in store for him, he probably wouldn't go, because before this evening is over, that cranky old piano is going to play 'Those Piano Roll Blues' - with some effects that could happen only in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in The Pinball Arcade (2012) See more »


Clair de Lune
by Claude Debussy
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User Reviews

There's Some Pretty Good Acting Here
2 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had forgotten this episode. It's about a drama critic who is known for his abrasiveness and venom. He buys a player piano for his young wife and soon finds it has magical qualities. If a person is designated to listen to it, they will begin to bear their soul. He does it to his stuffy butler, then to his wife, and finally to the guests at a party he is throwing. One of the shortcoming is that he seems able to select a victim from among his guests. Why didn't this affect everyone in the room? I don't think that's a nitpicking criticism. There is a touching moment when a sad, overweight woman friend shows her sadness and hopes to the party goers who laugh at her. She dances in front of them (it is really quite touching). I will say no more, other than Player Pianos come home to roost. Overall, quite a captivating episode.

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