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
Muriel Landers ...
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 »


[closing narration]
Narrator: Mr. Fitzgerald Fortune, a man who went searching for concealed persons and found himself - in the Twilight Zone.
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Referenced in The Pinball Arcade (2012) See more »


"Cradle Song (Brahms's Lullaby) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

Those old piano roll blues
18 February 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Barry Morse just prior to becoming Richard Kimble's relentless hunter in The Fugitive did this nifty and original Twilight Zone episode playing a nasty theater critic. He's giving a birthday party for his wife Joan Hackett and wants an unusual present.

He finds one in an antique shop that was possibly the same one that R.G. Armstrong had in the Friday the 13th series later on. A player piano with a lot of music rolls that is guaranteed to bring out the real personality of someone in the room. Just find the right roll.

The right roll is found for several people, eventually Morse and the results are a disaster.

Morse is a cruel and sadistic man who delights in torturing aspiring actors and writers with his jibes. Definitely not a man to feel sorry for when his soul is laid bare.

A great Twilight Zone episode, a tour de force for Barry Morse.

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

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