Tired of his miserable job and wife, a businessman starts dreaming on the train each night, about an old, idyllic town called Willoughby. Soon he has to know whether the town is real and fancies the thought of seeking refuge there.
Ad agency executive Garth Williams has had a particularly rough day - his young protégé has left to work at another agency and took a $3 million account him. He falls asleep on the train home and wakes up in another place and another time. It's July 1888 and he's in the village of Willoughby, a peaceful town where life is easy. He comes to back in his own time but as the pressures of works and his home life continue to mount, he decides Willoughby is exactly where he would like to spend the rest of days. Written by
Three of the songs played by the band in Willoughby, "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", and "Beautiful Dreamer," are by Stephen Foster. Another is "Listen to the Mockingbird" by Foster's colleague Septimus Winner. See more »
Just before Gart Williams enters the restroom, the office assistant tells him his boss wants to talk to him. He uses the phone and hangs the receiver up backwards (cord across the dial). When he returns to the desk, after breaking the mirror, the receiver is hung up correctly. See more »
And just where would you be if it weren't for my appetite?
I know where I'd like to be.
A place called Willoughby, a little town I manufactured in a dream.
Tell me about your dream, Gart.
It was an odd dream. Very odd dream. Willoughby. It was summer, very warm. Kids were barefooted. One of them had a fishing pole. It all looked like a Currier and Ives painting. Bandstand, bicycles, wagons. I've never seen such serenity. It was the way people must have lived a hundred years ago. ...
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This is a TZ that might be worth viewing twice. The story can seem a bit lacking in excitement and a little disappointing first time around. Yet the overall experience of Gart Williams (James Daley) and the fineness of details is worth reliving. The subject matter is trademark Serling. A man finding the cut and thrust of the modern working world slightly inhuman was also used, (much more wonderfully) by Serling for the only episode of 'Night Gallery' to reach TZ standard of greatness ('They're Tearing Down Tim Riley's Bar'). Willoughby is the restful place Gart longs for.
Willoughby inadvertently raises the question 'what should life be about?'. Howard Smith is repulsively excellent as the terrible big boss, Misrell (the name fits the character in a Dickensian fashion). He loathsomely barks 'push, push, push' out the corner of his mouth. Patricia Donahue shines as an absolutely heartless wife to Gart, making his state of mind all the more understandable.
Leave now and catch the train. Get a return ticket as this may grow on you.
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