Reviews & Ratings for
"The Twilight Zone" A World of His Own (1960)

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Delightful Comedy

Author: chrstphrtully from Washington, DC
18 July 2007

Although comedy was never the strength of "The Twilight Zone" (or writer Richard Matheson, for that matter), the final episode of the first season is a delightful comedy that plays more on situation -- and a wonderful lead performance by Keenan Wynn -- than punchlines. This is easily one of the best episodes of the series.

Playwright Gregory West (Wynn) is romancing his presumed mistress Mary (Mary LaRoche) while his wife (Phyllis Kirk) jealously looks on. A few moments later, the wife bursts in to find that the mistress has magically disappeared. West explains that he can create real people by stating a description into his dictaphone -- that's when the fun really begins.

Matheson -- who was usually a master of plot, rather than character or situation -- switches gears here. His novel story lends itself remarkably well to a sort of 1930s screwball style, with gentle gags that flow from the characters' personalities -- West's combination of omnipotence and humility; his wife's jealousy and haughtiness (she'd have fit perfectly as the other woman in a Cary Grant comedy); and Mary's gentleness and dignity. The performances match it perfectly: Wynn's bemusement at his situation -- a sort of literary/social Life of Riley -- fits the character delightfully; Kirk's two-dimensionality is ironically apropos; and LaRoche's quiet gentleness (which worked equally well in the very different "Living Doll") makes one wonder why West didn't think of her sooner.

All this, and perhaps the funniest final joke in the series' history. Who could ask for anything more?

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

I Always Wanted to Be a Writer!

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
20 October 2008

I've always enjoyed this episode. The gift that Keenan Wynn has is remarkable. He can create or destroy characters when he wishes. Whatever he writes on a page comes to fruition. His wife isn't so accepting and pays a price for her actions. This is one of those powers that each of us would love to have. Think of the possibilities. The scriptwriter in the story is arrogant and self centered. He whimsically creates what he wishes. Now, the psychologist in me makes me wonder if these are fantasies that he is living strictly in his mind, but there is nothing in here to suggest that. The episode concludes with a wonderful bit featuring Rod Serling and his writing staff. An apt way to put the first season to bed.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"Why not leave well enough alone".

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
2 April 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first season of The Twilight Zone ended with a little amusement AND bemusement, and to top it off, Rod Serling was in on the joke. I'm glad he was able to take a self deprecating shot at himself every now and then, it made the series that much more enjoyable.

You can see the resolution of this story coming pretty early, but you have to wonder why Gregory West (Keenan Wynn) didn't dream up Mary (Mary LaRoche) in the first place. However, it would have made for a shorter story, and most of these 'Zones' flew by pretty quickly to begin with. So keeping a shrew like Victoria (Phyllis Kirk) around was necessary to get to the punch line, even if they had to go the elephant route.

While watching, I couldn't help drawing a visual comparison between Keenan Wynn's character and modern day's Dr. Phil. Certainly Dr. Phil would have something to say about playwright West's manifest fantasies attempting to live themselves out in the real world.

The whole 'husband trying to drive his wife crazy' theme must have had some sort of a revival in the Twilight Zone era. Just a couple years earlier you had 1958's "The Screaming Skull", and 1961 saw the release of "My World Dies Screaming". This episode is unusual in retrospect, as Gregory West didn't have to resort to driving his wife crazy, she had already written that chapter for him.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A welcome funny episode

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
9 September 2007

While often TWILIGHT ZONE episodes are frightening or disturbing, every so often they created a show that was just plain funny and I welcome these little changes of pace.

Keenan Wynn plays a writer who has an amazing ability to create characters using a tape recorder. When he describes them, they magically appear and only disappear when he burns the portion of tape on which he describes them. Unfortunately, this wonderful ability comes to life when Keenan's pesky wife is told about it by him but she just thinks he's a nut! Even when he creates people before her very eyes, this annoying woman refuses to believe it. This leads to a wonderful twist at the end. Be sure to watch all of it--particularly when Rod Serling himself tries to provide an epilogue.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

"Wouldn't It Be Nice...If..."

Author: gilligan1965 from United States
23 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow! What a GREAT EPISODE from "The Twilight Zone," featuring the great Keenan Wynn, and, the immortal Rod Serling; and, written by the impeccable Richard Matheson! :) That 'would' be nice to be able to 'create' your own perfect companions - lovers; friends; neighbors; etc; but, when they become too controlling, overbearing, and/or, a 'pain''d be even 'nicer' to just rid yourself of them in a non-violent but simple way (you just can't 'ask' people to go away - they always 'want' something more!?!?). Richard Matheson ("I Am Legend;" "Stir Of Echoes;" etc.), the writer of this, must have had a bad relationship at one time or another; or, maybe a friend did; and, it inspired him to write this story.

The "KICKER" here, though, "for me," is that my little Son, who is and always has had many problems with his mom (my estranged and deranged 'ex'), is the person who sent this to me on YouTube to watch!?!? Unfortunately, neither of us have her on any kind of 'tape,' for if we did, 'any' judge would make her 'go away' for good. :D Thank you, Son, for sending this to me; and, thank you Richard Matheson (writing), Keenan Wynn (acting), and, Rod Serling (presenting and acting) for reminding me that even in "The Twilight Zone," my Son only has a few more years with his controlling-tyrannical selfish and self-serving mom. :)

And...thank you, Eric Idle, for writing and singing - "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!" :)

NOTE: Anyone who likes this episode, and, wishes to see Rod Serling in a wonderfully-funny 'skit' of "The Twilight Zone" - find and watch "The Twilight Zone - The Lost Episode" on YouTube; or, anywhere else. It's very good, and, stars, Rod Serling, Jack Benny, and, Rochester.

This, "A World of His Own," is a GREAT EPISODE on "The Twilight Zone" of the best! :)

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Interesting bit of trivia

Author: James Collier from Canada
22 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This episode is the only one to feature Rod Serling as a character, rather than as simply the narrator. The story revolves around an author who can create things and people by dictating descriptions of them into a tape recorder. He creates and destroys two characters during the episode, along with an elephant, which he created while trying to convince his wife that he had this ability. During what would normally be the final monologue, the author takes offense to what Serling is saying about him and his lady. He removes a section of tape labeled "Rod Serling" from his wall safe and destroys it, apparently destroying Serling as well.

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11 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A Writer's Pipe Dream

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
29 June 2006

So who wouldn't want to conjure up the perfect wife or husband on command. Keenan Wynn is a writer whose imagination can mold fictional characters, bring them to life, and make them disappear at will. The trouble is the characters can become so vivid, they assume a will of their own and act independently of their creator. A clever idea from the brilliant pen of real life writer Richard Matheson. I expect some such power has been a secret wish of many authors over the centuries.

Unfortunately, the idea has more suggestive value than entertainment value in this very slender half-hour, filmed on a single set with three characters. It's vaguely amusing to watch Wynn's rather shrewish wife (Phyllis Kirk) react to his adoring and adorable fictional wife (Mary La Roche), when she catches them together. However, the premise goes little beyond this rather trite situation, despite a surprise or two. Perhaps most distinctive is the segment where Wynn breaks character to converse with Serling, the only time, I believe, when this occurs in the series. There seems so much more that could have been done with this premise than creating a rather pedestrian marital triangle.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Twilight Zone--A World of His Own

Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
18 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Keenan Wynn fans will not want to miss this episode of The Twilight Zone (the exceptional ending featuring Rod Serling—playing on narrative appearances—is brilliant in how it ties into the characters, and, in essence, breaking the fourth wall of the show) starring as a playwright whose belief in his characters is so inherently strong those he creates literally come to life when he speaks into his tape recorder. His wife is played by Phyllis Kirk (I know her from House of Wax, with Vincent Price), a real refined and exquisite (just well put together and elegant) woman who had been suspecting her husband of infidelity. A creation of his, Mary (Mary LaRoche; she might be a bit more recognized for her other Twilight Zone episode, The Living Doll as the wife of a hostile Telly Savales), has been keeping Wynn company while Kirk's Victoria has been sent out by her husband (using various excuses). Trying to explain why Mary just disappears, and there's no access of escaping the study that can be found, Wynn's Gregory West has a hard time convincing Victoria of just how he does it. By snipping the audio tape where he described his characters and destroying them in the fireplace, Gregory can rid himself of them if he so chooses. Victoria seems not too amused with Gregory's explanation, considering him off his rocker. He tries to prove to her what he says is true, even producing an elephant to keep her from leaving the house at one point! It never sinks in even as Gregory brings Mary to life and causes her to vanish right before Victoria's eyes…she is just unable to accept what Gregory says is true. When he removes from a safe an envelope with Victoria's name on it, there's an ill-advised move by her that could have severe repercussions. Wynn is so relaxed and at ease here with this character, especially compared to characters of the past that were a bit more high strung, intense, and forceful: it was a breath of fresh air. He attempts futilely to lead the horse to water but Victoria just won't drink. Even as her eyes see Mary just vanish away, this process of character assassination still won't wash with her. Kirk is stubborn, strong-willed, and opinionated; these character traits fly in the face of the polar opposite of Wynn's Gregory, always trying to settle her down and explain with a patience and well-composed voice the absolute truth she just won't swallow. God, if you can't have fun with this one, there's just a defect in your character…let me just snip your tape and toss it in the fireplace, because you are an obvious fuddy-duddy.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

I can relate to this episode!

Author: JoDwightFry from L.A.
1 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Keenan Wynn at his best. He creates a woman through a tape recorder, his perfect woman. A beautiful woman that he introduces to his shrew of his wife. A woman who loves him completely, unlike his fashion-plate, overbearing wife. What person has not thought about this in their lives? If you could create the perfect mate, wouldn't you? And if you didn't like them, you could simply erase them from your life?

Keenan's wife is jealous of the creative imaginations of Mary, even seeing Mary in the "flesh". The wife insists he kill Mary off.

Like almost every Twilight Zone episode, this episode deals in desperate loneliness. Keenan's wife may be "flawless" on the outside, but he is so alone, looking for love in another woman. He finds his way out. Peacefully and lovingly. One of my favorites. I'm always looking for that perfect person, too.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of the best TZ's!

Author: John Jennings from United States
22 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is clearly one of the best Twilight Zones! Many fiction writers report that their characters sometimes seem to adopt a will of their own and start going where the author never intended. This script simply takes this recognized phenomenon to the next level.

I generally would regard the deconstruction of Rod Serling at the end as a cheap trick, but it is not a cheap trick if you are the original! Something similar happens years later in "Blazing Saddles", where the story line "breaks out of the studio." I am always awed at how a story can get told with a few deft strokes in the thirty minutes less commercials format.

This episode is one of the best of the best!

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