"The Twilight Zone" Come Wander with Me (TV Episode 1964) Poster

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'It Can't Be Bought'
brownrecluse628 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This episode has some of the best qualities to be found in the series, although the magic it possesses early on doesn't quite last until the end. It begins with Floyd, a cocky 'rockabilly' singer, stepping into the woods to look for authentic folk music hidden therein, haughtily believing that whatever it is, he can buy it. He is unaware, though, that he has begun to get lost inside the forest of his own fate.

The beginning is full of mystery, as Floyd wanders deep into the woods and, in a secluded music shop, encounters a silent, enigmatic old man who seems to have appeared out of nowhere. He is lured further still by the strains of a seductive song sung hauntingly in a woman's voice. Here there is beautifully eerie imagery, especially a dark hooded figure appearing in the background, unseen by our protagonist. It is a stark and chilling indication that he is already wrapped up in this tune and these woods far more than he can ever know.

The forest itself is shot impeccably, making the most of its mysteriousness. The real clinching device, though, is the music, the simple, subtle melody that laconically increases the sense of foreboding. I love the use of folk music as the luring device, for both Floyd and the viewer. It works extremely well here, even more effectively than the song in the earlier episode 'Jess-Belle.' The key really is in the music, I suppose, because what is truly haunting comes from within, from the forests of the mind, and that seems to tie in somehow to our roots music; the songs stretch back farther than we do, and they give the impression of knowing more than we can. The story that follows is apparently eternally recurring; as it happens now, so has it always happened, and presumably will happen again and again, with fate remaining constant, inscribed on the tombstone we see in the opening segment. Dual existence across time is one of the most fascinating concepts, and many of the hallmarks of 'The Twilight Zone' are the ones that deal with it.

Unfortunately, this sublime work only really holds out until a little past the halfway point of the episode. The point at which the story ceases to seduce coincides approximately with the point at which the title song stops comprising the soundtrack. The climax becomes little more than a standard chase with standard chase music – just another show of a man racing in vain against destiny. It's as if the makers of the episode lose sight of the magic they created in the beginning. Interestingly enough, it parallels what happens to Floyd: he remains unaware of the song's true power and significance, only seeing it as a means of making a quick profit – and that is, ultimately, the source of his downfall.

(Perhaps this is because Donner is the director. He's more suited to more outright thrillers – episodes like 'Jeopardy Room,' for example – than subtler material like this should be. I'd like to see what this would have been like had Jacques Tourneur helmed it. He made the low-key haunting film 'I Walked with a Zombie,' which also used a song to creepy effect. Tourneur also directed the TZ episode 'Night Call.')

Even if the episode falters, though, it is by no means ruined. True, much of the enchantment is ultimately dispelled, but those first 15 minutes or so are priceless.
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His quest for new material
bkoganbing31 January 2014
Gary Crosby stars in this haunting Twilight Zone episode about a rockabilly folk singer looking for some new material. His quest takes him into the real piney woods of the Appalachins where he meets up with a strange young girl played by Bonnie Beecher.

Bonnie's got a song all right something like Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley and she sings the song which tells a story to Crosby. Gary likes it all right, but pretty soon he becomes part of the story and it's clear he'll not be getting back to American Bandstand any time soon.

Gary who did trash his father in that infamous memoir did in fact have a pretty good career as a character actor which continued even after Bing died. He's pretty good here in a role that showed him to best advantage. Beecher's a haunting young thing as well.

A nicely done story at almost the tail end of the Twilight Zone series run.
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Great beginning, then loses steam but story has great potential
Rayman444424 January 2008
Someone should definitely remake this into a movie or something with more explanation and a better ending. Like the person before me said, the beginning was really good and I was expecting the end to be just as creepy but it didn't really deliver. I've been watching the Twilight Zone a long time and that part in the beginning with the girl dressed in black standing in the distance was almost as scary as the first time I saw the Hitch Hiker episode when I was like 10.

Some aspects of the story that could use more detail would be a more in depth look at how the main character got to the woods, how/why the time loop occurs and more info about the mysterious girl and why she claimed she always loved the guy. How did she get stuck in the time loop?
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Swan Song
AaronCapenBanner8 November 2014
Gary Crosby stars as Floyd Burney, the "Rock-A-Billy Kid", a traveling singer-songwriter who also likes to buy unknown songs for his profit. This takes him to some rural backwoods, where he hears a haunting ballad sung by Mary Rachel(played by Bonnie Beecher) who falls in love with him, but is powerless to change his preordained fate, as it seems Floyd is destined to live the song he wants to buy... Last produced episode of the series(though two more would air after it) is a misfire; though it does have a spooky aura about it, it also has little point or interest. Crosby's performance is sincere but coarse.

Still should have been aired last however...
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Bing's Boy Strikes Out
Hitchcoc16 April 2014
This is a decent ghost story. Gary Crosby, the forgotten son of Bing Crosby, is in quest of a folk song. Somehow he has been given directions to a music store in the woods. He parks his car, proceeds on foot, and find himself in the presence of an old man who us utterly uncommunicative. Apparently, this guy is a rockabilly star and normally gets what he wants. He is verbally abusive to those around him and driven to feather his nest. He throws money on the counter and grabs an old guitar, heading for the woods. While there, he hears someone singing a beautiful song. Sensing someone behind him, he turns and sees a pretty young woman in a sort of peasant dress. She teaches him her song which begins to parallel his activities, though he is too dense to catch the drift. She warns him that she is taken, but he misunderstands. He gets romantic with her but only because he feels he can get the rights to her song. She lets him know that the only way this will happen is if he promises to love her and take care of her. And, naturally, there is a guy who is bound to show up and he isn't going to be happy. The strength of this episode is in the beautiful melody that evolves as the story does, Crosby's selfish, obnoxious character, and an oppressive setting that the bewildered rocker can't figure out. Things get a little predictable at the conclusion and the slang is really dated now, but it's a pretty tight little story.
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One of the final nails in the "Twilight Zone" coffin...
MartinHafer20 June 2010
While I really enjoyed "The Twilight Zone", I must admit that towards the end of the show's run there were an awful lot of duds--too many. It's obvious in hindsight that the show had run its course and the large number of poor shows towards the very end are evidence of this. This was the last episode of the series that they filmed--too bad it couldn't have been better, as it would have been nice to see the show end on a more positive note. Instead this and the god-awful "Bewitching Pool" helped wrap up the series.

The show stars Gary Crosby--who surprised me with his nice voice. However, the show itself was pretty hard to take. Crosby plays a sharpie--a guy who thinks he's a huge star and travels about looking for songs and ideas he can use to make a fortune. When he stumbles into a hick village and hears a woman's pretty folk song, he's transfixed. Little does he know that he is about to become THE character in this annoying song as it unfolds.

Overall, slow and not especially rewarding. I noticed one reviewer called the plot 'lackluster'--that might actually be a bit generous. I say 'dull'....
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"Well I tell you one thing Daddy, you sure got a swingin' shop here".
classicsoncall12 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Mary Rachel (Bonnie Beecher) warns Floyd Burney (Gary Crosby) that "If you run, they'll catch you". As it turns out however, this was all going to happen one way or another, in one of those interminable time loops that one can get caught up in, in The Twilight Zone. The story had more than it's share of promise in the early going, as Mary Rachel's alter-ego appears in almost demonic form. But the story peels away with the revelations that 'the song can't be bought' and the Rayford's are on the way. Crosby's character seems to exist in some alternate reality in which he reacts to circumstances in the present world, but his fate is tied to the nether regions of another. The spontaneous tape recording of real time events suggests the supernatural, and this is how it ends, but I didn't see the need for the Rock-a-Billy Kid to whack the old shop keeper. That was just asking for trouble. Burney might better prepare for his next wandering by accepting some humility and check out the headstone on the hill.
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'Baby Don't Hang On'
darrenpearce11120 November 2013
The title above is one of the hit songs displayed on Floyd Burney's (Gary Crosby ) car. There is something stalking him in the woods and it looks creepy. Mary Rachel (Bonnie Beecher) is the very passive young woman singing the ballad this story is named after.

A lightweight and uneven supernatural story. However, it's as good as most ghost stories you'll see on TV. The merits include the standard of filming and a dark, distinctly ominous mood. There is also a very palpable trapped creature quality about Mary Rachel in the woods that gives this atmosphere. Good use of shadows as well. Weak for TZ but not one of the dozen worst entries.
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Good moments in a lackluster story
Pythe2 February 2008
Come Wander with Me definitely feels like Twilight Zone material. A lot of Rod Serling's favorite plot devices are put to use here, in a story he did not pen. Ultimately it's all a lot of gibberish about time loops, and the hero not understanding something vital to somebody else, which is his tragic flaw that ultimately destroys him, yaddah yaddah yaddah. There are a few creepy moments, however, such as when the lyrics on the tape recorder spontaneously change to reflect the situation, and the song keeps playing after the recorder is broken. The music is appropriately haunting, as the previous users mentioned, and the atmosphere works out decently enough. Still, a worthy episode.
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