Oliver Crangle seems to like making other people miserable. He phones a young man's employer to say that the man is a communist. He phone a school board to tell them a teacher is acting inappropriately with his students. He has a long list of people that he wants to tell on. He even arranges a meeting with an FBI agent and tells him that at 4 p.m. all of the nasty people in the world will undergo a transformation. The agent suggests he seek psychiatric treatment but it turns out he's right. Written by
The books that Oliver Crangle randomly picks up and pretends to carefully read while avoiding Mrs. Lucas' questions are the September 1961 edition of the Official Airline Guide (OAG) North American flight guide, and US Army Technical Manual TM 9-372, which describes the M2 90mm anti-aircraft cannon. See more »
That's Oliver Crangle, a dealer in petulance and poison. He's rather arbitrarily chosen four o'clock as his personal Gotterdammerung, and we are about to watch the metamorphosis of a twisted fanatic, poisoned by the gangrene of prejudice, to the status of avenging angel, upright and omniscient, dedicated and fearsome. Whatever your clocks say, it's four o'clock - and wherever you are, it happens to be the Twilight Zone.
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With a stronger ending this could have been first rate.
The foundations of a good episode are established with this ghastly character Crangle (Theodore Bikel) and his sanctimonious crusade against people leading less than saintly lives. He is a hypocrite, telling his landlady 'I mind my own business'. He does harm by anonymous phone calls and letter writing. Crangle's war on immorality is clearly the creepy, slithering nastiness of an obsessed coward who wont play the game and live his own life.
The story continues well throughout in the middle. Crangle's lack of humanity is further underlined when he receives a visit from Mrs Lucas (Phyllis Love) the wife of doctor he intends to expose for being 'imperfect'. This is a strong scene with Mrs Lucas questioning the crazy crusader and him mentioning communists among the 'evil' he targets. Then things get madder when Crangle hits on an idea- from this point the production suffers from a silly conclusion. A pity because there're still good moments as Crangle cherry picks by underlining only the parts he likes of The Gettysburg Address and displays his paranoia. Perhaps the end doesn't have to be taken literally? There could even be a clue with the parrot? Crangle is undeniably mad after all.
One truly far out, mad-bad character. Yet his type gets elected in democracies from time to time. He is sadly all too human.
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