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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The 1964 entry "From Agnes - With Love" is one of the more entertaining
and light-hearted episodes in the Twilight Zone series. Wally Cox, the
original nerd, plays Elwood, a highly-skilled programmer who is the
only one in his firm that can operate and control the huge mainframe
computer (affectionately called "Agnes") that runs the company. When
Millie (Sue Randall), one of his attractive female colleagues, begins
to have romantic notions about him, Elwood soon finds out that she has
a rival. It seems "Agnes" is really jealous and she's literally ready
to blow her fuse to let him know about it.
Richard Donner directed this episode and he keeps the running joke moving for the entire half hour. He went on to have a great career in feature films. Cox, who specialized in these kinds of roles, has a field day as Elwood. He was a tremendously under-rated actor in his day, and displayed plenty of depth when he was given more meatier parts to play. Later he became a fixture on "Hollywood Squares" and died much too young in 1973. Although played mostly for laughs, this episode also gave viewers an early look at computers and what the future had in store for all of us. "Agnes" proved back in 1964 that you don't mess around with computers. They sort of have a life of their own.
This is the story of a true nerd. He has the skills to run a huge computer (of the Univac era). He loves a young woman who works in his building, but he is so darned boring and clumsy, he strikes out over and over. Unfortunately, when he asks his big computer for some help, it spouts out useless, destructive advice. It is manipulating him! There is a sort of charm. It features Wally Cox (Underdog) who made a career of playing bookish little milquetoasts. He does develop a relationship in this episode, but it's not with the girl of his dreams. His frantic shortsightedness is what the episode features. It works to a point. The rest is terribly dated and sort of lacking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
ME THINKS THIS episode to be a Comedy (Farce, actually)! THERE SEEM TO
be several categories in episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. Some that seem
to come to mind are these. Though not limited to these, we find that
these types to be: those involving Outer Space and Extra Terrestrials,
episodes devoted to the Supernatural and the Occult and those which
would seem to take place entirely within the vast, cavernous confines
of the mind.
ANOTHER GROUPING WOULD be those that could be classified in one of the previously mentioned existing subject matters; except that they are designed to be farcial in nature. Their main objective is to add proof to some old adage; but through the application of humor. All up and down the list of TWILIGHT ZONE Episodes, one can find examples of this type. They feature such names as Art Carney, Buster Keaton, Andy Devine and several starring the very popular and frequent TZ guest, Burgess Meredith.
WITH TODAY'S HONOREE, being the half-hour play entitled, "THE TWILIGHT ZONE: From Agnes With Love" (5-20, 1964). This starred Wally Cox in a typical role for him; having previously been typecast as meek, humble, and little guys.* The story also, had as subject matter central to the storyline, questions about what we now call "Artifical Intelligence." AS IF THIS weren't enough, the age old problem of the "Eternal Triangle" is interjected into the happenings; the combination of which provides for a very interesting set of problems.
TOPPING OFF THE video festivities is the performance of our star, Mr. Cox. In a filmed story which predates Woody Allen's sexually frustrated, though very potent screen persona, Wally's character is portrayed as being shy, meek, small in stature and obviously highly oversexed. (Ain't all the Yanks?) THE "FEMALE" COMPUTER is given the treatment of being a most jealous rival for the attentions and affection of her human mentor/technician, BBBB (Cox). "She" does all in "Her" power to derail the romance between Wally and the real human secretary.
WELL, SHE SUCCEEDED, as did Mr. Rod Serling, Cayuga Productions and the Columbia Broadcasting System TV Network.
NOTE: * Wally Cox developed this "Little Guy" character starting with his essaying of the title character's role in MR. PEEPERS (). He followed it up and refined the concept in the short lived, HIRAM HOLIDAY(). He had numerous guest shots in countless other series episodes, most all being that same universal, "Little Man." In later years he starred in voice over for the animated and still very popular UNDERDOG SHOW, and was long a fixture as a foil for MC Peter Marshall on Hollywood SQUARES.
Wally Cox is perfectly cast as a scientific weenie in search of love.
Despite being a nice guy, he's hopelessly inept with ladies and seeks
the help of his super-brilliant computer. Yet surprisingly, the
computer's advice only seems to make things worse--not better. The
reason why is very ludicrous, but also makes for a funny episode that's
a decent change of pace.
My summary above does NOT mean that I disliked the episode--it was fun and it was very slightly better than the average episode from the series. However, when seen in the 21st century, the plot and special effects seem like they are completely cheesy. Yet despite this being so silly and trivial, this Wally Cox episode is cute and a lot of fun. So it and keep your expectations relatively low and you should enjoy it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There's a reason you don't see certain episodes of The Twilight Zone on those frequent cable station marathons. 'From Agnes - With Love' will show you why. Played out of character from your typical TZ story, this one goes more for lighthearted fun and laughs, but it meanders a bit too much and doesn't really deliver any kind of meaningful payoff. Wally Cox is all Mr. Peepers here and the gag would have worked out a whole lot better if Agnes fell in love with the better looking programmer (did you notice his name was Wally?) leaving the field open for the 'nice' guy. But it just wasn't to be. Rejected as he was, I wonder why Elwood never considered hooking up with the secretary in the hallway.
Wow, this episode was a joke. Far from my favorite, far from how I think of the average Twilight episodes since by in large, I really enjoy the Twilight zone. But I did not enjoy this one, except for a few spots where I just laughed at the lunacy of those moments. Wally Cox here was like one of the biggest nerds I've ever seen in an older style show. He really looked like a nerd and he really acted like a nerd. He was that science geek type who worked at an electronics lab. His department was with a talking space data machine. He asks out Milly (Ann Randolf), a beauty who works at his company, and she actually said yes. On the date at his apartment with Milly, she wanted to dance and get romantic and that dork just sat there with his science book opened saying "I was wanted us to keep comparing notes on the neutron status data". I might have not quoted those last three words 100% correctly but who cares? This guy had a real cutie advancing on him and this was how he acts? Then when they start dancing he starts complaining about the sores on his feet? Then he opens the champaign bottle with the end of the bottle pointed three inches from Milly's face and doesn't expect the champaign to spray on her? I did not feel sorry for that nerd when Milly then stormed out, and then the next night reject Wally and shoo him away to spend the evening advancing herself onto a much cooler, more appealing guy. I really wondered what Milly saw in Wally in the first place. Maybe because she thought he'd be such an intelligent nerd, that if she went out with him, he'd make her a lot of money. As soon as she found out he wasn't so smart, look how fast she ditched him to be with a cooler, better looking guy. The rest of the episode delt with Wally talking to the machine asking it about all this technical space data and the machine just wanting to talk to Wally about his love life. An added little running joke about how Wally kept running into the same girl in the hallway giving her each of the things (candy, flowers, etc.) that were rejected from Milly when he tried giving them to her. Then the hallway girl would just shrug, form a weak smile, not say anything and keep walking. The end result in this episode with Wally and the machine was also quite ridiculous.
An earlier reviewer wrote: 'The 17th root of 9000355126606 is
5.0489470278494267977744214019957 This is different from the "goofs"
The 17th root of 9000355126606 is indeed about 5.78 as the goofs answer says. Your answer of 5.0489... is the 17th root of 900355126606 (notice "900") not the desired 9000355126606 (notice "9000"). You missed a "0" digit when entering the problem.
I just listened to "The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas" version of this episode last night, and noticed that in it actor Ed Begley Jr directly quotes the original episode, maintaining the original math error, instead of correcting it. I think this episode is very cute.
Wally Cox stars as James Ellwood, a master computer programmer called in to trouble shoot a new, state-of-the-art computer nicknamed Agnes that has caused its previous operator to have a nervous breakdown, and poor Ellwood will fare no better, as his attempts to woo fellow employee Millie(played by Sue Randall) are disastrous, and his attempts at asking Agnes for advice backfires badly, as it seems Agnes is somehow sentient, quite female, and in love with him... Idiotic episode is a real low point in the series canon. Cox tries, but his character is such a stereotypical "nerd", and so unbearably inept, that his plight seems meaningless. Plays like a busted sitcom pilot.
Bernard C Schoenfeld wrote some decent stories for film noire and a
strong contribution to 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'. However, turning to
outside writers usually turned out unsuccessfully for TZ. Most of the
good episodes came from the fifth dimension trinity of Rod Serling,
Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson (although they also wrote some
bad ones sometimes). There is a second valuable tier of writers
including Earl Hamner Jr, George Clayton Johnson, and Montgomery
This entry is a terribly weak tale about a little computer boffin called Ellman (Wally Cox) who consults his machine about how to win the love of a woman. Very predictable and depressingly tiny in it's scope. At least it's pleasant but that's about all.
Other season five episodes by 'outside' writers that are too terrible to judge TZ by are 'Caesar And Me', 'The Encounter', and 'What's In The Box'. Jerry Sohl and John Tomerlin wrote well for season five, but were ghost writing for Beaumont.
The 17th root of 9000355126606 is 5.0489470278494267977744214019957
This is different from the "goofs" answer.
The computer gives a glimpse of how primitive things were. People were really afraid they would take over the lives of all the people.
You can't ask certain kinds of questions and expect to get answers even today. They just are sequencers - one thing after another.
The old man in the cave and Mr. Whipple are great examples of the fear and expectations people had back then.
What is lacking is ... what exactly? The intelligence of a 4 year old? We can't define it.
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