In a small town, a man by the name of Jagger is about to be executed after being found guilty of murder. The local newspaperman, Colbey, is convinced that Jagger is innocent. He accuses Deputy Pierce of having perjured himself to get a conviction and accuses Sheriff Charlie Koch of just plain laziness in investigating the case. As the morning of his execution arrives, the townsfolk realize that the sun hasn't risen that day. They soon begin to understand the cause of the darkness that surrounds them. Written by
As the crowd (located "in the Midwest") gathers at 9 a.m. for the hanging, the announcer on the radio says that it is "9 a.m. Eastern Time." That would make it 8 or 7 a.m. in the Midwest, depending on their time zone. See more »
A sickness known as hate; not a virus, not a microbe, not a germ - but a sickness nonetheless, highly contagious, deadly in its effects. Don't look for it in the Twilight Zone - look for it in a mirror. Look for it before the light goes out altogether.
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It's 7:30 AM and the sun has not risen in a small mid-western village. The village people have turned out in force to witness Jagger (excellently played by Terry Becker) hang for a murder which was probably self defense.
In contemporary times this execution would never take place because of the required automatic supreme court appeals. But it's the early 1960's, a time when racial prejudice dominated parts of our great US of A and jurisdictions did not fool around with murderers.
Dialogue is superb in this episode, a function of great screen writing by Rod Serling. When Deputy Pierce (played by George Lindsey) points out Jagger will be tended to, Sheriff Koch (played by Michael Constantine) in a moment of humility intones a very powerful and moving reply. Koch and Pierce have some excellent interactions while Editor Colbey (played by Paul Fix) digs away at Pierce. The best line however belongs to Reverend Anderson (played by Ivan Dixon) when debating the majority issue with Jagger --- truly timeless verbiage as modern today as then and destined to be for all time !
I'm not used to seeing George Lindsey play the bad guy but he does an excellent job here showing his versatility as an actor. Michael Constantine plays an excellent straight guy role and is perfectly cast for the sheriff's role. Paul Fix is downright funny as he antagonizes Lindsey.
I Am The Night - Color Me Black is one of the very best Twilight Zone episodes ever done --- in the 99th percentile. Serling describes darkness covering various areas of the world simultaneously in reference to evil happenings of the era. He speaks a powerful message about a human sickness which all mortals can learn and grow from. If I was teaching a social science class, I'd play this episode for my students.
Again, I do not understand a 7.6 overall composite rating for this episode. Perhaps it reflects the growing secularism of our time.
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