In the early 1960's, small-time bookie Max Phillips (Jack Klugman) hates his life. His only pride is his son, Pip, then serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam. When a young bettor uses... See full summary »
In the early 1960's, small-time bookie Max Phillips (Jack Klugman) hates his life. His only pride is his son, Pip, then serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam. When a young bettor uses company funds to bet with Max, then loses everything, Max returns his money, angering Max's bosses. Written by
The favorite Twilight Zone of Rod Serling's daughter Anne. Watching she noticed several conversations between son Pip and father Pop were almost identical to banter she had with her father. Rod Serling nicknamed her daughter Pop, not Pip, and the final image on screen which fits the narrative was also a personal message to his daughter. See more »
Very little comment here, save for this small aside: that the ties of flesh are deep and strong, that the capacity to love is a vital, rich and all-consuming function of the human animal, and that you can find nobility and sacrifice and love wherever you may seek it out: down the block, in the heart, or in the Twilight Zone.
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This is incredibly cinematic for a TV show. The use of the hall of mirrors is remindful of The Third Man and Harry Lime. I'm sure there was a little of that in Serling's mind when he did this episode. This is an excellent story. It begins with a soldier, lying on a litter, ready to be taken to an evac hospital. He has little chance of survival. Cut to Jack Klugman's character, a cheap bookie who has no prospects. His son Phillip, called Pip, is the soldier. He is the only thing of significance in the man's life. He worries about him and expects news from time to time. He is, of course, at the beck and call of the guy who runs the book. Anyway, Klugman gets news that his son is dying in Vietnam (a place that many didn't know very well as of yet). To save another young man, he takes a bullet from a thug, retaliates, and goes on the run, rapidly losing blood. This is where Pip comes in. He appears as a child, giving Klugman's character a chance to spend some time with him. The man is known as a guy who has never made a sacrifice for anyone. Now he gets his chance. Very good episode.
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