On an isolated family farm, a young boy with vast mental powers, but lacking emotional development, holds his terrified family in thrall to his every juvenile wish.



(teleplay by), (based on a short story by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
John Larch ...
Anthony Fremont (as Billy Mumy)
Alice Frost ...
Pat Riley (as Casey Adams)
Jeanne Bates ...
Lenore Kingston ...
Tom Hatcher ...


In a small farming community in Ohio, a young boy by the name of Anthony Fremont terrorizes those around him. Anthony has the ability to command anything he wants simply by thought. The community is cut off from the outside world and the boy insists that those around him think only pleasant thoughts, and if they don't, he eliminates them. Everyone walks in fear of the lad who ably demonstrates what he's prepared to do at a small party in his home. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

3 November 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Cloris Leachman and Bill Mumy returned in 2003 to play the same characters in The Twilight Zone episode "It's Still a Good Life," the only sequel to any episode of the original Twilight Zone. In this sequel, Anthony has a daughter with stronger powers than him. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: [Opening Narration] Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there's a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken ...
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Spoofed in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror II (1991) See more »


Music by Will Hudson and Irving Mills
played on piano by the character named Pat Riley
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User Reviews

Anthony's TV Is Better
8 November 2013 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

This episode is a bona fide claustrophobic nightmare. 'It's A Good Life' will never lose it's impact. Future viewers will be as unable to look away from this crazy, compelling piece of horror as I was. Without doubt one of the great episodes. If you have not seen this one I suggest you do something about it at the first opportunity. The cast are excellent at maintaining the vice-like gripping atmosphere. Chloris Leachman plays the little monster's mother well, but I particularly liked Don Keefer as Dan Hollis. One of the many strengths of The Twilight Zone was the fact that such a weird scenario as this one can convey such a sense of truth. The message here is enigmatic, but I take it to be about dictators and an evaluation of life under a tyrant's regime. See what you think?

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