Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 22

Long Distance Call (31 Mar. 1961)
"The Twilight Zone" Long Distance Call (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 724 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

A toy telephone becomes the link between a young boy and his dead grandmother.

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Title: Long Distance Call (31 Mar 1961)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Philip Abbott ...
Chris Bayles
Lili Darvas ...
Grandma Bayles
Patricia Smith ...
Sylvia Bayles
...
Billy Bayles (as Billy Mumy)
Jenny Maxwell ...
The Baby Sitter
Reid Hammond ...
Henry Hunter ...
The Doctor
Lew Brown ...
The Fireman
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Storyline

Billy Bayles loves his Grandma Bayles and likes the present she's given him, a toy telephone which she says will allow them to communicate forever. Grandma Bayles is ill however and soon dies but Billy claims he can speak to her on their special telephone. When he tells his parents that she wants him to join her, wherever she's gone to, they pay no mind. When he throws himself in front of their neighbor's car however, it all gets deadly serious. Written by garykmcd

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31 March 1961 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last of six episodes of Twilight Zone (1959) to be videotaped. See more »

Quotes

[opening narration]
Narrator: As must be obvious, this is a house hovered over by Mr. Death, an omnipresent player to the third and final act of every life. And it's been said, and probably rightfully so, that what follows this life is one of the unfathomable mysteries, an area of darkness which we, the living, reserve for the dead - or so it is said. For in a moment, a child will try to cross that bridge which separates light and shadow, and, of course, he must take the only known route, that indistinct ...
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Referenced in Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A special telephone
24 April 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This was one of the most memorable Twilight Zone stories from my youth. I guarantee you see it and you will never be able to forget this story.

Young Billy Mumy, future Will Robinson, is all but five years old and is the center of his grandmother's world. Grandma Lili Darvas lives with her son Phillip Abbott and his wife Patricia Smith. As Abbott explains he had two older brothers who died before he was born and you can see that Darvas was a well meaning, but clinging sort. Her grandson has allowed her to live again as a surrogate mother, something his real mother properly resents and rightly so.

Darvas gives Mumy a toy telephone and promises they will be able to communicate forever. That gets put to the test after Darvas dies and the young boy is talking to his grandmother from beyond the grave.

After that it's a struggle for possession of his spirit and soul between his living parents and dead grandmother.

Just seeing it again brought back vivid memories of Phillip Abbott trying to reach and reason with his dead mother. For why he's doing that you have to see this excellent Twilight Zone episode.


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