James B.W. Bevis is, by almost any definition, eccentric. He drives a car that once was Henry Ford's dream, he likes zither music and makes model ships. He's a bookkeeper by profession and his desk at work is always cluttered. He likes to bring in children at Christmas-time to sing carols. It all leads to him being fired. While drowning his sorrows at a nearby bar, he meets none other than his guardian angel who shows him that life can be considerably different for him if he wishes it....but is he prepared to make the changes necessary to obtain that lifestyle? Written by
The 1924 Rickenbacker automobile that Mr. Bevis is seen driving away in was built by the same family that invented the electric guitar in 1931. John Lennon bought his first Rickenbacker guitar in Hamburg, Germany around the time this episode was filmed. See more »
A kid pushing Bevis' car looks toward the camera as a cue. See more »
Mr. James B. W. Bevis, who believes in a magic all his own. The magic of a child's smile, the magic of liking and being liked, the strange and wondrous mysticism that is the simple act of living. Mr. James B. W. Bevis, species of twentieth-century male, who has his own private and special Twilight Zone.
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Eccentric young man has chance to mend errant ways when guardian angel pays a concerned visit.
The role of Bevis is pivotal to this half-hour and calls for the acting skills of someone like the late Hans Conreid, who specialized in humorous eccentrics. Unfortunately, Orson Bean's performance demonstrates all the skills of an earnest teenager placing second in a high school audition. You would think with a name like 'Bean", he could bring off a nutty character who likes 'zither music' and broken-down old cars. But he doesn't, and with him goes the episode. There are two possible redeeming features-- Henry Jones as the delightfully smug guardian angel, and the story's subtext, which appears to be an unflattering comment on businessman conformity during the button-down 1950's (a recurring concern of Serling's). With better central casting, this could have been a whimsical and revealing half-hour, instead of the flat-liner it is.
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