Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 5

Mute (31 Jan. 1963)
"The Twilight Zone" Mute (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 361 users  
Reviews: 9 user

The orphaned daughter of telepathic parents must learn to speak and deal with a world she cannot communicate in.

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Title: Mute (31 Jan 1963)

Mute (31 Jan 1963) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Barbara Baxley ...
Cora Wheeler
...
Harry Wheeler
Irene Dailey ...
Miss Frank
...
Ilse (as Ann Jilliann)
Éva Szörényi ...
Frau Werner (as Eva Soreny)
Robert Boon ...
Holger Nielsen
Claudia Bryar ...
Frau Nielsen
Percy Helton ...
Tom Poulter
Oscar Beregi Jr. ...
Karl Werner (as Oscar Beregi)
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Storyline

Sometime after World War II, a small group of people make a pact to develop their telepathic abilities as a means of communicating, foregoing any type of oral communication. One couple, the Nielsens, announce that they are migrating to a small town in the USA, German Corners, Pa. After a tragic fire at their house 10 years later, Sheriff Harry Wheeler and his wife Cora take in the only survivor, the now orphaned Ilsa Nielsen. The young girl has never learned to speak, always using telepathy to communicate with her parents. They don't quite understand why Ilsa won't speak to them and Cora sees her as a replacement for the daughter she lost in an accident some years ago. When they enroll Ilsa in school, her teacher is determined to make her act like all the other children. Written by garykmcd

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31 January 1963 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Narrator: [Opening Narration] What you're witnessing is the curtain-raiser to a most extraordinary play; to wit, the signing of a pact, the commencement of a project. The play itself will be performed almost entirely offstage. The final scenes are to be enacted a decade hence and with a different cast. The main character of these final scenes is Ilse, the daughter of Professor and Mrs. Nielsen, age two. At the moment she lies sleeping in her crib, unaware of the singular drama in which she is to be ...
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Given the Circumstances Potential Unfulfilled
21 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is about a young girl who becomes the victim of a sad experiment. A group in Germany decide to promote telepathy as the sole means of communication in their children. The little girl is sequestered by her parents in a small town. The worst happens. Her parents/scientists are burned in a fire which she manages to escape. She is taken in by the sheriff and his wife. She cannot speak and this leads to great complications. She doesn't seem able to read or write and can't be coerced to speak. She also comes under the tutelage of an evil teacher, Miss Frank, who bullies her and demeans her. School is a nightmare. Meanwhile, the sheriff's wife, who lost a child to drowning, begins to bond with the little girl. She intercepts the mail her husband tries to send to Europe as he searches for relatives. This is a story about how we can't accept differences. We beat up those who aren't like us. The teacher even says of Ilse, the little girl, we are going to make her "Just like everyone else." The problem with the plot is the telepathy never plays a part, other than as a deafening cacophony, driving the little girl to despair. The wife is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and it would have been so much more interesting if she had connected in some way with the girls gifts. The story slogs along and is ultimately kind of empty.


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