Reviews & Ratings for
"The Twilight Zone" Nothing in the Dark (1962)

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52 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Fear of the unknown; the most frightening of all

Author: The_Void from Beverley Hills, England
17 March 2006

Every time I see The Twilight Zone, I become more and more impressed with it! Nothing in the Dark is a story about the most frightening thing known to man; the unknown. The themes of mortality and fear are well felt in a story of an old woman who forces herself to remain in her small tin shack. She remains there through fear; fear that death may claim her. When she finds a young wounded policeman on her doorstep, she faces a dilemma - does she let him in, and risk letting death claim her - or does she let him die? This episode is shot entirely inside one room, and yet never becomes dull or uninteresting. The claustrophobic feel bodes well with the dark plot, and the way that the program takes an age-old fear and spins a story out of it is fantastic. Gladys Cooper is excellent in the lead role; delivering a performance that is both abstract, yet believable at the same time. The episode also features an early role for one Robert Redford, who gives an early glimpse of his charisma in his role as the policeman. The climax to the tale will probably be guessed way before the ending; but The Twilight Zone is never completely predictable, and it still manages to pull something out of the bag at the end! Nothing in the Dark is surely one of the best episodes of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" and comes hugely recommended from me!

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34 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

A lovely and engaging episode

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
9 September 2007

Okay, before I begin I should point out that this episode co-stars a very young and attractive Robert Redford--before he was a star. Most women should be very happy about this--making it reason enough to see the show! But, believe me, it's still well worth seeing regardless.

The actual star of this episode is Gladys Cooper, who plays a seemingly crazy and scared old lady who refuses to allow anyone in her basement apartment. You see, she believes that the Angel of Death is stalking her and if she never lets anyone inside, then she'll live forever. Throughout the episode, various people try to get her to open the door but with no success. Only later, when a young policeman (Redford) is shot does she struggle between her fears and her desire to aid this poor dying man.

The episode is exceptionally well written and acted, plus it is very profound in its message about death and the afterlife--and all handled in a very engaging and deft style. This is one classy and enjoyable episode I can't recommend strongly enough.

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18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Afraid of the Unknown

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1 May 2009

The old Ms. Wanda Dunn (Gladys Cooper) had survived many times against death along her long life. Now she is afraid of Mr. Death, and does not open the door of her room in an old building for anyone who knocks the door. When the police officer Harold Beldon (Robert Redford) is shot in her front door, the reluctant woman opens it and lets him in. She helps Harold and she tells him about her fear of Mr. Death and that her time was coming, therefore she could see him. When a contractor (R.G. Armstrong) comes to demolish the building, he explains the "old gives space for the new" to her and she finds that her new journey has begun.

This beautiful tale is among my favorite episodes of "The Twilight Zone". The heartbreak story about the fear of the unknown is magnificently performed like a play on the stage by the awesome Gladys Cooper; Robert Redford in the beginning of his career and R.G. Armstrong. I believe this unforgettable tale shakes with every mature person, and there are many fantastic lines, like for example, "better living in the dark than not living at all" or "old gives space for the new". My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Nada na Escuridão" ("Nothing in the Darkness")

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

My Favorite Episode!

Author: Jillian Randell
31 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a fan of the Twilight Zone, I have to say this episode is my favorite. What's unfortunate is most people my age (19) who know of the show, don't remember or don't know what episode I'm talking about and it's such a shame!

Since I am terrified of death, this episode brings me a lot of comfort. It makes the idea of death seem not so frightening. My favorite line is from Rod's ending monologue that says "there was nothing in the dark that wasn't there when the lights were on". That line right there is so spot on and great that I always think of it, whenever I find myself scared of death.

All in all I think this is an extremely underrated episode! It's one of the best!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Like A Gentle Breeze

Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
28 October 2014

Gladys Cooper stars as an old and dying woman named Wanda Dunn who lives in a decrepit tenement building scheduled to be torn down. She has refused to leave however, convinced that Mr. Death awaits her if she does. One day, a young policeman named Harold Beldon(played by Robert Redford) is shot outside her door, and Wanda reluctantly lets him in, little realizing the profound affect he will have on her, while the contractor(played by R.G. Armstrong) continues to pressure her to leave, or face eviction... Excellent episode is wonderfully understated and incredibly moving by the end, with a welcome message and fine, heartfelt performances.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Expect the unexpected when you journey out and perhaps a visit from a guardian angel?

Author: Danny Blankenship from Petersburg, Virginia
2 February 2009

In this classic "Twilight Zone" episode titled "Nothing in the Dark" it's certainly one of mystery and journey into the unknown. Plus it's a vintage one for the fact that it featured Robert Redford well before he became a big movie star or household name. Redford plays Harold Beldon a policeman who's shot alongside a street corner of a house of a sheltered and old woman played perfect by Gladys Cooper who takes Redford's character in and treats and nurses him back to good health. This woman has a fear of dying and venturing out into the real world she even thinks this arrival could be the angel of death, only it turns out to be the opposite as the Redford character returns a favor as he ventures the old lady out and he looks more like a guardian angel. Overall good episode for it's mystery and discovery of good nature proving life is so unexpected as a mystery can arrive to us and be a find that helps us start a new journey.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Which is Worse: Death or Isolation

Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA
27 July 2016

An addled old lady hides in her unkempt apartment so "Mr. Death" will not find her. Just how loony is she.

Hats off to set and art decorations. The old lady's apartment cave is about the last word in grim. Frankly, I'd welcome Mr. Death as a way out of that black hole. Great acting from Cooper that carries the show, and has Redford ever looked handsomer. It's a spare, elegiac story with what I guess is an uplift ending. Still, be prepared for some really bleak visuals, as the old lady tries to keep Mr. Death away from her door. I detect a philosophical point behind the contractor's conflab. Namely, that the old must give way to the new, because that's simply the way of the world. So get used to it. None of us is special. Well, I guess that's not exactly a novel point to make, but it still works within the story's context.

My advice—don't watch the first part in the dark.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Always look on the bright side.

Author: darrenpearce111 from Ireland
26 January 2014

Wanda (Gladys Cooper) is an old woman afraid to go out, believing that 'Mr Death' is after her. Harold Belmont (Robert Redford) is a policeman lying in a critical state outside her dilapidated home. She fears he may be death in one of his many guises but brings him in.

TZ at its best takes you to all sorts of places and examines the deepest human fears. Gladys Cooper gives one of her three solid performances for the show here. The setting is cold and austere but this is a warm-hearted entry for the Zone. Wanda has been 'running' from death for some time. A gentle story that might take some fear out of death, reminding us its a natural and possibly peaceful process.

George Clayton Johnson wrote this one and his stories make up seven pretty consistent TZ contributions in all. 'A Game of Pool' and 'A Penny For Your Thoughts' are very good.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Trust me...Give me your hand.

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
3 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILER***For the last few years 80 some year old Wanda Dunn, Gladys Cooper, has been terrified of going outside of her basement apartment in fearing that death, or Mr. Death as she calls him, was waiting outside to take her away with him in the world beyond. Like she's seen him do to dozens of people while she was still able to go outside of her shuttered up and cramped apartment.

It's on one snowy night that Wanda heard shots outside her place and saw police officer Harold Beldon, Robert Redford, fall bleeding on the ground that she at last confronted in her mind Mr. Death himself; The person whom she been tying to avoid for the last few years. The fact that Beldon was near death himself didn't get Wanda at first to go help him in that she felt it was a trap by Mr. Death, or Officer Beldon, to get her outside and give him a chance to touch her and with that, the death touch, take her life! The big surprise on Wanda's part is that even when she got Beldon into her apartment she was in fact still alive thus proving to herself that he in fact was not the person that she feared so much: Mr.Death!Or was he?

One of the better "Twilight Zone" episodes that goes to the heart of the matter of one's mortality and how to face it when the end finally comes. Wanda knows that she can't live forever but the thought of her own demise is far too disturbing for her to contemplate. Officer Beldon is just one of the many persons that Wanda saw over the years that she feels is the Grim Reaper in disguised and wants to keep him from taking her. Even if the life that she now leads as a lonely and forgotten shut-in is in many cases even worse then death itself!

****SPOILERS*** It's when Wanda was about to be evicted by the kind and understanding but just doing his job contractor, R.G Armstrong, form her home that was about to be demolished that she finally saw the light in what death, or Mr.Death, was really all about! Despite her fear of it death didn't hit her like the nuclear explosion she felt it would but more like a soft whisper that put her both at ease and out of her suffering in her fear of it! As Wanda soon learned death in itself was only a continuation of one's existence when the life of the person,like herself, it takes away has already reached it's final stage of living. It's like discarding an old and worn out pair of shoes and then getting, possibly in a new life, a brand new pair!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Where Is Thy Sting?

Author: Hitchcoc from United States
25 November 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a well-acted, intense episode. It's about a woman who lives in a tenement by herself. She is visited by a handsome young man played by Robert Redford. She comes to know why he is there and attempts with her whole life force to avoid the inevitable. He uses whatever gentle way he can to get her to agree to go with him. And that is what the story is about: The gentleness of the greatest of mysteries. When she finally succumbs to his requests, she knows that this is the time. She knows that her earthly existence offers her no hope and no way out. Of all the Twilight Zone episodes, this one borrows from a classic idea that death comes in corporeal form to take us. Remember "The Seventh Seal." See this. It has wonderful acting and very nice cinematography.

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