The pitchman Lou Bookman is unexpectedly visited by Mr. Death that tells him that his time has come. Lou appeals to live more to make a big pitch as he has always dreamed on. Mr. Death accepts the request but tells him that he has to take someone else with him. When he selects the girl Maggie Polanski, who is Lou's neighbor, the old man has to take a decision. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lewis J. Bookman was born in September 1890. See more »
Lewis J. Bookman, age sixtyish. Occupation: pitchman. Formerly a fixture of the summer, formerly a rather minor component to a hot July. But, throughout his life, a man beloved by the children, and therefore, a most important man. Couldn't happen, you say? Probably not in most places - but it did happen in the Twilight Zone.
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Murray Hamilton plays a surprisingly genial personification of death, who appears to ageing pitchman Lou Bookman (Ed Wynn) with the unfortunate news that his time on Earth will be up come the stroke of midnight. After a successful appeal, Lou stating unfinished business as his reason to be allowed to live a while longer, Mr. Death agrees to postpone the time of departure until the street trader has made one last truly great pitchone for the angels. Of course, Lou's intention is to immediately retire, thereby cheating death indefinitely, but the old man finds himself having to go through with the pitch of a lifetime after all, in order to save the life of a little girl.
Although Wynn is far from convincing when eventually required to deliver his supposedly spell-binding pitch, his performance as a whole is thoroughly captivating and very moving; Hamilton also plays his part extremely well, conveying just the right balance of affability and menace. On the whole, this is an excellent episode, a touching yet still eerie tale of self-sacrifice that could only have taken place in The Twilight Zone.
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