The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
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Shadow Play 

Adam Grant is trapped in a recurring nightmare, in which he is sentenced to death by execution. He tries to convince the people around him that they are imaginary and that they will cease to exist if the execution is carried out.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Wright King ...
William Edmonson ...
Anne Barton ...
Bernie Hamilton ...
Thomas Nello ...
Mack Williams ...
Father Beaman


When Adam Grant is found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced he lashes out telling everyone that he will not be murdered again. Grant claims to be having a recurring nightmare where he is found guilty and executed. The characters around him change and so he argues that all of them will vanish if he dies. It leads newspaperman Paul Carson to question what is real and what might just be a figment of someone else's imagination. DA Henry Ritchie visits Grant in jail and decides to try and do something about his claims, no matter how far-fetched his claims might be. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

5 May 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song that Coley plays on the harmonica is "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine", first recorded in 1931 by Gene Autry. See more »


Adam Grant: Well, Jiggs, don't you think that all of this is just a little bit too much the way it should be?
Jiggs: I don't get you.
Adam Grant: Well, I mean it's so pat. I got tried and sentenced the same day. It doesn't work like that! But you see, that's the way that I saw it in my mind, and so that's the way it is! Or you take this place here, you and Coley and his harmonica, or Phillips and his mother.
Adam Grant: It's like a movie. Real death houses aren't like that, but you see I've never been in a real death house, so ...
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Referenced in The X-Files: Monday (1999) See more »


Red River Valley
Traditional folk song
[Played on harmonica by inmate Coley]
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User Reviews

Dreams and Nightmares
27 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

Dennis Weaver plays convicted murderer Adam Grant, awaiting execution but desperately tries to convince anyone(especially the District Attorney, played by Harry Townes) that in fact they are all a part of a collective dream he is having, and has in fact had countless times, and will quite possibly continue to have forever. Initially skeptical, a concerned newspaperman convinces the D.A. to postpone the execution, but it may indeed already be too late... Brilliant episode with a superb performance by Dennis Weaver perfectly encapsulates everything the series is about, in chilling, unforgettable fashion, and a stunner of an ending, with Rod Serling's narration being among the best.

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