The Twilight Zone: Season 2, Episode 26

Shadow Play (5 May 1961)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
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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... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Harry Townes ...
Henry Ritchie
Wright King ...
Paul Carson
William Edmonson ...
Anne Barton ...
Bernie Hamilton ...
Tommy Nello ...
Mack Williams ...
Father Beaman
Gene Roth ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

5 May 1961 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to the ancient art of shadow play or shadow puppetry using opaque figures that cast shadows on clear curtains. Such entertainment is known in countries throughout the world and is presented in theaters and by traveling troupes. See more »


[opening narration]
Narrator: Adam Grant, a nondescript kind of man, found guilty of murder and sentenced to the electric chair. Like every other criminal caught in the wheels of justice, he's scared, right down to the marrow of his bones. But it isn't prison that scares him, the long, silent nights of waiting, the slow walk to the little room, or even death itself. It's something else that holds Adam Grant in the hot, sweaty grip of fear, something worse than any punishment this world has to offer, ...
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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

Solipsism meets The Angels With Dirty Faces
18 December 2013 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Adam Grant (Dennis Weaver) is sentenced to death by electric chair in a recurring dream in which he tells all around him that they will die when he dies. Solipsism is an interesting concept (that all the world's back story and other people's consciousness are only plot devices for oneself, the existential being) and it gets death-row-as-in-old-movie treatment here. Probably Adam Grant should never have watched James Cagney in 'The Angels With Dirty Faces' or Susan Hayward in 'I Want To Live', as he is aware of the movie-like inaccurate details of the whole procedure. There's a great moment when the D.A (Harry Townes from 'The Four of Us Are Dying', season one) and a reporter acknowledge that it's strange that movies are 'technically accurate' in their world. Grant knows that his recurring nightmare is 'unreal' but it happens again and again.

An interesting episode well played by all. Dennis Weaver is best remembered now for starring in Steven Spielberg's 'Duel' and he did a DVD commentary for 'Shadow Play' in which he said he believed in reincarnation.

Don't have nightmares! Watch something pleasant after this.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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