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.



, (created by)

Watch Now

$0.00 (HD) with Prime Video



1 video »


Episode complete credited cast:
Harry Townes ...
Wright King ...
Paul Carson
William Edmonson ...
Anne Barton ...
Tommy Nello ...
Mack Williams ...
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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

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 »


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 ...
See more »


Remade as The Twilight Zone: Shadow Play/Grace Note (1986) See more »


Red River Valley
[traditional folk song played on harmonica by inmate Coley]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
TZ Trivia ---Round 3.5 ! viaggio1
TZ Trivia --- Round 3 viaggio1
Which episode hits closest to home? mickeyone
Walking Distance cbarton21
"Young Man's Fancy" -- most depressing Twilight Zone ever? Jennie_Portrait
Third from the Sun question... kr-1959
Discuss Shadow Play (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: