The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)
13 user 2 critic

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 ...
Paul Carson
William Edmonson ...
Anne Barton ...
Tommy Nello ...
Mack Williams ...


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

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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: You walk out of your cell, pass two gray doors. It's painted green. There's a guard that opens the door for you, and you go into a room. It's tan, it's all tan. There's nothing in it except one chair. It's like a chair you used to sit in when you were a kid. It's hard and solid. They strap your arms and legs, then they attach the electrodes. It's funny, they always feel cold to the touch at first. Then they drop the mask. It's musty. It smells like an old sofa. And then you wait, every muscle ...
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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

19 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dennis Weaver sits in a courtroom. The jury pronounces him guilty of first degree murder. The nightmare begins again. He goes through the same trial and execution over and over. He tries to get the judge, the prosecutor, the principles to listen to him. He plants enough doubt to confuse everything. The characters change appearance but they say the same things. It has happened so often, he can actually mouth them as they are said. Sometimes we think how eternity would be; how we would be punished in the hereafter. Imagine the torture of this loop of reality, played over and over. It's Ground Hog Day, without the happy ending.

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