Twilight Zone: Season 4, Episode 18

The Bard (23 May 1963)
"The Twilight Zone" The Bard (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 347 users  
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Julius Moomer, a talentless self-promoting hack who dreams of becoming a successful television writer, uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare to write dramatic teleplays that ... See full summary »

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Title: The Bard (23 May 1963)

The Bard (23 May 1963) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
...
Julius Moomer
...
Shannon
Doro Merande ...
Sadie
...
Henry Lascoe ...
Gerald Hugo
William Lanteau ...
Dolan
...
Bramhoff
Marge Redmond ...
Secretary
Clegg Hoyt ...
Bus Driver
Judy Strangis ...
Cora
...
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Storyline

Julius Moomer, a talentless self-promoting hack who dreams of becoming a successful television writer, uses a book of magic to summon William Shakespeare to write dramatic teleplays that Moomer will pass off as his own. Shakespeare becomes irritated by Moomer's lack of appreciation and is even more appalled when he discovers the changes wrought on his plays by cynical television executives. Written by laird-3

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23 May 1963 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

William Shakespeare (John Williams) quotes lines from his plays nine times with a trumpet flourish sounding each time, and most of the time, him telling what play, act, and scene the quote came from. Three from 'Romeo & Juliet,' two from 'Twelfth Night,' and one each from 'Troilus and Cressida,' 'As You Like It,' and 'A Mid-Summer's Night Dream', plus a partial one from 'Hamlet' (cut short when Shakespeare forgets the end of the "To be or not to be" line. See more »

Goofs

The woman in the bookstore asks how anyone in their right mind could get rid of Gil Hodges, indicating this would be after Gil was traded to the Senators in May, but he was just mentioned as a player at bat for the Mets. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [Opening Narration] You've just witnessed opportunity, if not knocking, at least scratching plaintively on a closed door. Mr. Julius Moomer, a would-be writer who, if talent came twenty-five cents a pound, would be worth less than car fare. But, in a moment, Mr. Moomer, through the offices of some black magic, is about to embark on a brand-new career. And although he may never get a writing credit on the Twilight Zone, he's to become an integral character in it.
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User Reviews

 
This one single-handedly killed the hour-long format!!
11 June 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I don't think it's any coincidence that this was the last of the hour-long episodes of "The Twilight Zone"--an experiment tested in the fourth season. While some of the episodes this season were poor, there were some gems as well. Sadly, "The Bard" is as far from being a gem as you can find. In fact, I suspect that this episode was saved for last because the producers knew darn well it was a bad show. But, since at this point they knew the series would return to its original half-hour format, "The Bard" couldn't do that much harm! Frankly, I think they should have just kept this turkey on the shelf!

Jack Weston plays Julius Moomer--the world's worst writer. You see him in an agents office pitching one horrible idea after another--all devoid of originality and consisting of nothing but clichés. Later, he discovers a book of magic (or, rather, it discovers him) and uses it to eventually bring William Shakespeare to the present to write for him! While this very, very goofy idea isn't that a bad basis for the show in a comedy anthology, how Moomer is played is just excruciating and the show just isn't appropriate to "The Twilight Zone". Part of it must be blamed on bad writing, part on Weston's over-acting and part on the show's director who did nothing to encourage a realistic portrayal. Simply put, a slightly more subdued performance would have helped immensely--as the show has all the subtlety of a 2x4 upside your head!! My wife and I sat in pure agony watching this mess of a portrayal. And, if it WAS to be on "The Twilight Zone", it should have been dramatically changed in tone.

Weston's over-the-top characterization isn't helped by the sensibilities throughout the show. When odd things happen, there are comical sound effects as well as silly music--like this show was scored by some vaudeville stage hands and band! It tended to telegraph everything and removed any possibility of subtlety or style. And, the fact that many of the people in the show are caricatures sinks the entire production.

Painful, unfunny and awful. There just isn't much to recommend this bilious mess. And, incidentally, the other two reviews for this show (so far) both gave it a 10. Wow.


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