Anthology type science fiction program with a different cast each week. Tending toward the hard science, space travel, time travel, and human evolution it tries to examine in each show some... See full summary »
Produced at the same time as the more well-known Twilight Zone, this series fed the nation's growing interest in paranormal suspense in a different way. Rather than creating fictional ... See full summary »
Will J. White
Arch Hammer arrives in the city and checks into a seedy hotel. He looks like any other man but looks can be deceiving. Hammer has the ability to change his appearance at whim, a trick he definitely uses to his own advantage. He takes on the appearance of the recently deceased musician Johnny Foster. who died in a car accident. He goes to meet Maggie, a lounge singer who is mourning Foster's death and convinces her to run off with him. He then takes on the appearance of Virge Sterig, a gangster whose bullet-riddled body was recently found in the river. He then visits mob boss Penell who double-crossed him to get his share of the money their most recent job. An unplanned change of face doesn't go over well however. Written by
The industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails most likely named a song after this episode. It is off their 2008 release called "The Slip." Similarly, they also have a song called "Where Is Everybody?" on their album "The Fragile" (1999), named for Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody?. See more »
Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »
Andy Marshak - Boxer:
How do I know you?
How do you know me? A son should know his father. What kind of game are you playing, Andy?
Andy Marshak - Boxer:
I'm your son?
You were. You were before you ran out. You were before you broke your mother's heart. Before you did dirt to a sweet decent little girl who would've cut off an arm for you. But now you aint my son. Now you aint nothin' to me. You're nothin'. I hate your guts. Do you hear me? I hate your guts.
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As happens on very few occasions, this episode of The Twilight Zone is a slightly weaker effort and not one of my favourites but it's still as watchable as pretty much every episode of this classic show is.
The story concerns Arch Hammer, a man with no luck but one particular talent. He can change his face to resemble that of any other person. It's a skill that could be used in many ways and Arch is hoping that it will help him to get a lot of money and make a new life for himself. He doesn't care who he hurts in the process but maybe he should think carefully about each face that he uses.
Based on a short story by George Clayton Johnson and directed by John Brahm, The Four Of Us Are Dying has one or two moments that stand out (including an encounter that Arch Hammer has with the estranged father of someone he is pretending to be at one point) but, overall, never really becomes more than mildly interesting. None of the main surprises are all that surprising and the big ending is, sadly, pretty unbelievable and unmoving.
The acting is solid. Harry Townes is very good as the conniving Arch Hammer, Ross Martin is very good as Arch Hammer in the guise of Johnny Foster, Phillip Pine is also very good as Arch Hammer in the guise of Virge Sterig and Don Gordon is very good as, you guessed it, Arch Hammer in the guise of Andy Marshak. Beverly Garland is also fine in her role as, Maggie, a woman horribly deceived. The only major duff note comes from Peter Brocco as Mr. Marshak, a part poorly written and badly overacted.
As with every other slightly weaker episode of The Twilight Zone, this simply serves to prove my point that no episode was actually bad. It's just that some weren't as good as the many superb episodes that the show featured.
This is one I won't be rushing to revisit but it's still watchable and I'm sure that someone loves it just as much as any of the episodes that I class as clear favourites.
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