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
Spelling of Sterig is given as Steric in newspaper article. See more »
[encountering Pop on the street]
Hey, old man.
You got such a debt, Andy. You owe for so many years. You owe for so many things. And now, you pay off, son.
[pulls up a revolver]
Hey! Now, wait a minute! Now, wait a minute. You - you got the wrong guy. I swear to you, you got the wrong guy!
I got the right guy.
Now, please. Please wait. Put... put the gun down. I'll show you. I'll show you, honest! But I got to think! I got to concentrate! Just put the gun down. You'll see. I GOT TO ...
[...] See more »
An intriguing title gets half the work done! That's probably what director John Brahm and his crew must have thought and, indeed, "The Four of Us Are Dying" is one of the most enticing and curious episode titles of the entire first season (although on par with "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street") and perhaps even the full series. Obviously this doesn't mean that it's also one of the greatest episodes of the season/series, but nevertheless it's another very entertaining one with a good pace and a fair share of suspense. Pretty much every single installment in "The Twilight Zone" requires a healthy dose suspension of disbelief, but this one right here demands an extreme lot of it. The plot introduces small time crook Arch Hammer; a man with the incredible (and impossible) capacity to change his face! He only has to look at someone's picture or concentrate real hard and his frontispiece switches! Naturally he uses this unique talent to get what he wants, like picking in the girlfriend of a recently deceased musician or extorting a mafia boss. But when he runs into a dark alley in order to escape from a few assailants, he takes on the wrong face. The face of Andy Marshak, a man who broke his father's heart and has retaliation awaiting him. The script never bothers to clarify where Arch's unique gift originates from, and I'm sure you could do more useful stuff with this talent rather than toying with the feelings of a nightclub singer or stealing small cash from the mob? Still, the script of "The Four of Us Are Dying" is quite compelling and the twist-ending is both unpredictable and effectively harsh. The cool title properly makes sense during the climax, in fact! John Brahm's direction is surefooted and skilled as always. I said it before and I'll repeat it forever, but Brahm is truly one of the most underrated directors of the 40s-50s eras.
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