Arthur and Edna Castle run a small antique shop but business is not good and they're having trouble paying their bills. Despite that, the good-hearted Arthur buys an old wine bottle from the desperate Mrs. Gumley for a dollar. When he knocks the bottle open, a genie appears offering them four wishes. They soon find that their wishes don't lead them to the outcomes they had hoped for and certainly don't lead to happiness. Written by
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, gentle and infinitely patient people, whose lives have been a hope chest with a rusty lock and a lost set of keys. But in just a moment that hope chest will be opened, and an improbable phantom will try to bedeck the drabness of these two people's failure-laden lives with the gold and precious stones of fulfillment. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Castle, standing on the outskirts and about to enter the Twilight Zone.
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I don't like genie episodes. Many TZs have an object with a completely unexplained special power and the stories usually work well enough. Providing a genie does nothing for a plot, and the genie (Joseph Ruskin) is superfluous here. Arthur Castle (Luther Adler) and his wife Edna ( Vivi Janiss from The Fever, season one) are struggling with their tat filled antique shop. The bottle is charitably bought by Arthur from another poor soul in financial need - I like the way the lady then admits to how she got the 'heirloom' on her way out of the shop. The wishes have catches to them, one especially puts Arthur in a position he didn't expect to be in! The ending is one of the better parts. I wouldn't say this is a meaningless story - just look at the Castles before and after the wishes.
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